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Rugby League World Cup 2021 (Merged Threads)


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the nrl is not even a competition at this present time as none of the other 15 teams can compete with the melbourne storm - maybe a full strength in form  panthers could give them a game but its a one horse race with the rest just over hyped also rans  at best  - at least the wc would be able to claim it is a genuine competition with more than one team having a chance at glory

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did the bloke who invented the phrase "one hit wonder" invent anything else?

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4 hours ago, The Rocket said:

I think you`ve probably pretty well summed it up in your first two paragraphs.

Phil Gould because he is not officially part of the ARLC has felt free to say, and unfortunately in a tactless and inflammatory manner, probably what a lot of them are thinking behind closed doors. Certainly the part about thinking the game will be better off for it.

However I think you`re a little off the mark in your third, I refuse to believe that had there been no covid we wouldn`t have seen both Kangaroo tours last year and Oz and NZ participating in the WC this year. 

The NRL now in a somewhat calculated fashion think that one World Cup ain`t going to solve the NH`s games` problems, it hasn`t in the past, why should it this time. And given the opportunity to miss it, for what they think they can sell as legitimate reasons, aren`t going to come.  And I can`t help but think of one very good posters remarks on this forum a few months ago, WC finishes in November, 2-3 month break, it`s forgotten and it`s back to normal in clubland and club land problems. 

As I said I think the Kangaroo tour and the WC would have gone ahead, but I also agree that given the opportunity, on a somewhat questionable pretext, to forego attending both, they have taken it and that has revealed their hand in regards to the short to medium term control of the international agenda.

NZ could well be more than an innocent bystander in this, the 70% increase in the SKY TV deal explicitly included the rights to all NZ Kiwi and NZ Ferns representative matches, the implication being, they are going to be showing a lot more of both under the new regime.

Unfortunately, although the Brits on here won't like it a bit, they're probably right about the part which I bolded.

No matter how good a World Cup the organizers can deliver, it wouldn't and couldn't change the underlying fact that in Britain RL is a small, poor, downmarket regional sport with very little cut through in the population at large.  As long as that remains the case I can't why see more than a minority (and maybe a very small minority at that) of any newcomers who discover the game via the World Cup would become regular followers of it.

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40 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

Unfortunately, although the Brits on here won't like it a bit, they're probably right about the part which I bolded.

No matter how good a World Cup the organizers can deliver, it wouldn't and couldn't change the underlying fact that in Britain RL is a small, poor, downmarket regional sport with very little cut through in the population at large.  As long as that remains the case I can't why see more than a minority (and maybe a very small minority at that) of any newcomers who discover the game via the World Cup would become regular followers of it.

But the difference is that the UK are 100% happy that all the profits - which could have been as high as £10-15m before this ###### - would have gone to the International game for future development.

The NRL/ARLC want to control both the game and its income. That is not international sport, that is a monopoly.

Edited by Scubby
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https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/political-football-why-boris-johnson-is-hell-bent-on-rlwc-going-ahead-20210729-p58dyi.html

This is probably the most balanced piece I've read to come from the Australian press (when theyve bothered to report it at all) but it's still so far off the reality of the state of affairs and our mindset here. You Aussies havent got a clue! And your journalism is bad; on a par with ours. 

Fingers crossed good news on Monday from the world cup committee and it will go ahead without nz and oz. And they'll have to qualify for the next one in France.

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31 minutes ago, Scubby said:

But the difference is that the UK are 100% happy that all the profits - which could have been as high as £10-15m before this ###### - would have gone to the International game for future development.

The NRL/ARLC want to control both the game and its income. That is not international sport, that is a monopoly.

Of course the NRL/ARLC want that, it will make them an bigger fish in the little pond of RL than they already are.

Edited by Big Picture
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3 hours ago, Big Picture said:

Unfortunately, although the Brits on here won't like it a bit, they're probably right about the part which I bolded.

