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The British Lion

International Rugby League - NOW IS THE TIME!

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Observing the international scene of late, I really feel now is a pivotal moment.

Pivotal moments have previously existed - such as with the Welsh team of the 90's, with all the Union converts....we missed it. And with Celtic Crusaders 'potential'impact also. The French in the 80's early 90's...gone and missed. How many times do we need to miss the moment to ride the crest of a wave?

But, I mean for the whole organisation as a whole.

Southern Hemisphere

The Southern Hemisphere have the VERY BEST opportunity to build something very special and completely dominate the Northern hemisphere, I believe. With all the defections to Tonga and Samoa, via heritage, plus all the New Zealand talent, and also the sleeping giant potential of PNG....thats definitely 5 teams (including Oz) to play in the SAME Oceana Cup....please don't do 3 teams tier 1, 3 teams tier 2. Just play a  flipping regular series - it will improve those chasing regularly, and increase the playing rostas of NRL clubs of senior players.

The NRL needs to take a wider view of the International game. (Obvious comment). This will make them more dollars in the long run.....stay the same, you'll always get the same hey.

The Southern Hemisphere is RIPE (Unlike us in the Northern Hemisphere) for a competitive comp right now that would be attractive, and attract massive crowds - courtesy of Tonga and Samoa and their huge passion. If it doesn't happen soon, the wave will die down, and normal service will be resumed!

Im not talking 'developing' nations' here - these guys should all be tier 1 (in terms of playing ability) funds should be distributed fairly through the International RL Federation....Yes, I know it doesn't have the freehold to say what's what yet....that's why we need the IRLF to be the chief decision maker, and appointments made to it from both the NRL and SL (Initially) to be those people who broker the games International calendar. Currently, it seems to be making plans but without authority.

Northern Hemisphere

Here are my thoughts, feel free to shoot me down with my misgivings or any other opinions. 

We are currently light years behind the Southern Hemisphere, due to the NRL's heavy popular influence on the region, and the fact many players play in the NRL from a multitude of Pacific Island backgrounds....i applaud it. We often in England criticise the cross over of players to other national teams - if we make them all tier 1 nations, job done? No more switching? But, the NRL is developing players.

What could Super League do?

Well -we are all aware of Toronto, and a possible Ottawa, but lets leave that aside for now....but an aside thought should be, how about the more Canadian born, or heritage players (to begin with) they play in their first team = salary cap exemption. I'll leave that there.

Same for Catalans (and a potential Toulouse) - the more homegrown French players in this instance = salary cap exemption - reward these outpost clubs developing with the ability to retain and develop their players! = potentially better International tests with England in the medium to long term?

And here's an outlandish idea - 

Wales, Scotland and Ireland

If you're born in England, but choose one of these countries through genuine heritage, you are NOT allowed to then play for England.

For genuine home grown players from these nations, if a SL club signs them and develops them - then again, no salary cap measure for them. Its all risk, but helps raise up players from other nations.

England

Home grown talent from the town or boundaries - no salary cap at all considered....develop links with amateur teams. Yes I know this is getting better for some clubs -  but reward with FULLNESS those who raise up players from the towns or cities clubs....

Salary Cap issues are the talk of the current day. 

I appreciate my thoughts could be flawed.

I just want a blueprint for  future exciting, thriving international game, and great club game.

 

 

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Australia and England can do whatever they want.

I think Ireland, France, Wales, Lebanon, Italy and Jamaica need to have their own annual 6 nations in the Northern Hemisphere.

NZ, Samoa, Tonga, PNG, Fiji and Cook Islands need their own Southern Hemisphere 6 nations.

They need to introduce new rules around rankings so teams start to lose their points the longer they don't have a game to force Australia to play more or lose their spot.

 

 

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This weekend should have seen NH internationals. Some sort of meaningful euro ladder is needed.

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It's a great post, the only thing I would add is that the NH has a massive advantage over the SH in that England and France are so much bigger than Aus and NZ and Ireland Scotland Wales et al are much bigger than Samoa, Fiji, Tonga et al.

If we can find a way to get these nations competitive it will very very quickly knock whatever the SH down a peg.

I'd also say we need to encourage players to play for these nations and reward them for doing so rather than punish them for switching etc. The carrot is needed there not the stick. 

I agree entirely with your idea of dispensation for those nations players on the SC. In fact I'd spread it to all clubs. So as long as say Ashton golding is declared for and playing for Jamaica he is free on the SC, as long as say even McIlorum plays for Ireland he is SC free (or discounted) but if either of them declare for England they lose that dispensation 

 

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