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GB Lions should not have been brought back

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2 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

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.

 

At no point do i disagree with you on what we SHOULD be doing.. what I am trying to do is come up with a plan of what we can realistically expect to happen. 

The hundered is costing the ECB quite a bit IIRC in placating the counties that arent getting games (stadiums) and its being funded by an already established international calendar (though i may be wrong on how the funding is coming in.. a bigish sponsor has also helped). They have also seen the success of the Big Bash and IPL and desperate for a piece of it

With RL you have clubs that lack in confidence in their own ability to sell their home games that they want loop fixtures to add MORE home games rather than selling fewer more marketable (because its not the 10th time you have played them that year) fixtures which would get you potentially more money for less expenditure due to the stadium costs not having to be shelled out for another game. There is therefore little room in the calendar to open up to an international programme so i think we would be lucky, early days, to get more than 1 weekend opened. 

IF they could be persuaded (with cash) to get rid of the loop fixtures then I would do it tomorrow and get a european champ of 3-4 teams (depends how deep we want to go with leagues and what the numbers are) and market the hell out of it. But how much cash, where is the cash coming from etc.. 

The problem is I just dont see it happening so as much as I agree with what you are posting, and i really do, i am just trying to look at what we CAN do rather than what I would like to happen. At the moment we get nothing.. if we could just get 1 match against the French and market the hell out of it then we are doing better than we were.. if we can get 2 then great but there is no room for 3-4 without major cost to someone somewhere and where is that money coming from?

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8 minutes ago, RP London said:

if we can get 2 then great but there is no room for 3-4 without major cost to someone somewhere and where is that money coming from?

Very fair point. It's going to be a speculate to accumulate scenario, and some very persuasive leadership would be needed to get such a concept going. But I fear without it, the sport is going to continue steadily becoming less and less relevant to people outside the heartlands. It's RL's equivalent of climate change!

We've got a World Cup coming in 2021, but I think people are just expecting the wider public to be instantly interested in it, even though our national team probably won't have been in the public eye for the preceding 11-12 months.

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The problem is theres is no set tour dates, is it every 2 years, 4 years or whenever the rugby league community say they need to drum up some attention?. Also the number of games is a problem 3 game tour is a must, this 2 game mini tour against New Zealand is nothing. For me the GB Lions needs to be like the Union Lions, a 3 game tour every 4 years to Australia or New Zealand with maybe a game against Samoa, Tonga, Fiji or Papua New Guinea as a warm up. The GB Lions should only be a touring team no home games.

As far as lack of representation goes the GB Lions are a team that means the best get in, if we start saying there needs to be 4 English players 3 Irish and so on then there is no point, the best players on this island who are eligible get in, if this means all English then so be it.

Edited by The Lad

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8 hours ago, The Lad said:

The GB Lions should only be a touring team no home games.

I don't have an issue with GB playing at home. Theoretically, I'd like to see a GB series at home against the Aussies (only if it was part of an extensive international calendar). Ultimately we need it to be a big event that makes money and generates interest, and playing an Ashes series against Australia at home would tick those boxes. For me, rather than comparing GB Lions with RU's equivalent, I'd see it more like the Ryder Cup, where every 2 years the best British (and Irish...) players get together to take on the Aussies like Europe does against the Yanks.  

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2 hours ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I don't have an issue with GB playing at home. Theoretically, I'd like to see a GB series at home against the Aussies (only if it was part of an extensive international calendar). Ultimately we need it to be a big event that makes money and generates interest, and playing an Ashes series against Australia at home would tick those boxes. For me, rather than comparing GB Lions with RU's equivalent, I'd see it more like the Ryder Cup, where every 2 years the best British (and Irish...) players get together to take on the Aussies like Europe does against the Yanks.  

A home Ashes series will happen next year, England vs. Australia.

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5 hours ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Ultimately we need it to be a big event that makes money and generates interest, and playing an Ashes series against Australia at home would tick those boxes.

I agree that our game needs the money in an ideal world i would see the GB team touring only but we need them playing at home to genarate money. The reason I think it would be better if they tour is the feeling you get, the Union Lions are strong because they only tour, watching the Union game you know the lions are outnumbered, in a foreign country and when the game is on you really root for them. For me the only way the GB lions can get that is if they tour, but like you said we need cash and that means home dates. Australia are playing england not GB in 2020, I don't know why they changed it.