No matter how good a World Cup the organizers can deliver, it wouldn't and couldn't change the underlying fact that in Britain RL is a small, poor, downmarket regional sport with very little cut through in the population at large.  As long as that remains the case I can't why see more than a minority (and maybe a very small minority at that) of any newcomers who discover the game via the World Cup would become regular followers of it.

The trouble with all you knockers is that you really think that all our problems can be cured with a wave of the magic wand.

You don't seem to understand the (reality based) strategy of building over time.

That means making ongoing efforts to ensure we are moving in the right direction towards a worthy goal rather than standing idly by while the game continues to atrophy.

This successful World Cup, could have greatly increased the number of people in the world, who have watched rugby league for the first time and become fans.

It could have given a huge boost to every countries participation numbers and (we all know) growth is not easy to stimulate simply by word of mouth and volunteer effort.

It could have made a lot of potential sponsors sit up and take notice of what a marvelous spectacle the game really is. 

A magnificent showpiece, televised (and available the world over) could have doubled or tripled the number of people playing the game the world over.

The comment that (we believe) it will ''solve'' all the NH problems at a stroke is just naive simplistic nonsense and as far as Phil Gould is concerned a vile dirty trick designed to discredit, devalue and ridicule the World Cup and its organising committee.

He is such an obnoxious oaf, I'm amazed the viewiers can stomach him, even in Australia.

Edited by fighting irish
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3 minutes ago, fighting irish said:

The trouble with all you knockers is that you really think that all our problems can be cured with a wave of the magic wand.

You don't seem to understand the (reality based) strategy of building over time.

That means making ongoing efforts to ensure we are moving in the right direction towards a worthy goal rather than standing idly by while the game continues to atrophy.

This successful World Cup, could have greatly increased the number of people in the world, who have watched rugby league for the first time and become fans.

It could have given a huge boost to every countries participation numbers and (we all know) growth is not easy to stimulate simply by word of mouth and volunteer effort.

It could have made a lot of potential sponsors sit up and take notice of what a marvelous spectacle the game really is. 

A magnificent showpiece, televised (and available the world over) could have doubled or tripled the number of people playing the game the world over.

The comment that (we believe) it will ''solve'' all the NH problems at a stroke is just naive simplistic nonsense and as far as Phil Gould is concerned a vile dirty trick designed to discredit, devalue and ridicule the World Cup and its organising committee.

He is such an obnoxious oaf, I'm amazed the viewiers can stomach him, even in Australia.

I certainly do not think that the game's problems can be cured with a wave of the magic wand, I know very well that it needs investment and a lot of that.

I agree that this World Cup could have greatly increased the number of persons in the world who have watched rugby league for the first time and enjoyed it.  However I suggest that game's stunted regional base and the fact that its top clubs are all in places which they've either never heard or have heard of but look down on would then turn most of the Brits among them off because it would reinforce all the negative stereotypes out there.

Let us suppose that potential sponsors do sit up and take notice of what a marvellous spectacle the game really is.  When they look into it and see the stunted regional base and the small towns which comprise its' top tier will they still be interested?  Or will they decide that it doesn't have the reach they want instead?

I'd be interested to know where and how you think that could might spark sufficient interest to double or triple the number of players in the world.  Frenchmen who tune in could well be hugely turned off the game if they were to see a tiny island country like Samoa thrash France, something which would never happen in any other sport and which would therefore highlight the game's weakness in France.

For that matter do we even know if there will be any coverage on French TV if the tournament goes ahead, or which other countries will get TV coverage?

As I hope you can see, the idea that the World Cup can ignite a turnaround in the game's fortunes is rather simplistic.

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19 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

I certainly do not think that the game's problems can be cured with a wave of the magic wand, I know very well that it needs investment and a lot of that.

I agree that this World Cup could have greatly increased the number of persons in the world who have watched rugby league for the first time and enjoyed it.  However I suggest that game's stunted regional base and the fact that its top clubs are all in places which they've either never heard or have heard of but look down on would then turn most of the Brits among them off because it would reinforce all the negative stereotypes out there.

