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Essai Machine

Northern Hemisphere Tri-Nations Anyone ?

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Greetings fellow Treizistes !

Been lurking here for a while and thought I'd chuck my 2 cents in - an annual mid season Tri-Nations comp between Great Britain Lions , France and the Celtic Nations !

As has been discussed on this board recently there is a need to revive the Welsh International side , but without 3 or 4 good quality Welsh SL teams to pick from this is almost impossible .The game in Ireland and Scotland is still only operating at an amateur level and largely dependent on players who qualify by their grandparents .

At present we have GB and Ireland Lions and the English Knights (effectively GB's Reserve team ) - change the name from English Knights to Celtic Nations and you have a team with wider appeal and greater catchment area (especially if you include the Continental Celtic regions - e.g. Germany , Denmark )

Could you take an English Knights game to Cardiff , Dublin , Edinburgh or Belfast and get a decent crowd to watch it ? Unlikely , but Celtic Nations could be a different kettle of fish ( remember England is a Celtic nation too , ask the Romans ! )

Its pretty obvious that a GB Lions side will win such a comp , but the games between F and CN will be a lot closer , and potentially we could be looking at 2 French SL teams from next season , giving the French a bigger pool of SL quality players to pick from . If the French had the chance to win a few games and finish 2nd or even over time win it (instead of getting beaten heavily by GB ), it will do wonders for the international game in France and encourage French club chairmen to buy into the international side .

There's talk of Regan Grace getting a GB cap but is this likely with Bennett going for defensive backs rather than speed-merchants ? He put Bateman at Centre in the World Cup because he could tackle , not for his pace . What if Grace is ovelooked for GB for that reason - would he be comfortable as an English Knight or choose to stick with Wales ?

The Celtic Nations tag would appeal to patriotic Welsh/Irish/Scots players who have turned down an England/GB call-up for whatever reasons (e.g. Scottish Indepence) , and could otherwise go to waste playing at a lower international level , as Wales/Ireland/Scotland are currently .

The Exiles concept grew out of a need for GB warm-up games and the need to raise the profile of the international game in the Northern Hemisphere , and the game needs more events to bring in a larger viewing audience to justify Sky money . Could this could be the answer ?

Thanks for reading !

 

 

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Change GB to England and Celtic nations to Celtic nations.. none English players that are actually Celtic (May have been pre Roman celts but not post with the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Vikings and Norman’s all popping over!) and there maybe some legs.. though to be honest I’d probably just have it as Wales. 

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Aside from a common interest in preserving our indigenous languages and cultures and wanting England to lose in football there isn't really such thing as "The Celtic Nations" as a collective and it will get very little traction among fans in Ireland, Scotland and Wales except as a novelty.

We need to stop making up teams just to make games more competitive. If you want a Northern Hemisphere only tri-nations series just have England, France and Wales and accept that for the foreseeable future it will be a little one sided. I know I'd still watch it.

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Just now, damp squib said:

Aside from a common interest in preserving our indigenous languages and cultures and wanting England to lose in football there isn't really such thing as "The Celtic Nations" as a collective and it will get very little traction among fans in Ireland, Scotland and Wales except as a novelty.

We need to stop making up teams just to make games more competitive. If you want a Northern Hemisphere only tri-nations series just have England, France and Wales and accept that for the foreseeable future it will be a little one sided. I know I'd still watch it.

Yep and then there's scope to expand it to include Scotland and NI in the future.

Teams aren't going to improve if we don't give them any games to play.

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Hey guys , thanks for the input .

There's realistically no chance for us to see a competitive RL Six Nations competition in our lifetime unless Plaid Cymru and the SNP ban rugby union and make RL their national sport . There are plenty of French players in SL and the Champ to put in a competitive performance against a GB Lions side ,perhaps even win the odd game . But if they keep getting beat by 40 or 50 points the French clubs won't release their players for a drubbing because the French game gets nothing out of it .
Playing CN they would have more chance of a victory or a close defeat , restoring a bit of pride in their national side .

To address a few of your points , GB Lions would get the best players who want to play for them , as not everyone selected might want to - remember Ryan Giggs chose to play for Wales over England in Association Football.

Currently we have Ireland,Scotland and Wales , who contain some great SL players that have been over-looked by Bennett or considered unsuitable for his tactics.
Bennett seems to consider Brits playing in the NRL to be automatic selections for GB Lions so what happens to forwards who aren't called Burgess ?

Combining these teams and adding players who didn't make the GB squad , and would have a point to prove against the GB Lions, would give the GB Lions a decent warm-up for Aus/NZ tests and the World Cup , whilst raising the international game in the Northern Hemisphere .

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I'm sure you mean well but the problem with all of these proposals is right there in your last post. The advantages you list are all about providing competitive opposition for GB/England and/or allowing English players not good enough for England a chance at international RL.

