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Where do we think Rugby League will be in 5 years time?


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How about in a post-covid, fully vaccinated and mass event starved public witness a thrilling opening night of the WC ( in front of 54 000, not many sports can pull that sort of crowd) where England after a titanic struggle overcomes Samoa and finishes the game with a couple of spectacular long range tries picquing the general publics interest and setting up the rest of the tournament.

The massive profits realised from the WC are used to invest in the game in the Balkans, bringing it up to to the equivalent of the tier 1/2 of the French competition and growing. Further investments in Cameroon and the like see the game coming on in leaps and bounds in that part of the world.

Meanwhile Toulouse are in the SuperLeague and are knocking on the door of the top 4, pulling 10-14 000 crowds, new sponsors and not being so reliant on the TV money teat. 

Newcastle are in the Super League and although in the bottom half, are building soundly and on the up, could be pushing top 4 in 8-10 years. Add another one city team  to the Super League.

The Southern hemisphere, don`t worry about them, just make sure there is regular in-bound tours cashing in on all that recognition gained from the WC.

In 5 years time there will also have been another WC, as good as the last and revving up all those casual viewers that have come on board over the last 4 years. The only way is up.

 

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For me when Leigh was given the 12th spot in Super League it very much summed it up for me. A competition which has no ambition and is happy to be a a M62 corridor game under the present administratio

Whoever your dealer is, tell him to send some round to ours....

For me it will be concussion which decides the future of the game. We're only at the very early stages of coming to terms with what impact this will have on both codes of rugby. I expect a seismic shi

2 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

How about in a post-covid, fully vaccinated and mass event starved public witness a thrilling opening night of the WC ( in front of 54 000, not many sports can pull that sort of crowd) where England after a titanic struggle overcomes Samoa and finishes the game with a couple of spectacular long range tries picquing the general publics interest and setting up the rest of the tournament.

The massive profits realised from the WC are used to invest in the game in the Balkans, bringing it up to to the equivalent of the tier 1/2 of the French competition and growing. Further investments in Cameroon and the like see the game coming on in leaps and bounds in that part of the world.

Meanwhile Toulouse are in the SuperLeague and are knocking on the door of the top 4, pulling 10-14 000 crowds, new sponsors and not being so reliant on the TV money teat. 

Newcastle are in the Super League and although in the bottom half, are building soundly and on the up, could be pushing top 4 in 8-10 years. Add another one city team  to the Super League.

The Southern hemisphere, don`t worry about them, just make sure there is regular in-bound tours cashing in on all that recognition gained from the WC.

In 5 years time there will also have been another WC, as good as the last and revving up all those casual viewers that have come on board over the last 4 years. The only way is up.

 

Whoever your dealer is, tell him to send some round to ours....

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England win the World Cup, Sky and BBC demand a better and more in depth international calendar that sees a European Championship, a World Cup, a Four Nations tournament and availability for home and away test series’ over a four year cycle. 

As a result of the World Cup win, the club game sees improved attendances across the board, coinciding with Super League working alongside professional PR and marketing agencies, making Rugby League one of the cool sports again because clubs are offering more than just eighty minutes sport. 

Private Equity and the NRL come in, buying stakes in the sport which sees better governance and a plan that lasts longer than eighteen months. Investors are sought for clubs, with people buying into a series of clubs, seeing the salary cap increased and NRL targets being younger than the average age they move over here. 

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5 minutes ago, Robin Evans said:

Whoever your dealer is, tell him to send some round to ours....

 We are talking 5 years, not next year, why shouldn`t these things happen. One of the biggest things holding your game back is the lack of internationals domestically and the exposure they offer, a successful WC can hopefully kick off a rejuvenation of International League.

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13 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

 We are talking 5 years, not next year, why shouldn`t these things happen. One of the biggest things holding your game back is the lack of internationals domestically and the exposure they offer, a successful WC can hopefully kick off a rejuvenation of International League.

Your proposal isn't that far fetched. But nothing is ever followed up and even if it is, as soon as it hits a rocky patch it's a case of abandon ship. That's why it won't happen.

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3 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

I therefore find it most worrying that England's supposed desired warm up games are not Ireland, France, Wales, Scotland, Italy, Greece, Jamaica or Lebanon, but the Exiles and Fiji.

Would you train to do a marathon by doing 100mtr interval sprints, off course not, so what benefit would there be prior to the WC commencing for the coach or the player's running up cricket scores, they need to be tested not rested in the next step up to oppsed training?

You also said it seems as though the decision makers are only interested in playing antipodeans, I would wager there will not be many Lebanese or Greek accents in there teams make up, but their will be plenty Sydney accent's.

That said Lebanon would probably provide the best opposition.

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4 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Would you train to do a marathon by doing 100mtr interval sprints, off course not, so what benefit would there be prior to the WC commencing for the coach or the player's running up cricket scores, they need to be tested not rested in the next step up to oppsed training?