Let us suppose that potential sponsors do sit up and take notice of what a marvellous spectacle the game really is.  When they look into it and see the stunted regional base and the small towns which comprise its' top tier will they still be interested?  Or will they decide that it doesn't have the reach they want instead?

I'd be interested to know where and how you think that could might spark sufficient interest to double or triple the number of players in the world.  Frenchmen who tune in could well be hugely turned off the game if they were to see a tiny island country like Samoa thrash France, something which would never happen in any other sport and which would therefore highlight the game's weakness in France.

For that matter do we even know if there will be any coverage on French TV if the tournament goes ahead, or which other countries will get TV coverage?

As I hope you can see, the idea that the World Cup can ignite a turnaround in the game's fortunes is rather simplistic.

You have stated and restated your unchanging negative point of view time and again, ad-infinitum. You have not put forward one single practical suggestion, for the betterment of the game, ever. Your comments are entirely negative. Most, if not all sane members of this forum must, at one time or another have questioned your motivation for being here. I certainly have and I have come to a firm conclusion.

So you say, the game needs a lot of investment - to achieve what?

You speak of greatly increasing the number of people who see and enjoy Rugby league as though that is of no value.

How do you know people ''look down on'' the towns where the game is played? Which people? What about Africans, Central Americans, Eastern Europeans, Russians, the Spanish, or North Americans?

You are projecting your own snobbery when you say Sponsors might decide the top tier doesn't have the reach they want. You might argue that that kind of attitude already proliferates amongst some of the biggest businesses in this country, so what? Is seducing those huge companies to back us, the only way we can garner support? What about smaller enterprises, who might see new opportunities to align with a great game, they've only just become aware of, excited by the reaction of the television viewers to a great event. 

What about potential sponsors, for the fledgling nations? Who might back the game there, abroad, irrespective of whether its played in Bradford, Whitehaven or Guadalupe?

You ask how the world cup might double or triple the number of players in the world, well I say Come off it!

Let me ask you, how did the people, who recently started to play the game in Africa, Holland, Canada, USA, Jamaica and every blo ody where else, decide to start playing? Was it that they were completely ignorant of the game and had a divine revelation one night, while praying? Then they dreamt up the rules for themselves and decide to call their new invention Rugby League, just by co-incidence?

Or do you think, they might have seen it on the tele' and thought, ''I wouldn't mind playing that''?

Come off it, you buffoon!

The Samoan's might well thrash the French at RaRa, it's not that outlandish a possibility, some might be put off by that, but some might be prompted to rally around the National team. You arrogant troll.

I don't know where the tv coverage might be beamed to, but it'll probably end up on You tube and could then spur growth for years to come.

Don't attempt to patronise me, you won't get away with it.

For the record, I'm absolutely convinced the World cup could spark a turnaround in the games fortunes but not in the ''this is all we have to do, magical, miraculous, naive, laughable way you suggest must be the case''.

From your standpoint, if it doesn't provide a cure-all it's not worth bothering with and on that point, I am overjoyed to admit, we are diametrically opposed. 

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Simple: Nine and Fox don't want an upstart like SportsFlick entering the market. The NRL changed their rules for Nine and Fox and took the games off their own platforms to placate them. Nine and Fox run rugby league in Australia 

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1 hour ago, fighting irish said:

You have stated and restated your unchanging negative point of view time and again, ad-infinitum. You have not put forward one single practical suggestion, for the betterment of the game, ever. Your comments are entirely negative. Most, if not all sane members of this forum must, at one time or another have questioned your motivation for being here. I certainly have and I have come to a firm conclusion.

So you say, the game needs a lot of investment - to achieve what?

You speak of greatly increasing the number of people who see and enjoy Rugby league as though that is of no value.

How do you know people ''look down on'' the towns where the game is played? Which people? What about Africans, Central Americans, Eastern Europeans, Russians, the Spanish, or North Americans?