5 hours ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

For me, rather than comparing GB Lions with RU's equivalent, I'd see it more like the Ryder Cup, where every 2 years the best British (and Irish...) players get together to take on the Aussies like Europe does against the Yanks.  

The Union game is 10 times better internationally than ours we could learn a lot from them. I think if we are going to have home games we should have the ashes every two years with the venue challenge every time between UK and Australia no matter who wins. I think the same should be done for the world club challenge every year with the venue change no matter who wins. The GB Lions don't register on the anzac's and the world club chellange don't and that's because those games are not played over there enough.

Edited by The Lad

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I grew up watching GB and like many others was disappointed when we started playing as england

it doesn't matter if every player is English, they play to represent GB, in terms of promoting the sport it's an easier sell

id prefer both, tour as GB, play world cups as home nations

then its aspirational to aim for the GB shirt and creates more teams representing more home nations in world cups etc.

i like the idea of a Euro championship but wouldn't send first England team, it wouldn't work mid season and would t work if England won every year, people and players would lose interest, maybe play under 23s

we all want the international game to be strong, but with Aussie not interested it's difficult to grow or even get a good consistent calendar, maybe tonga have shuck things up a little? 

 

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43 minutes ago, Fuzzy said:

I grew up watching GB and like many others was disappointed when we started playing as england

it doesn't matter if every player is English, they play to represent GB, in terms of promoting the sport it's an easier sell

 

It really does matter. GB was historically comprised of English,Welsh and the odd Scottish or Irish player. A casual Welsh viewer may have felt affinity if he saw it on Grandstand and Taffy Jones was playing, ditto if Jock McTavish was playing for Scottish viewers (other stereotypical names are available)

Why would they feel any affinity with 13 English guys? They wouldn’t 

If, or when, we have non English players knocking on the door of selection, then cool it’s GB again (and the ones we currently do have don’t seem to warrant selection) Until then it is totally pointless deciding that England are suddenly GB. All you’re doing is spreading thin resources even more thinly. 

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10 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

It really does matter. GB was historically comprised of English,Welsh and the odd Scottish or Irish player. A casual Welsh viewer may have felt affinity if he saw it on Grandstand and Taffy Jones was playing, ditto if Jock McTavish was playing for Scottish viewers (other stereotypical names are available)

Why would they feel any affinity with 13 English guys? They wouldn’t 

If, or when, we have non English players knocking on the door of selection, then cool it’s GB again (and the ones we currently do have don’t seem to warrant selection) Until then it is totally pointless deciding that England are suddenly GB. All you’re doing is spreading thin resources even more thinly. 

It would obviously be better if it had a spread of nationalities. There are a few knocking on the door but yes it's pretty much an English centred sport so naturally there's more English. With the exception of Welsh union converts how many other nationalities have ever played? I suspect very few and this didn't harm the brand and success before 

the aWelsh schoolboys beat England In RL just the other year, so it's not that there isnt opportunity it has for growth. GB helps those young Welsh players with their aspirations for future potential to play in competitive international at the top grade.

i have a friend who is Welsh and a big RU follower and casual RL follower. He contacted me about GB lions game but had never mentioned internationals before to my knowledge. So it shows me it does have reach.

its chicken and egg, if you wait to have lots of home nations playing at a level to consider a GB team then we will never have one in my lifetime, if you create one you've more chance of having those players aim for it.

i don't see any significant additional cost to touring as GB rather thanEngland so see no disadvantage. 

GB generates more media coverage, maybe not significant but it's an easier sell and a historic brand many professional players aspire towards

without doubt GB is a positive historic and recognised brand in a sport with little exposure, we should exploit this opportunity 

Edited by Fuzzy
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3 minutes ago, Fuzzy said:

It would obviously be better if it had a spread of nationalities. There are a few knocking on the door but yes it's pretty much an English centred sport so naturally there's more English. With the exception of Welsh union converts how many other nationalities have ever played? I suspect very few and this didn't harm the brand and success before 

the aWelsh schoolboys beat England In RL just the other year, so it's not that there isnt opportunity it has for growth. GB helps those young Welsh players with their aspirations for future potential to play in competitive international at the top grade.

i have a friend who is Welsh and a big RU follower and casual RL follower. He contacted me about GB lions game but had never mentioned internationals before to my knowledge. So it shows me it does have reach.

its chicken and egg, if you wait to have lots of home nations playing at a level to consider a GB team then we will never have one in my lifetime, if you create one you've more chance of having those players aim for it.

i don't see any significant additional cost to touring as GB rather thanEngland so see no disadvantage. 

