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Great weekend of League

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9 hours ago, The Rocket said:


Reading this made me think that it`s not all bad referencing players union past. Ultimately may encourage young union stars , particularly in NZ where we want to grow the game, to see the opportunities in League and maybe `normalise` code hopping.

The League media have been "referencing players` Union pasts" forever. It never has and never will bring benefits to RL. It`s main effect is to embed the view that RU is the norm, and RL a minor deviation from the norm. We had it for many decades in the UK with Welsh RU players.

This has far-reaching, intractable consequences too numerous to mention. To give you a flavour, I`ll give you one example. There is a tendency for the BBC to regard England RU as the national team of RL fans almost as much as RU fans. If at some event they were selecting a representative of multiple sports (one for Soccer, one for cricket, etc) they would have an England RU player and assume this had RL clubs and fans covered too. 

Internationally the same damage occurs. Olympics, Commonwealth, various other global bodies, they all ignore RL and go for RU because it is standard "Rugby". They have no need for the deviant "Rugby" offshoot. If RL campaigns for inclusion in the Olympic Games, we are pointed in the direction of Rugby 7s. Media coverage that stresses League players as former Union players feeds into these perceptions. It guarantees RL marginalisation.

You have to ask yourself why it doesn`t happen the other way round. In this article NAS is labelled a "former schoolboy Rugby stand out". As he is in every piece I`ve read about him. Jonah Lomu was not relentlessly called a former League junior. Neither are other prominent Aussie or NZ players who start out in League then move to Union. A player`s past is only a staple of their media depiction when the move is from Union to League.

There may be an element of RU being an integral part of Australia`s idea of the NZ stereotype. The equivalent of a Frenchmen with a string of onions round his neck. But that doesn`t explain all the grovelling guff heaped on the "Rugby 7s Stars" in NRLW. It`s been appalling. I follow Aus RL partly to get away from all this.

Edited by unapologetic pedant
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