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13 hours ago, GeordieSaint said:

Whilst I appreciate what you are saying, I tend to disagree. Not because of what you are proposing, but about tours in general - I think they should a relic of the past.

I'd rather see more regular competitions where numerous teams play against each other rather than England/GB monopolising games against Australia (which if we were honest is the only tour we are interested in). Frankly, the southern hemisphere sides other than a tour to England (as they make money) are not interested in hosting us. It's why they created the Pacific Cup competition. I'd rather see more opportunities being developed for the likes of Wales, Scotland, France et al to play games rather than them getting a stiff ignoring until we need some sides in the WC to make up the numbers.

Tours are a relic of the past, specifically the past when only a handful of countries were involved in international RL.  With so few other countries to play, they had to make do with playing the same ones over and over again.

Notice how that never happens in big international sports like soccer, basketball, handball, baseball or ice hockey and apart from so few exceptions that they can counted on one's fingers it never did.  Why anyone wants more of that making do malarky these days is beyond me.

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9 hours ago, Eddie said:

Agreed, the GB Curling team are all Scottish but everyone supports them at the Olympics. 🥌 

That's an Olympic-only thing though, and curling one of the rare sports where the winners of a national championship are then named as a group to be the national representative team in World Championships and continental championships.  Scotland and England compete on their own in those championships.

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9 hours ago, Dave T said:

In 1994 the 2nd Test had only English born players. People weren't clamouring for GB to be scrapped.

Over the years it has often been all English, or one or two Welsh/Scottish/Irish. We could easily have seen Grace and Knowles in that GB team this year.

There were many bad things about GB, I dont think we need to overstate some of them.

We are effectively the Northern Union.  We previously played as such before we just changed it to GB.

As I endlessly point out, Australia has 6 states with 6 PMs and 6 Parliaments. All its players play for 1 country. RL is really only played in 3 of those states. It does not seem to worry them.

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1 hour ago, roughyedspud said:

This thread proves what I've always said...GB damages the England brand

 

2017 England lose a world cup final "by a ankle tap"

2018 England move up to 2nd in the IRL rankings...and we actually start gaining the respect of the Aussie's..finally..

2019 a weak GB team loses all 4 games and now England is a laughing stock again..all the old wounds have reopened,a decade of hard work ###### away..

And if England had lost 4-0? How would that not have been equally embarrassing and damaging to the 'brand'? Surely it would have been moreso! Maybe this thread proves the complete opposite - that GB strengthens the England 'brand'...

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9 hours ago, roughyedspud said:

This thread proves what I've always said...GB damages the England brand

 

2017 England lose a world cup final "by a ankle tap"

2018 England move up to 2nd in the IRL rankings...and we actually start gaining the respect of the Aussie's..finally..

2019 a weak GB team loses all 4 games and now England is a laughing stock again..all the old wounds have reopened,a decade of hard work ###### away..

 

Nice one...

In the guise of England would the selection been any different excepting Coote? Would the coaching and support staff been any different? Did Bennett not say he was being experimental in his selection for next years ENGLAND ashes series against Aus?

You really have an Obsetioniallity Disorder on this subject. 

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15 hours ago, Rupert Prince said:

We are effectively the Northern Union.  We previously played as such before we just changed it to GB.

As I endlessly point out, Australia has 6 states with 6 PMs and 6 Parliaments. All its players play for 1 country. RL is really only played in 3 of those states. It does not seem to worry them.

It is still one country regardless of all that. A bloody big one but still one country. Thus regardless of which state they come from, they represent Australia.

The UK is comprised of different countries. 

Unless you fancy telling a Scotsman that he's almost English. 

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On 19/11/2019 at 08:03, Tommygilf said:

2 things Martyn. 

1. In a 4 year world cup cycle, how could Great Britain tour home and away, whilst England played World Cups, Nines World Cups and Four Nations, without it seeming to the both the RL supporting and wider public that we just swap shirts/names every 2 years for no apparent reason? There's no need to earn a Great Britain cap - just be good enough to play for England that year and you'll play in a Red and Blue V this year. There's effectively no way for a Scot or Welshman (before we even start to comprehend the Irish problem in all this) to even put themselves in the shop window for the team as they don't play any significant tests and certainly not against England - a problem that is entirely of our own making.

2. As someone under the age of 25 I think my perspective on Great Britain is massively affected by the way the international landscape has changed. For context before this tour the last Great Britain game was played when I was 10. In my mind now Great Britain, or at least the Great Britain that everyone talks about with Welsh and Scottish talent, is caught between a mythological past like the 1966 England football team and something that doesn't exist any more like the Yugoslav Football team or the USSR at the Olympics. It feels like a throwback to a time where we had 5 countries playing Rugby League. I just don't buy it. Yeah its a lovely shirt, but it doesn't mean anything much to me and this tour has hardly improved that.

