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Everything posted by JonM

  1. Team line-ups from the programme for the England v France Schools international (under-16s) played at Widnes on Friday April 10th 1981. Not a bad looking England line up - Shaun Wane, Gary Schofield, Deryck Fox, David Creasser, Andy Dannatt, Mark Forster and others. In the England Pen Pictures section, Shaun Wane says his ambition is to find a job. Interesting to see a few lads from Paris in the French team (and on the opposite page, details of the Widnes under-11s team travelling to play games against Middlesex and Surrey under-11s).
  2. Just sorting out the loft in preparation for moving house. Thought some of you might remember these titles. (And for those of you too young - this is what we had before internet forums).
  3. I need to dispose of a couple of hundred (approx) issues of Open Rugby, Rugby League World from mid-80s through to early 2000s, plus a couple of dozen issues of the French Treize magazine from late 80s/early 90s - any interest?
  4. There's not much union being played in Liverpool either - probably more union in St. Helens than Liverpool, if you exclude the universities.
  5. Semiconductors (i.e. technology). (And you really don't want to know how much more big tech companies locally are paying their new computer science or electronics grads...)
  6. Those are not typically the places where many high-end jobs would be advertised. FWIW, Glassdoor reports UK-wide, average salary for "Head of Marketing" is £67K and for "Marketing Director" its £90K. I guess there's plenty of attractive things about the job though for the career-minded - chance to network with important sponsors, policians, maybe get on telly?
  7. Like many things, there's probably a significant north/south divide going on here. The marketing graduates, fresh from university, starting at my ex-employer in September are on £48K. I seriously doubt you would get any applicants at all for the RFL job unless the bonus package is the main element of the package. But presumably things are different in Manchester.
  8. Apart from playing a couple of super league fixture there and providing support for over a decade to Liverpool Lions through their community development foundation?
  9. Irrelevant though. No-one is arguing that sport, or blows to the head are the only causes of dementia. Alzheimers has quite a strong link with Diabetes and poor diet, for example. Likewise, no-one is arguing that risk can be removed from everything. I know somebody who died while out jogging - not due a to a heart attack, but because there was a fallen high voltage line from an electricity pylon. However, that doesn't remove the duty of care from RL administrators to do what they can to make the game safer. And even if you take the legal aspect away, there's still the issue of parents not wanting their kids to play, and fewer and fewer adults playing.
  10. Seven year old Bobbie Goulding wanted to be a professional RL player, like his dad. So I'm pretty sure I know the answer to that one.
  11. I went with my mate Tony, when we were in our early twenties. Drove from LA, through the desert, stopping to take photos of cacti and all that. One night stop over in Vegas, then carry on to the Grand Canyon, with the plan to walk down to the bottom and back out again (which everyone says not to do because it's dangerous but we were young and stupid). He was famously careful with his money, so he said he was going to put only one quarter in a slot machine, just to be able to say he'd gambled in Las Vegas. His quarter won him two dollars. He spent one dollar on a lottery ticket for a sports car (not sure how he planned to get the car back to Plymouth) and kept the other, thus meaning that he'd made 75 cents profit. Or as he likes to put it - I quadrupled my money when I gambled in Vegas.
  12. We did the airbus factory tour on a trip to Toulouse a few years back, looking at the A380. Lots of explanations about how clever all the technology was, how the wings were specially shaped, carbon fibre this and that. The different parts of the planes come from different parts of Europe - this bit comes from Preston, this bit from Spain, this bit from Germany and so on. Anyway, end of the tour, the man said - yeah, as long as each piece is within a few cm of spec, the pieces all pretty much fit together and we just put tens of thousands of rivets in everywhere to hold it together.
  13. Don't know the current price, but Wembley with all tiers open was £750K about 5 years ago, less if you don't use the top tier and so fewer staff required. It's possible the RFL gets it for less than that because they have a long-term deal and were in from the start, but that's the ball park. Spurs paid £15 million to rent it for the season back in 2018 (~25 games).
  14. I was at primary school with Bobby, he was a brilliant player even at the age of 7, one of those people who would spend hours a day with a rugby ball after school had finished. I know how much he enjoys spending time with his grandkids, this is pretty sad news. Sadly, I suspect there's a few non-rugby related things in his career that a tough lawyer will bring up as possible factors if he does go down the legal route. We run the risk of disappearing completely as a sport if this doesn't get dealt with properly.
  15. Yep. I'm going to give Mr. Perez a tick for the "Steve Deakin like figure" aspect as he was able to get pretty impressive crowds in Toronto. So then the question is perhaps - is there still an untapped sports market in the UK? The obvious places a couple of decades ago - large towns without much top level sport - Milton Keynes, Worcester, Stevenage/ North Herts (and dare I say it, Salford) now have football or rugby teams. There are some decent size places like Bedford or Basingstoke without much, but they wouldn't be obvious choices for RL.
