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Rugby League World issue 409 - OUT NOW

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Issue 409 of Rugby League World magazine, which features a new editor and a new design, is available to buy in newsagents and download to your digital device from today.

 

Stand-out interviews include an exclusive with Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Peacock, who discusses his retirement from the game, the future of his current club, and how he plans to help Hull Kingston Rovers, as well as a powerful chat with former England international Francis Maloney, who reveals an intense battle with depression.

 

On a lighter note, the Daily Mirror's Nigel Wiskar begins a new regular feature in which he pokes fun at the game, while the incomparable Dave Hadfield visits Odsal to see how things have changed at Bradford since their Super League relegation.

 

Additionally, six Super League stars make their debuts as columnists, and we take a tour of Magic Weekend host St James' Park to discover what it has to offer fans travelling there next month.

 

To order a copy, click here, and to read the digital edition follow this link.

 

We hope you enjoy the issue.

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Only hade a quick glance at the moment -but my first impressions is one of disappointment.

It seems that the title of Rugby League World would be best served by changing its name to Super League World.

It seems that the regular articles on New Zealand,Wales,the developing amateur scene,developing countries,Championship 1,womens and the academy game are all gone.

If this is a general shift the jury is still out -but after reading on a regular basis for 35 years the thoughts and ideals of Harry Edgar seem to be sadly lacking.

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Finally got round to reading it after only a brief glance over the weekend, and I can only describe my view of the new format as total disappointing. The best part of the magazine for me has totally gone, and that is the players monthly ratings, and over the years its been a true barometer of emerging star players.

I really am not interested in what players eat, and why allow Blake Solly get away with some of the statements he has made. At the moment the increase of crowds in the Championship are due to the Bradford supporters, while I cannot see any rise in Super League attendances.

For the last twenty years I have worked at both Cardiff and Swansea universities, and never have I found staff having a go at me because I am a League supporter, in fact a colleague of mine who was very successful in union often states to me he wishes he had the chance to play league because the game more fitted his style of play.

I am a long time subscriber to the magazine, but when my subscription runs out I will not be renewing.

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So the positive is RLW has never looked better and I mean it. It seems as if every redesign brings something fresh to the table and this is one of the better looking sports mags on the market at the moment.

 

However, I do worry it's a bit style over substance - there is some good stuff in there, but do we really need six Super League columnists, each taking 3-4 pages each? I suspect it's a bit easier to promote if so-and-so from a Super League club is promoting his own column on Twitter (it seems it has been getting a lot of praise from some of the younger folk on Twitter who are fans of the clubs covered - maybe that's the aim, but then I am following the RLW account so I'm likely to see more of that. I say younger folk as if I'm knocking on - I'm in my late 20s so surely prime audience for the mag..?), but it's as if RLW is suddenly scared to offer an extended opinion from anyone who currently doesn't have a Super League contract. I know Martin Offiah joins the team next issue - I'll reserve judgement on him until I read what he has to say, but too many cooks can spoil the broth. 

 

I touched on this in the last RLW thread - I think a lot of the time players who are currently playing don't offer anything in the way of real insight and whilst there are a couple of interesting articles from the current players in the latest mag, there are also some where I'd be surprised if they offered any sort of longevity to RLW. That's the nature of a new editor trying new things out with the publication I guess. Talking of current players writing, it's a big shame the JJB's connection to the mag seems to be over - not sure if it's your decision or his, either way the mag is far poorer for it.

 

I'd also echo, the title "Rugby League World" certainly isn't reflected by the contents of the mag as much this month. It's a shame that 90+% of the mag seems to be Super League - the international scene seems to have gone totally out of the window which again gives the mag less gravitas for me. Also it's tradition, and it means nothing really but think this is the first issue I have ever read either of RLW or Open Rugby where "Page XIII" was dumped without even so much as a "So long and thanks". (I know "My Best XIII was on there, but it's not the same - not a fan of that feature either, but peg me for a grump on this one).

 

Don't think I'm complaining just for the sake of it, and I suppose it's brave to try something different, I don't know from a business POV or whatever - but I say these things as I really like RLW and I think from this issue it has become a drastically different magazine. I know RL fans complain about change sometimes for changes sake, but I would like a bit more of the mag to focus away from SL, rather than just a bit of lip service (and I say that even as my club featured in one of the non-SL articles!). Hopefully it'll develop over the next few months, I certainly won't judge it on this issue alone. I'm certainly not saying the SL content was poor really, it just overwhelmed the mag

 

To end on some positives - Really enjoyed the JP interview and accompanying photos - the one of his Leeds shirt under his suit could have been coverworthy, and the Frances Maloney feature really is a "must read".