The concept of an international team being a focal point for the sport in a country, one that all fans from that country can get behind and which can be used to promote the sport in that country using non-fans natural affinity for their national team in any sport are completely absent. The wishes of the Irish, Scottish and Welsh Rugby League fan is completely absent in your reasoning. These countries only exist as RL entities so far as they are useful for providing opposition for England and if that works better as a Frankenstein "Celtic" team then so be it.

Please explain to me, an Irish RL fan, why I should have any enthusiasm about watching this team instead of my actual national team? I'm already resentful that Ireland have been railroaded by the RFL into "Great Britain Rugby League", clearly against our interests (and Geography). If we're now going to be 1/3 of a "Great Britain B" side that exists solely to provide opposition for England why I should bother with this sport, as it clearly can't be bothered with me?

Edited by damp squib
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I think a Barbarians style team would work much better if you want another competitive team. The team could consist of the best players from around the world that haven't been called up to their national teams. It works well in union and they manage to pull really good crowds which always amazed me to be honest.

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I am afraid the post is all a bit wrong headed from the outset. GB v France is sensible,  or say  England v Languedoc.  A couple of regions in France might produce an Origin tournament in France perhaps,  but that has never really worked for Lancs v Yorks.  Having said that, "the" Origin rules themselves seem to be not that 'origin' to me, so if there was a serious attempt then maybe something could be worked out.

But first it might be most sensible to sort out just who England is and what GB is.

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what about Italy ? What’s happening there. I went to their games in 2013 with the heritage players strengthening them , and 2017 was less good but I don’t know what’s happening since then

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4 hours ago, damp squib said:

I'm sure you mean well but the problem with all of these proposals is right there in your last post. The advantages you list are all about providing competitive opposition for GB/England and/or allowing English players not good enough for England a chance at international RL.

The concept of an international team being a focal point for the sport in a country, one that all fans from that country can get behind and which can be used to promote the sport in that country using non-fans natural affinity for their national team in any sport are completely absent. The wishes of the Irish, Scottish and Welsh Rugby League fan is completely absent in your reasoning. These countries only exist as RL entities so far as they are useful for providing opposition for England and if that works better as a Frankenstein "Celtic" team then so be it.

Please explain to me, an Irish RL fan, why I should have any enthusiasm about watching this team instead of my actual national team? I'm already resentful that Ireland have been railroaded by the RFL into "Great Britain Rugby League", clearly against our interests (and Geography). If we're now going to be 1/3 of a "Great Britain B" side that exists solely to provide opposition for England why I should bother with this sport, as it clearly can't be bothered with me?

Hi damp squib ,

Whilst I've emphasised the benefit to GB Lions, the original concept was about boosting the international game in Europe (honest).
In the NH we've been twiddling our thumbs whilst the recent internationals in the SH have been a great success
French teams , especially ,Catalans Dragons, are unenthusiastic about providing players for internationals knowing that the team would get beaten heavily, and risk losing players to injury .But playing another team of similar ability would be more palatable and only by playing quality opposition can teams improve .

As to Welsh , Scottish and Irish fans not wanting to see a side that could beat an 'English' side (or run them close) you might want to ask around . Currently none of the these sides has a chance to beat GB Lions on their own , but a combined team could sneak the odd upset . Imagine the combination of Lachlan Coote , Micky McIllorum , Danny Brough and the other NRL/SL players currently split between these teams .

On your final point I'm reminded of the merger debate - would you prefer your old club in the Championship or a new merged club in the SL ? Clearly you are unimpressed with a multinational team , but it could interest current union fans who are aware of the Barbarians concept . Think of it as a 'Gaelic All Stars' team which could raise the profile of Rugby league in Ireland .Surely your not suggesting that the current situation is ideal and we should stick with it , purely for the benefit of a couple of hundred people at Morton Stadium ?
Look at the attendances at internationals and its clear there is no 'wow factor' to attract casual interest - and through it participation in the sport. Only by trying something different can the game evolve in Ireland and Des Foy's efforts won't be in vain.

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8 hours ago, damp squib said:

Aside from a common interest in preserving our indigenous languages and cultures and wanting England to lose in football there isn't really such thing as "The Celtic Nations" as a collective and it will get very little traction among fans in Ireland, Scotland and Wales except as a novelty.

We need to stop making up teams just to make games more competitive. If you want a Northern Hemisphere only tri-nations series just have England, France and Wales and accept that for the foreseeable future it will be a little one sided. I know I'd still watch it.

Well let's just wait until we leave The EU, then the UK can have a referendum to separate, then the new Celtic superpowers can form the Celtic United Nations Team. 

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As Damp Squib says, one of the main things that defines the Welsh, the Scots and Irish (and Even the French) of all persuasions is wanting England to lose. It impossible to build that rivalry when they hardly ever play England, and its even rarer that they play England in their nations. 

