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JM2010

Which NH country (excluding England) could potentially step up at international level?

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Watching the SH teams providing tough games for each other and beating GB and also PNG, Samoa and Fiji having the potential to strengthen further got me wishing some teams in the NH would provide some level of competition for England and be able to compete at WCs.

Which teams (if any) have the most potential in the future.

The home nations seem to be going backwards at the moment and France are as weak as I've seen them. Could these countries have a revival?

There's also Lebanon, Jamaica, Italy and Nigeria who could have  strong teams based on heritage players but need more numbers playing the game in their own countries.

Then there's USA and Canada but that would be quite a few years down the line if ever. 

What are people's thoughts?

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France is the obvious one but needs at least one more Super League team to do so. The governance if the game needs to be much better too.

Wales has the natural Rugby players and history to make great strides given a little investment, which unfortunately the game doesn't have. If again the game could fund two Celtic Crusader type clubs then the national team could become much stronger.

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Just now, Damien said:

France is the obvious one but needs at least one more Super League team to do so. The governance if the game needs to be much better too.

Wales has the natural Rugby players and history to make great strides given a little investment, which unfortunately the game doesn't have. If again the game could fund two Celtic Crusader type clubs then the national team could become much stronger.

Maybe.

But I'm just not seeing them engaging the Welsh public attention

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11 minutes ago, MatthewWoody said:

Maybe.

But I'm just not seeing them engaging the Welsh public attention

That doesn't surprise me.

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1 minute ago, Damien said:

That doesn't surprise me.

But still Welsh RL are doing a great job, they're really passionate about the game and need to continue.

It's just frustrating, as I love both codes, seeing Welsh (but also Southern Africans, etc.) not even try to enjoy rl.


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46 minutes ago, MatthewWoody said:

Maybe.

But I'm just not seeing them engaging the Welsh public attention

They would easily engage the Welsh public's attention and create a big following... If there was a very rich benefactor like David Argyle pumping money in and making headline signings from Welsh RU that capture the public's imagination! But it will cost somebody millions.

A struggling team at the bottom end of the table with no marquee players, in a ropey ground in a small town won't engage the public's attention.

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1 hour ago, JM2010 said:

Watching the SH teams providing tough games for each other and beating GB and also PNG, Samoa and Fiji having the potential to strengthen further got me wishing some teams in the NH would provide some level of competition for England and be able to compete at WCs.

Which teams (if any) have the most potential in the future.

The home nations seem to be going backwards at the moment and France are as weak as I've seen them. Could these countries have a revival?

There's also Lebanon, Jamaica, Italy and Nigeria who could have  strong teams based on heritage players but need more numbers playing the game in their own countries.

Then there's USA and Canada but that would be quite a few years down the line if ever. 

What are people's thoughts?

Tonga are reliant on heritage players for their success, so it's probably going to be the same for NH teams. If a group of talented heritage players all declare their eligibility for one of the NH nations at the same time, then they'll have a strong team, much like Tonga.

Any other player development is going to take decades if ever, and/or probably a lot of financial investment. It may also take some controversial decisions, such as ring-fencing the Super League to ensure that there are two French teams in there.

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Jamaica or USA has huge potential if they can market it right and develop the game. Heritage players for Jamaica mainly but with New York, Cali and Florida stuff going on at the minute could be massive for the USA in the not so distant future 

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Lebanon was the one I thought of straight off, given that they can put out a strong team of heritage players just as the rising SH nations are doing but I don't know what, if anything is going on there in terms of domestic development of the game. 

Jamaica is the country I'm most excited about at the moment. On paper they can put out a really competitive team of heritage players and there is a lot of strong developement of the game going on in Jamaica itself at the moment with the domestic league. Jamaica also have a big community to tap into in this country and promote the team, and sport, to. Their inclusion in the World Cup is going to be massive for them in terms of exposure and I for one am really looking forward to seeing them play. I'm hoping I can get to at least one of their games. England v Jamaica in Sheffield please! 

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Greece and Serbia are promising, though obviously they have a long way to go. Serbia did get hammered by Scotland but I understand it was largely home grown players, would like to see how they got on vs a home grown Scottish team. 

Is Valencia get off the ground in League One there may be hope there too, especially as one of their statements is to have a 50% Spanish team. 

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Serbia had several heritage players.


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On 10/11/2019 at 09:05, Damien said:

France is the obvious one but needs at least one more Super League team to do so. The governance if the game needs to be much better too.

