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The Future is League

Dave Woods is on the money.

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27 minutes ago, southwalesrabbitoh said:

Felines on a.......

Did I read correctly the other day that WWR have cash to splash this year? If so what’s happened SWR?

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4 hours ago, Eddie said:

Wales have their own decent team, and I doubt the Scots or Irish will ever be bothered. Have you really seen plenty of people wearing Lions shirts in Wales though?

The Wales team is ok, but nothing more than that. We would get 50 points put on us by any top tier nation (unless Bennett remains in charge of England). That is not going to attract any new fans in decent number, whereas a competitive GB team could just stir a wider consciousness. I'm not saying abolish England or any home nation btw.

As to the lions shirt, yes 100%. I grew up in wrexham and apart from the 6 nations, you hardly ever see wales union shirts, whereas British lions shirts seem fairly numerous. 

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48 minutes ago, Hughsehhh said:

The Wales team is ok, but nothing more than that. We would get 50 points put on us by any top tier nation (unless Bennett remains in charge of England). That is not going to attract any new fans in decent number, whereas a competitive GB team could just stir a wider consciousness. I'm not saying abolish England or any home nation btw.

As to the lions shirt, yes 100%. I grew up in wrexham and apart from the 6 nations, you hardly ever see wales union shirts, whereas British lions shirts seem fairly numerous. 

Not surprising given football is the main sport in north Wales where participation levels of RU are low, in fact it’s the main game throughout Wales despite the status of the Welsh RU team. More kids dream of being Bale than any (insert RU name).

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2 hours ago, Celt said:

Why? 

These players can simply play for England if they are good enough.

They will almost certainly qualify through residence (every professional club in Europe bar Catalans is in England).  If not, their residence/eligibility can probably be (semi-legally) fudged using time spent in academy in  England etc etc blah blah.  I cannot really imagine the RFL being unable to find a way to shoehorn somebody in if they really need to.

Well that's the risk isn't it, because that absolutely could happen, and condemn Ireland, Scotland and Wales to further low-profile internationals with all of their best players defecting to England.

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3 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Well that's the risk isn't it, because that absolutely could happen, and condemn Ireland, Scotland and Wales to further low-profile internationals with all of their best players defecting to England.

And then you get this sudden surge like we did for Tonga and Samoa.


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Just now, Wellsy4HullFC said:

And then you get this sudden surge like we did for Tonga and Samoa.

Well the reality is that any world class genuine Scots, Irish or Welsh rugby players have been snapped up to play union, so I don't foresee many defecting to England. But the risk with the current system is that England get all the big games, so any talented players from the other home nations that do materialise would need to make themselves available for England a la Eoin Morgan at cricket, otherwise they will miss out.

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46 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Well that's the risk isn't it, because that absolutely could happen, and condemn Ireland, Scotland and Wales to further low-profile internationals with all of their best players defecting to England.

Who are all these Scottish and Irish people who are good enough to 'defect' to England??

I cannot think of one Scottish person who is a top quality Rugby League player.

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2 hours ago, Rupert Prince said:

Yes.  However if we had ignored GB and only selected English players in 1954... well one WJ Boston would never have scored 36 tries on the Australasian tour.  Indeed he would never have got on the plane.

The Kangaroos are overwhelmingly based on just 2 states, whilst a 3rd is a hotbed for a totally alien game.  But it collects itself as "Australia".

As with many things with our game we in our country are just totally confused.  No wonder our players are never focussed.

That is just nonsense, sorry.

Boston etc were quality players who were A) very talented and B ) Not English. To exclude such players would have been insane. So what they did was call them GB, because not all the players were English.

As for Australia, until such a time it splits into independent states, anyone representing the country is Australian. It’s definitely not hard to follow....if you are from England, you’re English...and so on. 

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My biggest issue with that article is the continued use of 'we'.

All of the issues he mentions there, and plenty of other - arguably more important - ones that he ignores, were discussed on here and elsewhere over the course of 5 years that this tour has been endlessly pumped by nostalgic old men. The return of this iconic team / jumper / badge was never anything more than viagra for nostalgic old men.

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"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."

Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

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9 hours ago, Dunbar said:

What I do believe is that if we see both Smithies and Newman develop as hoped I can easily see them in the Ashes series and if the likes of Welsby and Holroyd (as examples) develop as hoped then they could easily be in the World Cup squad in two years time.

Newman and Smithies both have potential,  but still need to fully prove themselves at Super League level first and stand out playing in that competition.

Harry Newman hasn’t stood out at Super League and makes defensive errors, understandable at 19, lots of Leeds fans are hoping he steps up in 2020, but no way will he be ready to face Australia.

Jack Walker is further along and one of the few promising outside backs England have. 

In the forwards I really can’t see who is the next James Graham or Sam Burgess. 

