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Why the Euro 13s should be National teams not clubs.

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  First of all, just let me just state that I am super keen to hear there is talk of a possible Euro 13 club competition and I really do hope its successful. But I feel they are digging for copper when they could be digging for gold.

Picture this. 

   The Polish (insert European nation) National team run out into their first RLWC. Their team is not full of Australians, Kiwis, or English men but locals from Polish towns and cities. They are not strangers from scattered clubs but teammates who have played close to 80 games together since the last world cup cycle began and they know each other's game inside out. Other nations may be more professional, may have more history in the game, or may have more money invested into their stars but no other teams are as well prepared as the Euro 13 nations because no other teams play their season as a national side, together. 

   They are professionals. They are fit, they are strong and they are at their physical peak because it's their job to be. Players won't be sitting out games for end of season surgery due to niggling injuries and their clubs won't be standing them down from games. The Polish National Rugby League pays their contract, not a club, and their season isn't over until the last international game is played. 

   They have one goal. It's not winning club premierships or a state series. Their job is to win international matches and the pinnacle of international Rugby League is the world cup. And the best thing about them? there are nine more nations just like them.
 

 

These are some more  reasons the Euro 13s should be a national competition, not a club competition.   


1: A National team has a broader appeal.
   Why hamstring yourself by confining your team to the supporter base of one city or town? It is hard enough to get people interested in a game they have never heard of as it is. At least with a national team playing an entire season, you have national pride as a motivation to get people interested. 

  You have no language barrier issues with teammates and coaching staff, you have no expenses or hassles of players relocating their family to a different country.  How many players would do that for a semi-professional contract anyway? 

   You representing an entire nation, so your home games can be anywhere in the country. Over a season you can figure out where the fish are biting and play in areas that will maximize your crowds with out reloacation a franchise. You can attract more fans and sponsors if your brand is national playing in an international competition and it is far more likely a government will release sporting funds to a national sporting body than a privately owned club.


2: The Fist 13 format
   Now imagine if the Euro 13s started with a First 13 but as the years went on if the competition gained momentum, they could add a Second 13 or even a Third 13. Reserve grades in other words. 

  Now let us say your top 20 players are contracted. Semi-professional at first, but as time goes on if the brand grows bigger and sponsorship is found they may become full-time professionals. 

   On game day the form top 17 players play for the First 13, the rest go into the 2nds/3rds with the amateurs playing for match payments who have forced their way into the national squads by playing good rugby league in the club competition. 


   Using this method teams are not restricted to a set amount of players during the season. Any player who has rolled up to his local amateur club and shown some talent can push their way into the national First 13 and end up with a professional contract. In other words, a Euro 13 national side will always be able to put out its best side available excluding injuries,  blood new talent, or bring young players through. Unlike a club, they are not restricted to a set amount of players. A National team therefore represent and encourages a larger player base. 


3: The Power needs to be with the National body, not the clubs. 
   Are the clubs going to establish a woman's competition, schoolboy competitions, a national academy, or an under 20s  competition to create player pathways? Are they going to support International and representative football and expansion clubs? History would suggest not. 

   Without throwing stones I will use the Toronto Wolfpack as an example. They are not in the business of creating international squads or schoolboy competitions because that is not their job as a professional Rugby League club. Their job is to win premierships and to do so means they need to sign the best players. They have done a fantastic job of exposing the Canadian public to the sport of Rugby League. They have an important place in our game, but how much has the national team improved since their arrival? One could argue not at all. 


   How many times have we seen it in the past where a club has made a player unavailable for representative duties and strangled the international game. Just look back to Lebanon in the mid-season test last year when a group of players who made themselves available suddenly withdrew. They were not injured they played for their club the week before and the week after. It was just that the clubs who paid their wage did not want to risk them on an international. We saw it again with New Zealand during the Denver Test and a thousand more times over the years with any nation that wasn't  Australia or England. 
 

   The clubs don't have the best interest of the game in mind. The cutthroat nature of club competition means they are only interested in themselves. Do you think if the NRL was not a rich powerful organization that provides funding that the clubs would be happy to release players midseason to play State of Origin? It wouldn't matter that State of Origin is the highest rating TV program every season and is a massive benefit to the game  If clubs had the option to not risk injury or fatigue to their best players than they would take that option because it would give them have a better chance of winning the premiership.  

   To have the Clubs as the major power in an emerging nation is to slow the development process of that nation down to a level the clubs are comfortable with. What will happen will always be best for the clubs, not the game.

   If the number one Rugby League brand is the national side then all the sponsorship, support, and any profit go toward the national sporting body. There they can grow the game because that is their job.  

4: Rugby League needs a greater International presence
   At the moment you around 10 nations that can field teams full of professionals. We will call them the club affiliated nations who can produce an entire national squad of NRL, SuperLeague, or lower-level professional players.  Australia, New Zealand, England, Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji on a good day produce squads of fulltime professionals whereas PNG, France, Lebanon, and to a higher extent Wales fill gaps with semi-professionals or amateurs.

   If a Euro 13s competition was national teams you could double the number of international teams full of professional or semi-professional players.  In maybe 10 or 20 years they would develop to become very competitive if not dominant nations. Suddenly nations like Australia would be forced to take internationals very seriously. 

   The fact they are not heritage teams (which do work well with some nations but not all) adds a massive amount of esteem and credibility to rugby league international competition. 

   Only tradition and geography dictates that a club competition be the long term annual contest for Rugby League. The NRL and Superleague have clubs that have existed for a hundred years. Australia is geographically isolated from any nation with a club competition of similar power. So the NRL and Superleague are logical for those particular nations involved.

    This isn't the case though in a place like Europe where they have 44 nations huddled together many sharing a border with multiple nations. With the exception of Great Britain and France, all have next to no history in the game and are on a similar development level. 


5: A loose plan as to how it could be done? 
   A:  Talk to the owners of the clubs involved in the proposed Euro 13s. Present them with the proposal of merging with the national rugby league sporting body of that particular nation and having their brand be the First 13 rather than a club brand. Choose 10 nations to make the Euro 13s. Possibly start with both a men's and women's competitions.

   B: Find the best 20 players and offer them a semi-professional contract. 

   C :The first season, semi-professional national teams play each other once while amateur club teams also play a minor local competition. Play a semi-final and grand final.  If/when injuries occur form players from the club competition go into the national team on match payments. 