  16. The only way it could happen is if someone else pays for it - i.e. lottery/ northern powerhouse/ local council willing to stump up some money to have it built in their city. And it would still need an anchor tenant additional to the RFL to be viable.
  17. I would say that most of the population neither knows, nor cares, about the difference. Club RU is still tiny relative to football. I know plenty of people who travel from Cambridge to watch London (or other) football teams or to watch Cambridge United. I know only two people who have watched a club rugby union match in the last decade - both mums of kids who play for their local union club, going to one-off big events on coaches organised by their kids club. The question that should be asked re expansion is not - "how can we start a successful pro RL club in random city X?", because that seems to be too difficult from where we are today, although I think the opportunity was there a decade or two back It should be "How can we put on a successful, well attended, looks good on TV, sells merch, makes a profit, RL event in city X?" An event could be a world cup game, an England international, a magic type event, a on-the-road type game, a 9-s tournament, a rep fixture, a beach league tournament or whatever. And if you can do that, how can you follow it up so that people who liked it have the opportunity to spend some more money in the future, or to actually play?
  18. Finding a reasonably sized sports market in the UK that isn't already saturated, which also has a suitable stadium. Then add a Peter Deakin-like person running marketing the club. That plus a committed owner with tens of millions to spend over the course of a decade or more. We've certainly had the latter two, just not in the same place. It can be done though - several rugby union clubs have managed to build a fanbase completely from scratch, although none of them seem to be viable without large inputs of money from outside, even now.
  19. Mark Richardson, their chairman, was from Dewsbury. Steve O'Reilly was their scrum half, ex of Widnes.
  20. Alt Park Huyton would be perfect. Could easily recoup the building costs through selling protection from fires and theft to those using the car park.
  21. Yes - certainly a good idea to start the season with a few forwards this time. Of course, also weakening one of our relegation rivals Eagles have picked up Martyn Reilly and Liam Kirk from Oldham, plus Vila Halafihi and Mikey Wood from Hunslet.
  22. Olly Davies joins Aaron Brown in leaving Sheffield to join Widnes.
  23. I suspect we're in violent agreement, tbh, which is that there needs to be regular, scheduled in advance, organised international competitions. I think there's a few things to say here, though. Scotland has fewer clubs than say Serbia, Greece, Czechia, Malta and probably a few other countries in mainland Europe. If you're picking a Scottish team from domestic clubs, that's who they should be playing. I would consider the prospect of you or a clubmate potentially representing your country in Turkey or wherever as being quite an incentive for people to play or otherwise get involved. Creating teams comprised entirely of heritage players takes that away. Scotland narrowly qualified for the 2016 four nations by wining the 2014 Euro Championships on points difference, after France lost in Ireland and then, having been 30 points up against Scotland, conceding three late tries. Scotland were the only team in the competition not to use any domestic players. Watching Scotland against Italy at Workington in the 2013 WC was a fantastic occasion, as was their game against NZ in 2016. But the reality is, they could pick Danny Brough, Lachlan Coote, Matty Russell and a handful of NRL players and that is not a sustainable situation. If you were to play England v Scotland today, without NRL players, it would be a three figure scoreline. The attendances for their games in 2016 four nations were 5337 against the Kangaroos and 6628 against NZ at Workington, so let's not run away with the idea that those games were huge commercial successes. The European Cup/Championship that has been running on and off since 1934 seems to be the correct place for Scotland, Wales, Ireland and others to play, and presumably once Covid and the World Cup are over, the ERL will organise this again. I assume Scotland will organise one or more warm-up games for the WC next year too. It's a shame that we don't have a well planned international calendar, but there's not actually much the RFL or the ERL can do about the fact that it will have been six years since the Aussies deigned to visit (assuming they actually turn up for the WC).
  24. It's preparation for the world cup for both teams, no? I don't think anybody on the pitch was playing for the money. The chance to play for your country, or even to play in the same match for or against someone who has, has been cited as a reason to take up RL by people all over Europe in the past few weeks - the Welsh and Irish women, for example. The pride and the amount of messages and social media I saw around the Czech team playing the Euro tournament in Turkey was fantastic. The point of the Scotland or Jamaica team is to get people in those countries playing or watching or sponsoring or whatever. Scotland's highest ever international crowd in cricket is 3000 odd - for a game against England. I've been to Wales football internationals in Cardiff with similar crowds to what Jamaica got in the past couple of weeks. Plenty of sports would be delighted to get a a couple of thousand paying spectators for an international match. It's unrealistic to expect we're going to have something to match soccer, or rugby union internationals. It's unrealistic to expect England v France to match state of origin - there just aren't enough people playing in France - only around 70 clubs in France. It is realistic to do what the ERL has done and organise European championships - Serbia/Ukraine/Russia in Euro B and Czechia, Malta, Turkey, Netherlands in Euro D. The Euro A for France/Wales/Scotland/Ireland just needs to happen more often, on a consistent, regular basis and with promotion/relegation to the pool below.
  25. Seems like the visitors travelled with just 13 players.
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