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International rankings - different criteria


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The chat around the value of the French team in Super League and the relative strength of the French national team got me thinking.

(Before I go any further, I don't see this as a conversation around the French teams in the UK comps or heritage eligibility, they have been done many times before, it is just a bit of fun discussing the relative strengths of RL Nations).

My question.... what would the international rankings be if players were selected on eligibility AND that they had to play for a club in the country they represent?

You would expect the Australian and English teams to be the strongest with almost two fully pro comps to choose from but would the French selected from Catalan, Toulouse and Elite 1 have a chance to be stronger than a team from the Warriors and New Zealand domestic competitions?  Which of the Pacific Islands would be strongest or the NH teams outside of France and England?  Would any of the newer RL playing nations be higher up the rankings and take spots from those much higher today?

I was going to have a crack at a list myself but I thought it was pretty tough.

 

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14 minutes ago, Eddie said:

1. Australia (obviously)

2. england

3. new zealand

4. png

5. France 

No idea after that, there probably a fair drop to the next country. 

You think PNG without their NRL players would be ahead of France who would be able to draw on players from Catalan, Toulouse as well as Elite 1?

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Interesting to think how this set of criteria applies to NZ. The Warriors are probably as 'un-Kiwi' as they've ever been in recent times with only 9 of their starting 17 this week from NZ (including Addin Fonua-Blake who isn't actually from NZ but has represented the Kiwis). They also don't have a direct reserve grade side anymore, with their extended squad feeding down to Redcliffe in QCup, could result in a more interesting battle with France.

They're not based in Fiji this season for Covid reasons but I'd guess Fiji would be 6th on account of the Silktails providing a squad of professionals to add to their domestic comp.

Edited by UTK
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30 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

You think PNG without their NRL players would be ahead of France who would be able to draw on players from Catalan, Toulouse as well as Elite 1?

Good point, would the PNG hunters count? If so then yes, if not then no. 

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5 hours ago, Eddie said:

1. Australia (obviously)

2. england

3. new zealand

4. png

5. France 

No idea after that, there probably a fair drop to the next country. 

Very hard to split PNG, France and NZ. PNG has the Hunters and then a pretty strong national comp below that. I would be tempted to place them 3rd on the list.

But then again, if half of the Warriors team are kiwi, plus all the players in their youth system, then thst is probably still enough to get them over the line. 

In short, there is a huge drop after #2 then another big one after #5.

I am pretty confident Fiji would be #6

Candidates for #7, in no particular order would be: Wales, Serbia, Tonga, Samoa, USA, Jamaica.

Edited by langpark
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6 minutes ago, langpark said:

Very hard to split PNG, France and NZ. PNG has the Hunters and then a pretty strong national comp below that. I would be tempted to place them 3rd on the list.

But then again, if half of the Warriors team are kiwi, plus all the players in their youth system, then thst is probably still enough to get them over the line. 

In short, there is a huge drop after #2 then another big one after #5.

I am pretty confident Fiji would be #6

Candidates for #7, in no particular order would be: Wales, Serbia, Tonga, Samoa, USA, Jamaica.

Yeah agreed, I wasn’t sure if the Hunters and Silktails would count as domestic though? Or do you mean there’s a good domestic setup in Fiji anyway? 

Edited by Eddie
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6 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Yeah agreed, I wasn’t sure if the Hunters and Silktails would count as domestic though? Or do you mean there’s a good domestic setup in Fiji anyway? 

If the Silktails are planned to play their home games in Fiji, I would place them as domestic as with the Warriors and Catalan are domestic (in this conversation).

Does anyone have a sense of which of the Fiji, Samoan or Tongan domestic comps is the strongest?

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46 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Yeah agreed, I wasn’t sure if the Hunters and Silktails would count as domestic though? Or do you mean there’s a good domestic setup in Fiji anyway? 

Both. But silktails being a locally-based team (covid season aside) means their players count as well. That puts them clearly ahead of the pack.

Also, I am not sure how many Welsh players play for NWC and West Wales, but I believe it is nowhere near wnough for them to compete with the likes of Fiji.

Great topic by the way!

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42 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Does anyone have a sense of which of the Fiji, Samoan or Tongan domestic comps is the strongest?

I believe it goes; Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, in that order, with not a whole lot separating them. That is just based purely on all the bits and pieces I have been following over the years, so it is by no means gospel. 

Edited by langpark
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If we’re talking about who are the strongest nations based on players actually born in their country, I’d go Australia, England, New Zealand, France, PNG, Fiji, flip a coin between Samoa and Tonga, Wales.

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Just now, Man of Kent said:

If we’re talking about who are the strongest nations based on players actually born in their country, I’d go Australia, England, New Zealand, France, PNG, Fiji, flip a coin between Samoa and Tonga, Wales.

No, I would say it is a conversation about players playing in the country they are eligible for.  In this context, I think France are much higher up than they are in the international rankings.

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3 hours ago, Pulga said:

PNG beat GB with only 2 or 3 NRL players.

They'd be up top somewhere.

How many were from the domestic PNG competition though as the teams we are chatting about would exclude NSW Cup, Queensland Cup & Super League players as well.

I agree that the volume would be there from PNG but is the quality there?

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2 hours ago, Dunbar said:

How many were from the domestic PNG competition though as the teams we are chatting about would exclude NSW Cup, Queensland Cup & Super League players as well.

I agree that the volume would be there from PNG but is the quality there?

Why are you excluding the Hunters but including Catalans and Toulouse?

new rise.jpg

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15 minutes ago, Pulga said:

Why are you excluding the Hunters but including Catalans and Toulouse?

I'm not.  I would classify the Hunters the same... I just don't know how many the PNG team that beat GB came from the Hunters and not other Queensland Cup side or Super League etc.

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1 hour ago, Dunbar said:

I'm not.  I would classify the Hunters the same... I just don't know how many the PNG team that beat GB came from the Hunters and not other Queensland Cup side or Super League etc.

They had a host of guys from teams like Barrow, Doncaster, Carcassonne, Townsville Blackhawks, Wynum Manly etc etc. As well as a few from PNG Hunters.

Basically a rag tag bunch of part time misfits.

They absolutely hammered the English though. It was becoming a complete rout by the end. Really embarrassing performance from them.

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