England are the draw, get them playing there 

 

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18 hours ago, Essai Machine said:

1) As to Welsh , Scottish and Irish fans not wanting to see a side that could beat an 'English' side (or run them close) you might want to ask around . Currently none of the these sides has a chance to beat GB Lions on their own , but a combined team could sneak the odd upset . Imagine the combination of Lachlan Coote , Micky McIllorum , Danny Brough and the other NRL/SL players currently split between these teams .

2) On your final point I'm reminded of the merger debate - would you prefer your old club in the Championship or a new merged club in the SL ? Clearly you are unimpressed with a multinational team , but it could interest current union fans who are aware of the Barbarians concept . Think of it as a 'Gaelic All Stars' team which could raise the profile of Rugby league in Ireland .Surely your not suggesting that the current situation is ideal and we should stick with it , purely for the benefit of a couple of hundred people at Morton Stadium ?
Look at the attendances at internationals and its clear there is no 'wow factor' to attract casual interest - and through it participation in the sport. Only by trying something different can the game evolve in Ireland and Des Foy's efforts won't be in vain.

1) Right but let me edit your quote as a little thought experiment to see how this sounds to you as (presumably) an England fan:

"Currently England have very little chance of beating Australia on their own, but a combined team with New Zealand could sneak the odd upset."

England and New Zealand arguably have as strong a cultural link as the Celtic Nations have with each other - would you be an enthusiastic supporter of an Eng/NZ merged team just because they might beat Australia? So yes, I would love to see Ireland beating England, but I'm not particularly pushed about a team built around an identity I only vaguely subscribe to.

2) If Rugby League had a full, well planned international calendar that wouldn't be affected by a multinational team then yes, I would have some interest in a Celtic Nations team as a novelty. But this isn't the case and certainly won't be for the foreseeable future. In any case, there is no reason to believe that a Celtic Nations team would draw any more than the 400 - 2000 crowds Ireland get because that's a fair reflection of where RL is at here (it's actually quite good considering). It also doesn't matter if they attract the likes of McIlorum etc to play for them - remember they have no name recognition in Ireland.

The only argument for merging The Celtic Nations is to provide an opportunity for England to play England B in a competitive match with a more respectable face.

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16 hours ago, scotchy1 said:

As Damp Squib says, one of the main things that defines the Welsh, the Scots and Irish (and Even the French) of all persuasions is wanting England to lose. It impossible to build that rivalry when they hardly ever play England, and its even rarer that they play England in their nations. 

England are the draw, get them playing there 

I don't mean it to sound harsh but yes it is true. England are the team everyone wants to beat, including France as you say which is why they can get 15,000 to a match in Avignon. The problem is it's a bit like the England - Germany football rivalry: it's one-sided with England seeing the Germany as their deadly rivals and Germany not even really being aware that there is a rivalry!

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16 hours ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

Well let's just wait until we leave The EU, then the UK can have a referendum to separate, then the new Celtic superpowers can form the Celtic United Nations Team. 

Who gets the disputed territories of Cornwall and Cumbria?

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I think a European replica of the Oceania Cup could be a good start and would give a solid backbone for International Rugby League. Even if England always win or use a SL only team.

1 - England, France, Wales

2 - Scotland, Ireland, Italy

3 - Russia, Serbia, Spain

With promotion & relegation of somsome sort, either direct or a playoff. You could throw in as many tiers as there are numbers for really.

Edited by jim_57

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I like that but I wouldn't have P&R. We're just not strong enough and France and Wales deserve to be playing England every year as a reflection of their genuine strength as RL nations. Promotion should be based on a combination of on and off field criteria and if a team meets them they can just be added to the top division.

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4 minutes ago, damp squib said:

I like that but I wouldn't have P&R. We're just not strong enough and France and Wales deserve to be playing England every year as a reflection of their genuine strength as RL nations. Promotion should be based on a combination of on and off field criteria and if a team meets them they can just be added to the top division.

I think you could either have that or have the top tier as "as many as make the grade plus 1" with p/r to a lower tier as a compromise. My problem with ringfencing is I fear we'd end up in a 6 nations style problem where Georgia & Romania are repeatedly knocking on the door and ticking boxes but getting nowhere.

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13 hours ago, damp squib said:

I like that but I wouldn't have P&R. We're just not strong enough and France and Wales deserve to be playing England every year as a reflection of their genuine strength as RL nations. Promotion should be based on a combination of on and off field criteria and if a team meets them they can just be added to the top division.

I agree more should be done to reward genuine domestic strength. What I suggested would keep it neat with the same format in Oceania and Europe. I wouldn't be against some way to guarantee France, Wales, PNG and Fiji get more regular games in the top tier than Tonga, Scotland etc.

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