You also said it seems as though the decision makers are only interested in playing antipodeans, I would wager there will not be many Lebanese or Greek accents in their teams make up, but their will be plenty Sydney accent's.

What’s the point of the World Cup group games then? Practice games are for more reasons than the result, anyway. 

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I've never been a profit of doom, however, I do feel Covid and more importantly the economic after shock will do away with much of our sport even given its undoubted resilience throughout its history. I see the sport as boxer on the ropes, lacking confidence and feeling his age with plenty of fight left in him but .........

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Harry Stottle said:

Off course they are, but it is better to practise against those who can provide some resistance.

And that is France, out of the NH nations.  They’re more than capable for 40-60 minutes, usually. Ultimately, England would likely win by 30+ but the bigger picture for the game would be about other things, not the final scoreline. 

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Obviously the concensus is that we'll still be playing WC warm up games in 5 years time & if that's all that happens and the rest is still intact I could live with that.

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

Your proposal isn't that far fetched. But nothing is ever followed up and even if it is, as soon as it hits a rocky patch it's a case of abandon ship. That's why it won't happen.

I think things are about to change Johnoco, sometimes it takes a crisis to focus the mind, that next TV deal may just be that focus.

Other positive developments are the inclusion of the Pacific Treize team in the Queensland Cup, a steady stream of French speaking players and available for France, playing in a competition one level below NRL. What might that offer in 5 years time, a competitive France. Another competitive Test series.

I think the penny has finally dropped in Rugby League world, see the professionalism surrounding the marketing of the current WC, internationals are where it`s at,  so expect more of them.

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15 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Would you train to do a marathon by doing 100mtr interval sprints, off course not, so what benefit would there be prior to the WC commencing for the coach or the player's running up cricket scores, they need to be tested not rested in the next step up to oppsed training?

You also said it seems as though the decision makers are only interested in playing antipodeans, I would wager there will not be many Lebanese or Greek accents in there teams make up, but their will be plenty Sydney accent's.

That said Lebanon would probably provide the best opposition.

What's the point of any game bar maybe the semi or final then? Why play anybody, we'll only win...

Actually I think you've got your analogy all wrong and indeed are missing the point of why England need warm up games. Intensity is all well and good but the main focus is time playing together. In that respect high intensity isn't the be all and end all. They will have already played a gruelling Super League season for the most part, the England games fundamentally need to just bring the players together. Having the only pre-tournament game with anything like a full squad getting bashed about by a Fiji team that have made the semi finals of the past 3 world cups doesn't strike me as wise when we have Samoa the following week and France and Greece.

To throw your analogy back at you, you don't train to do a marathon by doing a marathon, but by building up to one in intervals.

Main point here is that Australia have managed to build up a strong international scene around them in a way England has abysmally failed at, and shows little sign of trying to change soon.

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UK Club Game

85% chance of the game being at the similar level it is now, or thereabouts

10% chance of real positive change driven by investment, maybe licensing, SL2, broadcasting rethink, real cap change

5% chance of real marked decline - as in significant clubs going bust, cap reductions, negative restructure to save costs

Hopes - continued focused growth of the women's game plus other variants from men's 13's.

NRL

In reality, I don't see much changing here in 5 years. Plenty of shuffling things round, but I think it will look the same in 5 years. It'd be good to see them target the decline in crowds, which sits at around 9% over the last decade.

Hopes - as above, focus on women's game, plus some movement on expansion.

International

This is my area of hope, but the cynic in me thinks it'll be the same as above and we will see broadly the same. I think this is the area where real growth is possible as I think we are starting from such a low point. A proper calendar with regular tournaments feels such a no-brainer.

 

So overall, I think it will be a relatively uninspiring 5 years of more of the same in the main, but I hope the International game can be the real light.

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I am going to go against the grain here:)

* SL expanded to 14 teams with Toulouse and London Broncos 

* Regular tests v Australia resume in 2022

* France improve with Toulouse in SL and a stronger domestic competition and an annual 2 test series is played every June v England 

* Championship matches are streamed and pick up good viewing figures 

* SKY commit to some fringe matches like Army v Navy to help the game 

* 3/4 new teams in the Championship and League 1

* Womens game expands 

 

Paul

 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Dave T said:

85% chance of the game being at the similar level it is now, or thereabouts

10% chance of real positive change driven by investment, maybe licensing, SL2, broadcasting rethink, real cap change

5% chance of real marked decline - as in significant clubs going bust, cap reductions, negative restructure to save costs

Did you have criteria for those % scores Dave?

My dark thoughts are based on the decimation of work, the economy etc particularly in the North, predominantly in the poorer income range in other words throughout the TGG fan base, add this to our inability to break our own perculiar glass ceiling of UK legacy bent media and we're Beggared!

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tommygilf said:

 

Main point here is that Australia have managed to build up a strong international scene around them in a way England has abysmally failed at, and shows little sign of trying to change soon.

