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Everything posted by Yakstorm

  1. For me, I hope this youth tournament isn't a one off. We've been fortunate enough that the French government has come to the party to fund the inaugural, though in order for this concept to truly help the international game, we ideally want to be running one of these every 2 years. U19s is a good target age where any kid who shows potential is still young enough to continue to improve and join the development frameworks, but also old enough that they are less of a risk than say a 14 or 16 year old. As other have said, having an event like this regularly is a huge carrot for nations to lure across talented athletes to play the code. The hope from there we can keep as many of them as possible in the sport and even get a few some professional contracts.
  2. Norman isn't renowned for being Mr Consistent, but there is no doubt that on his day he is a class player. If he wasn't he wouldn't have played Origin nor secured the types of deals he did with Brisbane, Parramatta and St George Illawarra. Yes there is a risk in Toulouse signing him that he won't do much, but honestly it's not like they are flying high at the moment and that this signing could derail them. The reality is with only one win so far in the season and numerous close losses they need to try something and hey Norman maybe enough for them to suddenly win matches like last week's against Hull KR.
  3. So let's just say 2022 Fev and Leigh are better than Toulouse, if the situation was reversed would either Fev or Leigh won any of the matches that Toulouse has lost so far? I'd argue that they would have suffered relatively similar losses, just repeating the unfortunately regular trend of the promoted team from the Championship struggling. London's performance in 2019 was an anomaly and arguably they were helped by qualifying via the Super 8s (at least they had some insight into what players in their squad could compete against Super League opponents) and then hindered by it being removed. Toulouse is going to struggle for the first third of the season at least. They have some difficult matches coming up against the likes of Wigan, Saints and Catalans which they are next to no chance of winning. If they hope to stay up, they need to win their games against Wakefield coming up and then try and upset an out of form team like Castleford. Mid season there are usually some surprise wins on offer, thanks to injuries, player rotations and just strange coaching decisions, and hopefully Toulouse can add a few players by then, but it's going to be a hard season for them.
  4. IMO England should be scheduling in 4+ (6+ is the preferable minimum) matches every non-World Cup year, with a minimum of 2 being played in a UK friendly time zone. This would see the National team playing against other national teams, whilst also allowing for them to take on a Combined Nations, Indigenous or Maori All Stars team. Now whether the Indigenous or Maori teams should be touring, for me I don't have any issue with it, provided that its not in place on proper tests / Internationals. Both teams attract high quality talent and offer something a bit different which would gain some much needed media attention in a number of European countries. In the other Rugby, the Māori All Blacks are happy to tour the Pacific and Americas and draw some good crowds doing it.
  5. Average for the actual match (versus the whole broadcast) was over 600K, which is very strong. Considering average audience for Super League on Sky was 150K last year, its a huge result for the league, especially if we can build on those.
  6. There is little value in the Crusaders going back to Wrexham full-time in the short-medium term and arguably, if the Stadium gets upgraded, in the long term either. A 10K capacity covers them if they ever happen to find themselves back in Super League contention, whilst in the immediate term they are playing somewhere which is more supportive of the club and arguably has less competition than Wrexham. I'm glad the club has left some roots in Wrexham, especially with the community club, and it would be great if the team could play the occasional game at the Racecourse (provided it made commercial sense), but otherwise their new home offers more.
  7. On paper, it looks like a clear Huddersfield win, though I hope Toulouse can pull off the ambush. Looks like it will be a decent sized home crowd, based upon ticket sales, and with it being only round one, Giants won't be at their best. Looking forward to watching it though, if TO does pull off an upset, it would take a lot of pressure off them.
  8. 2016 deal was for 100+ matches over 2 seasons. 2018 deal was for 90+ matches over 2 seasons. 2020 deal was for 40+ matches over 1 season. Can't find any announcements for 2021, but looks to be pretty consistent coverage year on year.
  9. If C4 can get some decent ratings, I'm sure it will make Sky look at their coverage. C4 has definitely picked a more exciting panel / commentary team for casual viewers, it's just a shame they only have 10 games.
  10. It's good to have beIN back and locked in before the season kicks off. Whilst it's far from a perfect deal, it guarantees some semi regular coverage of SL between the 9 Dragons home matches, plus any Sky matches they decide to pick up. Whilst the press release doesn't confirm it, I'd be surprised if beIN don't take Toulouse v Huddersfield, as Sky will be covering the match anyway, and I'm sure they'll pick up some other TO matches during the year.
  11. This is encouraging from the Broncos with the club already trying to drum up sales for their next two home games. https://twitter.com/LondonBroncosRL/status/1489270643623350279?t=czsi1bblmNJnXyWLLwkbeg&s=19
  12. Agree that for clubs, it is unlikely to have a dramatic impact, however at the League level, Super League should be able to either drive more value out of their existing partners and/or sell more of the many unsold sponsorship assets they have based upon the increased reach.
  13. Open Exchange is a video comms platform designed for the financial sector who are trying to build their UK presence after expanding their contracts with the London Stock Exchange. They have revenues over USD100m annually and are growing quickly, so not a bad pick up for Wigan. It looks like this is their first sponsorship as well.