You are projecting your own snobbery when you say Sponsors might decide the top tier doesn't have the reach they want. You might argue that that kind of attitude already proliferates amongst some of the biggest businesses in this country, so what? Is seducing those huge companies to back us, the only way we can garner support? What about smaller enterprises, who might see new opportunities to align with a great game, they've only just become aware of, excited by the reaction of the television viewers to a great event. 

What about potential sponsors, for the fledgling nations? Who might back the game there, abroad, irrespective of whether its played in Bradford, Whitehaven or Guadalupe?

You ask how the world cup might double or triple the number of players in the world, well I say Come off it!

Let me ask you, how did the people, who recently started to play the game in Africa, Holland, Canada, USA, Jamaica and every blo ody where else, decide to start playing? Was it that they were completely ignorant of the game and had a divine revelation one night, while praying? Then they dreamt up the rules for themselves and decide to call their new invention Rugby League, just by co-incidence?

Or do you think, they might have seen it on the tele' and thought, ''I wouldn't mind playing that''?

Come off it, you buffoon!

The Samoan's might well thrash the French at RaRa, it's not that outlandish a possibility, some might be put off by that, but some might be prompted to rally around the National team. You arrogant troll.

I don't know where the tv coverage might be beamed to, but it'll probably end up on You tube and could then spur growth for years to come.

Don't attempt to patronise me, you won't get away with it.

For the record, I'm absolutely convinced the World cup could spark a turnaround in the games fortunes but not in the ''this is all we have to do, magical, miraculous, naive, laughable way you suggest must be the case''.

From your standpoint, if it doesn't provide a cure-all it's not worth bothering with and on that point, I am overjoyed to admit, we are diametrically opposed. 

My viewpoint isn't negative, it's realistic and it's based on the facts as they are in the real world.  I understand well what the game is up against and I know that it doesn't presently have an answer to that.

I have no snobbery about where the game is played, I simply recognize how that could reinforce the negative stereotypes about the game in the eyes of outsiders.  A while back on another thread I asked @Oldbearhow the Geordies viewed the game when he still lived over there and his reply was that they saw it as "decidedly downmarket".

I wasn't really surprised by that, I've previously observed that same sort of attitude among Torontonians who've come to look down on the CFL because smallish places like Hamilton and Regina have teams in that league and they don't think such places belong in the same league as Toronto, so it's not difficult to put 2 and 2 together.

Whether or not you call the idea that prospective sponsors see the game as decidedly downmarket too based on where it's played snobbery, it's still part of the what game is up against in the UK.  Sponsors want audience reach for their money, so the smaller the audience reach a sport has the less it's going to be worth to a sponsor and that's just how it is.

We both know that the game has most often been started up in new places by expats from the regions where it's historically been played, though there are occasional exceptions such as Romeo Monteith.  I know well that they all struggle to gain sponsorship, the Canadian organization headed by Dave Silcock had no sponsors at all when I was involved with them years ago, Dave and his three partners paid most of the expenses out of their own pockets.  I think that @yantocould probably describe similar difficulties in the Netherlands.

Yes I did ask you how the world cup might double or triple the number of players in the world, and though I can see that you believe that I also see you don't have any answer to give me about how it might happen.  It's a belief not supported by objective facts.

Sorry but the idea that Samoa might thrash France in RU is completely fanciful considering how many more top level pro players France can call upon in that sport.  According to Wikipedia they're played four times and France has won all four by a combined score of 156-49, an average winning margin of just under 27 points.  Their last match in 2016 ended 52-8 for France.

On the subject of how results like Samoa thrashing France could inhibit growth, I'll share a response I received years ago on a Canadian gridiron forum to my suggestion that the way ahead for the CFL (which was teetering on the brink at the time) was to Canadianize their game and open an International dimension through World Cups and the like by adopting RL.  One respondent asked, "And just who would we play, New Zealand?"

We can be sure that someone who doesn't rate NZ sure wouldn't be very impressed with a sport where tiny Samoa can thrash France.  No doubt that sort of viewpoint exists in other countries too just as it does over here.  Just how the likes of that other Canadian would view a tournament with several such little countries in its quarter-finals I'd hate to think.

