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GB Lions should not have been brought back

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

Who missed out due to the cap? We play some games and have training camps without any NRL players. 

We have had plenty mid-season internationals, only last year we went to Denver, something ruined by NRL players 

Denver was as much ruined by the ineptitude of the organisation charged with running the event. 

Lets be honest, neither the SL or NRL clubs care too much about the international game if truth be told. The only difference between the two is that currently the NRL has a mid season break for internationals and we don't. The sport as a whole dances to the tune of its two main club competitions. Not sure that will ever change.

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6 minutes ago, thirteenthman said:

Which mid season internationals would NRL players be flying to the other side of the world for? 

As the NRL did their best to scupper and sabotage the Denver test we now don't bother to arrange them or if we do they are in Australia. That was a designated international weekend and clubs still complained and put as many obstacles as possible in the way.

In comparison the English clubs that MatthewWoody so derides have a long history of releasing players to fly to the other side of the World to play in internationals and miss club games.

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1 hour ago, thirteenthman said:

Denver was as much ruined by the ineptitude of the organisation charged with running the event. 

Lets be honest, neither the SL or NRL clubs care too much about the international game if truth be told. The only difference between the two is that currently the NRL has a mid season break for internationals and we don't. The sport as a whole dances to the tune of its two main club competitions. Not sure that will ever change.

We have a risk of that being the case now due to the SLE restructure, but we have decades of experience of the clubs supporting the international game.

We have had mid-season tests for years, unfortunately France are the only local opposition and they are basket cases. To resolve the lack of opposition we have even gone over to Sydney, Denver, staged a NZ game at home, and even created the Exiles - all during the season and with the focus being a strong international team. Sure we havent had the ability or patience to capitalise on these things, but the clubs have supported them. 

 

Edited by Dave T

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Extending mid season tests is a non starter..

It took a decade for the IRL,NRL & SL to agree to single worldwide mid season test weekend...that lasted 2 years and then RFL/SL didn't schedule one last season..and it's unsure if they'll schedule one next year? ...

 

So to suggest multiple games mid season is non sense 

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11 hours ago, tiffers said:

That's exactly the type of person that should be engaging with during the world cup! It's a similar story down in the deep SW where I live now. There is zero interest in RL outside of internationals. I've lived in all 4 corners of the country and its the same old story. Zero interest in teams located in locations people have never heard of. Your average person hasn't heard of Cas, nor do they care as it isn't relatable. They are however, naturally, intrigued about England/GB.

If we cannot talk to that general sports audience (with a plan in our back pocket for 2022/23!). Attempting to engage those people to come along and buy-in to RL.

Stage 1) get them interested in the world cup. Interested enough to deliver you their email addresses/contact details/rights to market to them.

Stage 1a) actually market to them. get them excited and engaged in the world cup.

Stage 2) get them along to another game in 2022. Challenge cup. GF. Internationals.

Makes me wonder how many touch-points/engagements RL needs for you to become a lifetime supporter. Naturally in the heartlands, touch points are frequent (from birth). Yet, obviously, non-heartlands needs many more touch points to develop understanding and engagement. i.e. we have to work harder. This doesnt mean spending masses of cash. It means being smart in our marketing strategies. Following up with a series of home internationals is a necessity. Following up to those same audiences.

My brain can't handle these sensible, evidence based points.

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It's painfully obvious to anyone with an IQ over 50 that the international game is the best vehicle to grow the sport. 

Sadly, it's the most neglected part of the sport and is completely disregarded by the country that leads the sport. We have the worst possible standard bearers to carry RL forward and an ocean of incompetence behind it. 

I genuinely think we could get 10 people from this forum who would manage the sport better. It's so depressing.

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In my opinion, the NRL is currently doing more than the SL. Ok they're doing for their own agenda (tv rights, etc.), but they still are.

In England, there is no International window and there are too many club games. 

Plus, in terms of promoting the game, it's normal that the Aussies don't feel this need as rl is the most popular code in QLD and NSW. They also have Origin which is currently more spectacular than the tests. If you have to sell the game, say, in China or America, I believe Origin would work better as a spectacle than a test match. Sad but true. I say that for the crowds, the rivalry, etc. It's like the NBA All Star Game but with players actually playing to win! 

