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Bedfordshire Bronco

A Tonga 3 match series in England?

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10 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

I think , to be fair it is the length of the domestic season that is contributing to that attitude.

People over here talk about a ~18 round season plus Internationals and Origin, in an ideal world.

I think you blokes are in a similar predicament with regards to season length.

You are right, so many people here, myself included, always say the season is too long, look how much people are against the loop fixtures but clubs argue that number of games is needed to bring in the income which I can understand. So we've got world club challenge, 29 games plus cup and playoffs. If a team was to get to the grand final and cup finals they could end up playing almost 40 games. 

My ideal structure would be world club challenge preseason, 23 regular season games, SL coming into cup in 5th round so 5 games to win it, and a top 4 playoff so at most, 30-31 games and then at least a 3 game International series afterwards but that's never going to happen. 

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47 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

I’m sure non RL friends would want to come along to England v Tonga. Especially when you tell them Tonga beat Australia and GB last year and New Zealand in the last World Cup. 

The fact there is even a debate about whether this series could work shows the lack of ambition at international level.

Agreed entirely, I know plenty of people who don’t follow club RL who’s go to it, but my point was (in response to various posters above) that even without them I think an international vs Tonga would sell out in places like Wigan, St Helens, Warrington, Hull and Headingley, it would be great. 

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This is the type of series I absolutely would play in the heartlands.  Fans in the know will know Tonga are a good side and it could be a great series.  It's less likely to attract casual fans who will/might assume Tonga are like their union equivalents and a second or even third tier side and you risk an empty stadium.  You should be able to get 20k fans a game.

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Bring it on,am sure some of the crowds will be massive once things get somewere near normal.i cant wait for some live rugby and stepladders are ready for closed shop games.

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3 hours ago, Tonka said:

That's a shame - I can only do Mondays, but it has to be p*ssing it down and I'm not paying more than £8 for a ticket.  And don't get me started on parking.

What time can you get there? Let us know, so we  can set the kick off time?

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26 minutes ago, Tonka said:

This is the type of series I absolutely would play in the heartlands.  Fans in the know will know Tonga are a good side and it could be a great series.  It's less likely to attract casual fans who will/might assume Tonga are like their union equivalents and a second or even third tier side and you risk an empty stadium.  You should be able to get 20k fans a game.

I’d be confident it would get 35k+ at Elland Road 

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4 minutes ago, fighting irish said:

What time can you get there? Let us know, so we  can set the kick off time?

4:45

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Just now, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

I’d be confident it would get 35k+ at Elland Road 

Ok - deal!

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2 hours ago, Eddie said:

I’d love to see it, and I don’t know why anyone is worried about non-RL people needing to be aware of it and wanting to go, 

... maybe because we want to use the International calendar to grow the game?

For example, I see that Tonga are playing (against Cook Islands) in the World Cup at Middlesborough. IF that game is a success, then why not have Tonga vs England at the same venue 12 months later to build on the interest?

34K capacity according to Wikipedia - surely not inconceivable that we could get close to that capacity with a decent build up off the back of the World Cup?

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3 hours ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

They'd be a lot of interest from existing RL fans no doubt and I'm sure we could get decent attendances in 25k or so capacity grounds in the heartlands, so Hull, Leeds and Wigan perhaps but as has been suggested, the general public won't know that Tonga are the upcoming, exciting team and so won't be as interested and advertisers/sponsors won't be as drawn to Tonga as one of the big famous rugby nations like Aus and NZ. This series would solely be relying on existing fans to make it a success.

Of course if Tonga can really do something in the World Cup, perhaps even make the final, then that could change people's attitudes towards them and get people a bit more excited. I think we'll have to wait and see what goes on in the world Cup. 

Even if the general public and advertisers/sponsors did come to know that Tonga are the upcoming, exciting team, how do know you that them knowing that such a team represents a tiny island won't turn them off?

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48 minutes ago, paulwalker71 said:

... maybe because we want to use the International calendar to grow the game?

For example, I see that Tonga are playing (against Cook Islands) in the World Cup at Middlesborough. IF that game is a success, then why not have Tonga vs England at the same venue 12 months later to build on the interest?

34K capacity according to Wikipedia - surely not inconceivable that we could get close to that capacity with a decent build up off the back of the World Cup?

If it was part of a programme to grow the game in Teeside (participation and support) then yeah great, if it’s just to get people to go to a game once a year then I don’t see the point. 

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34 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

Even if the general public and advertisers/sponsors did come to know that Tonga are the upcoming, exciting team, how do know you that them knowing that such a team represents a tiny island won't turn them off?

What do you mean? Why does it matter that Tonga is a tiny group of islands? 

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47 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

Even if the general public and advertisers/sponsors did come to know that Tonga are the upcoming, exciting team, how do know you that them knowing that such a team represents a tiny island won't turn them off?

Because we know they will entertain and play a good tough game as before.

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45 minutes ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

What do you mean? Why does it matter that Tonga is a tiny group of islands? 

In big time world sports the top national teams all come from big, populous countries like Germany, Brazil, Russia, the US, and the like and small countries a lot more populous than Tonga only get tear the top for a short time once in a long while.  As a consequence that is likely what the public expects a big time sport to have.  So England vs. Tonga likely won't impress them much.

