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10 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

They're also due to play the oceania cup. 

When's that supposed to happen in the new calendar, concurrent with SOO? Tbh I can't see it going ahead unless crowds are back, but then that would also apply to an England v Tonga series.

The only footie that is viable behind closed doors is NRL/SL/SOO. Internationals might have to wait until next year unfortunately, which isn't great for World Cup prep, but we are where we are. 

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6 hours ago, Wollongong said:

would be much easier to market Boris or Harry to their new fawning working class masses!? 
 

I think lockdown is bringing out the sarcastic cynic in me....

Or the astute political anylist you've been keeping under a bushell all this time!

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5 hours ago, Toby Chopra said:

When's that supposed to happen in the new calendar, concurrent with SOO? Tbh I can't see it going ahead unless crowds are back, but then that would also apply to an England v Tonga series.

The only footie that is viable behind closed doors is NRL/SL/SOO. Internationals might have to wait until next year unfortunately, which isn't great for World Cup prep, but we are where we are. 

Tonga v NZ v Fiji surely isn't hindered by origin? They were supposed to have the 1st round of games during an origin weekend.

It may be that only national sides that can raise SL based teams can be played over here. So France, Wales, Ireland, England.

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Maybe if borders remain closed and we want some representative RL would it be a good time to put on a Yorkshire vs Lancashire or maybe a NE vs NW to include Cumbria or maybe a East vs West so London can be included.

Might not be allowed crowds anyway so everyone could just focus on the game. 

With a WC the following year it would give players the chance to prove they should be considered for the squad.

 

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I think particularly this season with travel still likely to be very limited and most cross country competition likely to be scrapped eg Ryder Cup Golf, Union summer tours and Autumn International’s we need to be creative.

 

With a new coach in charge and effectively no fixed incumbents it would be a good opportunity for Shaun Wane to get 40-45 players in camp and then select two teams as probables vs possibles to expose as many players as possible to the international arena and be evaluated against each other in training plus get a bit of semi competitive action to work on combinations like the spine and centre/wing pairs.

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23 hours ago, Tex Evans Thigh said:

Would you go and watch Wigan v Wigan Reserves or Saints v Saint Reserves? No, neither would I.

But probables vs possibles used to be a thing. And get huge crowds. But you can't do it as a one off - it has to become a prior to every test series or tournament, and you probably wouldn't get away with it in the era of players making loads of money off appearances and image rights.

It used to be a fight to a standstill between the current starting team and the people who wanted their shirts - who were out to bash, batter and if necessary break their opposite number.

If that became part of life then it would be what it always was - if you were good enough you'd stand the punishment. But as a one off the current England probables would be screaming blue murder.

Which is why it won't happen. In the same way that no one would would pay now to watch Wigan v Wigan A. Wigan A won't be actually fighting/trying to usurp Wigan, it'll be a glorified training session. If it was no holds barred and "I don't care if I break my famous opposite number's legs because I want his shirt anyway"* then maybe...

but you'd never get away with it now.

 

*which was basically David Storey's take on it (however played up for dramatic effect) - "you're our teammate until you're taken out by someone that wants to be our teammate." Where the "our" is a group thing, and agnostic to the individual.

Edited by iffleyox

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8 hours ago, iffleyox said:

But probables vs possibles used to be a thing. And get huge crowds. But you can't do it as a one off - it has to become a prior to every test series or tournament, and you probably wouldn't get away with it in the era of players making loads of money off appearances and image rights.

It used to be a fight to a standstill between the current starting team and the people who wanted their shirts - who were out to bash, batter and if necessary break their opposite number.

If that became part of life then it would be what it always was - if you were good enough you'd stand the punishment. But as a one off the current England probables would be screaming blue murder.

Which is why it won't happen. In the same way that no one would would pay now to watch Wigan v Wigan A. Wigan A won't be actually fighting/trying to usurp Wigan, it'll be a glorified training session. If it was no holds barred and "I don't care if I break my famous opposite number's legs because I want his shirt anyway"* then maybe...

but you'd never get away with it now.

 

*which was basically David Storey's take on it (however played up for dramatic effect) - "you're our teammate until you're taken out by someone that wants to be our teammate." Where the "our" is a group thing, and agnostic to the individual.

I can loosely see how it might be entertaining in the right circumstances but I wouldnt know who to support and I think it would be a walkover.


