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  1. The full press release states that Toulouse’s original home game against London will be moved to a double header in Leeds in August, to avoid Toulouse getting an extra home fixture. Seems like it’s all been thought through and everyone’s a winner...
  2. It sounds like Perth are paying quite a bit to host next years’ NRL nines. In future, would they be interested in hosting a SL nines in late Jan? Would surely get 5k to 10k travelling support....given SL is now spread over 2 continents is having a comp on another continent such a strange idea...?
  3. There’s no athletics club based at New River any more - Enfield and Haringey AC have a great facility at Lee Valley. In fact, New River can’t host athletics meetings any more as it’s “field” facilities have been removed eg no throws area etc. That said, a number of recreational running users and informal groups still use the track, and you do feel that there would be a local outcry if there wasn’t any provision for a running track in a redevelopment. I would have thought that a Barnet Copthall style solution would be the way forward ie building a new stand on the “back straight” with retractable seats in the lower rows that would cover the track during games.
  4. On the format, the press release talks of 28 games in total (men’s and women’s). I presume that means 7 women’s games (a round robin plus a play-off final) and 21 men’s games (this would mean 3 groups of 4, round robin group stages with group winners and 1 runner up going into the semis etc). Worth pointing out that if you went to 16 men’s teams, that would add 10 more games as you would then need quarter finals (assuming that you keep the same four team group format). 38 games in total would be a lot (NRL nines has 34 games if you include the 3 women’s matches). There are 11 men’s teams currently qualified for the 2021 World Cup that I assume will all be invited (Aus, NZ, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, PNG, Lebanon, Eng, Wales, France, Jamaica). The other European teams will be involved in a 2021RLWC qualifying campaign next autumn so I can’t see any of them being invited as the 12th team. That leaves USA and Cook Islands as the next obvious choices for the 12th spot - my bet would be USA, with their RLWC playoff with the Cooks scheduled for Aus before or after the 9’s WC.
  5. Cumbria Fellsmen anyone? I actually think it could work pretty well. Whilst attandances may never be massive, local businesses are very RL friendly and would love a SL team to back. Would have a big impact in the local media too. Could be like Munster in RU??
  6. Great news indeed, although the official GAISF press release does make for interesting reading https://gaisf.org/world-armwrestling-federation-recommended-for-full-gaisf-membership/. Note the mention of "perceived rivalries"
  7. Here's a bit of a left-field one - Richie Myler. He's got the talent and experience, Leeds could be the real making of him...
  8. I'm slightly annoyed that the last test is on the Sunday rather than the Saturday. Presumably this is because the union internationals start that weekend and the BBC have already committed to showing 2 on that Saturday. No doubt similar considerations will impact the fixtures in the latter stages of RLWC 2021....
  9. What if this six nations was actually just a European championship with 2 groups of 3 and a final? That could then fit in before the Eng vs NZ series. Assuing England make the final that would give them a total of six matches next winter - they actually played seven this year if you include the Perth warm up.
  10. I believe the last time they played at Crystal Palace was 1993, circumstances and people involved were very different. Anyway, all the more reason for the RFL to lead - effectively on the angle of developing a CoE for RL in the south, making use of the national sports centre facilities, etc. Bromley council (like most London councils) will be wary of being seen to give land/facilities to private enterprise, if a governing body was involved it puts a different spin on things. RFL effectively did a similar thing with the Huddersfield stadium didn't they? (appreciate that was c.25 years ago)
  11. What about Crystal Palace athletics stadium? It's virtually derelict these days. As far as I know the running track is hardly used (and UK athletics won't stage any big meetings there now as they use the Olympic stadium instead). I reckon if an organisation were to come along offering to put on some money to redevelop the stadium the council would be interested, even if it meant the track was taken up. Could the RFL lead on this? Maybe for the Broncos and create/promote another London team to league 1 to use it as well?? Could also base the RLIF office there instead of its curent London basement?
  12. Although Australia is a big country, it's easy to get around due to the low cost airlines. I've been to 8 of the 9 games in Australia so far (2 weeks ago I did Melbourne, Townsville, Cairns and last week it was Canberra, Sydney, Townsville). All of my flights were under $100 apart from Townsville to Cairns (ironic as that's the shortest flight!)
  13. Honestly as far as the 2021 world cup is concerned, from a rugby league perspective it will be very much a case of forget what you thought was possible and think much much bigger. 2021 will be a massive sucess and exceed all expectations. Why? Because the RFL have played a blinder. They have tied 2021 into a political phenomenon - the northern powerhouse - which is much bigger, and has much more at stake than a mere sporting competition. The northern powerhouse is being driven by the "big cities" of the north, including Liverpool and Newcastle and is aimed at securing government backing for growth projects, particularly transport links, valued at £30bn plus. The north needs the powerhouse, and everything associated with it, to be a show of strength to demonstrate that the north is worth investing in. Can the region stage world class sporting events, for example? Delivering 1 million plus for the RLWC 2021 would surely demonstrate that. In short, the north needs a successful RLWC. Expect to see RLWC logos on the Tyne bridge and the Liver building etc etc. No one will question international RL after 2021.
  14. Agree with the posts above - a good afternoon of RL marred slightly by the Courgars fans whinging about the ref. First time I've seen Skolars this season and they look like a half decent side. If they can specifically tighten up on their tryline defence they should make the play-offs. One word of caution though - I think Jy-mel Coleman is a bit of a liability. Several of his "no look" passes led to errors, he kicked selfishly for himself a number of times and of course he is unfit and overweight. Is he only in the side because he is the coach's brother?
  15. This was a great game! Canada played really well in the first half - inventive in attack and solid in the middle. I honestly thought at half time that they were going to do it. However after the break it was a different story - whatever B Mac said to the US obviously worked as they looked much more of a threat in attack and scored several great tries. I really felt for Canada at the end - to come so close in the circumstances is a massive credit to them. The crowd was the biggest of the week, around 700 I'd say, and it felt like quite a big event - there were some local "celebrities" there apparently, including an ex-NFL kicker, and Nigel Wood was also there in his role as chairman of the RLIF (but where was the CEO??). It was definitely the type of game for neutrals and the crowd really got into it. Certainly something to build on. During the game they announced that Leeds would play "the USA Hawks" (presumably not including the likes of Howards or Offerdahl etc) on Jan 17th. No mention of which team B Mac would coach...
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