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9 hours ago, Dunbar said:

What I do believe is that if we see both Smithies and Newman develop as hoped I can easily see them in the Ashes series and if the likes of Welsby and Holroyd (as examples) develop as hoped then they could easily be in the World Cup squad in two years time.

Newman and Smithies both have potential,  but still need to fully prove themselves at Super League level first and stand out playing in that competition.

Harry Newman hasn’t stood out at Super League and makes defensive errors, understandable at 19, lots of Leeds fans are hoping he steps up in 2020, but no way will he be ready to face Australia.

Jack Walker is further along and one of the few promising outside backs England have. 

In the forwards I really can’t see who is the next James Graham or Sam Burgess. 

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9 hours ago, Dunbar said:

What I do believe is that if we see both Smithies and Newman develop as hoped I can easily see them in the Ashes series and if the likes of Welsby and Holroyd (as examples) develop as hoped then they could easily be in the World Cup squad in two years time.

Newman and Smithies both have potential,  but still need to fully prove themselves at Super League level first and stand out playing in that competition.

Harry Newman hasn’t stood out at Super League and makes defensive errors, understandable at 19, lots of Leeds fans are hoping he steps up in 2020, but no way will he be ready to face Australia.

Jack Walker is further along and one of the few promising outside backs England have. 

In the forwards I really can’t see who is the next James Graham or Sam Burgess. 

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9 hours ago, Dunbar said:

What I do believe is that if we see both Smithies and Newman develop as hoped I can easily see them in the Ashes series and if the likes of Welsby and Holroyd (as examples) develop as hoped then they could easily be in the World Cup squad in two years time.

Newman and Smithies both have potential,  but still need to fully prove themselves at Super League level first and stand out playing in that competition.

Harry Newman hasn’t stood out at Super League and makes defensive errors, understandable at 19, lots of Leeds fans are hoping he steps up in 2020, but no way will he be ready to face Australia.

Jack Walker is further along and one of the few promising outside backs England have. 

In the forwards I really can’t see who is the next James Graham or Sam Burgess. 

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1 hour ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Newman and Smithies both have potential,  but still need to fully prove themselves at Super League level first and stand out playing in that competition.

Harry Newman hasn’t stood out at Super League and makes defensive errors, understandable at 19, lots of Leeds fans are hoping he steps up in 2020, but no way will he be ready to face Australia.

Jack Walker is further along and one of the few promising outside backs England have. 

In the forwards I really can’t see who is the next James Graham or Sam Burgess. 

This is typical of the attitude of the UK fans when it come to new talent.

Morgan Smithies broke the Super League tackling record in a play off game and yet he hasn't proved himself at Super League level!

Harry Newman is one of the stand out outside backs of his generation and starred in the series against the Australian Schoolboys (among others).  When Nick Cotric and Latrell Mitchell starred at junior level they went on to be selected for State and National teams because of their talents and yet we say a player like Newman won't even be ready in another 12 months.

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1 hour ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

In the forwards I really can’t see who is the next James Graham or Sam Burgess.

Alongside Smithies and the likes of Lees who have already cemented first team spots I would say Oliver Wilson, Tom Holroyd and Ethan Havard are the next generation of England forwards.  Holroyd and Havard in particular could be very special.

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24 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

This is typical of the attitude of the UK fans when it come to new talent.

Morgan Smithies broke the Super League tackling record in a play off game and yet he hasn't proved himself at Super League level!

Harry Newman is one of the stand out outside backs of his generation and starred in the series against the Australian Schoolboys (among others).  When Nick Cotric and Latrell Mitchell starred at junior level they went on to be selected for State and National teams because of their talents and yet we say a player like Newman won't even be ready in another 12 months.

Smithies is ready now... blatantly obvious.

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8 hours ago, Johnoco said:

That is just nonsense, sorry.

Boston etc were quality players who were A) very talented and B ) Not English. To exclude such players would have been insane. So what they did was call them GB, because not all the players were English.

As for Australia, until such a time it splits into independent states, anyone representing the country is Australian. It’s definitely not hard to follow....if you are from England, you’re English...and so on. 

If we had never agreed with GB as in the past then Boston would not have qualified for England and if England, not GB, had toured in 1954 he would not have scored 36 tries.  At the very least he and people like him would have had to wait for several years for residency, based on such rules at the time.

Currently if we bin GB then no Welsh player could qualify for England.  Why should we tie are hands at preventing players from playing for their country (as opposed to their nation)?  Someone from Western Australia can play for Australia, and just because he comes from a specific state does not bar him from playing for his own country.

I regard Test football as analogous to the Olympics, and they play as GB (although everyone really should call it the UK).

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These young players should have been taken on this tour.

If, as has been suggested, Bennett was being "Experimental", then how can he justify not giving these lads a chance over the likes of Graham and Widdop who, with the best will in the world, are past it at this level.