  D : Season two. Euro 13 teams play each other twice home and away for 18 rounds with a semi-final and grand final. 

  E: Season three. A Second 13s team is added as a reserve grade to the Euro 13s. Form players from the amateur club competition are promoted to National 2nds and are a ready-made reserve grade for the First 13. 

  F: If funds are available, full professional contracts are offered. 

  G: If player numbers are available, expand to a Third 13s grade. Club teams remain amateur while Firsts and Seconds 13s teams become professional and the Third 13 become Semi-Professional. 

   You get the idea. As time goes on you could have a very successful 3 tier competition and at the end of the season you would end up with 10 fully professional national sides to play tournaments, tours, and RLWCs against the club affiliated nations. I think that would give more to the game of Rugby League than another club competition which would be competition for the NRL and Superleague.

 

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2 hours ago, B rad said:

  First of all, just let me just state that I am super keen to hear there is talk of a possible Euro 13 club competition and I really do hope its successful. But I feel they are digging for copper when they could be digging for gold.

Picture this. 

   The Polish (insert European nation) National team run out into their first RLWC. Their team is not full of Australians, Kiwis, or English men but locals from Polish towns and cities. They are not strangers from scattered clubs but teammates who have played close to 80 games together since the last world cup cycle began and they know each other's game inside out. Other nations may be more professional, may have more history in the game, or may have more money invested into their stars but no other teams are as well prepared as the Euro 13 nations because no other teams play their season as a national side, together. 

   They are professionals. They are fit, they are strong and they are at their physical peak because it's their job to be. Players won't be sitting out games for end of season surgery due to niggling injuries and their clubs won't be standing them down from games. The Polish National Rugby League pays their contract, not a club, and their season isn't over until the last international game is played. 

   They have one goal. It's not winning club premierships or a state series. Their job is to win international matches and the pinnacle of international Rugby League is the world cup. And the best thing about them? there are nine more nations just like them.
 

 

These are some more  reasons the Euro 13s should be a national competition, not a club competition.   


1: A National team has a broader appeal.
   Why hamstring yourself by confining your team to the supporter base of one city or town? It is hard enough to get people interested in a game they have never heard of as it is. At least with a national team playing an entire season, you have national pride as a motivation to get people interested. 

  You have no language barrier issues with teammates and coaching staff, you have no expenses or hassles of players relocating their family to a different country.  How many players would do that for a semi-professional contract anyway? 

   You representing an entire nation, so your home games can be anywhere in the country. Over a season you can figure out where the fish are biting and play in areas that will maximize your crowds with out reloacation a franchise. You can attract more fans and sponsors if your brand is national playing in an international competition and it is far more likely a government will release sporting funds to a national sporting body than a privately owned club.


2: The Fist 13 format
   Now imagine if the Euro 13s started with a First 13 but as the years went on if the competition gained momentum, they could add a Second 13 or even a Third 13. Reserve grades in other words. 

  Now let us say your top 20 players are contracted. Semi-professional at first, but as time goes on if the brand grows bigger and sponsorship is found they may become full-time professionals. 

   On game day the form top 17 players play for the First 13, the rest go into the 2nds/3rds with the amateurs playing for match payments who have forced their way into the national squads by playing good rugby league in the club competition. 


   Using this method teams are not restricted to a set amount of players during the season. Any player who has rolled up to his local amateur club and shown some talent can push their way into the national First 13 and end up with a professional contract. In other words, a Euro 13 national side will always be able to put out its best side available excluding injuries,  blood new talent, or bring young players through. Unlike a club, they are not restricted to a set amount of players. A National team therefore represent and encourages a larger player base. 


3: The Power needs to be with the National body, not the clubs. 
   Are the clubs going to establish a woman's competition, schoolboy competitions, a national academy, or an under 20s  competition to create player pathways? Are they going to support International and representative football and expansion clubs? History would suggest not. 

   Without throwing stones I will use the Toronto Wolfpack as an example. They are not in the business of creating international squads or schoolboy competitions because that is not their job as a professional Rugby League club. Their job is to win premierships and to do so means they need to sign the best players. They have done a fantastic job of exposing the Canadian public to the sport of Rugby League. They have an important place in our game, but how much has the national team improved since their arrival? One could argue not at all. 


   How many times have we seen it in the past where a club has made a player unavailable for representative duties and strangled the international game. Just look back to Lebanon in the mid-season test last year when a group of players who made themselves available suddenly withdrew. They were not injured they played for their club the week before and the week after. It was just that the clubs who paid their wage did not want to risk them on an international. We saw it again with New Zealand during the Denver Test and a thousand more times over the years with any nation that wasn't  Australia or England. 
 

   The clubs don't have the best interest of the game in mind. The cutthroat nature of club competition means they are only interested in themselves. Do you think if the NRL was not a rich powerful organization that provides funding that the clubs would be happy to release players midseason to play State of Origin? It wouldn't matter that State of Origin is the highest rating TV program every season and is a massive benefit to the game  If clubs had the option to not risk injury or fatigue to their best players than they would take that option because it would give them have a better chance of winning the premiership.  

   To have the Clubs as the major power in an emerging nation is to slow the development process of that nation down to a level the clubs are comfortable with. What will happen will always be best for the clubs, not the game.

   If the number one Rugby League brand is the national side then all the sponsorship, support, and any profit go toward the national sporting body. There they can grow the game because that is their job.  

4: Rugby League needs a greater International presence
   At the moment you around 10 nations that can field teams full of professionals. We will call them the club affiliated nations who can produce an entire national squad of NRL, SuperLeague, or lower-level professional players.  Australia, New Zealand, England, Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji on a good day produce squads of fulltime professionals whereas PNG, France, Lebanon, and to a higher extent Wales fill gaps with semi-professionals or amateurs.

   If a Euro 13s competition was national teams you could double the number of international teams full of professional or semi-professional players.  In maybe 10 or 20 years they would develop to become very competitive if not dominant nations. Suddenly nations like Australia would be forced to take internationals very seriously. 

   The fact they are not heritage teams (which do work well with some nations but not all) adds a massive amount of esteem and credibility to rugby league international competition. 

   Only tradition and geography dictates that a club competition be the long term annual contest for Rugby League. The NRL and Superleague have clubs that have existed for a hundred years. Australia is geographically isolated from any nation with a club competition of similar power. So the NRL and Superleague are logical for those particular nations involved.

