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Boomer Bang Wool

Rugby league expansion - new lands or enemy territories?

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This is something I’ve recently thought about. We all want league to grow and expand but the question is, should we aim for new territories (areas with no union presence) or take them on where they exist? I’m torn on it but I’m leaning towards the former. I’ve seen plenty of people suggest places like Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa etc. 

To those people I ask, why is your first thought to go to those places? There are plenty of countries in the world, most of which without any union presence so I’m puzzled as to why we need to follow union everywhere. It can be done. Take the likes of Jamaica, Serbia, Nigeria etc. Those are league success stories, ones where we didn’t need to ride the coattails of union. 

I don’t want to come across as an union apologist but we cannot act surprised when union plays dirty in those countries in response to a rival who is attempting to bear the fruits of their hard work. And it certainly is hard work expanding into new territories. I think we should be targeting new territories with little to no union to speak of.

This is just my opinion anyway. What are your thoughts? 

Edited by Boomer Bang Wool
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Sounds sensible to me Boomer, I’ve often thought the same myself. Yes countries like those you mentioned already have pools of ‘rugby’ players but why would they want to swap over to League if they enjoy playing Union. 
 

I’d add Greece to your list of potential growth areas too. I gather there’s been loads of interest there since they qualified for the WC and read that they’re expecting less hostility towards them from now on too - no no need to play home games in London etc. 

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2 hours ago, Boomer Bang Wool said:

This is something I’ve recently thought about. We all want league to grow and expand but the question is, should we aim for new territories (areas with no union presence) or take them on where they exist? I’m torn on it but I’m leaning towards the former. I’ve seen plenty of people suggest places like Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa etc. 

To those people I ask, why is your first thought to go to those places? There are plenty of countries in the world, most of which without any union presence so I’m puzzled as to why we need to follow union everywhere. It can be done. Take the likes of Jamaica, Serbia, Nigeria etc. Those are league success stories, ones where we didn’t need to ride the coattails of union. 

I don’t want to come across as an union apologist but we cannot act surprised when union plays dirty in those countries in response to a rival who is attempting to bear the fruits of their hard work. And it certainly is hard work expanding into new territories. I think we should be targeting new territories with little to no union to speak of.

This is just my opinion anyway. What are your thoughts? 

Yeah it makes sense to target new areas where there is no real rugby presence rather than places where union is fully established.

Serbia seem keen on developing RL and North America is so big it’s kind of an open market and I can’t really see one code dominating.

I think we need to be strategic and have a plan. Does Super League want to be an transatlantic competition? And what does the IRL want the international scene to look like?

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17 minutes ago, Mr Plow said:

Yeah it makes sense to target new areas where there is no real rugby presence rather than places where union is fully established.

Serbia seem keen on developing RL and North America is so big it’s kind of an open market and I can’t really see one code dominating.

I think we need to be strategic and have a plan. Does Super League want to be an transatlantic competition? And what does the IRL want the international scene to look like?

I doubt if Super League even know the answer to that, unlike the Premier League, RFU, NFL, AFL etc, who know exactly where they’re going. 

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Subtle very subtle YK.

I'm of the opinion that Union shouldn't even come into it. We should be looking to facilitate expansion anywhere where there are people interested in expanding the game.

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We should aim for areas where union is played.  They would've done the hard work getting rugby established 

We can then piggyback off this with our game being superior 

France  in the 30s and Canada now are.excellent.examples 

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1 hour ago, aj1908 said:

We should aim for areas where union is played.  They would've done the hard work getting rugby established 

We can then piggyback off this with our game being superior 

France  in the 30s and Canada now are.excellent.examples 

I hate to say it as it’s a sorry situation, but for those two examples there are hundreds where that hasn’t worked. I’m with BBW, the focus should be in places like Greece, Spain, Serbia, Holland, Lebanon and Canada. As well as trying to take over from Union in Tonga, Fiji, Samoa and the Cook Islands. 

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1 hour ago, Eddie said:

I hate to say it as it’s a sorry situation, but for those two examples there are hundreds where that hasn’t worked. I’m with BBW, the focus should be in places like Greece, Spain, Serbia, Holland, Lebanon and Canada. As well as trying to take over from Union in Tonga, Fiji, Samoa and the Cook Islands. 

Um Canada is one I mentioned lol 

And the last ones are also places where union is played like I suggested 

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6 minutes ago, aj1908 said:

Um Canada is one I mentioned lol 

And the last ones are also places where union is played like I suggested 

I know, but Scotland, Ireland, Argentina, South Africa, Uruguay etc - forget it. 

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Yeh not fussed about those.  Maybe south Africa one day.

I'd be happy if it took off in Canada and france plus Tonga Samoa Fiji and cook islands 

Like as.big as.or bigger than union 

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Both can work but you need to recognise how they work differently and present different challenges and opportunities. 

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3 hours ago, aj1908 said:

We should aim for areas where union is played.  They would've done the hard work getting rugby established 

We can then piggyback off this with our game being superior 

France  in the 30s and Canada now are.excellent.examples 

Canada is not an example of that.  Though Union exists here, it's so far down the pecking order among the sports which are played here that it's more or less irrelevant, it's probably even behind lacrosse.  SBW is about the only past or present RU player all but a very few Canadians have even heard of.