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2 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

Whilst I can see the value in terms of strength of opponent for England in the lead up to the WC I doubt it would be viable commercially long term due to the level of support the fixtures got previously. I don't think most fans care enough to turn out regularly for a game against an arbitrarily made up team. Who would want to support the Exiles? I would prefer that this was a one off if it happens as I would much rather see England play games against the other British Isles nations and France and to help their development.

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8 minutes ago, ghost crayfish said:

I've got no problem with a proposed Exiles game next year, but I don't understand why England can't play France or Wales at the end of this year too.

Wales aren’t good enough but England should be looking to play France or (Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, PNG) before the Exiles.

If we do play an Exiles side they should be called Australia Exiles and play in green and gold, so the game has a bit of an England v Australia feel to it, rather than the pre season friendly feel England v Exiles previously had.

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I haven't got too much of a problem with an exiles game being played, I just want to see England play some sodding games. 3 years without playing, what a joke! They need to get a game in at the end of this year but that is looking very unlikely it seems. I guess nothing has come of wales proposing an end of season game with England then. I know they aren't good enough but it is still a game! 

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It's pretty clear we need something. A concept that has;
(i) A motivation for a player to take part
(ii) A motivation for fans to attend
(iii) A showcase for the sport which garners interest from outside the fanbase
(iv) A genuine contest to see who deserves a cap


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An exiles game makes sense as a sort of exhibition game in a non-traditional area. Effectively its a super league all stars. Perhaps Coventry?

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1 hour ago, ghost crayfish said:

I've got no problem with a proposed Exiles game next year, but I don't understand why England can't play France or Wales at the end of this year too.

Doesnt really matter.  Shaun Wane will want a get together and run out before 2021 is possible.  I doubt either could provide the same level of competition that the Exiles would.

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As a one off why not try it pre-season next year like the all-stars in Australia. Even if it isn't 'England' having a good handful of likely World Cup players getting another rep game in can only help given the circumstances this year.

Best 17 English Super League players Vs the rest. As far as the exiles go there probably isn't a better time than now commercially with SBW, Folau & Inglis in the mix.

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It feels like a warm up game for England to be played together with games against lower tier nations in prep for bigger tournaments.  

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2 minutes ago, jim_57 said:

As a one off why not try it pre-season next year like the all-stars in Australia. Even if it isn't 'England' having a good handful of likely World Cup players getting another rep game in can only help given the circumstances this year.

Best 17 English Super League players Vs the rest. As far as the exiles go there probably isn't a better time than now commercially with SBW, Folau & Inglis in the mix.

Put it like that and a London venue could be an excellent shout. 

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20 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Put it like that and a London venue could be an excellent shout. 

New Brentford stadium could be excellent venue for a mid-sized event like that. I hope we're making contacts there. 

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7 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

New Brentford stadium could be excellent venue for a mid-sized event like that. I hope we're making contacts there. 

100%. Olympic Stadium and Spurs probably a bit too big but 24k or so in Brentford should be a good aim. 

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My preference is always for England to play other Test Nations, but honestly there is no reason why a regular fixture against an 'Other Nationalities' side couldn't work commercially.

Firstly the initial two 'International Origin' games actually drew crowds of 14K and 11K respectively, which considering most crowds against France or Wales in the UK over the past 10 years have been 8K or below (Four Nations appearances are the exception) are relatively strong from a commercial standpoint.

This is despite the Exiles being limited by factors like, no more than 3 players from any club, etc.

What killed the International Origin concept was the RFL simply giving up on the idea and England naming weakened squads from Game Three onwards.

The RFL spent less than half on marketing for the second iteration of the concept than the first year (despite it being two games versus one) and did next to no advertising for year three and then gave up on the concept.

Throw in just some crazy moves like having Rangi Chase jump from the Exiles to England, Pat Richards being named as an 'Irish' exile, but not letting any other Irish, Welsh or Scottish players take part and in typical style the RFL led concept fizzled out in typical RFL style.

If the RFL truely valued the England brand, an Exiles game could be a successful annual fixture, tied around a strong international programme. The fact an England XV v Barbarians match can draw 40K+ shows that such concepts could work in England if some effort is put into them (I know the Barbarians aren't exactly the same, but it is an opponent with a mixture of players representing arguably nowhere).