    This isn't the case though in a place like Europe where they have 44 nations huddled together many sharing a border with multiple nations. With the exception of Great Britain and France, all have next to no history in the game and are on a similar development level. 


5: A loose plan as to how it could be done? 
   A:  Talk to the owners of the clubs involved in the proposed Euro 13s. Present them with the proposal of merging with the national rugby league sporting body of that particular nation and having their brand be the First 13 rather than a club brand. Choose 10 nations to make the Euro 13s. Possibly start with both a men's and women's competitions.

   B: Find the best 20 players and offer them a semi-professional contract. 

   C :The first season, semi-professional national teams play each other once while amateur club teams also play a minor local competition. Play a semi-final and grand final.  If/when injuries occur form players from the club competition go into the national team on match payments. 

  D : Season two. Euro 13 teams play each other twice home and away for 18 rounds with a semi-final and grand final. 

  E: Season three. A Second 13s team is added as a reserve grade to the Euro 13s. Form players from the amateur club competition are promoted to National 2nds and are a ready-made reserve grade for the First 13. 

  F: If funds are available, full professional contracts are offered. 

  G: If player numbers are available, expand to a Third 13s grade. Club teams remain amateur while Firsts and Seconds 13s teams become professional and the Third 13 become Semi-Professional. 

   You get the idea. As time goes on you could have a very successful 3 tier competition and at the end of the season you would end up with 10 fully professional national sides to play tournaments, tours, and RLWCs against the club affiliated nations. I think that would give more to the game of Rugby League than another club competition which would be competition for the NRL and Superleague.

 

I think there is real merit in this plan.

You should send it off to the governing body and the maverick group.

For once, a short, medium and long term plan, that ticks all the boxes.

A compass at least, if not a detailed roadmap for where we want to get to.

 

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Not going to quote it as it’s very long but B Rad I like your plan and it has the workings of a very promising development tool for nations without established semi pro clubs.

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I like the idea.

I definitely agree that focusing on national teams gives you a lot more opportunities and flexibility.

I guess it depends on having the money to get it going.

Somehow you've got to persuade people in those countries to go along as fans etc.

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11 hours ago, fighting irish said:

I think there is real merit in this plan.

You should send it off to the governing body and the maverick group.

For once, a short, medium and long term plan, that ticks all the boxes.

A compass at least, if not a detailed roadmap for where we want to get to.

 

I did send it of to the ERL and Euro 13s and a few others via twitter. No response though.  

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14 hours ago, B rad said:

  First of all, just let me just state that I am super keen to hear there is talk of a possible Euro 13 club competition and I really do hope its successful. But I feel they are digging for copper when they could be digging for gold.

Picture this. 

   The Polish (insert European nation) National team run out into their first RLWC. Their team is not full of Australians, Kiwis, or English men but locals from Polish towns and cities. They are not strangers from scattered clubs but teammates who have played close to 80 games together since the last world cup cycle began and they know each other's game inside out. Other nations may be more professional, may have more history in the game, or may have more money invested into their stars but no other teams are as well prepared as the Euro 13 nations because no other teams play their season as a national side, together. 

   They are professionals. They are fit, they are strong and they are at their physical peak because it's their job to be. Players won't be sitting out games for end of season surgery due to niggling injuries and their clubs won't be standing them down from games. The Polish National Rugby League pays their contract, not a club, and their season isn't over until the last international game is played. 

   They have one goal. It's not winning club premierships or a state series. Their job is to win international matches and the pinnacle of international Rugby League is the world cup. And the best thing about them? there are nine more nations just like them.
 

 

These are some more  reasons the Euro 13s should be a national competition, not a club competition.   


1: A National team has a broader appeal.
   Why hamstring yourself by confining your team to the supporter base of one city or town? It is hard enough to get people interested in a game they have never heard of as it is. At least with a national team playing an entire season, you have national pride as a motivation to get people interested. 

  You have no language barrier issues with teammates and coaching staff, you have no expenses or hassles of players relocating their family to a different country.  How many players would do that for a semi-professional contract anyway? 

   You representing an entire nation, so your home games can be anywhere in the country. Over a season you can figure out where the fish are biting and play in areas that will maximize your crowds with out reloacation a franchise. You can attract more fans and sponsors if your brand is national playing in an international competition and it is far more likely a government will release sporting funds to a national sporting body than a privately owned club.


2: The Fist 13 format
   Now imagine if the Euro 13s started with a First 13 but as the years went on if the competition gained momentum, they could add a Second 13 or even a Third 13. Reserve grades in other words. 

  Now let us say your top 20 players are contracted. Semi-professional at first, but as time goes on if the brand grows bigger and sponsorship is found they may become full-time professionals. 

   On game day the form top 17 players play for the First 13, the rest go into the 2nds/3rds with the amateurs playing for match payments who have forced their way into the national squads by playing good rugby league in the club competition. 


   Using this method teams are not restricted to a set amount of players during the season. Any player who has rolled up to his local amateur club and shown some talent can push their way into the national First 13 and end up with a professional contract. In other words, a Euro 13 national side will always be able to put out its best side available excluding injuries,  blood new talent, or bring young players through. Unlike a club, they are not restricted to a set amount of players. A National team therefore represent and encourages a larger player base. 


3: The Power needs to be with the National body, not the clubs. 
   Are the clubs going to establish a woman's competition, schoolboy competitions, a national academy, or an under 20s  competition to create player pathways? Are they going to support International and representative football and expansion clubs? History would suggest not. 

   Without throwing stones I will use the Toronto Wolfpack as an example. They are not in the business of creating international squads or schoolboy competitions because that is not their job as a professional Rugby League club. Their job is to win premierships and to do so means they need to sign the best players. They have done a fantastic job of exposing the Canadian public to the sport of Rugby League. They have an important place in our game, but how much has the national team improved since their arrival? One could argue not at all. 


   How many times have we seen it in the past where a club has made a player unavailable for representative duties and strangled the international game. Just look back to Lebanon in the mid-season test last year when a group of players who made themselves available suddenly withdrew. They were not injured they played for their club the week before and the week after. It was just that the clubs who paid their wage did not want to risk them on an international. We saw it again with New Zealand during the Denver Test and a thousand more times over the years with any nation that wasn't  Australia or England. 
 

   The clubs don't have the best interest of the game in mind. The cutthroat nature of club competition means they are only interested in themselves. Do you think if the NRL was not a rich powerful organization that provides funding that the clubs would be happy to release players midseason to play State of Origin? It wouldn't matter that State of Origin is the highest rating TV program every season and is a massive benefit to the game  If clubs had the option to not risk injury or fatigue to their best players than they would take that option because it would give them have a better chance of winning the premiership.  