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1 minute ago, Big Picture said:

Canada is not an example of that.  Though Union exists here, it's so far down the pecking order among the sports which are played here that it's more or less irrelevant, it's probably even behind lacrosse.  SBW is about the only past or present RU player all but a very few Canadians have even heard of.

It seems some of the wolfpack fans  on here were union fans before or knew of it 

 

Edited by aj1908

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1 minute ago, aj1908 said:

It seems some of the wolfpack fans  on here were union fans before or knew of it

Union does have a small following in Canada, but it's very small.

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Just now, Big Picture said:

Union does have a small following in Canada, but it's very small.

Lets hope it stays that way whilst.the wolfpack go from strength to strength 

Followed by Ottowa 

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9 hours ago, Eddie said:

I doubt if Super League even know the answer to that, unlike the Premier League, RFU, NFL, AFL etc, who know exactly where they’re going. 

Problem is you have teams applying to the RFL to enter League 1. Then in Toronto’s case for example, you have question marks when they are on the verge of promotion to Super League.

Should Super League not be consulted it’s given a vote on new teams entering the league system?

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56 minutes ago, Mr Plow said:

Problem is you have teams applying to the RFL to enter League 1. Then in Toronto’s case for example, you have question marks when they are on the verge of promotion to Super League.

Should Super League not be consulted it’s given a vote on new teams entering the league system?

Toronto joined the league structure before the Super League clubs took over control of Super League from the RFL.

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Of the 200+ countries in the world, RU is a factor in maybe 8-10 of them (being generous). Hardly seems worth worrying about.

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12 hours ago, Damien said:

I'm of the opinion that Union shouldn't even come into it. We should be looking to facilitate expansion anywhere where there are people interested in expanding the game.

Spot on!  All this talk about 'targeting' certain countries or regions is the wrong approach.  Have a look at where there is already some activity going on, and get on it and try and boost their efforts. 

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2 hours ago, Damien said:

Toronto joined the league structure before the Super League clubs took over control of Super League from the RFL.

But what will happen in the future when/ if Ottawa, New York and Red Star join? And last year there were question marks over wether Toronto would be promoted and a week before the season starts everyone’s talking about the salary cap which should have been dealt with months ago.

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1 hour ago, langpark said:

Spot on!  All this talk about 'targeting' certain countries or regions is the wrong approach.  Have a look at where there is already some activity going on, and get on it and try and boost their efforts. 

Correct...you have to go with the flow.   An old poster once told me, "If people want to pay to watch Rugby League...bums in the seats... we should be playing Rugby League there."

People are watching how it is developing with the Wolfpack.  This is clearly the make or break season, both for the Wolfpack and Super League.  Ottawa is watching.  I'm still not sure of the NYC bid but maybe.  They are watching too.

Edited by Kayakman
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Rugby League has a very limited budget when it comes to funding expansion, so for me I feel we should be targeting the areas we'd get the best ROI for our investment.

Whether Rugby Union already exists or is big there is a factor, and does impact the strategy around how we go expanding into such a country, but I feel like we should be considering whether the particular nation is 'looked after' or not by World Rugby and whether we are going up against a lot of 'noise' from the other Rugby. 

As such, for me the areas I feel we should be targeting are Africa (outside of South Africa), Latin America (outside of Argentina) and Eastern Europe, with Eastern Europe being the priority (if we can only invest in one). 

Firstly, our limited dollars will go further in somewhere like Serbia than in Scotland, secondly if we avoid the nations that World Rugby is targeting, (ie. USA, Japan, China, Russia, SANZAAR & 6 Nations Participants), there is a lot of clear air for us to make a mark and establish ourselves quicker and finally, it is often easier to crack things like the media and so on in those countries than say in the likes of Canada.

For me, if we could turn a cluster of nations into a decent RL footprint, this would help fast track growth.   Whether that is Serbia, Turkey, Greece & Ukraine, or Cameroon, Nigeria, DRC & Kenya, or Chile, Brazil & Colombia, doesn't matter as much, its just helping turn those leagues into leagues which are large enough to help expand the sport into their neighbouring regions. 

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9 hours ago, Kayakman said:

Correct...you have to go with the flow.   An old poster once told me, "If people want to pay to watch Rugby League...bums in the seats... we should be playing Rugby League there."

People are watching how it is developing with the Wolfpack.  This is clearly the make or break season, both for the Wolfpack and Super League.  Ottawa is watching.  I'm still not sure of the NYC bid but maybe.  They are watching too.

Ottowa will succeed 

New York won't 

Imo

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On 27/01/2020 at 08:20, Damien said:

Subtle very subtle YK.

I'm of the opinion that Union shouldn't even come into it. We should be looking to facilitate expansion anywhere where there are people interested in expanding the game.

I disagree on the basis we need to examine the backgrounds of people.

My experience is union is not the enemy it was in many places supports Rugby League more than Rugby League does.

The biggest danger is the people of questionable character who are no emerging on the international scene and in domestic competitions.

Union wont kill Rugby League, but corruption will.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, TheLegendOfTexEvans said:

I disagree on the basis we need to examine the backgrounds of people.

My experience is union is not the enemy it was in many places supports Rugby League more than Rugby League does.

The biggest danger is the people of questionable character who are no emerging on the international scene and in domestic competitions.

Union wont kill Rugby League, but corruption will.

 

 

Or even incompetence 

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