In that context I want to see England play test matches, just as I want to see Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Fiji, Tonga etc playing test matches. I say that as someone who because of heritage feels more "British" than English at times and does see a valid place for GB in the modern game, but the execution of this tour, from the confusion over who is qualified, the coaching selection, the general management and organisation, has put the nail in the coffin (for now at least) for the Lions for me. 

I agree with your final paragraph about the shambolic nature of this tour for the reasons you cite.

But it's never a good idea to make decisions based on short term results, however disappointing they may be.

One important consideration, for example, is that the existence of Great Britain playing in home and away Test series will actually help players from the other home nations.

Let me give you two examples.

Regan Grace is never likely to play for England, but of course could (and some think should) play for Great Britain. That in itself will raise the profile of Test match Rugby League in Wales and will give Regan the chance to aim to play representative Rugby League at the highest level.

Joe Philbin qualifies for Ireland and for England. If we have GB playing in a Test series, he can be selected while still being available to play for Ireland in other tournaments.

As an aside, I thought it was interesting over the last four weeks to see Jonathan Davies in the BBC studio when talking about the current Test series referring to "we" when he was talking about GB, as opposed to "they" when he talks about England in the same situation. That illustrates that Great Britain has a significantly wider appeal than England for obvious reasons.

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1 hour ago, Martyn Sadler said:

I agree with your final paragraph about the shambolic nature of this tour for the reasons you cite.

But it's never a good idea to make decisions based on short term results, however disappointing they may be.

One important consideration, for example, is that the existence of Great Britain playing in home and away Test series will actually help players from the other home nations.

Let me give you two examples.

Regan Grace is never likely to play for England, but of course could (and some think should) play for Great Britain. That in itself will raise the profile of Test match Rugby League in Wales and will give Regan the chance to aim to play representative Rugby League at the highest level.

Joe Philbin qualifies for Ireland and for England. If we have GB playing in a Test series, he can be selected while still being available to play for Ireland in other tournaments.

As an aside, I thought it was interesting over the last four weeks to see Jonathan Davies in the BBC studio when talking about the current Test series referring to "we" when he was talking about GB, as opposed to "they" when he talks about England in the same situation. That illustrates that Great Britain has a significantly wider appeal than England for obvious reasons.

I agree with you on how for Welshmen like Reagan Grace it can provide them with a platform to play the top sides in the world and stand a chance of winning - the more Welsh, Scottish (and Irish) players that can benefit from that exposure to the professionalism of the GB set up the better.

The major problem here is that those players aren't getting a look in. Grace was disadvantaged because he was Welsh. The sole Scottish representative Coote was dropped at FB for his club team-mate who doesn't play there for Saints but does for England. You mention Philbin, an Irish international, singing God Save the Queen in a shirt that is basically a Union Jack hardly helps the game back in Ireland (understatement). That surely suggests that he'd play for England too given the chance at the World Cup which again doesn't help our game in Ireland. For the latter 2, their nations also had World Cup qualifiers to contend with whilst this tour was going on, and so were weakened in these directly by GB.

This reflects massively how this was an English exercise by the English RFL with absolutely no consultation or reference at all to anyone else. I don't blame Bennett for prioritising English players. Should he stay on as coach he's got a Kangaroos series and a home world cup to win in the next 2 years with England; and in all seriousness winning a home world cup as England is far more valuable to the game than winning a GB tour hands down, no doubt. 

I too noticed Davies' change of reference and like I said do see a place for GB in the game - just not with the current leadership and their attitude. 

As for long term vs short term thinking. In the 12 years since GB was shelved and the home nations emphasised far more, we've seen Scotland become the first team to take a point from the "Big 3" in a 4 nations and were beating England for a significant part of their game. Wales juniors beating their English counterparts for the first time as well as a second Welsh side entering the RFL pyramid. Ireland are hosting English community sides and at the top end are capable of competing at the top of tier 2 with Irish players being picked up by League 1 and Championship clubs. Yes there could have been more development in these countries, and certainly more help by playing top class tests against England for example, but can you seriously say Rugby League in these countries would have been developed better by GB than they are now?

Edited by Tommygilf
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1 hour ago, Martyn Sadler said:

 

Let me give you two examples.