   To have the Clubs as the major power in an emerging nation is to slow the development process of that nation down to a level the clubs are comfortable with. What will happen will always be best for the clubs, not the game.

   If the number one Rugby League brand is the national side then all the sponsorship, support, and any profit go toward the national sporting body. There they can grow the game because that is their job.  

4: Rugby League needs a greater International presence
   At the moment you around 10 nations that can field teams full of professionals. We will call them the club affiliated nations who can produce an entire national squad of NRL, SuperLeague, or lower-level professional players.  Australia, New Zealand, England, Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji on a good day produce squads of fulltime professionals whereas PNG, France, Lebanon, and to a higher extent Wales fill gaps with semi-professionals or amateurs.

   If a Euro 13s competition was national teams you could double the number of international teams full of professional or semi-professional players.  In maybe 10 or 20 years they would develop to become very competitive if not dominant nations. Suddenly nations like Australia would be forced to take internationals very seriously. 

   The fact they are not heritage teams (which do work well with some nations but not all) adds a massive amount of esteem and credibility to rugby league international competition. 

   Only tradition and geography dictates that a club competition be the long term annual contest for Rugby League. The NRL and Superleague have clubs that have existed for a hundred years. Australia is geographically isolated from any nation with a club competition of similar power. So the NRL and Superleague are logical for those particular nations involved.

    This isn't the case though in a place like Europe where they have 44 nations huddled together many sharing a border with multiple nations. With the exception of Great Britain and France, all have next to no history in the game and are on a similar development level. 


5: A loose plan as to how it could be done? 
   A:  Talk to the owners of the clubs involved in the proposed Euro 13s. Present them with the proposal of merging with the national rugby league sporting body of that particular nation and having their brand be the First 13 rather than a club brand. Choose 10 nations to make the Euro 13s. Possibly start with both a men's and women's competitions.

   B: Find the best 20 players and offer them a semi-professional contract. 

   C :The first season, semi-professional national teams play each other once while amateur club teams also play a minor local competition. Play a semi-final and grand final.  If/when injuries occur form players from the club competition go into the national team on match payments. 

  D : Season two. Euro 13 teams play each other twice home and away for 18 rounds with a semi-final and grand final. 

  E: Season three. A Second 13s team is added as a reserve grade to the Euro 13s. Form players from the amateur club competition are promoted to National 2nds and are a ready-made reserve grade for the First 13. 

  F: If funds are available, full professional contracts are offered. 

  G: If player numbers are available, expand to a Third 13s grade. Club teams remain amateur while Firsts and Seconds 13s teams become professional and the Third 13 become Semi-Professional. 

   You get the idea. As time goes on you could have a very successful 3 tier competition and at the end of the season you would end up with 10 fully professional national sides to play tournaments, tours, and RLWCs against the club affiliated nations. I think that would give more to the game of Rugby League than another club competition which would be competition for the NRL and Superleague.

 

Nah! 

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15 hours ago, B rad said:

  First of all, just let me just state that I am super keen to hear there is talk of a possible Euro 13 club competition and I really do hope its successful. But I feel they are digging for copper when they could be digging for gold.

Picture this. 

   The Polish (insert European nation) National team run out into their first RLWC. Their team is not full of Australians, Kiwis, or English men but locals from Polish towns and cities. They are not strangers from scattered clubs but teammates who have played close to 80 games together since the last world cup cycle began and they know each other's game inside out. Other nations may be more professional, may have more history in the game, or may have more money invested into their stars but no other teams are as well prepared as the Euro 13 nations because no other teams play their season as a national side, together. 

   They are professionals. They are fit, they are strong and they are at their physical peak because it's their job to be. Players won't be sitting out games for end of season surgery due to niggling injuries and their clubs won't be standing them down from games. The Polish National Rugby League pays their contract, not a club, and their season isn't over until the last international game is played. 

   They have one goal. It's not winning club premierships or a state series. Their job is to win international matches and the pinnacle of international Rugby League is the world cup. And the best thing about them? there are nine more nations just like them.
 

 

These are some more  reasons the Euro 13s should be a national competition, not a club competition.   


1: A National team has a broader appeal.
   Why hamstring yourself by confining your team to the supporter base of one city or town? It is hard enough to get people interested in a game they have never heard of as it is. At least with a national team playing an entire season, you have national pride as a motivation to get people interested. 

  You have no language barrier issues with teammates and coaching staff, you have no expenses or hassles of players relocating their family to a different country.  How many players would do that for a semi-professional contract anyway? 

   You representing an entire nation, so your home games can be anywhere in the country. Over a season you can figure out where the fish are biting and play in areas that will maximize your crowds with out reloacation a franchise. You can attract more fans and sponsors if your brand is national playing in an international competition and it is far more likely a government will release sporting funds to a national sporting body than a privately owned club.


2: The Fist 13 format
   Now imagine if the Euro 13s started with a First 13 but as the years went on if the competition gained momentum, they could add a Second 13 or even a Third 13. Reserve grades in other words. 

  Now let us say your top 20 players are contracted. Semi-professional at first, but as time goes on if the brand grows bigger and sponsorship is found they may become full-time professionals. 

   On game day the form top 17 players play for the First 13, the rest go into the 2nds/3rds with the amateurs playing for match payments who have forced their way into the national squads by playing good rugby league in the club competition. 


   Using this method teams are not restricted to a set amount of players during the season. Any player who has rolled up to his local amateur club and shown some talent can push their way into the national First 13 and end up with a professional contract. In other words, a Euro 13 national side will always be able to put out its best side available excluding injuries,  blood new talent, or bring young players through. Unlike a club, they are not restricted to a set amount of players. A National team therefore represent and encourages a larger player base. 


3: The Power needs to be with the National body, not the clubs. 
   Are the clubs going to establish a woman's competition, schoolboy competitions, a national academy, or an under 20s  competition to create player pathways? Are they going to support International and representative football and expansion clubs? History would suggest not. 

   Without throwing stones I will use the Toronto Wolfpack as an example. They are not in the business of creating international squads or schoolboy competitions because that is not their job as a professional Rugby League club. Their job is to win premierships and to do so means they need to sign the best players. They have done a fantastic job of exposing the Canadian public to the sport of Rugby League. They have an important place in our game, but how much has the national team improved since their arrival? One could argue not at all. 