GB generates more media coverage, maybe not significant but it's an easier sell and a historic brand many professional players aspire towards

without doubt GB is a positive historic and recognised brand in a sport with little exposure, we should exploit this opportunity 

It didn’t ‘harm the brand’ because it contained non English players and therefore was genuinely comprised of British players. All English players means it’s England. You seem to think people are going to have historical knowledge of the GBRL story, rather than just looking at it and thinking ‘how is that GB’? 

As for your chicken and egg example, it’s actually better to do the groundwork and get Welsh and Scottish players involved who can then, primarily, represent Wales or Scotland. This should be the aim, not constantly harking back to the past. 

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19 minutes ago, Fuzzy said:

It would obviously be better if it had a spread of nationalities. There are a few knocking on the door but yes it's pretty much an English centred sport so naturally there's more English. With the exception of Welsh union converts how many other nationalities have ever played? I suspect very few and this didn't harm the brand and success before 

the aWelsh schoolboys beat England In RL just the other year, so it's not that there isnt opportunity it has for growth. GB helps those young Welsh players with their aspirations for future potential to play in competitive international at the top grade.

i have a friend who is Welsh and a big RU follower and casual RL follower. He contacted me about GB lions game but had never mentioned internationals before to my knowledge. So it shows me it does have reach.

its chicken and egg, if you wait to have lots of home nations playing at a level to consider a GB team then we will never have one in my lifetime, if you create one you've more chance of having those players aim for it.

i don't see any significant additional cost to touring as GB rather thanEngland so see no disadvantage. 

GB generates more media coverage, maybe not significant but it's an easier sell and a historic brand many professional players aspire towards

without doubt GB is a positive historic and recognised brand in a sport with little exposure, we should exploit this opportunity 

What a crock of ####

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7 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

It didn’t ‘harm the brand’ because it contained non English players and therefore was genuinely comprised of British players. All English players means it’s England. You seem to think people are going to have historical knowledge of the GBRL story, rather than just looking at it and thinking ‘how is that GB’? 

As for your chicken and egg example, it’s actually better to do the groundwork and get Welsh and Scottish players involved who can then, primarily, represent Wales or Scotland. This should be the aim, not constantly harking back to the past. 

How many non English players though? Still predominantly English, the professional game is predominantly English, it's pretty much all England. Other home nations contain mainly English heritage players, it makes no difference when representing GB. The only people who've mentioned it's mainly england are those looking to slag it off, it's GB because it represents all the Great Britain and Ireland.

nobodys neglecting growth in other nations, but representing GB isn't harking back to the past, its following the proud footsteps of those who have represented the shirt before, from all home nations. I'd say those against a strong brand are holding the national game back by removing aspirations from all home nations, how do you inspire whilst withdrawing opportunity it's to represent GB? 

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6 hours ago, The Lad said:

Australia are playing england not GB in 2020, I don't know why they changed it.

I think because they wanted England in the public eye before the World Cup in 2021, which is fair enough. But for an Ashes series I would have preferred GB v Australia, as that's traditionally what it's been for decades. But I would only want it to be GB if it was part of a coordinated calendar for the home nations as opposed to replacing it like they've done this Autumn.

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Great Britain should not have been brought back.

But if it was to have been brought back then it needed to be done well.

This has not been done well. Compare this tinpot little exercise with how well the RL Ashes are being promoted and the positive vibes from the RLWC and it becomes clear just how poor this tour has been executed.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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1 hour ago, Fuzzy said:

i like the idea of a Euro championship but wouldn't send first England team, it wouldn't work mid season and would t work if England won every year, people and players would lose interest, maybe play under 23s

It has to be the full England side, otherwise it won't have a sufficiently high profile, and consequently broadcasters, players and spectators won't buy in to it, and it'll die on its backside straight away.

England winning every year honestly isn't a problem - the wider public do not care one jot. It's only rugby league fans who care about that, and we need to use this tournament to broaden our spectator base.

Moreover, I think it would make these other nations more competitive over time, and I'm not sure that it would be as one-sided as people think. Case in point, look how Tonga have shaken things up in the past 3 years. Would anyone have predicted that 4 years ago?

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2 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Great Britain should not have been brought back.

But if it was to have been brought back then it needed to be done well.

