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iffleyox

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Everything posted by iffleyox

  1. I genuinely think 7s only hasn't killed RU because of the size of the RU playing/spectating pool being large enough to accommodate it - I would expect any halfway decent 9s circuit to do huge damage to proper RL, certainly in terms of siphoning off players. It might take 15-20 years, but I think it would happen. By the way, I think I've said before that there are some fans of Pro RU clubs who will only watch their amateurs, not the pro side, so there are many varieties of spectator madness out there.
  2. Liverpool St Helens are an (historically quite good but anyway still existing and presumably owning the name) RU club.
  3. Oh good, lucky there's nothing else to talk about. Exciting to do it in the season for a change though. What will we all talk about in December-January? (don't answer that, I know, with a depressing certainty. I know).
  4. except that the presumptuous belief will have become demonstrable fact..
  5. I'm devastated. I'm from RU country, lifelong supporter of an RU side, and only got into RL because Oxford opened up playing over the road from my house and I'd got nothing better to do on Sunday afternoons. Since then, I've been to nearly all the SL grounds, become a (casual) Trin fan, met some great people, and fallen in love with what the game could be. Given I've still got my RU season ticket it would be very easy for me to drift away again just because I wasn't born into RL and it's not in my DNA. I chose it. You can regret choices of course....
  6. In these circumstances, they might as well... Actually, that would be funny for about 5 minutes. Presumably in the interim no NRL player would be insured because their insurers would only accept them playing in recognised competitions. So if the NRL is recognised by the ARLC, which is recognised by the IRL at international level... Lawyers' beanfeast. I mean, they'd get round it, but maybe not before all this weekend's matches have had to be cancelled or played without insurance.* *which is why, when this has periodically been suggested in RU as the nuclear option to bring premiership clubs to heel, it's always been argued to do it on a Friday, during the season.
  7. Have we got the player pool for 9s? I mean to do it properly? The risk is it becomes the cheap way into international competition for some smaller nations (as 7s has) which means they don't then take or fund XIII seriously. Meanwhile 9s as a circuit would take away players and fans *potentially* in England I quite like the idea of 9s, but I can't stress enough how much in the men's game RU's relative numbers of players and interested members of the public masks the fact that 7s is divergent in terms of both players and fans. You do now get people who only watch or play 7s at the top level. It might be a nice problem to have, but while it *might* bring in a new audience, it *could* cannibalise the existing one.
  8. Although the new IRB funded PI sides might be well placed... I thought they were going to be a flash in the pan but if they can't capitalise on this then they're idiots.
  9. My money's on Northern Rugby Football Union (South).
  10. But RL's important in Queensland (and more importantly in Australia). Pretty well anything they can get would be easy to dress up as 'UK government financially props up Australian sports league because they threw a tantrum' - I'm not sure the government can afford that politically domestically - *unless* any cash/assurances were followed through publicly in UK/Aus media with British government statements/mood music along the lines of 'we didn't understand the logic of their concerns when every other sport in the world seems to be carrying on, but we're very happy that giving them this relatively small amount of money seems to have made their concerns go away.' Let public opinion do the rest. Honestly, if this goes under, you'll care, I'll care, *some* people in the UK might care, but really when it comes down to it, this is a big fish from a small pond who deserves to discover he's out of his depth.
  11. Just reading that sentence back though - he's got a track record of getting money out of the Australian government, fair enough. The NRL does all sorts of deal with Pacific Island governments and regulatory bodies, which I suppose also has to happen given proximity, relative economic strength etc, but... God knows I'm no fan of this government (and I'm going to keep this non party political heeding the many warnings on the thread already) - but this is the leader of a sport which is important to a relatively small country on the other side of the world. At a diplomatic level, for a whole host of reasons (similar outlook, family ties, shared history, etc) we want to be friends, hell we're basically relatives, But really, we're the 5/6th largest economy in the world (depending on which figures you use), there seem to be alternative options (as long as they're not stalking horses) - and while the country is keen for diversions, and we've got a strong interest in getting this tournament on for economic as well as prestige reasons (to say nothing of the political support given already), it would play politically very badly domestically to start shovelling UK taxpayers' cash to an Australian league in a sport most people don't care about in the middle of a pandemic. I'd hope if he tried that he got told to take a running jump. Bring on Serbia/Indigenous sides/whoever else frankly.