   How many times have we seen it in the past where a club has made a player unavailable for representative duties and strangled the international game. Just look back to Lebanon in the mid-season test last year when a group of players who made themselves available suddenly withdrew. They were not injured they played for their club the week before and the week after. It was just that the clubs who paid their wage did not want to risk them on an international. We saw it again with New Zealand during the Denver Test and a thousand more times over the years with any nation that wasn't  Australia or England. 
 

   The clubs don't have the best interest of the game in mind. The cutthroat nature of club competition means they are only interested in themselves. Do you think if the NRL was not a rich powerful organization that provides funding that the clubs would be happy to release players midseason to play State of Origin? It wouldn't matter that State of Origin is the highest rating TV program every season and is a massive benefit to the game  If clubs had the option to not risk injury or fatigue to their best players than they would take that option because it would give them have a better chance of winning the premiership.  

   To have the Clubs as the major power in an emerging nation is to slow the development process of that nation down to a level the clubs are comfortable with. What will happen will always be best for the clubs, not the game.

   If the number one Rugby League brand is the national side then all the sponsorship, support, and any profit go toward the national sporting body. There they can grow the game because that is their job.  

4: Rugby League needs a greater International presence
   At the moment you around 10 nations that can field teams full of professionals. We will call them the club affiliated nations who can produce an entire national squad of NRL, SuperLeague, or lower-level professional players.  Australia, New Zealand, England, Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji on a good day produce squads of fulltime professionals whereas PNG, France, Lebanon, and to a higher extent Wales fill gaps with semi-professionals or amateurs.

   If a Euro 13s competition was national teams you could double the number of international teams full of professional or semi-professional players.  In maybe 10 or 20 years they would develop to become very competitive if not dominant nations. Suddenly nations like Australia would be forced to take internationals very seriously. 

   The fact they are not heritage teams (which do work well with some nations but not all) adds a massive amount of esteem and credibility to rugby league international competition. 

   Only tradition and geography dictates that a club competition be the long term annual contest for Rugby League. The NRL and Superleague have clubs that have existed for a hundred years. Australia is geographically isolated from any nation with a club competition of similar power. So the NRL and Superleague are logical for those particular nations involved.

    This isn't the case though in a place like Europe where they have 44 nations huddled together many sharing a border with multiple nations. With the exception of Great Britain and France, all have next to no history in the game and are on a similar development level. 


5: A loose plan as to how it could be done? 
   A:  Talk to the owners of the clubs involved in the proposed Euro 13s. Present them with the proposal of merging with the national rugby league sporting body of that particular nation and having their brand be the First 13 rather than a club brand. Choose 10 nations to make the Euro 13s. Possibly start with both a men's and women's competitions.

   B: Find the best 20 players and offer them a semi-professional contract. 

   C :The first season, semi-professional national teams play each other once while amateur club teams also play a minor local competition. Play a semi-final and grand final.  If/when injuries occur form players from the club competition go into the national team on match payments. 

  D : Season two. Euro 13 teams play each other twice home and away for 18 rounds with a semi-final and grand final. 

  E: Season three. A Second 13s team is added as a reserve grade to the Euro 13s. Form players from the amateur club competition are promoted to National 2nds and are a ready-made reserve grade for the First 13. 

  F: If funds are available, full professional contracts are offered. 

  G: If player numbers are available, expand to a Third 13s grade. Club teams remain amateur while Firsts and Seconds 13s teams become professional and the Third 13 become Semi-Professional. 

   You get the idea. As time goes on you could have a very successful 3 tier competition and at the end of the season you would end up with 10 fully professional national sides to play tournaments, tours, and RLWCs against the club affiliated nations. I think that would give more to the game of Rugby League than another club competition which would be competition for the NRL and Superleague.

 

Sorry, I missed some of that, would you mind repeating it for me?

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It’s gotta be clubs mate. Those clubs can be national clubs if they like, clubs owned by the National governing body even. They can be quasi clubs if you like, but clubs all the same.

What a shame it would be for a talented and passionate RL German missing out because he lives in Prague for example.

The beauty of clubs is that they could all enter the Challenge Cup as well, which I have long been a flag bearer for. 

Your examples are passionate and not without merit, but the talent gaps between 10 European national squads is simply too vast for a continental national team league to have any longevity. There needs to be an opportunity to even the playing standards.

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21 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

What a shame it would be for a talented and passionate RL German missing out because he lives in Prague for example.

Whats stopping that guy from getting a contract with Red Star or any of the French/English clubs? There are plenty of clubs available for good players. 

 

22 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

The beauty of clubs is that they could all enter the Challenge Cup as well, which I have long been a flag bearer for.

 They could, but the beauty of them being national teams is that they can add to the professional ranks of international nations which is what we really need for Rugby League at the moment, to add credibility to our international game. Euro qualifiers, tours, RLWCs. 

 

What we dont need is more competition for players for NRL and Superleague clubs. 

 

24 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

Your examples are passionate and not without merit, but the talent gaps between 10 European national squads is simply too vast for a continental national team league to have any longevity. There needs to be an opportunity to even the playing standards.

There is always going to be a Gold Coast Titans to a Melbourne Storm in every competition be it club or international. I see your point though mate and it is a concern. I guess they could set it up by playing trial test matches between Euro nations to find teams that are of a similar level. Remember they are all in such an early stage of development it wouldn't take much for a nation to improve to a competitive level considering hardly any of them would be past local park football at this point. Focusing on the best players of what you have and making them as good as can be would be a start.

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The European Championships have been turned into a Nations League type of comp From this year on (although I doubt they’ll be played this year now). 

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I think a mixture may be the best scenario going forwards. Stronger club sides should be able to enter but effectively national club sides too to compensate for smaller or weaker leagues. Albania had this in the Balkan Super league for example having only 1 club.

I think that national club should work as a select xiii however so that the domestic league is not adversely affected by 1club getting all the best players.

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B rad, firstly thanks for your in depth thoughtful contribution, which is increasingly rare on this site. I have given it some thought and it certainly has a lot of merit.

However, I'm still leaning towards a club comp, with a national championship at the end of the year. One of the big challenges with having it as a national comp, is that you wouldn't get the same private investor involvement, which is often needed. I'm not sure it would stack up financially without this - the European Championships held most years (albeit done a shoestring budget) are loss makers

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6 hours ago, B rad said:

A

Whats stopping that guy from getting a contract with Red Star or any of the French/English clubs? There are plenty of clubs available for good players. 


