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https://www.intrl.sport/news/rugby-league-in-the-olympics/

 

Original article by Michael Caryannis in the Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - April 11 2021

 

Rugby league in the Olympics? How about matches played in India or the Middle East. Plus a World Cup in North America.

These are the lofty ambitions of former NSW Police Minister Troy Grant who was appointed chairman of International Rugby League (IRL).

The IRL are pressing ahead with plans to have this year’s World Cup go ahead in England. But in the background, Grant, who was part of the NRL’s Project Apollo team last year, has great ambition for the international game.

“We want France to host the 2025 World Cup,” Grant said.

“We’ve moved away from the traditional bidding process where we chased money and went to the highest bidder. We need to be strategic. The aim of 2025 is to rebuild France and make sure it becomes a competitive country. We need France, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to be as competitive as teams in the Pacific. We’re in deep work with the French government.”

Grant wants to take the 2029 World Cup to North America. He also wants to push on with plans to expand the world nine’s circuit. Australia won the 2019 tournament at Bankwest Stadium and the NRL hold the rights of the 2023 version.

However, Grant has big plans for the growth of the abbreviated format of the game.

“We need to take nines into new markets,” Grant said. “Places like the Middle East, India and Asia. That’s where we need to explore.

The international game is in for a major overhaul.

“There should be the focus on using the nine’s format as our promotional vehicle for the game to increase participation and eye balls on the sport across the globe. Let’s see what our opportunities are in India or the Middle East. Locations that would really open the world up to rugby league and to what the nine’s format has to offer.”

Grant also wants to lobby the International Olympic Committee to find a spot for nine’s. With Brisbane expected to host the 2032 Olympics, Grant wants a version of rugby league introduced at least as a demonstration sport.

“We would be negligent if we didn’t push hard to have nines feature,” Grant said.

“If we aren’t aiming big like that to really advance the sport then we are letting the code down.”

 
Troy Grant has some bold plans for the game.

The most pressing matter is finalising an international calendar which Grant expects to have done by the middle of the year. He has spent countless hours meeting with NRL clubs and other stakeholders.

“There will be better transparency and a lot more consultation and communication,” Grant said.

“The ARL Commission’s investment in the Pacific has been monumental. We need to replicate that in the northern hemisphere. For too long the IRL hasn’t had its act together. There was minimal to zero consultation between the IRL and vital stakeholders which has now changed.

“It is a new day in that regard.”

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https://www.intrl.sport/news/rugby-league-in-the-olympics/   Original article by Michael Caryannis in the Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - April 11 2021   Rugby league in the Ol

Funding apart, it would make gaining official government recognition for RL in new territories so much easier, which has often been a problem for the sport.

RL 9s in the Olympics would be a massive boost for the game. It would encourage official sports recognition and state funding in a lot of countries. A truly global audience would get to see

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always thought summer olympics should be for track and field and swimming and that's it 

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they come swinging round that corner, they think they're benny goodman

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I think RL's best chance of getting into the Olympics would be through Wheelchair RL in the Paralympics. I watched a handful of games to see what it was like ahead of the World Cup and it was actually pretty enjoyable. It helped that the rules made it somewhat recognisable to the 13-a-side version (although this wouldn't be a concern for the Olympic Committee - just my own personal enjoyment).

If you're thinking path of least resistance, that's where I would be focusing. The fact that it is similar to the other versions of the sport would mean that countries who invested into Wheelchair RL for Paralympics reasons might also decide to invest in 13-a-side men's and women's for the trio of World Cups.

I just don't see it being an easy sell to get it into the Olympics in the 9s format when they already have Union 7s in there. I know they mentioned as a demonstration sport which would increase the chances, but that'd just be a one-off.

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33 minutes ago, Henson Park Old Firm said:

Grant also wants to lobby the International Olympic Committee to find a spot for nine’s. With Brisbane expected to host the 2032 Olympics, Grant wants a version of rugby league introduced at least as a demonstration sport.

There aren't any "demonstration sports"  since 1992. That starts well...

Edited by Gambass
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1 hour ago, graveyard johnny said:

always thought summer olympics should be for track and field and swimming and that's it 

Indeed, too many sports by far. I couldn’t care less if RL 9s gets in or not, I don’t really see what it would do for the game. 

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12 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Indeed, too many sports by far. I couldn’t care less if RL 9s gets in or not, I don’t really see what it would do for the game. 

Well Eddie, I have to say I disagree. Almost every nation in the world takes part in the Olympic games. As a vehicle for developing participation in Rugby League it could be very influential (in my opinion). It's doubly important given that RaRa's slap happy version of touch football are in.

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1 hour ago, Henson Park Old Firm said:

much rather see the 13 man side play in the winter olympics.... Introduce countries that not normally go to the Winter Games.  Have 4 pools of 3 

4 pools of 3 playing 80-minute games all the way to knockout stages, a bronze medal playoff and a a final, in a 17-day period? That's a bit demanding, isn't it?

"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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5 minutes ago, fighting irish said:

Well Eddie, I have to say I disagree. Almost every nation in the world takes part in the Olympic games. As a vehicle for developing participation in Rugby League it could be very influential (in my opinion). It's doubly important given that RaRa's slap happy version of touch football are in.

What would it do though, do you think people would take RL up because it’s in the Olympics? Great if they would, I just can’t see it. I think I’m in the minority in that I don’t really consider 9s to be proper RL anyway, I have no interest in it. If 13s was in the Olympics however I’d love it. 

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2 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

4 pools of 3 playing 80-minute games all the way to knockout stages, a bronze medal playoff and a a final, in a 17-day period? That's a bit demanding, isn't it?

It would be like this SL season. 