  12. I know it's a very different world, but IIRC Sir Geoffrey made his debut at Bramall Lane...
  13. It is, but putting it in high summer has forced first class cricket to the margins (April/Sept) which over time is going to cock up the test team. And forced the Royal London to become basically a second XI competition, so God knows what impact that's going to have on the national team too. Loss of our three best batsmen to the Hundred nearly torpedoed Worcestershire in the one day comp at the weekend - it was only a rear guard by Leach that saw us win. Essentially it's causing problems for clubs left right and centre. Actually, it's more specific than that. The test ground sides are laughing because they're getting cricket played. The basket case sides are ok because they're sailing on regardless and unaffected with the cash in their pocket. It's the Somersets and Worcestershires who are good sides without test grounds that are losing their players to the franchises. Essentially it's a nice bit of divide and rule - to explain in RFL terms, where the SL, Champ and L1 clubs are the (more numerous) equivalent of the 18 first class counties, the Hundred is great if you're in SL or L1, and a nightmare if you're in the Championship.
  14. ass an aside, full marks to them for Birmingham Phoenix. While to some the Phoenix is a mythical symbol of rebirth and renewal, in *Birmingham* it's perhaps best associated with the Phoenix Four. And that's not in the dim and distant history either. Laugh? I nearly did.
  15. It's very like that - 'right then Worcestershire and Warwickshire, we know you're bitter rivals who actually probably have the closest English cricket comes to a relationship of open and overt hatred of each other but, this Birmingham Phoenix team, its going to play instead of both of you but at Edgbaston. No, it's definitely not continuity Warwickshire. No, it's for a new audience of people who are new to the sport. No, it's not just the same faces in the Hollies stand, just fewer of them.... quick....zoom the camera in on the band...' now try that in Hull, or between Leeds and Bradford.
  16. but, and this is where the RFL should be pricking their ears up, first class cricket isn't just a members only club is it? Durham and Hampshire are the only two first class counties that aren't themselves members clubs... (there's also the anomaly of Middlesex being a members club that doesn't own a ground but that's by the by). The Hundred is a canny way of putting the ECB in charge of everything and bypassing its members, who are overwhelmingly in thrall to their members... As gingerjon says, this is franchising that cuts out the clubs - see also Welsh RU when they brought in the regions over the head of the Principality Premiership 'yes of course Pontypridd/Bridgend/Ebbw Vale fan, you can still go and watch Pontypridd/Bridgend/Ebbw Vale, with their rich history that has given so much to us all (they just won't have any money).'
  17. A Worcestershire member writes... this is why, although I'm not sure it's what you meant, that cricket is the most similar to RL - the decent teams are in the 'wrong' place. Some of those on your list are basket cases but... If you take Worcestershire (and all of this pre Covid) small ground one of the few 18 first class counties to run somewhere near a profit genuine yo yo side that's too good for the first class second division and usually not good enough for the first sound one day team one of the more recently successful T20 Blast sides and the only one (from memory) to get to the final again the year after winning it - and we're not going into the dim and distant history here, this is when the world was normal Meanwhile you've got Test venues slumming it in the second division and not setting any of the competitions on fire The issue with the 100 is that it privileges massively the 8 test venues, while cutting the basket cases adrift BUT also taking the likes of Somerset and Worcestershire that supply the players the other teams use, and generally win as many games across the formats as they lose, and shooting them in the back of the head too. It's like reorganising RL into a 8 team franchise and finding room for Leeds, Hull FC, Wigan, Bradford (for old time's sake), London, Catalans, Newcastle and St Helens. There'd be rage from some about Bradford and Newcastle being there; probably a shrug that Cas and Wakey have been cut loose, but in the middle of all that they've basically said 'sorry Warrington, you don't fit the profile on location despite your success so for the greater good....' which is basically what cricket is doing
  18. I think that needs to come in time but it would be suicidal to do it now. Focus on getting the standard of French RL up, make playing internationally for England something more than regularly hypothetical, *then* when we're not actually on our knees, yes, if you're playing in Australia you don't play for England. But absolutely not any time soon - it will be a lever to pull down the line.