By the way, having a midseason Int weekend in England too would be the 1st thing to do. And if you can't have Tonga/NZ every year, let it be France or Wales and then every tot year have Tonga/NZ.

In my dreams, we'd have an Int weekend at the beginning of the season but this is really impossible.

 

Edited by MatthewWoody
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2 minutes ago, MatthewWoody said:

Plus, in terms of promoting the game, it's normal that the Aussies don't feel this need as rl is the most popular code in QLD and NSW.

Yes this is a really good point and where things get tricky. Their club game is doing really well, with ever-increasing broadcast deals, whereas our game is seemingly struggling to generate a healthy broadcasting deal. Consequently, the UK clubs seem to be acting in the interests of self-preservation rather than for the wider benefit of the sport.

A major part of the solution to increase interest over here is to expand the international game. But we need the NRL's help to solve a problem for us that isn't a problem they have, so it's understandable why they don't appear to prioritise the international game over there.

9 minutes ago, MatthewWoody said:

By the way, having a midseason Int weekend in England too would be the 1st thing to do. And if you can't have Tonga/NZ every here, let it be France or Wales and then every tot year have Tonga/NZ.

I've said it several times on here but I'll say it again. I would have a mid-season European Championships every year, that would not be beholden to the NRL clubs releasing players. Round robin leagues of 4 (i.e. 3 fixtures) with promotion and relegation (either annually or every two years after teams have played each other home and away over a 2-year period).

However, for this to work, a massive part is for there to be a high-profile playing opportunity at the end of the season for all of the home nations players to aspire to. E.g. World Cup, Confederations Cup (i.e. 8 team thing discussed on here at length) and GB Lions series. These potential carrots would increase the likelihood of the better players making themselves available for the mid-season Euro tournament fixtures. The Euro tournament could also double up as qualification points for World Cups and Confederations Cups to help increase meaning.

England winning comfortably every year is not a problem - it would give the wider public a successful international team to follow. The weaker nations playing heritage players is not a problem - the wider public do not care. NRL not releasing players is not a problem, as it would potentially level the playing field.

The major sticking point is freeing up sufficient dates to fit these fixtures in. Losing the dreaded loop fixtures would be one way to go, but the UK clubs would have to be convinced to speculate to accumulate, and risk taking a short-term financial hit for the potential longer-term benefits of a much wider audience and higher profile for the sport.

Broadcast deals could involve showing games on free-to-air and subscription channels, so Sky needn't necessarily lose out on any fixtures, as they could broadcast internationals for those weeks instead of SL games. This often happens in soccer and RU, with different broadcasters showing different fixtures from the same tournaments.

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These midseason Euros could be a good idea, but I just don't see club renouncing to players as it happens for the 6N. But you'd have me watching it, that's for sure 😃


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8 minutes ago, MatthewWoody said:

These midseason Euros could be a good idea, but I just don't see club renouncing to players as it happens for the 6N. But you'd have me watching it, that's for sure 😃

Well that's the sticking point - the UK clubs would have to buy into it and support it for the greater good of the sport.

When I got hooked in the 1990s, the test series in this country were always mid-season. Clubs released players, and then I was able to immediately carry on watching the sport via the club season after the internationals had finished.

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14 minutes ago, MatthewWoody said:

These midseason Euros could be a good idea, but I just don't see club renouncing to players as it happens for the 6N. But you'd have me watching it, that's for sure 😃

Clubs need to be persuaded that it's in their interests to release their best players to play internationals, as it will put their stars on telly in front of a new audience, and ultimately help to attract more viewers for SL and also get more bums on seats at their club games. Before his England debut last year, Tommy Makinson wasn't particularly highly regarded outside of St Helens, and he ended the season as Golden Boot Winner and is now rightly considered as one of England's star players.

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2 hours ago, MatthewWoody said:

These midseason Euros could be a good idea, but I just don't see club renouncing to players as it happens for the 6N. But you'd have me watching it, that's for sure 😃

there are ways and means... as long as it is done with consultation to the clubs you can get the best result.. whilst saying to them "one way or another this is happening".. 

You could have a block of 4 International games.. which actually give 4-5 weeks for injuries of other players to repair themselves

you could have a 10 week period where ever other weekend you play an international which means the impact is spread etc 

either way you dont play league matches while the internationals are on so other players get rest.. works in every other sport!

