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League of XIII

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League of XIII last won the day on December 29 2019

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  1. I can only speak for myself, but I would 100% put my hand in pocket to see most, if not all of the tier 1 nations play each other in group games. I'm sure I'm not alone with this point of view. For this world cup I'm only seeing quarter final and semi final games. The group games (bar Tonga v Papua New Guinea) were just not enticing enough to watch, let alone attend. And I'm a passionate RL fan.
  2. Hard to get bored of England v Australia when they hardly ever play each other.
  3. Good point. The host nation should automatically qualify for the elite comp. Still think Lebanon are stronger than France though.
  4. Question: where would the extra money come from? (Considering the IRL is mainly funded by proceeds from world cups) Answer: increased revenue at world cups (which my proposal would achieve)
  5. The classic tournament format used for this world cup simply hasn't worked - too many one-sided games that has arguably contributed to the poor attendances. No amount of positive spin will make me enjoy watching the likes of Greece and Jamaica getting spanked by Tier 1 nations. We're starved of international RL so much that not having a format that allows Tier 1 nations play each other as much as possible seems a wasted opportunity. This begs the question - what's the best tournament format for a RL world cup that will produce meaningful, interesting and competitive group games? Here's a suggestion that some will scoff at (but secretly agree with). I propose creating two separate men's world cup competitions: - An 'Elite' World Cup - A 'Development' World Cup Format - 8 teams in each competition - 2 groups of 4 in each competition - Groups based on tier/ranking - Group teams play each other once - Playoff system used for quarter finals that rewards higher placed teams. For example: Elite quarter finals: - 1st G1 v 4th G2 - 2nd G1 v 3rd G2 - 3rd G1 v 2nd G2 - 4th G1 v 1st G2 Men's Elite World Cup Group 1 Australia New Zealand England Tonga Group 2 Samoa Papua New Guinea Fiji Lebanon Example knock out stages (based on likely results): Q1: (1st G1 v 4th G2) Australia v Lebanon Q2: (2nd G1 v 3rd G2) New Zealand v Fiji Q3: (3rd G1 v 2nd G2) England v Papua New Guinea Q4: (4th G1 v 1st G2) Tonga v Samoa S1: (Winner Q1 v Winner Q4) Australia v Tonga S2: (Winner Q2 v Winner Q3) England v New Zealand Final: Winner S1 v Winner S2 Men's Development World Cup Group 3 France Ireland Cook Islands Italy Group 4 Greece Jamaica Scotland Wales Same format as the elite comp. Pros Competitive, high quality group games = higher attendances = higher tournament revenue. 'Development' nations have something to play for/ a realistic chance of winning something. Easier to select suitable venues for group games. E.g. Group 1 games should take place in 20k+ stadiums in the heartlands. Group 3 and 4 games should take place in smaller stadiums, mainly outside the heartlands (where locals aren't as savvy to the quality of the teams). Cons Format is not as easy to understand for casual viewers not familiar with a playoff type system. 'Development' nations don't get the chance to play Tier 1 nations (minor point in my view). Having separate men's world cup competitions may look daft? The last point is no doubt the key thing the naysayers will point out. But realistically the Group 3 and 4 teams have zero chance of winning a RL world cup so why not give them something to play for? Football has the Champions League and the Europa League so why can't RL do something similar? It would still be a festival of rugby league with 16 teams. You know it makes sense.
  6. An imaginary predication of the future of both rugby codes based on the current climate Reports of a Super League TV deal valued at half of the current one makes for grim reading. With North American expansion ruled out and club finances impacted by the pandemic, rugby league in this country looks set to continue on a downward trajectory. Reduced revenue means less money for star players, less money for youth development and less money for stopping the best young talent from being poached by rugby union and the NRL. The result is a stale product on the pitch, more political infighting and crowd numbers that continue to decline. Future TV deals get smaller and clubs struggle for existence. Semi-professionalism becomes the inevitable destination for many Super League clubs. Meanwhile legal cases by ex-players with neurodegenerative disorders become more frequent in both codes. Research into this area is published and establishes a direct link between tackling and collision in rugby with long-term brain disorders. Calls for tackling to be banned completely are eventually heard. Rugby union, now on the brink of ruin from numerous settlements with ex-players, decides to completely overhaul its game. It not only bans tackling, but also removes scrums, rucks and mauls. Tag rugby becomes the only safe and viable option left. The biggest rugby league clubs in England, now disillusioned with the state of its own game, are approached by rugby union to join a new professional league of hybrid tag rugby. Self-interest takes priority and the clubs agree to the move. Rugby league as we know it, is dead. The hybrid tag game is fast, fun and high scoring. But above all, safe. Participation numbers go up in schools as star players emerge and more parents allow their children to play the game. Older generations moan and reminisce about the gladiatorial nature of the game of the past. Younger generations of a more sensitive nature dismiss this with knowledge and understanding of the devastating health effects it caused. Rugby, now a single code, finally has the combination of an attractive, simple to understand game on the pitch, with the influence and resources off it to market it properly. This winning formula results in long term growth and expansion. Rugby one day finally rivals football for popularity and revenue. I hope I am wrong though!
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