B

 They could, but the beauty of them being national teams is that they can add to the professional ranks of international nations which is what we really need for Rugby League at the moment, to add credibility to our international game. Euro qualifiers, tours, RLWCs. 


C

What we dont need is more competition for players for NRL and Superleague clubs. 


D

There is always going to be a Gold Coast Titans to a Melbourne Storm in every competition be it club or international. I see your point though mate and it is a concern. I guess they could set it up by playing trial test matches between Euro nations to find teams that are of a similar level. Remember they are all in such an early stage of development it wouldn't take much for a nation to improve to a competitive level considering hardly any of them would be past local park football at this point. Focusing on the best players of what you have and making them as good as can be would be a start.

A) I assume whilst you are talking of national teams then we are talking of a specific standard. So I am talking about a potential Czech, Polish or German person, in no way good enough to get a contract with any semi pro club, still getting the opportunity to play in this company as they would if based in their own country.

B) For the very same reason as above, a club competition may unearth some talent of players from other nations still, that could help to spread the interest of the game further still.

C) In no way is this Euro League going to be competing for signatures of NRL or SL players.

D) The chasm between top and bottom is simply too vast. 

I hadn’t mentioned it but @DoubleD has reminded me of his hugely important point. The private investor both internationally and domestic to these nations would be far easily secured under the guise of clubs. Again, these could be club sides owned and run by national governing bodies, but clubs all the same. This is not to say those investors and sponsors could not be wooed to end of season international fixtures.

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12 hours ago, Wollongong said:

Nah! 

My father played with Vic Hey. I saw his picture on the wall of Wollongong Leagues club in 1980.

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So what do we do with the Aussies, Samoans, Fijans, Irish Welsh English Kiwi players who have been raising the standards in the local Dutch competition for the past five years.... for example? 

Their presence alongside the locals has seen the National side improve to an extend they went to a half decent Germany last year and won by a record score. 

If we went to national teams for this Euro XIII, as you suggest, then in my opinion you are taking away a valuable development tool which is experienced players leading the locals on the park. 

20 Dutchman running around with no leadership, no matter how good the coaching, would take 20 years to get up to even lower NCL standard. 

The reason the national side has improved is because of playing and training along side "league guys" week in week out  for Den Haag, Amsterdam or Rotterdam. Not top class players either but just guys who are more knowledgeable about the onfield game. 

Take that away and fill the Euro XIII with players who only qualify to play for their country  and you would soon see a drop in standard's of the (National) Euro XIII team.

The level of MOST European national sides is park level at best... That's not being disrespectful that's being honest. 

I reckon an other nationalities team made up of none Dutch players from the local comp would comfortably defeat the National side 

I'm not sure that would be of any benefit in trying to sell a competition to investors and the media. 

If it has any legs at all then this concept needs to be of a higher level than the current national teams. Adding four or five experienced draft players to clubs will raise standards all across the board and still allow the local players to continue improving through their "feeder" local comps until they reach the required standard. 

Just look at all the work Serbia has put in over the last 15 years. Must be 95% local players, making great strides at home and in lower RLEF competitions. The truth about their real standards hits home when they face experienced " league" nations. 

If Serbia, one of the continents success stories, still struggle at the next level, with only local players, then how many years and how much investment do you think your proposals would take to lift a Nations Euro XIII to a level to even match say the Cumberland League or North West Counties Premier ?? 

Not being negetive not knocking your well thought out ideas. 

Just putting it out there. 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

A) I assume whilst you are talking of national teams then we are talking of a specific standard. So I am talking about a potential Czech, Polish or German person, in no way good enough to get a contract with any semi pro club, still getting the opportunity to play in this company as they would if based in their own country.

B) For the very same reason as above, a club competition may unearth some talent of players from other nations still, that could help to spread the interest of the game further still.

C) In no way is this Euro League going to be competing for signatures of NRL or SL players.

D) The chasm between top and bottom is simply too vast. 

I hadn’t mentioned it but @DoubleD has reminded me of his hugely important point. The private investor both internationally and domestic to these nations would be far easily secured under the guise of clubs. Again, these could be club sides owned and run by national governing bodies, but clubs all the same. This is not to say those investors and sponsors could not be wooed to end of season international fixtures.

A) Surely, these players could be given the opportunity to play for their country of residence, just as Aussie players played for Great Britain recently. Or alternatively, they could represent their home nation, if they wanted to (and were good enough).

B) See above. If they aren't good enough to play for their country of residence or birth they would, as laid out in the plan, be able to find a game at one of the amateur/semi pro clubs local to them.

C) Not in the near future perhaps, but the whole idea of setting up a Euro League is with the medium to long term in mind.

D) How do you know the chasm from top to bottom is too big? If England, France and Wales Pro teams were included I agree, but they may not even elect to apply at the early stages. It could be limited to mainland Europe, developing nations only.

Why do you believe that sponsorship is more readily available for club sides than International teams? Remember the proposal is that these teams play every week throughout the season, not just once or twice every 4 years!  

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21 minutes ago, yanto said:

So what do we do with the Aussies, Samoans, Fijans, Irish Welsh English Kiwi players who have been raising the standards in the local Dutch competition for the past five years.... for example? 

Their presence alongside the locals has seen the National side improve to an extend they went to a half decent Germany last year and won by a record score. 

If we went to national teams for this Euro XIII, as you suggest, then in my opinion you are taking away a valuable development tool which is experienced players leading the locals on the park. 

20 Dutchman running around with no leadership, no matter how good the coaching, would take 20 years to get up to even lower NCL standard. 

The reason the national side has improved is because of playing and training along side "league guys" week in week out  for Den Haag, Amsterdam or Rotterdam. Not top class players either but just guys who are more knowledgeable about the onfield game. 

Take that away and fill the Euro XIII with players who only qualify to play for their country  and you would soon see a drop in standard's of the (National) Euro XIII team.

The level of MOST European national sides is park level at best... That's not being disrespectful that's being honest. 

I reckon an other nationalities team made up of none Dutch players from the local comp would comfortably defeat the National side 

I'm not sure that would be of any benefit in trying to sell a competition to investors and the media. 

If it has any legs at all then this concept needs to be of a higher level than the current national teams. Adding four or five experienced draft players to clubs will raise standards all across the board and still allow the local players to continue improving through their "feeder" local comps until they reach the required standard. 