Edited by Amber Avenger

SQL Honours

Play off mini league winner - 2002. Bronze Medalist - 2003. Big Split Group Winner - 2006. Minor Stupidship - 2005, 2006. Cup Silver Medalist - 2008, 2009

CHAMPION - 2005, 2009, 2010

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I'd have to agree with everything that's been said already. The mag looks really good - the layout and the look of it is probably the best I've seen. But, the content is a bit fluffy. The player columns have a few odd bits of interest in there, but I can take or leave most of them. Interested to know if these will be scaled back in future months to shorter articles. 

 

Very disappointed to see much of the International coverage go. And as stated above, the Blake Solly article should really have been challenged - it read like an RFL press release.

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My mag arrived yesterday, and the postie had rammed it into the letter box, creasing & damaging it. Unnecessary and words will be had (in Spanish).

 

My general feel is that is is very lightweight. Many full page colour pics and not much text at all. I actually went through the whole thing page by page, and it must be the shortest ever in terms of things to read. However, Ive got a huge two page photo of Peacock's back garden.

 

In terms of article changes, we'll really have to see what six SL players as new writers come up with every month. This month they all had a full page pic of themselves accompanying their shortish articles. I assume that won't continue. Todd Carney replaces Mike Rylance as 'our man in France'? If true, that says a lot about the mag's direction.

 

Sad to see some of the international sections go. Has JJB gone?? Iliked him. Not sad to see Caplan's irrelevancies and those team of the month lists disappear. Two pages lifted from posters on here? Hmm.

 

On the whole as a 45 year old Championship club fan I think this mag is not really aimed at me. Too many pictures and too much Super League. However, Ive seen changes galore over the years since I first bought OR, and Im a subscriber, so it'll have a few more months to be tweeked and to impress as folk settle into their new roles.

 

Please just write more, and write it well. Stuff we don't know, but would like to.

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Thanks for all your comments.

 

One of our key objects in redesigning the magazine was to give the players a voice, which generally they lack in Rugby League.

 

We have seven players, including one from the Championship, writing articles on quite different topics and discussing with great intelligence the underlying issues in the game.

 

Inevitably some people don't like to see players being given a voice, and some posters on this forum have the millowner mentality that players should be seen and not heard (or read).

 

I can't go along with that, I'm afraid.

 

But obviously if you do think that way, the magazine will have a reduced appeal.

 

One poster says that he wants the magazine to tell him things he didn't already know. So does that mean he's a clairvoyant, who already knew everything the players have written.

 

If he does, I'd like him on board at League Publications.

 

I'm convinced that one of Rugby League's biggest problems is that its leading players lack the sort of profiles they should have, and we are keen to do something about that.

 

If you stick with us I'm convinced you will enjoy the ride.

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Thanks for all your comments.

 

One of our key objects in redesigning the magazine was to give the players a voice, which generally they lack in Rugby League.

 

We have seven players, including one from the Championship, writing articles on quite different topics and discussing with great intelligence the underlying issues in the game.

 

Inevitably some people don't like to see players being given a voice, and some posters on this forum have the millowner mentality that players should be seen and not heard (or read).

 

I can't go along with that, I'm afraid.

 

But obviously if you do think that way, the magazine will have a reduced appeal.

 

One poster says that he wants the magazine to tell him things he didn't already know. So does that mean he's a clairvoyant, who already knew everything the players have written.

 

If he does, I'd like him on board at League Publications.

 

I'm convinced that one of Rugby League's biggest problems is that its leading players lack the sort of profiles they should have, and we are keen to do something about that.

 

If you stick with us I'm convinced you will enjoy the ride.

How does the saying go?

 

You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time but you can't condescend those who buy your magazine for having an opinion.

 

I'm also one of those people who think RLW should tell us things we don't already know, i.e. get behind the scenes of what goes on at the top level, like Aaron's pre-season with Leeds two issues ago - that was interesting. I've no doubt over the years that RLW has covered people with jobs in the game, but it's no harm in finding new people to talk to about recovery through the week, or welfare officers, or scouts, or contract negotiations.