Wales has the natural Rugby players and history to make great strides given a little investment, which unfortunately the game doesn't have. If again the game could fund two Celtic Crusader type clubs then the national team could become much stronger.

France doesn’t necessarily need more clubs in the UK game, it needs a governing body that are professional and not a complete basket case. More clubs would certainly help but when they’re governed the Glousser Frères, it doesn’t matter who they’ve got in charge. 

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25 minutes ago, MatthewWoody said:

Serbia had several heritage players.

Really? That’s a shame, i’m fairly sure on chasing kangaroos a while back they said they wanted mainly domestic players. 

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2 hours ago, Eddie said:

Really? That’s a shame, i’m fairly sure on chasing kangaroos a while back they said they wanted mainly domestic players. 

They used only 5 heritage players vs Greece.

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Ok, I was wrong but they have used more in the past.

Their score v Scotland tells you about the gap between amateur and pro/semipro players.

For those who don't want the heritage players in World Cup.


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France and wales are the only real countries where RL has been played over many years so you’d want them to step up.

Serbia seem to have a lot of potential 

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Unfortunately I think France's weakness is their lack of heritage players. Other countries don't necessarily need a strong domestic scene as long as they have a good core of heritage players.

For this reason I think Lebanon and Jamaica have the most potential in the short term but for long term strength if France can get their domestic scene in order they might be able to step up

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On 10/11/2019 at 09:26, MatthewWoody said:

But still Welsh RL are doing a great job, they're really passionate about the game and need to continue.

It's just frustrating, as I love both codes, seeing Welsh (but also Southern Africans, etc.) not even try to enjoy rl.

With players (bar the front five of a RU pack) being able to switch between the two codes, they are in direct competition for players, so its not surprising. In places where either code of rugby is played, where one is strong the other is weak.

With collision sports far less enticing to play than non collision sports, the two codes are fighting (for want of a better word) over a limited playing pool.  It’s dog eat dog. 

In Australia, one source has just 236k rugby league participants (rugby union isn’t even listed)

https://www.foxsports.com.au/football/football-officially-australias-most-played-sport-with-over-one-million-participants/news-story/84651424c1d5b3e78bf7eb62c534b5ae

Another survey by Sport Australia, neither make the top 20

https://www.sportaus.gov.au/media-centre/news/australias_top_20_sports_and_physical_activities_revealed

I recall reading a comment from an Aussie RU fan who is bitter at RL being the dominant rugby code in Aus as he viewed it as preventing RL talent from playing for the RU team. If you took away say five quality RU players from Ireland, Scotland or Wales and put them in RL teams, with their already thin playing resources the RU sides would be massively weakened. 

Edited by DC77
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For me France, needs work but the structure is there to push on. Secondly Wales, 2 semi pro clubs already, a reasonable domestic set up, rugby in there genes and a great RL history. If we could get a strong Wales France we get meaningful games, at the moment England have to rely on Aus/NZ tours which are few n far between. If the Valencia project kicks off then maybe Spain could be interesting, If the Greeks sort their un forced mess of government issues, these guys could be serious contenders. Of course Serbia has a long history of RL, though very slow burners at moment. 

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Canada could be sooner rather than later... I mean the 5 year residency rule does make it a bit harder for a nation who suddenly gets a Professional Franchise to have a star studded team overnight, but with Toronto now in Super League and Ottawa set to join in 2021, maybe in 3-5 years time they might be able to pull together a more than competitive side between players who have qualified via residency, plus heritage players like Ryley Jacks (Gold Coast Titans), Rhys Jacks (Easts Tigers), Louis Robinson (London Skolars) and Cain Southernwood (Hunslet) in the mix.

If Ottawa does take a more 'home grown' approach as indicated, this could suddenly fast track a few guys, plus considering World Rugby appears to have forgotten all about Canada in their international plan, there is a lot of very talented Canadian Rugby Union players who could be very easily lured across to the code if we start providing the right opportunities. 

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On 10/11/2019 at 10:06, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Tonga are reliant on heritage players for their success, so it's probably going to be the same for NH teams. If a group of talented heritage players all declare their eligibility for one of the NH nations at the same time, then they'll have a strong team, much like Tonga.

Any other player development is going to take decades if ever, and/or probably a lot of financial investment. It may also take some controversial decisions, such as ring-fencing the Super League to ensure that there are two French teams in there.

Are there many/ any NRL players eligible for france

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4 hours ago, Poower Lad said:

Are there many/ any NRL players eligible for france

If there are any they shouldn't be shy about using them. Maybe a few New Caledonian heritage players?

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