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The British Lion

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  1. I agree. I'd like to see the RFL's reasoning and strategy behind a return to GB. Is there place for a home nations mid season tournament for example? With heritage players from SH to play for Wales/Ireland etc....wait....with a strategy to grow home grown players across the next 10-20 years? (I know likely not) Or is it just slap the GB brand back on because we know our England brand is ######? Just have a long term strategy and plan and stick to it!
  2. I honestly think im at the point now where Ive lost most all hope for RL ever having a decent International programme. This whole debacle is an absolute shambles and disgrace. Shame on you RFL, NRL and the toothless International board.
  3. Firstly, as a Wire fan, congratulations to Wigan on their win, who were by far the better team. The yards they made each play, and more impressively, I felt they found us out with their defensive strategy. Wigans defence kept arching up to each wing to block the standard play we usually employ, every time. Their line speed was immense. Wigans intensity forced Warrington's inexperienced big game team (on the whole, not every player) to panic and play conservatively combined. Warrington's kicking game was extremely poor, as was their execution of seeing out their sets, and game management- but full credit to Wigan for that. We were outclassed on the day for sure. Its hard to comment as a fan on the end of a loss with the hope it would attain an objective of critique of the final itself. But, truly honestly. For the first time i sat way up in the higher tier (the side that actually had a crowd). The event itself felt faulty, without build up, and actually unlike an event. Yes - we come to watch a game of Rugby League - but for everything else that happens it just felt a bit lacking (if I was to take the neutral fan to mind). I really genuinely hope the Burrow family feel honoured with all that happened also. If I was a Wigan fan, I'd be extremely happy and celebrating a dominant win - and rightly so. Wire team were not on the occasion today for whatever reason, but likely, big game management experience, and thats ok. Congrats to Wigan- and as Im sure with all Wire fans of an age, when will the tide change in the big finals, who knows. Finally, as a fan with a neutral hat on, big work to do to make the Challenge Cup Final a capacity event. It was a shame to see from the other side where I was sat the whole top tier blank of fans. Also, we cannot rely on Abide with Me, and a national anthem sing song to create an event the neutral fan will buy a ticket for.
  4. Very nervous about this game! Its both teams to win or lose. Whichever team makes the right calls on the day, and reacts to the occasion will win through. My team Warrington - my fear is a number of players dont have the big occasion match experience when making the right calls like taking the tackle instead of forcing the pass. We have to have a strong kicking game (one which doesn't just put the ball into full back and wingers hands on the 5th tackle). Wigan will aim to disrupt the speed of the ruck for Wire. If they do that we will struggle. Wigan have the likes of Bevan French who can make something happen out of nothing. However - I'm firmly on the fence as to which team will win on the day. Hopefully should be an outstanding game.
  5. My suggestions for what its worth: with lots of suggestions about how to make the season benefit the Challenge Cup. Magic Weekend - This is the opening round of the new Super League season. It has a firm purpose - to be a huge celebration of the opening of the new season. Big razzamatazz, current and popular band to be pre show. Fireworks, lightshow and visual entertainment pre event and match build up. (Not the standard of SL Grand Final which is still very poor really. In between each match, great entertainment (not the local fledging dance group!) - lets look to NFL and other American sport for inspiration! - It is an event for the existing fans, but, a targeted event for assisting with the spread of the game to new areas. Being the first match of the season should allow existing fans to save and budget for this to travel. - Millenium Stadium, Murrayfield, Dublin, Paris (for example) for the next 10 years. Closed roof at Millenium stadium for example will help create good conditions for watching the game. Have a real bonifide plan for building player participation, new semi pro clubs in the Welsh and other regions, and supported by the RFL. Player development pathways to existing Super League clubs for the next decade. The players don't count on the salary cap. I do NOT mean the current cut of assistance. Have an end in mind to build Welsh, Scottish, Irish, French etc (for example) clubs and player participation for the next decade with this event. Start somewhere with the end in mind! Regular Season IMG forcibly cut the loop fixtures to just home and away. Get clubs to look to other revenue streams for the income loss. Get them out their comfort zone. Northern Hemisphere Internationals Mid Season Replace the loop fixtures with (in the beginning) a home nation series including England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France and invitational side The Exiles to start with (not the all stars!) - award each club with the players who are representing these nations from SL with finance rewards for each player they have representing. Use Grandparent rule 'WHILE' we have a bonifide strategy for growing player participation. Have an A team/development comp happening at the same time to underpin this. Fit