Just look at all the work Serbia has put in over the last 15 years. Must be 95% local players, making great strides at home and in lower RLEF competitions. The truth about their real standards hits home when they face experienced " league" nations. 

If Serbia, one of the continents success stories, still struggle at the next level, with only local players, then how many years and how much investment do you think your proposals would take to lift a Nations Euro XIII to a level to even match say the Cumberland League or North West Counties Premier ?? 

Not being negetive not knocking your well thought out ideas. 

Just putting it out there. 

 

 

 

 

Yes of course standards are raised by experienced players playing alongside newcomers but I can't see anything in this proposal that prohibits their involvement.

What's to stop players of other nationalities, resident in a country, representing their country of residence? That's not an alien concept is it?

Adding in the heritage players who may be available is another way to raise standards. The white-heat of playing International competition every week, will also raise standards more rapidly.

The Euro XIII national team would be a great aspirational/inspirational goal for any young player to dream of attaining.

With regard to the large gulf in playing standards, across Europe, why do we have to mix experienced League nations and fledgling nations in the early years?

If you're going to make a Euro XIII competition then it strikes me, for the reasons the original poster detailed, that this idea is superior to a private club competition and ticks far more boxes. It's a good example of joined-up thinking, rather than an ad-hoc, random, ''hope for the best'' process we are engaged in, in SuperLeague. 

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46 minutes ago, fighting irish said:

Yes of course standards are raised by experienced players playing alongside newcomers but I can't see anything in this proposal that prohibits their involvement.

1) What's to stop players of other nationalities, resident in a country, representing their country of residence? That's not an alien concept is it?

2)Adding in the heritage players who may be available is another way to raise standards. The white-heat of playing International competition every week, will also raise standards more rapidly.

3)The Euro XIII national team would be a great aspirational/inspirational goal for any young player to dream of attaining.

4)With regard to the large gulf in playing standards, across Europe, why do we have to mix experienced League nations and fledgling nations in the early years?

5)If you're going to make a Euro XIII competition then it strikes me, for the reasons the original poster detailed, that this idea is superior to a private club competition and ticks far more boxes. It's a good example of joined-up thinking, rather than an ad-hoc, random, ''hope for the best'' process we are engaged in, in SuperLeague. 

I started to respond to all you points then thought why bother because without massive investment it aint gonna happen anyway.

IF your going to attract investers  (and media) you need a product that is going to appeal and believe me this idea would be a hard  hard sell..

Sorry in my view ..and its just my pesonal view after being involved in the game in Europe for nearly twenty years ...that having a Euro (Nations) XIII would take another twenty years to even get to Low level NCL league standard ...semi pro or not. and a massive  amount of money that the game just does not have.

It would take private investment and who would want to throw huge amounts of money at such a low level of the game  ? .

Its great people are coming up with ideas ..fantastic.... but the reality will hit if you do the math,even a rough calculation.

The open poster is talking ten clubs of 20 players ....200 semi pro players who then have to also take time of work to travel.

Then add the support staff .

The  logistic,the costs with travel, accomodation, wages, staging of games  etc etc would be huge .Belgrade to Valencia,Oslo to Venice,Athens to Prauge..all a minimum of an overnight stay if flying .Bit different and a lot more expensive  than going from Keighley to Workington.

If anyone knows who would like to throw a few million quid ( a year !!!)  at this, ask them to phone the RLEF or the guys looking to push Euro XIII.

Good luck .

 

 

 

 

 

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Mate, full respect for someone who has worked 20 years developing RL in Europe and obviously you would know more than me. Still I have a few questions if you dont mind. 

 

27 minutes ago, yanto said:

IF your going to attract investers  (and media) you need a product that is going to appeal and believe me this idea would be a hard  hard sell..

Wouldnt a club competition that is semi-professioanl also be a hard sell? Its not as if you are attracting world class players to the compeition. It would be no names to a sport most have never heard of. At least with National teams you have are using national pride to attract fans, players and media. With a club competition you dont even have that. 

 

33 minutes ago, yanto said:

The open poster is talking ten clubs of 20 players ....200 semi pro players who then have to also take time of work to travel.

Then add the support staff .

The  logistic,the costs with travel, accomodation, wages, staging of games  etc etc would be huge .Belgrade to Valencia,Oslo to Venice,Athens to Prauge..all a minimum of an overnight stay if flying .Bit different and a lot more expensive  than going from Keighley to Workington.

 

All these things are already part of the expense of the proposed Euro 13 club competition, except you would have to relocate players as well. They are talking about a draft. So what kind of players are going to move away from friends and family, probably jobs to move to another country for a semi-pro contract (Part time work). Obviously very comitted players but most, I doubt will have that type of commitment so you are already creating a smaller player pool of just those willing to move. 

Then there is the language issue. There are 24  official languages in Europe and more than 200 spoken (Thanks google) That again slims down your player pool to players who can communicate with each other. So in the end you are not really going to have that much of a larger playing pool of better players by using clubs.  

Its so much easyer and has so much more benfit if all the players came from at least one nation. Yes there is lots of work to do, yes its a long term stratagy but again its the national body that benifits not a club and the national body is the one who is going do be developing the game and player pathways, instead of obessing over winning a premerships.

 

That kind of ended up more statements then questions. Appologies. But still Id like to hear your thoughts. 

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2 hours ago, B rad said:

Mate, full respect for someone who has worked 20 years developing RL in Europe and obviously you would know more than me. Still I have a few questions if you dont mind. 

 

Wouldnt a club competition that is semi-professioanl also be a hard sell? Its not as if you are attracting world class players to the compeition. It would be no names to a sport most have never heard of. At least with National teams you have are using national pride to attract fans, players and media. With a club competition you dont even have that. 

 

 

All these things are already part of the expense of the proposed Euro 13 club competition, except you would have to relocate players as well. They are talking about a draft. So what kind of players are going to move away from friends and family, probably jobs to move to another country for a semi-pro contract (Part time work). Obviously very comitted players but most, I doubt will have that type of commitment so you are already creating a smaller player pool of just those willing to move. 

Then there is the language issue. There are 24  official languages in Europe and more than 200 spoken (Thanks google) That again slims down your player pool to players who can communicate with each other. So in the end you are not really going to have that much of a larger playing pool of better players by using clubs.  