However successful the World Cup could be, it won't change any of those fundamentals about the game and that's why the idea that all by itself it could spark a turnaround is fanciful.

Edited by Big Picture
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More quality Australian RL journalism here:

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/api-s-original-sin-continues-to-grow-20210731-p58eqn.html

 

Taken for granted

The perils of allowing politicians into rugby league were laid bare this week when International Rugby League chairman Troy Grant turned on the very people who appointed him.

Grant, who is a former NSW National Party leader, was given a professional lifeline in March when he was appointed to the role after five years out of the public spotlight. His promotion from obscurity was led by senior figures on the ARL Commission, including chairman Peter V’landys and former chairman Peter Beattie.

So the commission had every reason to expect he would support their decision not to send an Australian team to the World Cup in England at the end of the year due to COVID concerns. Instead, Grant launched a tirade against the Australian and New Zealand bosses, claiming they did not adequately consult with the players before pulling out.

“The obvious question being asked of us is why rugby league players are not able to make the same sacrifices as players from other sports?” he asked. “Sadly, players are telling me they haven’t had the opportunity to make that decision for themselves.”

The ARLC is furious at Grant’s outburst considering he was given the plum role ahead of a host of rugby league identities who coveted the position.

Grant’s stance has painted the World Cup decision – which was the right one – as being rushed through when, in fact, senior players were widely consulted.

 

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53 minutes ago, Jim from Oz said:

More quality Australian RL journalism here:

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/api-s-original-sin-continues-to-grow-20210731-p58eqn.html

 

Taken for granted

The perils of allowing politicians into rugby league were laid bare this week when International Rugby League chairman Troy Grant turned on the very people who appointed him.

Grant, who is a former NSW National Party leader, was given a professional lifeline in March when he was appointed to the role after five years out of the public spotlight. His promotion from obscurity was led by senior figures on the ARL Commission, including chairman Peter V’landys and former chairman Peter Beattie.

So the commission had every reason to expect he would support their decision not to send an Australian team to the World Cup in England at the end of the year due to COVID concerns. Instead, Grant launched a tirade against the Australian and New Zealand bosses, claiming they did not adequately consult with the players before pulling out.

“The obvious question being asked of us is why rugby league players are not able to make the same sacrifices as players from other sports?” he asked. “Sadly, players are telling me they haven’t had the opportunity to make that decision for themselves.”

The ARLC is furious at Grant’s outburst considering he was given the plum role ahead of a host of rugby league identities who coveted the position.

Grant’s stance has painted the World Cup decision – which was the right one – as being rushed through when, in fact, senior players were widely consulted.

 

It sounds like Vlandis and Beattie thought that Grant would tow their line and instead he quite naturally wonders why Aussie and Kiwi RL can't or won't do what their counterparts in other sports will.

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One point the NRL also seem to be missing is that not only will postponing the RLWC to 2022 clash with the football World Cup, but that Australia have a VERY good chance of qualifying for it.

 

Their Asian final round group for Qatar contains China, Japan, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam with the top three qualifying.

 

Japan and Saudi may be tricky, especially away, but you can't tell me they don't have the quality to beat the likes of Oman and Vietnam.

 

The NRL might be focused on knocking the AFL from the number 1 spot in states where Aussie Rules is the main code, but surely a strong national football team and the exposure and fan support that would come with that is what BOTH of them are terrified of.

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7 hours ago, Big Picture said:

Unfortunately, although the Brits on here won't like it a bit, they're probably right about the part which I bolded.

No matter how good a World Cup the organizers can deliver, it wouldn't and couldn't change the underlying fact that in Britain RL is a small, poor, downmarket regional sport with very little cut through in the population at large.  As long as that remains the case I can't why see more than a minority (and maybe a very small minority at that) of any newcomers who discover the game via the World Cup would become regular followers of it.