these in the calendar as best as possible with Origin and SH International comps. Its not that hard. Start somewhere with the end in mind! SL play offs as normal (although the top 5 has always worked better imo) I still think the the league leader from Championship and GF winner of championship should play off against the bottom 2 of SL for promotion. Thats exciting! Challenge Cup. Very simple for me. Its been brought forward this year which is the wrong decision. Move it back to August for the final. - Ticket prices must be at least 50% cheaper in the opening rounds leading to the QF. - SL teams in the hat from round 2/3, and drawn away to lower league teams. If a SL team draws a SL team, then the draw for home and away operates as normal. - SL teams when drawing championship/lower league clubs are only allowed to field a certain percentage of their first team squad. Incrementally rising each round if they progress up unto the QF. - Challenge cup games must have a regular fluidity / consistency being played every other week, or every 3rd week, midweek even. Make it an attractional event for the local lower league clubs to invite their catchment area to. Make it an event!! Not a half cocked one. IMG show them how to do it. Schools for free, parents accompanying for a nominal fee. fill the stadium. Great prematch entertainment and build up. Make it more than the match itself. - QF's and semi final to be played 2/3 weeks apart from each other. Wembley (or wherever - i personally prefer wembley for the Challenge Cup Final) to be played 2 weeks after the semi. It keeps the momentum. Make it an event, not just a final contested by 2 teams. (singing the national anthem and abide with me, with other current stuff they do is not making an event! But, it has a place) Again have a marketing strategy for London, attract new audience, local clubs given discount on tickets booked together. London amateur and semi pro clubs given visual advertisement, endorsement and inclusion in the event.
  6. I remember Gary Mercer telling me and a few of my mates at a junior rugby camp he wasn't going anywhere -and then he signed for Leeds. That was gutting. But like others have stated, Sculthorpe and Harris leaving Warrington was a big deal, but the club was in a mess and I dont think Scully or Harris's leaving remarks were complimentary at the time due to the running of the club. The what if's!
  7. I'd add to this, Great Britain (at the time) biggest travesty is not developing an attacking team around this incredible playmaker, and instead playing it safe with players either out of position or otherwise. Briers was 100% a GB great in the making. Sadly, we never got to see it.
  8. Im nervous about this one. HKR are going strong, and I like their whole set up and the momentum of the club. Hoping my team Warrington win out, but this could be anyones game to win
  9. The Roses is dead. Leave it to rot. It would add to making the game look even more parochial. Im a Warrington lad exiled in Leeds - theres zero desire from me to cheer for Lancashire (I was born in Warrington, Cheshire) and zero to adopt Yorkshire because I now live here. Get a home nations mid season up and running. Start from the bottom and build up (should have done this years ago) Use heritage players initially and RFL have a strategy to grow participation and league structures in the home nations.
  10. The seasons I thought it might be our year are gone now! Im happy with development currently happening, after the last few years. If it happens, it happens. But more importantly, can a good culture and foundation be built after a few really disappointing years.
  11. It was unusual today to watch Saints make errors I certainly wouldn't have expected. You know a games going in your favour when things like Lomax putting his foot behind the dead ball line happen (uncharacteristic). But for one day, I think Wire brought it better than Saints did. The season is long. I'd agree that Wire would have not thought as players that was a battle hardened win - but they would have taken confidence from it for sure.
  12. He is bringing a different culture. One alongside the players, and seems to be inspiring the younger (and all) players to give their best and seek to develop their ability. The biggest thing was their will to keep at it - as a unit/team. I dont think we (Wire) were anything truly of brilliance today, (Matty Ashtons try was exceptional to get the ball down). But as a fan - the dogged determination to keep at the game was fantastic. Culture will bring the future for sure.
  13. Ill be honest - I had hope we (Wire) would win today, but, I thought Saints would beat us by a close one. A great game by Wire, and encouraging times. We looked determined. It was particularly good to see us trying some more adventurous plays as the game was going. Confidence was rising. As an aside (as a Warrington fan) I'm getting really discouraged by the behaviour of a small proportion of our fans who are throwing beer bottles onto the pitch when we score. Thyre plastic, I know, but theyre hitting your own players! It aint pleasant, and i'd love our club to uncover the culprits. However, Saints will still be there come the end of season, and im sure they will come better and good despite today.
  14. Well done Wigan on the win. Ive seen both Wigan, and Australia vGB/Eng at international level get the rub of the green where game changing decisions mattered,on many occassions. If thats the case here for Wigan v Penrith, so be it.
  15. As an aside, does anyone know whether the new tackle height rules will be applied for this game, given the NRL haven't yet?
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