32 minutes ago, silverback said:

Because we know they will entertain and play a good tough game as before.

RL followers know that, but I was asking in respect of the general public and advertisers/sponsors who do not know that and might even think it weird for a team representing such a tiny country be competitive with England.

Edited by Big Picture

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A series against Tonga would be much more exciting than NZ yet again.

Still really want an Ashes series at the earliest opportunity but this would be the next best thing.

Deeply worries though that the World Cup is going to suffer both player and fan fatigue from Super League slogging it’s way through 1 and 3/4 seasons in just 14 months with barely a pause then expecting us to perform against the Southern Hemisphere sides far better rested.

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11 hours ago, JM2010 said:

I think any England series against the top nations would sell well. Just needs some good marketing

Yes, surely it's the Englush Market factor that brings in advertising... I think it'd be predicted as a tight series with lots of NRL stars.... What's not to live for fans and sponsors alike

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3 hours ago, arcticchris said:

A series against Tonga would be much more exciting than NZ yet again.

Still really want an Ashes series at the earliest opportunity but this would be the next best thing.

Deeply worries though that the World Cup is going to suffer both player and fan fatigue from Super League slogging it’s way through 1 and 3/4 seasons in just 14 months with barely a pause then expecting us to perform against the Southern Hemisphere sides far better rested.

I don't think our target market for ticket sales for the World Cup should be existing fans anyhow. They will largely be aware and will support it anyway. Its the new fans, particularly in the non heartland areas, who need to be targeted.

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37 minutes ago, Damien said:

I don't think our target market for ticket sales for the World Cup should be existing fans anyhow. They will largely be aware and will support it anyway. Its the new fans, particularly in the non heartland areas, who need to be targeted.

I definitely agree that we as a sport need to be pushing it as a big event to attend and say you were a part of.

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8 hours ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

I’d be confident it would get 35k+ at Elland Road 

Imagine the crowd you could pull if it came down to a decider! Especially if the first two Tests were tough entertaining games.

Would it be possible under those circumstances to maybe pull 50k + ?

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17 hours ago, Hela Wigmen said:

Games against New Zealand have become a bit stale and boring now, having played them so many times (8) over the past five years. I totally understand why we’ve played them so many times over that period, as for much of it they were one of three Tier One Nations, but I would like to see us play “new” opposition and would happily see us play Tonga. 

How many people would attend and whether it would make any money is another discussion though. 

Do RU fans in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales regard repeated games against the Wallabies as "stale and boring"? If so, it generally doesn`t stop them turning up.

If the Kiwis, historically our second greatest challenge, hold limited appeal, and therefore Australia are the only nation we have any respect for, we may as well give up on international RL.

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15 hours ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

They'd be a lot of interest from existing RL fans no doubt and I'm sure we could get decent attendances in 25k or so capacity grounds in the heartlands, so Hull, Leeds and Wigan perhaps but as has been suggested, the general public won't know that Tonga are the upcoming, exciting team and so won't be as interested and advertisers/sponsors won't be as drawn to Tonga as one of the big famous rugby nations like Aus and NZ. This series would solely be relying on existing fans to make it a success.

Of course if Tonga can really do something in the World Cup, perhaps even make the final, then that could change people's attitudes towards them and get people a bit more excited. I think we'll have to wait and see what goes on in the world Cup. 

So a team that within the past three years have beaten NZ, GB, AUS, plus a good Samoa side twice, and come desperately close against Eng, still have to "change people`s attitudes towards them and get people a bit more excited".

Not blaming you for this, and its too easy to just blame the media... I blame the media.

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13 hours ago, silverback said:

Bring it on,am sure some of the crowds will be massive once things get somewere near normal.i cant wait for some live rugby and stepladders are ready for closed shop games.

Hope your stepladders are more sturdy than some of the tree branches PNG fans watch games from.

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14 hours ago, The Rocket said:

I think , to be fair it is the length of the domestic season that is contributing to that attitude.

People over here talk about a ~18 round season plus Internationals and Origin, in an ideal world.

I think you blokes are in a similar predicament with regards to season length.

The much-maligned Nigel Wood made a good point when he was advocating for a world 9s circuit. Namely, that if international RL were expanded to help in growing the game, it was less likely to feature the same elite players who play finals and Origin.

This is more true now that six-again has made the game even more exacting.

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7 hours ago, The Rocket said:

Imagine the crowd you could pull if it came down to a decider! Especially if the first two Tests were tough entertaining games.

Would it be possible under those circumstances to maybe pull 50k + ?

50k sounds like a lot tbf, especially when we’d have played the same opposition twice in the previous fortnight already. 

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2 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Do RU fans in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales regard repeated games against the Wallabies as "stale and boring"? If so, it generally doesn`t stop them turning up.

If the Kiwis, historically our second greatest challenge, hold limited appeal, and therefore Australia are the only nation we have any respect for, we may as well give up on international RL.

I dont know much about Union but I’m fairly sure the Wallabies aren’t touring over here very often? England certainly haven’t played them 8 times in 5 years, and nobody else. 
 

 

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