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  1. Nobody is blameless but I have far more understanding of why the Tournament organisers would go with squad numbers, than I do of why the Aussies would do what they have. As pointed out above though, it's one we could go round and round on. I don't agree with it but it's done now. The Aussies will win the thing again and their daft number system won't change that.
  2. On the plus side, Campbell-Gillard at 6 will bring back happy memories of laughing at Steve Ojomoh, Baths number 7 in the Rugby League game verses Wigan, at Maine Road. I sat there as a 12 year old thinking I'd seen the biggest scrum half in the history of the game.
  3. I'm not old enough to remember it and presumed we were saying they hadn't started the first game. I absolutely get bringing in squad numbers has facilitated what the Aussies have decided to do but they just didn't need to go this far with making a mockery of it all. I'm stumped if anybody thinks they don't look a bit silly in naming a winger at 9 , centres at 8 and 10 and a prop at 6.
  4. It would have been a sign that they still had work to do to get to the 6 and 7 shirt, it would've given them something to aim for and it would've given them a buzz when they made it. That example just doesn't stack up to Addo-Carr in 9, Wighton at 10, Campbell-Gillard at 6 etc etc.
  5. I just don’t buy squad numbers being something for the Aussies to hide behind. A player not being given a 1-13 jersey, gives them something to aspire to next time. A lad given a number outside the first 17 is then able to strive to push themselves forward and try and get in that top 17 in future tournaments. Somebody made the point about Lewis Dodd going from 24 to 7 at Saints and how good that must’ve felt. I’d look at Morgan Smithies with Wigan. He’s gone from 30 odd, to 20 odd, to 14 this season but ultimately the aim has to be the 13 shirt and he might well get it next season. A jersey worn by Hanley, Farrell and O’Loughlin at Wigan. If that isn’t an honour to be given that shirt, then I don’t know what is. I get squad numbers has bred this a little bit but it just feels like the Aussies have decided to take the mick and pee on tradition.
  6. If I were an Aussie kid back in the 80’s/90’s, I’d have dreamt of running out in the number 7 jersey after watching Sterling or Langer or the 6 jersey because of watching guys like Kenny, Lewis, Daley or Lockyer but that’s gone now.
  7. Mainly because of injuries, which has nothing to do with why Addo-Carr will run out in the 9 shirt and Mitchell and Wighton in 8 and 10.
  8. Just looking at the likely starting backline for the Aussies and from fullback to scrum half it’ll be numbers- 1, 4, 8, 10, 9, 7 and 14. Pretty pathetic.
  9. I wouldn’t be trying to throw Wane under the bus for Hemmings comments. He looked a bit flustered by it to me and had a split second to react. He seemed genuinely a bit taken a back/confused by what he actually meant and it’s easy to say he should’ve gone all in when we’ve had time to sit and analyse it. I watched it before it was highlighted and my ears pricked up and I sat thinking ‘what did I hear then’ and had to listen to it a couple of times before I’d have felt confident to call it out in stronger terms than Wane had chance to. It’s all on Hemmings this one IMO.
  10. If they come on and do some new material they should be pelted with rotten fruit. I’ve seen the lead man on the voice once or twice mind (missus had it on, honestly) and he strikes me as the type who’d please himself.
  11. I have great memories of Martin Offiah running down the wing in the 9 shirt, Henderson Gill doing his boogie in the number 13, Fielden being floored in his 1 jersey. I hated it when Big Mal dove over at Old Trafford in his number 8 shirt though and Shaun Johnson broke my heart in 2013 in his number 4 shirt. Yes, maybe we could’ve avoided squad numbers as a tournament but other sports manage it without in squad civil war breaking out. I’m sure most, if not all other sides in this comp will manage it as well but not the Aussies. Showing international Rugby League a lack of respect doesn’t surprise me, I suppose we should just be thankful the NRL has allowed guys like the hooker Addo-Carr and the stand off Campbell-Gillard to turn up in the first place. Shambolic decision IMO.
  12. Being able to use the ticketing website would help them. It took me 2 days of trying via 2 phones, a tablet and 2 laptops to finally be able to log in and download my tickets. I had to throw in a password reset in between. I can’t help but wonder how many people are trying to get tickets, getting fed up and firing it off.
  13. It’s a decent shout for me. They’re not my cup of tea but you want somebody on who has a couple of songs up their sleeve that everybody in the place will know and can get the atmosphere going. The best pre match I can remember before a GF was James and they’d be much the same. You could’ve asked under 25’s in there if they had heard of them and most wouldn’t have but they’d know the songs when they come on.
  14. Fair play to the Aussies, I wasn’t sure I could dislike them and their general ignorance towards international Rugby League any more but they’ve only gone and smashed it out the park!
  15. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Batemans form this season. He’s had a good year overall and was Englands best player in the All Stars game. He was very good for us in all our biggest games this season (bar a brain fade in the semi, when he was having another very good game personally). He deserves his place on both form and reputation IMO. As for the rests elsewhere, I think the four guys left out, who aren’t banned (Makinson, Tomkins, Lees and Oledzki) have all carried niggles through to this comp. I recall rests for Tomkins, Makinson and Lees and some chatter of them carrying issues. Oledzki again obviously got that knock at Catalans and pushed himself through the other games in the play offs. It’s not ideal but you can understand a safety first approach. I wouldn’t even be surprised if one or two missed the opener. Ultimately we want everyone fit and firing from week one but the real work will start from the quarter finals onwards.
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