  14. It's a solid start... as other's have pointed out, it is more than London's average last time they were in Super League and it's more than the club has drawn in a number of years when unfortunately they had better teams on the pitch. Whitehaven and York will be truer tests, whilst the Bradford match could be a good opportunity for the club if the Broncos have a few wins to their name and Bulls fans travel in numbers.
  15. There doesn't appear to be any other real options other than Stade de la Beaujoire unless we are going to play the game indoors at Parc des Expositions de la Beaujoire. A 35K venue might not be too bad though if the FFRXIII plan to promote the match. 10 years ago at Lens we got just under 12K for France v Wales.
  16. QQThe financial success of the World Cup is pretty much what underpins the IRL, so I don't see them anytime soon wanting to increase / change the number of years between each tournament. The organisation is close enough to bankruptcy now after England was pushed back a year. This heavy financial dependence on one event certainly doesn't help when it comes to potential hosts. Arguably New Zealand could host a World Cup on their own, but they make more money by playing some games in Australia, PNG has a number of decent venues getting built (or now built after the Pacific Games), but would struggle to make a decent profit. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Welsh Government has shown they are happy to invest in RL World Cup matches, but the region is too small to host an entire tournament, so you'd end up with it being like 2013 again. Outside of them (and of course Eng, Aus, Fra), not sure who else would be a realistic option. Serbia/Eastern Europe maybe if they could find some cash, Brazil maybe in another 10 or so years based upon their current rate of growth. USA / Canada I feel are unrealistic anytime soon, just cause there isn't enough foundations, South Africa, don't know enough about who was backed their 2017 bid to comment.
  17. Double / Triple Headers have a place in Rugby League, but only when by combining the matches it creates a larger / better product. For me, Magic Weekend, in both SL and NRL, are examples of that as they both have turned another round into an event, which gets both additional media coverage and revenue for both bodies which they previously didn't get. I'd argue the Challenge Cup Semi Final also works, though some would argue that the two Semis use to and still could be big events in their own right. Unfortunately for International RL matches, they are usually nothing more than cost saving measures, with a lesser game usually attached to a more marketable game. Now if France2025 can make some bigger events by playing Double or Triple Headers, then so they should. I'd imagine there might be a desire to play both the French Men's & Women’s matches as a Double Header to launch the tournament and if that helps then sell out a bigger venue and/or get more coverage for the tournament, then great. I just hope they avoid attaching say Cook Islands v Jamaica to a Les Chanticleer's match because they felt it was too hard to market.
  18. Firstly they are called State Governments and satisfy all the definitions of what a government is, so I don't know how you can claim that they are not governments. Secondly, where does your definition of 'local area' end? All governments, from local to federal look after 'local' interests. The local equivalent to the London Assembly in Australia would be the 32 local governments of Sydney. Whilst they can invest in major sporting events (although the City of Melbourne is a major partner of the Australian Open), they generally don't and they never do it as a collection. Now when it comes to event sponsorship in Australia, it is always driven from the states. The Federal Government cannot bid for an event and it cannot place an event in Australia. It can support State bids, it can market secured events abroad through Tourism Australia, it can provide visa and internal travel support and it can even be used as a proxy for a bid, but that will always be initiated from the states first.
  19. I'll see if I can find it. It was in one of the IRL annual reports, bit was drastically below what was promised (and what South Africa was offering). No they weren't. The venue deals for the RLWC were done with the Tourism & Event divisions of the Queensland, Victoria, WA, ACT and WA in Australia. The SCG Trust paid for the two matches at the SFS (otherwise there would have been zero matches in NSW for the Men's event). Queensland paid the most, hence it got the Final, one Semi and a bunch of regional games. I agree we can't afford to look a gift horse in the mouth, but for RLWC2017 we were also lazy giving the likes of the Queensland and WA governments extra matches through double headers which I feel were unnecessary, and some matches were just played in markets where fans for those teams don't exist which always meant that the matches were going to struggle to draw crowds. Northern Queensland has strong Irish & Italian roots, not Tongan or Samoan. Even if they took one of the Tonga or Samoa matches to Sydney or Auckland, they would have drawn 12K+ easily whilst Ireland v Italy still would have drawn 9K at Barlow.
  20. The 2017 World Cup had plenty of Government funding, it actually caused some of the controversy as matches were taken to where the organisers received the most funds versus right venue, right team. Tonga & Samoa playing in Barlow Park in Cairns versus Auckland is an example of poor venue selection because the organisers decisions were heavily based on which government would pay for what.
  21. Thanks for sharing. You'd hope for the Men's matches that none will be played in any venues smaller than 10K (preferably closer to 20K+) with the smaller venues predominantly used for the Youth tournament and some of the smaller Women's matches. I wonder if there has been a push by the French Government for the RLWC to have some matches in towns / regions that have missed out on the Union World Cup, previous Euros and the Olympics? Whilst of course the preference would be to improve our presence in the cities of France, I think we'd all agree we're happy just to see French RL expand its footprint.
  22. Potentially. The IRL did present to member nations back around the 2017 World Cup a plan to host the Women's World Cup on a different cycle than the Men. Plan was for 2025 to be the last joint and then Women's would move to 2027, 2031, etc. Now whilst this was tabled, the IRL board have never finalised this one way or another, however that's not to say that the assumption was not made when the NRL brokered the deal for 2029.
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