Its so much easyer and has so much more benfit if all the players came from at least one nation. Yes there is lots of work to do, yes its a long term stratagy but again its the national body that benifits not a club and the national body is the one who is going do be developing the game and player pathways, instead of obessing over winning a premerships.

 

That kind of ended up more statements then questions. Appologies. But still Id like to hear your thoughts. 

First I would love to see money pumped into the game in Europe. 

As for national teams attracting fans players and media... National pride is a given no matter which country... the game is virtually unknown in Europe. No TV coverage of Super League or the NRL. Outside the small group of enthusiastic volunteers in each country, and its a very small group, no one knows the game.At least clubs could build into their communities were national sides would disappear behind other established sports. 

NFL pumped millions into the Euro League, attracted live TV, big crowds (Amsterdam around 25 - 30,000 in its peak. The German sides even more) great media coverage and still after a few years pulled the plug. If a massive sport like NFL, who know how to promote themselves couldnt survive how does one expect League to even make a dent. 

Guess your not from Europe.. If you speak English there are not many countries you will have language problems in. As for moving away from family and friends there has been plenty of young very talented Aussie and Kiwi guys playing in Europe for the travel and the experience. Give them a semi pro contract and you can then attract higher quality. I nearly had a kid who had just been released by St George come over this year. Imagine what the locals could have learned playing and training alongside him. If the comp is "National teams" those opportunities will not be available. 

To run a semi pro team you need income via sponsorship, gate receipts, sales or investment. In a saturated market that would be difficult if your playing a small sport with a group of unknowns and your up against numerous other sports that are well established. You have a massive task. Government funding is hard to come by, even government recognition in a lot of nations due to the game not being recognised by the GIASF, even though attempts are being made. 

As for a long term strategy I agree... That's what the European Championship is turning into with more countries now competing. Its taken 17 years to get to where it is today yet people seem to think turn these guys into semi pros and interest and investment in the game will come. Just look at Scarborough Pirates, Kent Invicta, Hemel Stags, Carlisle etc etc . They had the benefit of the game being known in the UK. They had the benefit of having decent players with basic rugby skills. They didn't survive long in the semi pro game yet people think Europe, with no or very little League background, can sustain a continent wide, 10 club /nation competition.?

Again be it National teams or club teams someone is either going to have to find  a millionaire invester or grow a money tree and anyone who has done the hard yards in Europe will tell you neither have been found so far. 

I would love to see the Netherlands v Serbia playing before a 20,000 crowd in Feyenoord stadium beamed live into 20 nations but will have to settle for 400 on a local park being filmed on a video recorder and uploaded to YouTube for a long time yet. 

But hey you gotta have ambitions. ?

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11 hours ago, yanto said:

So what do we do with the Aussies, Samoans, Fijans, Irish Welsh English Kiwi players who have been raising the standards in the local Dutch competition for the past five years.... for example? 

Their presence alongside the locals has seen the National side improve to an extend they went to a half decent Germany last year and won by a record score. 

If we went to national teams for this Euro XIII, as you suggest, then in my opinion you are taking away a valuable development tool which is experienced players leading the locals on the park. 

20 Dutchman running around with no leadership, no matter how good the coaching, would take 20 years to get up to even lower NCL standard. 

The reason the national side has improved is because of playing and training along side "league guys" week in week out  for Den Haag, Amsterdam or Rotterdam. Not top class players either but just guys who are more knowledgeable about the onfield game. 

Take that away and fill the Euro XIII with players who only qualify to play for their country  and you would soon see a drop in standard's of the (National) Euro XIII team.

The level of MOST European national sides is park level at best... That's not being disrespectful that's being honest. 

I reckon an other nationalities team made up of none Dutch players from the local comp would comfortably defeat the National side 

I'm not sure that would be of any benefit in trying to sell a competition to investors and the media. 

If it has any legs at all then this concept needs to be of a higher level than the current national teams. Adding four or five experienced draft players to clubs will raise standards all across the board and still allow the local players to continue improving through their "feeder" local comps until they reach the required standard. 

Just look at all the work Serbia has put in over the last 15 years. Must be 95% local players, making great strides at home and in lower RLEF competitions. The truth about their real standards hits home when they face experienced " league" nations. 

If Serbia, one of the continents success stories, still struggle at the next level, with only local players, then how many years and how much investment do you think your proposals would take to lift a Nations Euro XIII to a level to even match say the Cumberland League or North West Counties Premier ?? 

Not being negetive not knocking your well thought out ideas. 

Just putting it out there. 

 

 

 

 

I think Yanto has hit the nail on the head here as much as its a wonderful idea (Rad) the reality is as stated above.

We live (Or lived:( in a world full of travellers many clubs have been started by rugby league people who have found themselves at the far corners of the world and ended up being involved or playing for a club, its the same in other sports when I was living for 3 years in Moscow one of my boys was desperate to play cricket I thought no chance then I discovered a 6 team league which had been started by employees at the Indian Consulate/Embassy and the standard was pretty damm good:)

 

Paul

Edited by ATLANTISMAN

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23 hours ago, fighting irish said:

My father played with Vic Hey. I saw his picture on the wall of Wollongong Leagues club in 1980.

Oddly I often walk past the leagues club but I have never been in. As a Sharks fan I struggle with St George being our local team... ? that said, the Illawarra is a hotbed of RL

I understand Vic Hey played for a number of English clubs in his career and was a highly respected footballer and man... it must have been exciting for you to travel around the world and see family memorabilia displayed so! 

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My time in Australia was very special to me. I speak about it almost every day even now, 40 years later. I was just wondering if the picture of Vic Hey is still there? My father told me he was a terrific player (stand off) My father played centre alongside him. To see his picture on the wall, knowing my father had played with him was quite moving. I'm just reading that they called him ''the human bullet''. 

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27 minutes ago, Wollongong said:

Oddly I often walk past the leagues club but I have never been in. As a Sharks fan I struggle with St George being our local team... ? that said, the Illawarra is a hotbed of RL

I understand Vic Hey played for a number of English clubs in his career and was a highly respected footballer and man... it must have been exciting for you to travel around the world and see family memorabilia displayed so! 

My time in Australia was very special to me. I speak about it almost every day even now, 40 years later. I was just wondering if the picture of Vic Hey is still there? My father told me he was a terrific player (stand off) My father played centre alongside him. To see his picture on the wall, knowing my father had played with him was quite moving. I'm just reading that they called him ''the human bullet''. 

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