 

Give the players a voice, but have them give us an insight in what it is to be a rugby player beyond Nandos and Costa; Crabtree has signed a new deal, what's in an RL contract? I understand there are two contracts, one to play RL and one as an employee of the club. Carney is the new columnist to most recently move clubs, what exactly goes on when a player moves clubs? 

 

As for feedback, I bet none of this thread appear on those pages.

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I'd rather read the views of respected RL writers and journalists (and the occasional 'outsider' view) than current players. Are current players limited in what they can say given that they may be subjected to bringing the game into disrepute charges if they write something too controversial, but something a journo would write.

Edited by Number 16

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Only hade a quick glance at the moment -but my first impressions is one of disappointment.

It seems that the title of Rugby League World would be best served by changing its name to Super League World.

It seems that the regular articles on New Zealand,Wales,the developing amateur scene,developing countries,Championship 1,womens and the academy game are all gone.

If this is a general shift the jury is still out -but after reading on a regular basis for 35 years the thoughts and ideals of Harry Edgar seem to be sadly lacking.

Agree, I won't be buying again, meant to be Rugby League WORLD :)

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We have seven players, including one from the Championship, writing articles on quite different topics and discussing with great intelligence the underlying issues in the game.

 

Inevitably some people don't like to see players being given a voice, and some posters on this forum have the millowner mentality that players should be seen and not heard (or read).

 

To be fair only one poster has explicitly claimed that players should play and journalists should write. I wouldn't speak for anyone else though and I’m happy to hear from players – indeed you find out a lot about Jamie Peacock from his interview and that wasn’t a self penned column and the mag has always been jam packed with interviews with players past and present so if that was people’s genuine complaint then it is an odd one and it’d be a pretty empty mag without it.

 

I do think you’ve gone too far the other way on first glance – it’s a mix of different features and different areas of RL that makes the magazine potentially so interesting. I know the players will be getting advice and assistance on what to discuss from the editorial team, but personally I prefer an interview or a profile piece. I understand that is completely personal preference though. Plus we’d get to hear from a few more voices – will the columnists be rotating at all?

 

As said before, I look forward to future issues to see how the new RLW evolves.


SQL Honours

Play off mini league winner - 2002. Bronze Medalist - 2003. Big Split Group Winner - 2006. Minor Stupidship - 2005, 2006. Cup Silver Medalist - 2008, 2009

CHAMPION - 2005, 2009, 2010

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Been a subscriber/buyer since about the late 80's and I can't believe how quick I've read it

At 11.30pm last I was checking the number of pages - I was on page 56 so that doesn't seem like a reduction, but as someone pointed out there are more large photographs and less text

 

Peacock and Maloney articles were very good. And whilst there is a need for a players point of view we don't need multiple versions of the same thing and general fluffiness.

 

I'm disappointed the the new version, there is not much of substance, but I still have maybe 4 - 6 pages to go.

It seems to have become too narrow a perspective & SL-centric for the general RL supporter.

As someone mentioned - where are the pieces about development at home and overseas? I'm not sure we need so many pages on Origin (and 1 page was a complete waste of space).

Hope the feedback helps

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My comment that players should play and journalists write was slightly tongue in cheeck.In the past the magazine has largely got the balance right with views and articles from a wider and world source.

I either hope the balance can be restored or you can make up for those disillusioned with new readers and subscribers.

I won,t cancel my subscription if the new format stays but shan,t look forward to new issues as I have done in the past.

One last comment -do we really need so many photo,s of Jamie Peacock?

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Im right with Shaun MC and AA on this. Players do need promoting. They are stars. That bit on JP was great. That article on Wilkin last month was remarkable in that I really enjoyed it though I strongly dislike Wilkin and think he's a rubbish player. It was still a good read. That Maloney piece: important and informative. All are player-centric pieces if you like. RLW has always done that.

 

Now, there's nothing the new blokes have written to take exception too. London's important (Sarginson) and Internationals are important (Hall) and British fans are not like Aussies (Carney), but it really doesn't have the same depth as features written by journalists looking for angles on players. And it's nothing to do with clairvoyance (poor comment MS). The players are entitled to their views, but do they have the time and resources to lift their views out of the run-of-the-mill and offer real originality?

