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  1. I worry that relegation has the potential for a disaster that the sport can’t afford. Imagine if a Leeds or Wigan had a bad season and went down. Catalans almost went down a few years ago. Super League can not afford to lose its strongest clubs. An NRL style closed shop also lends itself to better youth investment. An NRL team who are likely to miss the 8 (or my ever rebuilding Knights) can bring through talented juniors without the fear of being relegated if they don’t perform immediately. I don’t believe it a coincidence that the weaker super league clubs often depend on Reserve grade level imports who are taking up the spot of what should be an British junior getting an opportunity. My Newcastle Knights recently went through a massive rebuild which would not have been possible under Super League (we came last 3 years in a row). The rebuild brought through a ton of local juniors some successfully (Fitzgibbon, Saifiti) and others not (Lamb, Cogger). However the club is now positioned in the best place since the Johns era
  2. As an Aussie i'm not too fussed if it's GB or England, however you can make a decent argument for Great Britain despite the shambles of a tour. Often the argument is brought up that it is simply England in a different shirt, however that may not be the case over the next few seasons and imo shouldn't have been this year. Morgan Knowles and Regan Grace are 23 and 22 with multiple tests for Wales. Knowles almost certainty would have been picked for Great Britain if not for injury and imo Grace should have been. If their career trajectory continues they could easily be in the top 17 for Great Britain as early as next season. Wales last 4 Home Tests have been played in front of crowds of 1257, 902, 1028 and 1253. There is nothing wrong with that for an emerging nation standard. However for 2 elite players in Regan and Morgan that is poor compared to test matches a Great Britain team would be involved in (both crowds and stature). On top of that, performance wise Wales is also struggling to match the more elite teams. Again, nothing wrong for an emerging nation, however elite players want to play with other elite players. In 2017 WC, Wales were smashed 50 to 6 against PNG and 72 to 6 against Fiji. You can imagine the kind of score line they would be hit with against the likes of Australia or England. Fast forward to the end of the season and Australia are about to play an Ashes Series against England. Morgan Knowles can choose between being a part of a sold out Ashes Series or a low key test in front of 2000 at most. Morgan will play for England (as he has every right to do) and Wales will lose him. Regan Grace who is Welsh born has a similar choice, I have no doubt Regan qualifies for England via residency or some type of grandparent. Either Regan plays for Wales in front of 2000 or in a high profile Ashes series. So Wales lose both players to a rival country, or worse they go to Union. If it's Great Britain they can both play in high profile games without needing to change their country. They can play as Wales in WC or even if it's just Great Britain all the time at least they can represent Wales as part of GB. Rugby League in Wales is not attractive to players at the moment. The opportunity to play in big games for Great Britain makes it more attractive to players both emerging and senior. Wales can still play games at an emerging level with the Serbia's and Italy's same as England Knights. However the elite players from Wales have an opportunity to play for Great Britain. I also see no reason why an Ashes test for GB can't be taken to Millennium Stadium, just like the 2013 WC that attracted 40,000.
  3. I would go with 2nd - Trbojevic - Keary - Moses - McInnes 3rd - Ponga - Morgan - Pearce - Friend 4th - Papenhuyzen - Walker - Reynolds - Mahoney 5th - Gutherson - Norman - Cleary - Brailey I left out Wighton and Hunt as there in the team atm plus Milford as I wasn’t sure if he would play for Aus or Samoa
  4. 100% throw in the likes of Taumalolo, Fonua Blake, Taukeiaho and Taupau and it would have been a far closer game
  5. I would pair 20 year old Trueman with 24 year old Williams in the halves. There isn’t a ton riding on this series all throng considered. May aswell give the younger players an opportunity to gain experience. Put Widdop and Hodgson with the in the spine so they have plenty of experience around them and get them ready for the 2021 WC. 1. Widdop, 6. Williams, 7. Trueman, 9. Hodgson
  6. Add PNG to make it a 5 nations and that’s perfect
  7. I think Bevan will be a great signing for Wigan. Unlucky at Parramatta to be stuck behind a back 3 of Gutherson, Ferguson and Sivo. For some reason has seemed to fall out with the Eels but very talented. Size is a bit of an issues but very quick
  8. Shane Flanagan would be an excellent choice
  9. This is the million dollar question. A lot of money does go into junior development, however NRL clubs seem to burn a large amount of money and are always finding themselves in financial trouble. While the Sharks are good at the moment. If they go through a few rough years in the field there will be a ton of financial pressure on them. If any team is getting relocated or placed in NSW Cup the Sharks and Manly seem the obvious answers
  10. I personally believe the NRL should expand to 18 with a long term goal of 20 teams. However I think the conservative NRL are worried about the cost of expansion. The AFL has expanded to 18 and have a bigger broadcast deal because of it. However they have had to sink millions into both franchises. TV deals have been continually getting larger and larger over the years however there are some fears (that I disagree with) we are going to reach the tipping point where broadcasters can’t afford bigger deals. This is especially true for free to air which is vital for the NRL. if the NRL expand to 18 but don’t get as big a broadcast deal as they need they could be in trouble financially to cover the franchises plus other expenses (junior development, etc). The advantages of relocation is they can keep the same number of mouths to feed but open up new broadcast time slots (Perth, NZ 2) and make the networks happy Brisbane 2 . So they can still get a higher broadcast deal with less risk if it’s not high enough to cover 18 teams. I don’t agree with the above but it’s possibly their thinking
  11. It would be a disaster for Super League if Leeds were to be relegated. 2 long shot options Leeds could try. 1 for this season and 1 for next (if still in Super League) There are rumours in Australia, Trent Merrin wants to leave Leeds to go to the Dragons. Leeds should try and swap Merrin (plus probably another player) for Gareth Widdop, to play the year in Leeds before moving to Warrington. Widdop is obviously worth more, however the Dragons are trying to fit 5 key players into 4 positions and it is not working at all. Brad Fittler recently suggested the Dragons should let Widdop go early. For next season Josh Reynolds is playing reserve grade at the Tigers. He would be a brilliant signing
  12. Following on with Swans, they have been consistently good since that 2006 season. They have constantly been in the finals and won another comp. It will be intersting to see what their fan base looks like after a few losing season. As a comparison when I was a kid the Brisbane Lions AFL team won 3 in a row and had a big fan base. However they haven’t been good for years and no one cares anymore
  13. For mine Leeds Wigan St Helens Warrington Hull FC Catalans Bradford (fans) London (location) Toulouse (location) Toronto (money plus expansion) Newcastle (expansion) 1 (or multiple if bigger comp) of Castleford/Hull KR/Wakefield/Huddersfield/Salford/York/Featherstone etc
  14. As an Aussie I think England would have beaten Australia if they had played them this year. If Australia want to tour England and play a 3 game series England would be crazy not to take it. The best chance for them to beat Australia is now while there in transition
  15. If full time then yes. No point splitting up for 1 tournament. If they did I guess u would either go with a smaller World Cup (quality over quantity) or the likes of Serbia, Jamaica and Cook Islands would come in
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