I agree with the rest of the post, but I think the above is a touch unfair. Ultimately, the raw talent that is aligned to PNG, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga has been the real driver of the development of those teams.  

Australia is surrounded by these nations plus New Zealand. England has France, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. 

When we look at how many games those nations have played since 2010, the NH teams have played 127 games versus the SH's 94. France and Ireland have played 34 and 35 games, and PNG have played only 21. All of the NH teams have played more games than Fiji, who have played most in the SH.

Now this isn't any kind of endorsement of what the RFL have done by the way, it is to call out that the Aussies haven't done any more with the teams down there. They are fortunate to have a very diverse population in Aus who are made for RL. 

The newer Southern Hemisphere nations should be absolutely smashing international RL every year at the moment (hopefully that is what will happen over the next 5 years) instead of this approach of bare minimum and landing lucky. 

It's why a governing body that values and drives Int RL forward could make real change, because look at the talent and interest in those nations - imagine if some actual effort was put in. 

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23 minutes ago, Oxford said:

Did you have criteria for those % scores Dave?

My dark thoughts are based on the decimation of work, the economy etc particularly in the North, predominantly in the poorer income range in other words throughout the TGG fan base, add this to our inability to break our own perculiar glass ceiling of UK legacy bent media and we're Beggared!

Nah, it's just my view of the likelihood of each thing materialising. 

I understand your outlook, and my 85% scenario could involve minor growth or minor retraction within it and I think it is entirely possible that the next few years will be a struggle. 

Whilst I am not a fan of the 'sustainability' word that has been over-utilised in RL over the last decade, I think the financial prudence we have seen may help us somewhat and any required cuts may not be too severe, to still allow for ambition and growth.

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3 hours ago, Hela Wigmen said:

And that is France, out of the NH nations.  They’re more than capable for 40-60 minutes, usually. Ultimately, England would likely win by 30+ but the bigger picture for the game would be about other things, not the final scoreline. 

The main priority this season is preperation for the WC.

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3 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

What's the point of any game bar maybe the semi or final then? Why play anybody, we'll only win...

Actually I think you've got your analogy all wrong and indeed are missing the point of why England need warm up games. Intensity is all well and good but the main focus is time playing together. In that respect high intensity isn't the be all and end all. They will have already played a gruelling Super League season for the most part, the England games fundamentally need to just bring the players together. Having the only pre-tournament game with anything like a full squad getting bashed about by a Fiji team that have made the semi finals of the past 3 world cups doesn't strike me as wise when we have Samoa the following week and France and Greece.

To throw your analogy back at you, you don't train to do a marathon by doing a marathon, but by building up to one in intervals.

Main point here is that Australia have managed to build up a strong international scene around them in a way England has abysmally failed at, and shows little sign of trying to change soon.

Well I will side with the man that matters being Mr Wane, his wish for his preperation is the Exiles and Fiji enough said.

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7 hours ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

We will still have the same issues if the power is still held by inward looking Chairmen who will still see self preservation as the way forward.

This is my worry, it’s like turkeys voting for Christmas with little desire to do anything that potentially affects their own club, regardless of whether it’s better for the game as a whole.

Like most who have posted so far, I can’t help feeling that the upcoming World Cup is a watershed moment for the sport. If successful then it will help to provide momentum going forward, as long of course as the game’s administration actually does something positive with that momentum, and hopefully will give a sign to broadcasters that the game is worth bothering with. Sadly the cost of televising live sport has become increasingly important to broadcasters, who more often these days are global multinationals and the reality for RL is that Sky can probably meet most of its RL needs by buying ready made broadcasts from the NRL than invest into live broadcast SL, similarly it’s now quite easy to fill sporting schedules with ready made NBA, NFL, MLS, Bundesliga and that’s a major challenge for our sport when we are trying to maximize our broadcast revenue.

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39 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

The main priority this season is preperation for the WC.

That’s a completely different discussion. Though, England have stuck two fingers up to the International game, the Northern Hemisphere nations and the World Cup by deciding to play an exhibition game in June. 

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4 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

That’s a completely different discussion. Though, England have stuck two fingers up to the International game, the Northern Hemisphere nations and the World Cup by deciding to play an exhibition game in June. 

Do you mean like the netball match on SKY right now ?

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8 hours ago, The Future is League said:

For me when Leigh was given the 12th spot in Super League it very much summed it up for me. A competition which has no ambition and is happy to be a a M62 corridor game under the present administration.

Little wonder that player numbers are dropping and amateur clubs are folding. No wonder clubs are finding it harder to get new sponsors on board, or even retain their present one's.

I guess will will just chug along for the foreseeable future until we have some people at the RFL who have some ambition for the game, otherwise yes we will still be going in 10 years time, but only as a part time sport

When are you changing your board name ?

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46 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Well I will side with the man that matters being Mr Wane, his wish for his preperation is the Exiles and Fiji enough said.

Well thats a none answer, did you "side with the man that matters" when we played an "affiliated states" team or Italy for the past 2 world cups?

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