Sad reality is the Barbarians only started playing international teams since 1948 and England XV really since 1990... Our 'Other Nationalities' has history playing International opponents since 1904...

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Going into a World Cup that we’ll need to shift tickets for by playing the bloody Exiles. Only in Rugby League...

With the announcement a few weeks ago about nations’ home bases for the World Cup, a proper International weekend mid-2021 is prime opportunity for those nations to see their home base, to put some work in in those communities and to try and start the buzz for the competition early on. You’ve got Jamaica and Ireland based in Leeds for the World Cup, for example, have them playing at Headingley mid-year. Fixtures could easily look like this:

England v France @ Bolton. 
Ireland v Jamaica @ Leeds. 
Wales v Italy @ St Helens/Leigh
Scotland v Greece @ Sheffield/Doncaster

Instead we’re going to end up with a concept that fans don’t really like, that fans got fed up with inside a couple of years and one that doesn’t really hold much weight within broadcasting. 

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2 hours ago, Yakstorm said:

My preference is always for England to play other Test Nations, but honestly there is no reason why a regular fixture against an 'Other Nationalities' side couldn't work commercially.

Firstly the initial two 'International Origin' games actually drew crowds of 14K and 11K respectively, which considering most crowds against France or Wales in the UK over the past 10 years have been 8K or below (Four Nations appearances are the exception) are relatively strong from a commercial standpoint.

This is despite the Exiles being limited by factors like, no more than 3 players from any club, etc.

What killed the International Origin concept was the RFL simply giving up on the idea and England naming weakened squads from Game Three onwards.

The RFL spent less than half on marketing for the second iteration of the concept than the first year (despite it being two games versus one) and did next to no advertising for year three and then gave up on the concept.

Throw in just some crazy moves like having Rangi Chase jump from the Exiles to England, Pat Richards being named as an 'Irish' exile, but not letting any other Irish, Welsh or Scottish players take part and in typical style the RFL led concept fizzled out in typical RFL style.

If the RFL truely valued the England brand, an Exiles game could be a successful annual fixture, tied around a strong international programme. The fact an England XV v Barbarians match can draw 40K+ shows that such concepts could work in England if some effort is put into them (I know the Barbarians aren't exactly the same, but it is an opponent with a mixture of players representing arguably nowhere).

Sad reality is the Barbarians only started playing international teams since 1948 and England XV really since 1990... Our 'Other Nationalities' has history playing International opponents since 1904...

If the exiles were brought back I would like to see it really marketed as a continuation of the other nationalities brand to give it a bit more depth and history so it doesn't just seem like this new, random concept we came up with a few years ago. I always find people take more interest in something with a bit of history attached to it. It would be great if the exiles game was on bbc and they did a little feature, just 15 minutes or so, in the build up about the history of the other nationalities and make clear it is not something new, let people know this is a traditional part of rugby league history. There was certainly interest in the concept back in the day, when you think other nationalities games used to attract 20,000 or so people regularly. 

I think this is why when we play a new tournament and people don't go the powers that be just scrap it after a couple of years cos they think people aren't interested. It's not that, it's just people haven't had time for it to really sink in but it will if we just stick with stuff. We scrapped the four nations for example, just as it was becoming a more established thing and teams were getting more competitive and attendances were really increasing. 40,000 at anfield for a game without England in it. That final would have sold out if England had got there. Scotland taking a point off NZ, the first smaller nation to do so in God knows how long but we couldn't look at that and think, we're building something exciting here. 

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10 hours ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

If the exiles were brought back I would like to see it really marketed as a continuation of the other nationalities brand to give it a bit more depth and history so it doesn't just seem like this new, random concept we came up with a few years ago. I always find people take more interest in something with a bit of history attached to it.

Completely agree, the 'Other Nationalities' brand also gives more flexibility around where the team can recruit players from, meaning if there is an Irish, Welsh, Scottish or French player who is good enough to make the team, they can be selected.

Turns it into a bit of an England v Rest of the World game in some aspects, but at least people know the opposition is quality and is going to push England, which is more likely to see people turn up.

Concept certainly feels a lot stronger when you suddenly bring in the 16+ 'Tests' between England and Other Nationalities played prior to the Origin series. 

Suddenly you have a Head to Head record of (Including Exiles):

  • England: 11
  • Draws: 1
  • Other Nationalities: 8
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