 

Flicking off the Wales, France, NZ, world scene pages reduces the ambit of the mag and narrows the focus. Not sure why that's been done.

 

The only Championship bit, Brierley's Leigh piece apart was Hadfield writing a albeit good article called "Absent friends". Think about what perspective that title offers.

 

My over-riding problem though is simply too many pictures, not enough to read.

 

And no, Im not storming off in a huff or cancelling my sub. Just offering my 4 (in fact 5) quid's worth.

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Read it in a flash yesterday. Did find myself flicking through stuff. There is too much of the player writing stuff - sorry but it comes across as fluffy a bit like the "what is your favourite colour" pieces that floated around not long ago. They are okay as one-offs but knowing these guys will be cluttering up the mag every week at the expense of more in-depth stuff (i.e. France and wider international content) does put me off buying another one in the near future.

 

The plus points were the quality of pictures and the JP piece but I couldn't believe the rate I was getting through it.

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Again, thanks for some very interesting comments from everyone contributing on this thread.

 

One of the things we've reacted to recently is a small number of subscribers cancelling their subscriptions because they have told us there is so much reading in Rugby League World that they can't get through it.

 

This week, on the other hand, we've had a surge of new subscribers.

 

I'm not sure why, and maybe it's because we're promoting the magazine more effectively.

 

The magazine will continue to evolve, though, and we're always keen to take the views of readers and potential readers on board, while recognising that not all readers like the same things.

 

There is a greater emphasis on good photography in the magazine, and perhaps a smaller number of words to read.

 

But I think overall it's a very good piece of work from the new editor.

 

Like all of you, I remember the old days of Open Rugby, but if you look back now to those days you'll see that the magazine has come an awful long way since then.

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Read it in a flash yesterday. Did find myself flicking through stuff. There is too much of the player writing stuff - sorry but it comes across as fluffy a bit like the "what is your favourite colour" pieces that floated around not long ago. They are okay as one-offs but knowing these guys will be cluttering up the mag every week at the expense of more in-depth stuff (i.e. France and wider international content) does put me off buying another one in the near future.

 

The plus points were the quality of pictures and the JP piece but I couldn't believe the rate I was getting through it.

 

Perhaps that's because it was so interesting that you couldn't put it down.

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Think about Martyn’s point about “giving the players a voice” and it’s got me back to thinking about the times RLW has done it before, be it good, bad or indifferent. JJB has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread as an example of the good (including by me, I must admit). However I’d totally forgotten until recently that when he first joined the mag the format for his columns was totally different. I might be misremembering but it used to be a far more matey Q & A format that was a bit too chummy and lacked a little in depth for some people. At some point this was changed and became a little more weighty insight into him as a player looking at experiences of other RL icons from the inside. It became one of the most grumbled about features to one of the most praised.

 

 

The point I guess I’m trying to make is that the format needs to work to the player’s strengths as well as hooking in the casual RL fan and not every single format for filling 3-4 pages in a mag will work for every player and every reader. Given some tweaks though and it’ll surely get there – as has been shown in the past.

Edited by Amber Avenger

SQL Honours

Play off mini league winner - 2002. Bronze Medalist - 2003. Big Split Group Winner - 2006. Minor Stupidship - 2005, 2006. Cup Silver Medalist - 2008, 2009

CHAMPION - 2005, 2009, 2010

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Think about Martyn’s point about “giving the players a voice” and it’s got me back to thinking about the times RLW has done it before, be it good, bad or indifferent. JJB has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread as an example of the good (including by me, I must admit). However I’d totally forgotten until recently that when he first joined the mag the format for his columns was totally different. I might be misremembering but it used to be a far more matey Q & A format that was a bit too chummy and lacked a little in depth for some people. At some point this was changed and became a little more weighty insight into him as a player looking at experiences of other RL icons from the inside. It became one of the most grumbled about features to one of the most praised.

 

 

The point I guess I’m trying to make is that the format needs to work to the player’s strengths as well as hooking in the casual RL fan and not every single format for filling 3-4 pages in a mag will work for every player and every reader. Given some tweaks though and it’ll surely get there – as has been shown in the past.

 

JJB turned himslef fairly quickly into a reasonable journalist, or at least someone capable of writing long, consistently readable articles. Which of the seven newbies will come through in similar fashion? Let's see.

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