Regan Grace is never likely to play for England, but of course could (and some think should) play for Great Britain. That in itself will raise the profile of Test match Rugby League in Wales and will give Regan the chance to aim to play representative Rugby League at the highest level.

Joe Philbin qualifies for Ireland and for England. If we have GB playing in a Test series, he can be selected while still being available to play for Ireland in other tournaments.

As an aside, I thought it was interesting over the last four weeks to see Jonathan Davies in the BBC studio when talking about the current Test series referring to "we" when he was talking about GB, as opposed to "they" when he talks about England in the same situation. That illustrates that Great Britain has a significantly wider appeal than England for obvious reasons.

I really think you are misguided here Martyn:

1. If England was the only team at top level (ie: No GB) why could grace not play for them?? He is with StHelens since about 2015? He is only 22. He will easily qualify via residence if he wishes to.

2. Which "other tournaments" is Joe Philbin likely to turn out for Ireland in, in addition to playing for a GB team? 

3. Jonathan Davies saying "we" does not show GB having a significantly wider appeal than England. It is one guy,referring to a team he played for. Do you really think households in Scotland and Ireland are going to be getting up early to watch this team who has no Scotsmen or Irishmen, playing GSTQ as an anthem, and cheering them on??? If so, i'm sorry to tell you, you are dreaming of some kind of nostalgic era in the past. (If it even existed).

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Can't believe that even after the absolute shambles of a tour with zero interest from the public apart from a few old timers, we are still debating about bringing back GB Haha. Its actually comical. GB is done. Gone forever as no one cares.

It's time to move on.

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The results shouldnt really matter. The fact is that the tour is supposed to be a challenge, it proved so. GB smashing 4 wins wouldnt prove it a success any more than 4 loses prove it a failure. If anything 4 losses were a good thing, showing the challenge that is being a touring GB RL team. 

The problem with GB is that it didnt really offer anything different from England, but didnt really fit in to the context that international RL now operates. Tonga beating GB pretty much means Tonga beat England but we can't really sell the Tongan team on the back of it without including qualifiers and ending up explaining the convoluted situation and people losing interest. 

There may be a place for GB, but this wasnt it. GB has to be different, it has to be something England can't be. Ive said before if we want to go back, go back properly. Its a northern union select side setting out on a challenging tour playing different club sides, rep sides, etc, etc, etc. 

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33 minutes ago, AB90 said:

Can't believe that even after the absolute shambles of a tour with zero interest from the public apart from a few old timers, we are still debating about bringing back GB Haha. Its actually comical. GB is done. Gone forever as no one cares.

It's time to move on.

That's clearly not true, because plenty of people on here have said that they care about GB.

As for it being the time to move on, yes, it may well be. But we shouldn't do that without giving it some proper consideration and exploring the different options available.

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5 hours ago, Celt said:

I really think you are misguided here Martyn:

1. If England was the only team at top level (ie: No GB) why could grace not play for them?? He is with StHelens since about 2015? He is only 22. He will easily qualify via residence if he wishes to.

Yes he could play for England. But then he can't play for Wales. Whereas he could play for GB and still play for Wales. This is fundamental.

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2 hours ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Yes he could play for England. But then he can't play for Wales. Whereas he could play for GB and still play for Wales. This is fundamental.

Well... he could switch back easily enough if we are honest.  Technically switching is allowed "between world cup cycles" but i am pretty sure that IRLF are 'flexible' to say the least.  Pettybourne was named in a Kiwi squad, played for Samoa, then ran out for the USA all in a couple of years FFS.  

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On 17/11/2019 at 15:30, Mr Plow said:

I was optimistic about GB returning and before this tour I really thought we could have a GB tour every 4 years like union do. 
 

But after this shambolic performance I think the concept is dead. Like Woods says, we do not have the depth to have a British team. Realistically we have a few Welsh players and a plastic Scottish and Irish team

I just love how players are respected in this forum 

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6 hours ago, Celt said:

Well... he could switch back easily enough if we are honest.  Technically switching is allowed "between world cup cycles" but i am pretty sure that IRLF are 'flexible' to say the least.  Pettybourne was named in a Kiwi squad, played for Samoa, then ran out for the USA all in a couple of years FFS.  

I don't think we'd never see an homegrown Welshman wanting to play for Eng. Though he'd play for GB.


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7 hours ago, Celt said:

Well... he could switch back easily enough if we are honest.  Technically switching is allowed "between world cup cycles" but i am pretty sure that IRLF are 'flexible' to say the least.  Pettybourne was named in a Kiwi squad, played for Samoa, then ran out for the USA all in a couple of years FFS.  