  19. that's a different question though. And it doesn't necessarily follow either. Think back to the 1980s (I was a child then) - there was much more RL on FTA TV then, we watched it, enjoyed it, and there were two players I could have named as an 8 year old - Martin Offiah and Ellery Hanley. I dimly recall you could even get a model of one of them with tokens from cereal boxes (I've still got Eric Bristow somewhere...). But it didn't open the floodgates for hordes of other RL household names. It's chicken and egg. no one cares about club RU beyond season ticket holders of those clubs - which is exactly the same as club RL. The difference isn't marketing, it's the 6 Nations being appointment viewing in pubs and on TVs; and a world cup that any of England, Wales, Ireland, France, RSA, Australia or NZ could win (and a couple of other teams could spring a surprise). So, where I would go from here is nothing that hasn't been said a million times on here, we need: regular NH internationals with a fixed annual window. You don't know who England are playing, but there will be three England tests this month, sort of thing, which everyone, fans, players, administrators, broadcasters and sponsors can set their watch to out to about 5 years ahead. another French side in SL as soon as feasible, even if it means taking two up (winners and Toulouse), then protecting Toulouse from relegation for a bit - and before the sharp intakes of breath, I would be planning overtly to build a suction effect where there is a general uplift of French RL such that eventually Catalans and Toulouse go home to play in a domestic league and don't play in SL. But until that point they're more than welcome here - basically the RFL need to have two strategic priorities, sorting English RL out and doing anything they can to help French RL - until the annual tests between the two are proper tests We need many other things as well, but that's where I'd start - sort out international RL in the Northern Hemisphere, and the way to do that goes through France.
  20. much more succinct than my attempt to say the same thing.
  21. Um, unlike many on here as a genuine dual code fan I watch a *lot* of RU - I'll agree with broadcast partners, glitzy locations, and big commercial sponsors but I can't name a single mens* sevens circuit player (that didn't play for my club initially), let alone suggest they're household names. 7s makes a lot of money, but the household names play proper RU. I think there's a parallel with 9s in that 7s is a distraction from the real thing - it's been more successful since it's basically become its own sport. When it was mostly the same players trying to do 7 and XV a side, it was chaos. FWIW I agree with The Rocket. The whole issue with RL into the future is what happens if it takes off (again) in the Northern Hemisphere, because if it ever did click (never mind the impact on RU, which I think would be minimal for a long time) it could reduce the NRL to a feeder league very quickly. Oddly enough they don't want that. *I can name a fair few of the England Women 7s, but that's because it's generally many of the same players as the XV, but the format depends on which one the RFU's decided to properly fund at any one time (because they vanishingly rarely fund both).
  22. too early to read anything into it IMO - it could also be read as a positioning statement aimed at keeping the pressure up, or worst case, so that there hasn't been a total period of silence from them between Friday and then everyone else pulling out today that people could point to and say 'they didn't care either' FWIW I think it's the former of my options - this is just to get some messages out in public from the cup side, while who knows what is being said in private to the PI from Australia. Basically it's pretty transparent media management - but that's not to say it's pointless. It's a belt and braces statement that they pretty much have to issue at this point if they're halfway competent (which fwiw I believe they are).
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