If we go into the World Cup with Graham, Widdop, Hall, McGillvary and Hill, we will be lucky to get out of the group stage, regardless of how contrived the group is.

The discussion about GB V England is moot. Same players different jersey, and they would have lost no matter what you called them. If you use the same players next time, and call them GB, England or Platt Bridge United, they will still lose.

 

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8 hours ago, Celt said:

Who are all these Scottish and Irish people who are good enough to 'defect' to England??

I cannot think of one Scottish person who is a top quality Rugby League player.

If you read my post that was immediately before yours then there's the answer for you.

On your second point, Matty Russell is pretty good.

Edited by RugbyLeagueGeek

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1 hour ago, Rupert Prince said:

If we had never agreed with GB as in the past then Boston would not have qualified for England and if England, not GB, had toured in 1954 he would not have scored 36 tries.  At the very least he and people like him would have had to wait for several years for residency, based on such rules at the time.

Currently if we bin GB then no Welsh player could qualify for England.  Why should we tie are hands at preventing players from playing for their country (as opposed to their nation)?  Someone from Western Australia can play for Australia, and just because he comes from a specific state does not bar him from playing for his own country.

I regard Test football as analogous to the Olympics, and they play as GB (although everyone really should call it the UK).

Why would we not have used the best players available? Pretty much since the start of the NU, we’ve had rep teams, they had GB as a catch all that allowed players like Boston to play.

If we had a great player like him today, who was not English, it would be valid to call the team GB and I for one wouldn’t be having this argument. But the whole team is English and as of next year will be called England again, it’s all been pretty pointless.

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Unfortunately Dave Woods article is too late. It is pretty poor from him to be honest, the more I think about it. It is disappointing that we lost four games, and that leaves us all negative at the end of it, but the issues are not with us losing, it is sport, some you win, some you lose, and our record touring the SH is not good so should not be a huge surprise.

The bigger issue here is that this was something brought back to play into the nostalgia and bring back a supposed 'golden era'. That is fine, but what they then scheduled looked nothing like what we were meant to be bringing back.

1996 was the last 'proper' GB tour I think it is fair to say, and we played 10 games. After winning our opening four games in PNG and Fiji, we then failed to win another game, drawing 1 and losing 5 in NZ. We attracted crowds similar to this year.

1990 saw us tour without going to Oz. We played 15 games, winning 11 and losing 4. We lost to PNG, but then won the series versus the Kiwis 2 v 1 with an average of 6.5k in the Tests.

All of the other tours saw us visit Oz too - 1992 saw us play 17 games, winning 13 of them.

 

And the above is ultimately the issue. We failed to address the fact that the world has moved on, times have changed.

When we previously had GB tours, they were proper tours, they had games staged that GB were guaranteed to win, build some momentum, take a wider squad, play midweek games, it was a test of attrition. Then we aligned the seasons and unfortunately those tours became a thing of the past. We moved to a Tri/Four Nations concept, and whilst some people may have missed the 3 test series', this had grown to become an important and valuable competition, particularly when played around the new larger and stronger World Cups.

So what did we manage to pull together for this tour? Neither of the above. We put together a proposition that took out the good parts of a tour - reducing the number of games from between 10-17 down to just 4. No mid-week games or wider touring squad for fringe players. Nor did we put something together as valuable as the Four Nations it replaced. Was the Kiwi series even for the Baskerville shield or has that just disappeared? There was no context to the tour or value on the actual comp. It was just a quick in-out. 

Now Dave Woods may be hailed as saying it as it is, but all of the above was known months ago. The only thing that has really changed was that we lost, and tbh, that just makes him look like a bad loser.

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16 hours ago, Eddie said:

Wales have their own decent team, and I doubt the Scots or Irish will ever be bothered.

Yes we would. The worst thing about this tour was, apart from a bit of the Tonga game, it was just a dross version of England we were supposed to be interested in watching. It wasn't GB at all, and whatever you say about Lachlan Coote, at least he played for Scotland, and when he got emptied early doors I pretty much couldn't be bothered with it.

I won't accept that the likes of Gil Dudson, Matty Russell, Regan Grace or any number of representatives of the Scotland, Wales or Ireland teams wouldn't have been good enough to put in a decent show against a PNG side full of championship players.

I'd be happy to see GB back, but properly as GB, not a guffing England 'B' team.

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10 hours ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Well the reality is that any world class genuine Scots, Irish or Welsh rugby players have been snapped up to play union, so I don't foresee many defecting to England. But the risk with the current system is that England get all the big games, so any talented players from the other home nations that do materialise would need to make themselves available for England a la Eoin Morgan at cricket, otherwise they will miss out.

Therein lays the problem.

Schedule some meaningful international games, and we won't need a GB side.

As a sport, we cannot complain the game isn't growing if we're not staging meaningful games.


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