This has not been done well. Compare this tinpot little exercise with how well the RL Ashes are being promoted and the positive vibes from the RLWC and it becomes clear just how poor this tour has been executed.

I disagree with the first line, but completely agree with the rest.

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33 minutes ago, Fuzzy said:

its chicken and egg, if you wait to have lots of home nations playing at a level to consider a GB team then we will never have one in my lifetime, if you create one you've more chance of having those players aim for it.

I completely agree with this point. Unless there are regular high profile playing opportunities for the other home nations players, they will just opt to represent England as is the case in cricket. They'll all be eligible for England on residency grounds anyway.

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11 minutes ago, Fuzzy said:

How many non English players though? Still predominantly English, the professional game is predominantly English, it's pretty much all England. Other home nations contain mainly English heritage players, it makes no difference when representing GB. The only people who've mentioned it's mainly england are those looking to slag it off, it's GB because it represents all the Great Britain and Ireland.

nobodys neglecting growth in other nations, but representing GB isn't harking back to the past, its following the proud footsteps of those who have represented the shirt before, from all home nations. I'd say those against a strong brand are holding the national game back by removing aspirations from all home nations, how do you inspire whilst withdrawing opportunity it's to represent GB? 

It doesn’t matter if it’s one or two non English players (although there were often sizeable Welsh contingents) as long as there are some. 
As for aspirations, a young Welsh player has them alright- to play for Wales! Look at legendary GB players like Boston or Risman....their boyhood dream was to play for Wales, not GB. 
 

Can you imagine if we had a team of talented Welsh players versus England? Don’t tell me that wouldn’t knock a pretend GB game into the middle of next week, both in terms of passion and something to aspire to be part of. 

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6 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I completely agree with this point. Unless there are regular high profile playing opportunities for the other home nations players, they will just opt to represent England as is the case in cricket. They'll all be eligible for England on residency grounds anyway.

So you develop those countries instead of constantly just having bogus GB squads. Getting to the stage where a competitive Wales team could play involves long term planning though, something RL just can’t be arsed with. 

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17 minutes ago, Fuzzy said:

How many non English players though? Still predominantly English, the professional game is predominantly English, it's pretty much all England.

Just had a look into this. The GB tour to NZ in 1990 contained 4 non-English players out of a squad of 28. The home series that year against the Aussies only saw one non-English appearance off the bench from Jonathan Davies in the last test. And the 92 Lions only had 2 Welshmen out of the 39 that played on the tour. I haven't counted heritage players who subsequently played for Wales in a World Cup, because nobody seems to count heritage players when people are advocating the need for a GB side.

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8 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

As for aspirations, a young Welsh player has them alright- to play for Wales! Look at legendary GB players like Boston or Risman....their boyhood dream was to play for Wales, not GB. 

But this is absolutely the problem. How can young Welsh players aspire to play for Wales when they have so few meaningful games? When is their next game scheduled?

7 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

So you develop those countries instead of constantly just having bogus GB squads. Getting to the stage where a competitive Wales team could play involves long term planning though, something RL just can’t be arsed with. 

Completely agree in theory. But how long will this take? Millions and millions of pounds and a couple of Super League clubs over a couple of decades? France are still struggling despite having a semi-pro league for decades and a Super League club for over ten years. Would Wales ever be competitive without heritage players?

13 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

Can you imagine if we had a team of talented Welsh players versus England?

Yes it would be fantastic, but how are we going to get to that point? We're not suddenly going to have a competitive Welsh team overnight. A GB side can act as a carrot to help to get players to commit to playing for Wales (as I've theorised in earlier posts on this thread).

15 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

Don’t tell me that wouldn’t knock a pretend GB game into the middle of next week, both in terms of passion and something to aspire to be part of. 

It would be great, but when was the last time Wales played England, and when are they scheduled to play them again? Are you expecting young Welsh players to aspire to be part of something that happens extremely sporadically? I'm not sure that's how it works. Plus, if we did have a full team of talented Welsh players, it would arguably make a GB team all the more necessary, and would still potentially be the pinnacle of their aspirations!

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14 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

But this is absolutely the problem. How can young Welsh players aspire to play for Wales when they have so few meaningful games? When is their next game scheduled?

Sunday, isn't it?


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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2 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Sunday, isn't it?

Well if it, it's so high profile that doesn't even warrant a mention on the BBC website. Not really something to aspire to...

Just checked and it's the amateur/community side playing.

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