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20 minutes ago, RP London said:

there are ways and means... as long as it is done with consultation to the clubs you can get the best result.. whilst saying to them "one way or another this is happening".. 

You could have a block of 4 International games.. which actually give 4-5 weeks for injuries of other players to repair themselves

you could have a 10 week period where ever other weekend you play an international which means the impact is spread etc 

either way you dont play league matches while the internationals are on so other players get rest.. works in every other sport!

You'd be asking the English clubs, whose finances are not exactly good atm, not to have games for a month, in order to let 1000 people (I'm being optimistic) watch Scotland v Wales, etc. 

I'm exaggerating, of course, but it gives the idea.

Being realistic, getting in SL a weekend dedicated to Int rl would be a success, at the moment.

Small federation can't play players for the caps so I'm not sure we'd be able to see Scotland, etc in full strength for a month midseason. 

 


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7 minutes ago, MatthewWoody said:

You'd be asking the English clubs, whose finances are not exactly good atm, not to have games for a month, in order to let 1000 people (I'm being optimistic) watch Scotland v Wales, etc. 

I'm exaggerating, of course, but it gives the idea.

Being realistic, getting in SL a weekend dedicated to Int rl would be a success, at the moment.

Small federation can't play players for the caps so I'm not sure we'd be able to see Scotland, etc in full strength for a month midseason. 

 

I would only want 1 or 2 matches to start myself but I was just pointing out that if you were wanting more there are loads of  ways to do it, i just picked 2 examples.. if the block is an issue then pick 4 weeks (could be over 4 months if you want to) and do it that way.. each choice will have a downside either to the national side or the clubs but you have to get to a point where you have a workable and acceptable starting point and build it from there.

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Do you think that players, when they say things about the history and pride of the jersey, the Lions badge, etc., they all fake? 

Not being provocative, but it's something that crossed my mind last weeks


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1 minute ago, RP London said:

I would only want 1 or 2 matches to start myself but I was just pointing out that if you were wanting more there are loads of  ways to do it, i just picked 2 examples.. if the block is an issue then pick 4 weeks (could be over 4 months if you want to) and do it that way.. each choice will have a downside either to the national side or the clubs but you have to get to a point where you have a workable and acceptable starting point and build it from there.

I see what you mean and am not saying it's impossible, but, as I said, it's tough at the moment.

I'd start with little things: a test weekend where you involve all the teams available. E.g. Jamaica have test players living in England available? They play. The same goes with Scotland, etc. And build from there...

But, I haven't seen the new SL calendar yet but it seems there is no rep/int weekend....

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3 minutes ago, MatthewWoody said:

I see what you mean and am not saying it's impossible, but, as I said, it's tough at the moment.

I'd start with little things: a test weekend where you involve all the teams available. E.g. Jamaica have test players living in England available? They play. The same goes with Scotland, etc. And build from there...

But, I haven't seen the new SL calendar yet but it seems there is no rep/int weekend....

🤞

i would be shocked if there was.. but this is about what we could do rather than what is happening.. get rid of the stupid loop fixtures and everything becomes possible. 

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3 hours ago, RP London said:

I would only want 1 or 2 matches to start myself but I was just pointing out that if you were wanting more there are loads of  ways to do it, i just picked 2 examples.. if the block is an issue then pick 4 weeks (could be over 4 months if you want to) and do it that way.. each choice will have a downside either to the national side or the clubs but you have to get to a point where you have a workable and acceptable starting point and build it from there.

Personally I'd like to see 3 or 4 mid-season games - something that builds interest over a few weeks rather than just an isolated game.

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9 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Personally I'd like to see 3 or 4 mid-season games - something that builds interest over a few weeks rather than just an isolated game.

perfect world yes but its how we start and i cant see them doing a larger chunk just yet.. 1-2 games to then build onwards from there is probably a bit more doable.

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3 minutes ago, RP London said:

perfect world yes but its how we start and i cant see them doing a larger chunk just yet.. 1-2 games to then build onwards from there is probably a bit more doable.

I can't see 1-2 games taking off and capturing anybody's imagination. It doesn't really provide anything meaningful for me. We've done it before - one off games against Samoa, a NZ team, France, the Exiles concept, the Denver thing last year. Unfortunately it's never been enough to generate interest and excitement.