So would you like to see an international scene where all the major players play for Eng, Aus or NZ for 3 years out of 4, and then devolve into other nations for the World Cup 1 year in 4? In which case, why would you be against calling England Great Britain? Personally I would rather see all of the home nations have regular annual mid-season games against each other, with a selection carrot at the end of the season for them to aspire to. We can't have a WC every year, so a GB series can fill that void.

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1 hour ago, MatthewWoody said:

I don't think we'd never see an homegrown Welshman wanting to play for Eng. Though he'd play for GB.

Didn't Rhys Evans sign up for the England squad a couple of years back? 

EDIT: yes, he played for England Knights in 2012.

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17 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Didn't Rhys Evans sign up for the England squad a couple of years back? 

EDIT: yes, he played for England Knights in 2012.

And this is the big risk for me. Putting all the eggs in the England basket forces professional players with a short career span to make a choice that's going to maximise their earning potential. This is the chicken and egg problem of waiting for there to be a critical mass of world class Welsh, Scots and Irish players before we run a GB team, but without a GB team we run the risk of there not being any world class players because they all opt for England. My money would be on Joe Philbin opting for England next Autumn because they'll be playing in an Ashes series against Australia, and Ireland will playing who knows. How is this strengthening the Irish player pool? And before anyone moans that he's actually English or 'Plastic Irish', then the same logic and standards should be applied to Tonga, Samoa etc. Likewise, will Morgan Knowles commit to England next year?

Edited by RugbyLeagueGeek
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8 hours ago, Celt said:

Well... he could switch back easily enough if we are honest.  Technically switching is allowed "between world cup cycles" but i am pretty sure that IRLF are 'flexible' to say the least.  Pettybourne was named in a Kiwi squad, played for Samoa, then ran out for the USA all in a couple of years FFS.  

Exactly, and this is what makes International sport such a shambles, in any sport International teams are not representative of their country, they are contrived entities to make the game seem bigger than it is, none more so than in Rugby league, 70% of the player's in the World Cup have either Australian or Kiwi accents, tell me those teams they represent are not fabricated.

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Just now, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

And this is the big risk for me. Putting all the eggs in the England basket forces professional players with a short career span to make a choice that's going to maximise their earning potential. This is the chicken and egg problem of waiting for there to be a critical mass of world class Welsh, Scots and Irish players before we run a GB team, but without a GB team we run the risk of there not being any world class players because they all opt for England. My money would be on Joe Philbin opting for England next Autumn because they'll be playing in an Ashes series against Australia, and Ireland will playing who knows. How is this strengthening the Irish player pool? And before anyone moans that he's actually English or 'Plastic Irish', then the same logic and standards should be applied to Tonga, Samoa etc.

I must admit I am cynical when people suggest they can't understand that benefit of a GB team supported by 4 Nations. I can understand if they don't really value it that much, or don't think it is a big enough benefit to actually make the change in approach, but the hypothesis around this is sound.

I don't however have an issue with an England fan just demanding that we play as England and just crack on without worrying too much about the other nations and players. 

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1 minute ago, Harry Stottle said:

Exactly, and this is what makes International sport such a shambles, in any sport International teams are not representative of their country, they are contrived entities to make the game seem bigger than it is, none more so than in Rugby league, 70% of the player's in the World Cup have either Australian or Kiwi accents, tell me those teams they represent are not fabricated.

I worry about it less than you Harry, but the main thing that bugs the life out of me is when these nations have Sydney bases. i.e. Lebanon playing with Aussie-based players, coaches, sponsors etc. 

I think as a bare minimum these teams should have a presence in their home nation (providing that is possible). At least that way I think heritage players can sort of be justified - but just creating these teams and having them play abroad is odd.

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4 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Exactly, and this is what makes International sport such a shambles, in any sport International teams are not representative of their country, they are contrived entities to make the game seem bigger than it is, none more so than in Rugby league, 70% of the player's in the World Cup have either Australian or Kiwi accents, tell me those teams they represent are not fabricated.

Still people go to watch World Cup games


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7 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I don't however have an issue with an England fan just demanding that we play as England and just crack on without worrying too much about the other nations and players. 

The problem for me when England fans adopt this stance (and there's some on here) is that it's akin to turkeys voting for Christmas. By not caring about the other home nations, we condemn those nations to being weaker, and end up having a contracted international game with fewer meaningful opponents for England to play. For me, it's massively in England's interests to develop all of the other home nations with the aim of giving us some opposition to play and ultimately expanding the international game. The way I see GB working would be to complement that, and produce an end result that equates to more meaningful games for England and the other home nations.

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