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Fiji 2021

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5 hours ago, Big Picture said:

Nothing, they can add a colourful dimension at times like the Jamaican bobsleigh team did at the Winter Olympics in Calgary in 1988, but that's as much as they can do for any sport.

So if Tonga won the World Cup it would be akin to Cool Runnings or Eddie the Eagle’s winter Olympic participation? 

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I would argue the emergence of the Pacific Islands as real competitors to the Big 3 in International Rugby League has actually reduced the number of detractors talking about the code in dismissive style.  Arguably I see a lot more positive stories now about the game, our eligibility rules, etc than there ever was before, and in my opinion a complete turnaround from the dark days of the early 2000's.

One thing sport loves is an underdog story, and if somehow a Fiji or Tonga won, it would be a brave brave journalist to try and rain on that parade.  Sure they might not bring the corporate dollars that a Canada could bring if they one day become a League powerhouse, but it would also create a story that a lot of sports networks, journalists, etc would run with it due to the underdog nature of it.

Honestly for our sport, anyone other than the Kangaroos winning 2021 is a win for our sport... regardless of whether it is England or the Cook Islands.

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13 hours ago, Big Picture said:

I sure hope not.  Having a team representing such a tiny country in the World Cup Final would highlight the sport's embarrassingly small footprint in the world.

Strategically, it’s also about slowly taking over the rugby union player factory that is the Pacific.

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1 hour ago, Eddie said:

Iceland qualifying for the Euros was the final nail in the coffin for international football. 

How dare they have the audacity to beat a footballing giant like England... do they not know their place in the pecking order?

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I do sympathise with @Big Picture’s thoughts and understand where he/she is coming from (see what I did there, I avoided gender offending 😊).

Comparing the footprint of Fiji RL to the participation numbers of the respective national sports in Croatia and New Zealand and the subsequent funding apportioned and turned over by each of those organisations are simply unfair to the argument.

In saying that, I have been won over by the general consensus on this thread. Fiji in a WC Final may just lead to other smaller nations taking a greater interest in the sport also.

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On 09/12/2019 at 10:13, Copa said:

Strategically, it’s also about slowly taking over the rugby union player factory that is the Pacific.

I agree. 

I also have this image in my head of a Coach saying a Halve, a Halve a Kingdom for Half. 

If only Fiji could swap some wings for quality NRL half backs for their national team as that's the only position there's a clearly noticeable weakness in. 

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On 08/12/2019 at 20:48, Big Picture said:

I sure hope not.  Having a team representing such a tiny country in the World Cup Final would highlight the sport's embarrassingly small footprint in the world.

Having any strong side to play against strengthens the game for the opposition. A packed Elland Road with a tight game is a great spectacle whether it's us playing the Kangaroos or Fiji or whoever 

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9 hours ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

Having any strong side to play against strengthens the game for the opposition. A packed Elland Road with a tight game is a great spectacle whether it's us playing the Kangaroos or Fiji or whoever 

You missed my point entirely.  Fiji and the others being such small, insignificant countries in world terms, you won't get a packed Elland Road or indeed any other stadium for a match involving one of those little countries as the small crowds for their previous matches in the UK demonstrate.  You might get the sort of bemused interest which the Jamaican bodsledders generated at the Calgary winter Olympics but I predict that's about it.

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16 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

You missed my point entirely.  Fiji and the others being such small, insignificant countries in world terms, you won't get a packed Elland Road or indeed any other stadium for a match involving one of those little countries as the small crowds for their previous matches in the UK demonstrate.  You might get the sort of bemused interest which the Jamaican bodsledders generated at the Calgary winter Olympics but I predict that's about it.

I respectfully disagree

A strong Island side here is a draw. Especially if they've been pushing tier one sides

Tonga have spanked us all in the last 2 years. If they had a fixture here this year then plenty would turn up for it

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On 26/12/2019 at 15:45, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

I respectfully disagree

A strong Island side here is a draw. Especially if they've been pushing tier one sides

Tonga have spanked us all in the last 2 years. If they had a fixture here this year then plenty would turn up for it

Tonga would be a much bigger draw than NZ now. 

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2 hours ago, Eddie said:

Tonga would be a much bigger draw than NZ now. 

Yep.

Also the point of is that oppo doesnt really matter

England is effectively a largely untapped and massive market for us. Any competitive and exciting international games for us will help English RL's appeal. 

The comparatively tiny increase from the Tongan side (due to the population) could be dwarfed by increasing purely English interest 

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