My view is do it properly from the get go rather than half-###### it in dribs and drabs. Devise and promote a meaningful European Championships, and sell the concept to the clubs. A meaningful tournament like this would be far more attractive to a broadcaster than an isolated international.

However, it would need persuasive leadership to sell the concept and get the clubs on board, and unfortunately I don't have any confidence in either of those actually happening.

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If the Oceanic Cup is the model, the European Cup is likely to go to 6 teams in 2 groups of 3 (2 games per team) and a final. England as usual would regard themselves as too good but Australia managed to play in the Oceanic.

Edited by bird

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Now I won’t knock David Argyle and the other investors at Toronto and Ottawa but do they not recognise the importance of International Rugby League and how growth there would likely see growth in the game the world over? 

If I stumbled across billions of pounds tomorrow, I genuinely think I’d create an International tournament that would be impossible for the respective governing bodies in all countries to turn down. A big cash prize for players and governing bodies alike, a costly marketing campaign and tv coverage etc. 

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3 hours ago, bird said:

If the Oceanic Cup is the model, the European Cup is likely to go to 6 teams in 2 groups of 3 (2 games per team) and a final. England as usual would regard themselves as too good but Australia managed to play in the Oceanic.

That isn't the model for me. Groups of 4 with 3 games is the way to go. I also wouldn't have a final. If - as everyone expects - England thrash everyone in the group stages, then a final will be a complete anticlimax and a tougher sell. Just have the group winner as champion for me.

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16 hours ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I can't see 1-2 games taking off and capturing anybody's imagination. It doesn't really provide anything meaningful for me. We've done it before - one off games against Samoa, a NZ team, France, the Exiles concept, the Denver thing last year. Unfortunately it's never been enough to generate interest and excitement.

My view is do it properly from the get go rather than half-###### it in dribs and drabs. Devise and promote a meaningful European Championships, and sell the concept to the clubs. A meaningful tournament like this would be far more attractive to a broadcaster than an isolated international.

However, it would need persuasive leadership to sell the concept and get the clubs on board, and unfortunately I don't have any confidence in either of those actually happening.

As I say i dont disagree with you but your last paragraph is why i cant see it happening either.. i think the compromise is the 1-2 games..

your examples though show the issue we have had here.. when we have tried it its been away from the UK or the Exiles (which i thought was an ok concept (only ok) but poorly delivered).. If we were to play, regularly every year, france and/or wales home and away then we have something to sell (tickets wise) to fans and also to the tv with a round of matches the next week to keep people entertained.. 

it would be better than nothing and give us something to build on and more likely than trying to get the clubs to give up more, maybe then they will see why it works (hopefully) and be more prepared to give more time over to it.. 

I'd love it to be more but i just dont see the clubs agreeing to it.. but whatever we do we have to go full throttle at it and not give up after a year or two either.

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17 minutes ago, RP London said:

it would be better than nothing and give us something to build on and more likely than trying to get the clubs to give up more, maybe then they will see why it works (hopefully) and be more prepared to give more time over to it.. 

I'd love it to be more but i just dont see the clubs agreeing to it.. but whatever we do we have to go full throttle at it and not give up after a year or two either.

I'm struggling to think of an appropriate analogy, but I think the only way it would work is to go for it 100%. I just don't see how broadcasters, players and spectators are going to get excited about isolated games. We need a run of at least 3 weeks and a meaningful competition to get people interested. England have played several isolated mid-season games and it's never developed into anything more.

In RL, when we do things piecemeal they inevitably don't capture the imagination and it doesn't generate the level of interest to kick on and do more of it. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy, and reveals the same mentality as booking big stadiums for events and then not putting all of the tickets on sale.

Consider the way that cricket's governing body is pushing the Hundred for next year. It's a new concept but they're throwing everything at it. They're not going to trial it for a bit to see how it goes and whether people like it - they're pulling out all the stops and going for it 100%. But as I understand, the ECB sold this vision to the clubs and got the majority on board with it.

Somebody with vision and leadership needs to develop an international concept, and sell the benefits to the clubs to get everyone on board. Because without a significantly stronger international game, we're going to keep falling further and further behind other sports in the public's consciousness.

 

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