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26 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

4 pools of 3 playing 80-minute games all the way to knockout stages, a bronze medal playoff and a a final, in a 17-day period? That's a bit demanding, isn't it?

Football seem to do it... besides it's the Olympics if you can't cut the mustered for 2 weeks you shouldn't be playing.

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16 minutes ago, Henson Park Old Firm said:

Football seem to do it... besides it's the Olympics if you can't cut the mustered for 2 weeks you shouldn't be playing.

Well, obviously, Rugby League isn't a physically-demanding and damaging sport, so I'm sure the SL and NRL will be more than fine with letting their stars take part in that.

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"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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1 hour ago, Eddie said:

What would it do though, do you think people would take RL up because it’s in the Olympics? Great if they would, I just can’t see it. I think I’m in the minority in that I don’t really consider 9s to be proper RL anyway, I have no interest in it. If 13s was in the Olympics however I’d love it. 

My gut feeling is that they would take it up.

Firstly, the exposure would be massive.

Secondly, the inevitable comparisons with 7's (slap happy, air ball) would be very positive, for us and of course, it's another way for athletes in new countries to get into the games (Olympic Games).

Lastly, it's a matter of prestige. With every other game being represented there, we should be in. 

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RL 9s in the Olympics would be a massive boost for the game.

It would encourage official sports recognition and state funding in a lot of countries.

A truly global audience would get to see RL for the first time.

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3 hours ago, zylya said:

 

I just don't see it being an easy sell to get it into the Olympics in the 9s format when they already have Union 7s in there. I know they mentioned as a demonstration sport which would increase the chances, but that'd just be a one-off.

How about SL (GB) and NRL (Aus/NZ) wipe the floor with all comers in the 7s as we know they would.... 

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The Olympics is dying on its ######. Sponsors have been pulling out in their droves over the last decade. The gravitas that was once associated with the Olympics is no longer there. 

As mentioned above, the two main Summer Olympic sports are track and field and swimming, both rife with performance enhancing drug use. Any activity where power, speed and/or endurance are pivotal to a result will always be tainted with the suspicion of drug use. As head of the IOC Seb Coe put forward a proposal to wipe out all athletic world records pre 2000, but that won’t change the public’s perception. Flo Jo has the women’s 100 and 200, marks that are unlikely to be surpassed unless a more advanced (and undetectable) batch of steroids that she used are available. 

Rugby Union I don’t think gained much by featuring in the last games. It looked out of place, similar to golf, and was played before small crowds in a tiny stadium. I doubt it would have got much (if any) coverage outside the batch of RU playing heartlands bar a small mention in the games round up section, and in those heartlands it’s seen as a minor event in contrast to the RUWC. 

Seoul 1988 is when the games decline started. Ben Johnson changed everything. 9.79. From being a stunning achievement, to being a farce, in the space of 24 hours. Seven out of eight in that race have failed drug tests, Carl Lewis arguably the most loathsome of the lot. To win a race clean is nigh on impossible, because someone (if not most/all) will be cheating, and to beat a cheat cleanly you’d need to be freakishly good, which, is nigh on impossible. 

 

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1 hour ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

How about SL (GB) and NRL (Aus/NZ) wipe the floor with all comers in the 7s as we know they would.... 

Because that's not how the Olympics work?

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1 hour ago, DC77 said:

The Olympics is dying on its ######. Sponsors have been pulling out in their droves over the last decade. The gravitas that was once associated with the Olympics is no longer there. 

As mentioned above, the two main Summer Olympic sports are track and field and swimming, both rife with performance enhancing drug use. Any activity where power, speed and/or endurance are pivotal to a result will always be tainted with the suspicion of drug use. As head of the IOC Seb Coe put forward a proposal to wipe out all athletic world records pre 2000, but that won’t change the public’s perception. Flo Jo has the women’s 100 and 200, marks that are unlikely to be surpassed unless a more advanced (and undetectable) batch of steroids that she used are available. 

Rugby Union I don’t think gained much by featuring in the last games. It looked out of place, similar to golf, and was played before small crowds in a tiny stadium. I doubt it would have got much (if any) coverage outside the batch of RU playing heartlands bar a small mention in the games round up section, and in those heartlands it’s seen as a minor event in contrast to the RUWC. 

Seoul 1988 is when the games decline started. Ben Johnson changed everything. 9.79. From being a stunning achievement, to being a farce, in the space of 24 hours. Seven out of eight in that race have failed drug tests, Carl Lewis arguably the most loathsome of the lot. To win a race clean is nigh on impossible, because someone (if not most/all) will be cheating, and to beat a cheat cleanly you’d need to be freakishly good, which, is nigh on impossible. 

 

I'd love to see an Olympics with athletes being able to take performance enhancing drugs..... they'd smash the current records... 

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7 hours ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

How about SL (GB) and NRL (Aus/NZ) wipe the floor with all comers in the 7s as we know they would.... 

I've have thought before that I'd like to see the SL or NRL put forward an Independents team of rugby league players just to make a mockery of RU at the 7s tournament.

Not that they would ever get accepted of course, but it'd be fun to watch.

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1 hour ago, dealwithit said:

It’s like people have forgotten the GAISF shiz from a few years ago

This?

image.png.67db02dee711a50aa66114d47a255fbe.png

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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10 hours ago, Eddie said:

What would it do though, do you think people would take RL up because it’s in the Olympics? Great if they would, I just can’t see it. I think I’m in the minority in that I don’t really consider 9s to be proper RL anyway, I have no interest in it. If 13s was in the Olympics however I’d love it. 

I’m not sure this is the right move for RL but there is absolutely no doubt that countries prioritise minority sports that are in the olympics. I’m sure it would open up lots of new funding all around the world. 

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