I think you have a valid point here in regards to the locations of teams. RL is seen as a regional sport and almost detached from those outside it. There’s not much crossover. While at University I lived in Liverpool (also stayed in Manchester) and there was pretty much zero RL presence in either. Some Aussies have posted on here previously their bewilderment at how this can be given the close proximity of these northern cities to RL towns. Professor Tony Collins in his RL podcast has talked about going a few miles outside a RL town and finding no RL interest. England is quite unique (I think) in that there are so many completely distinct regional accents, which reflects how different each area is. They have their own mini cultures which makes it extra difficult for what is seen as a regional sport like RL to break through. 

I think there are two main reasons an individual follows a sport. A.You have a team in it. B.You have an interest in a player. It’s hard to follow a team in RL as they are so parochial. They are entrenched in their own towns (alluding to what I said previously that outsiders (even in neighbouring cities) feel detached from them). This is completely different with major sports teams (Premier League clubs, Barca, Real Madrid, AC Milan etc., or NFL teams) in that they are much more international/accessible. My own team, Liverpool FC, they might be based in Liverpool and have a core Liverpool (scouse) identity but anyone around the world can identify with the club. One of the best renditions of the club’s anthem “You'll Never Walk Alone” was by 95k Aussies at the MCG. You can’t really have this connection with a parochial team unless you are from the same town/have a family connection. And in relation to B, I don’t have a team in basketball, but I did watch Michael Jordan in the play off finals in what turned out to be his final year (I haven’t watched since). But he was enough to get me watching, and I’m not alone in that. RL in England hasn’t had such a name in a long time. RU last had it with Jonah Lomu who was an enormous draw. 

2 hours ago, fighting irish said:

You have stated and restated your unchanging negative point of view time and again, ad-infinitum. You have not put forward one single practical suggestion, for the betterment of the game, ever. Your comments are entirely negative. Most, if not all sane members of this forum must, at one time or another have questioned your motivation for being here. I certainly have and I have come to a firm conclusion.

So you say, the game needs a lot of investment - to achieve what?

You speak of greatly increasing the number of people who see and enjoy Rugby league as though that is of no value.

How do you know people ''look down on'' the towns where the game is played? Which people? What about Africans, Central Americans, Eastern Europeans, Russians, the Spanish, or North Americans?

You are projecting your own snobbery when you say Sponsors might decide the top tier doesn't have the reach they want. You might argue that that kind of attitude already proliferates amongst some of the biggest businesses in this country, so what? Is seducing those huge companies to back us, the only way we can garner support? What about smaller enterprises, who might see new opportunities to align with a great game, they've only just become aware of, excited by the reaction of the television viewers to a great event. 

What about potential sponsors, for the fledgling nations? Who might back the game there, abroad, irrespective of whether its played in Bradford, Whitehaven or Guadalupe?

You ask how the world cup might double or triple the number of players in the world, well I say Come off it!

Let me ask you, how did the people, who recently started to play the game in Africa, Holland, Canada, USA, Jamaica and every blo ody where else, decide to start playing? Was it that they were completely ignorant of the game and had a divine revelation one night, while praying? Then they dreamt up the rules for themselves and decide to call their new invention Rugby League, just by co-incidence?

Or do you think, they might have seen it on the tele' and thought, ''I wouldn't mind playing that''?

Come off it, you buffoon!

The Samoan's might well thrash the French at RaRa, it's not that outlandish a possibility, some might be put off by that, but some might be prompted to rally around the National team. You arrogant troll.

I don't know where the tv coverage might be beamed to, but it'll probably end up on You tube and could then spur growth for years to come.

Don't attempt to patronise me, you won't get away with it.

For the record, I'm absolutely convinced the World cup could spark a turnaround in the games fortunes but not in the ''this is all we have to do, magical, miraculous, naive, laughable way you suggest must be the case''.

From your standpoint, if it doesn't provide a cure-all it's not worth bothering with and on that point, I am overjoyed to admit, we are diametrically opposed. 

He has a point though. I don’t think it’s snobbery, I think it’s the parochial aspect of the club game that makes it very hard for outsiders to connect to (club RU has the same issue as RL). While Liverpool FC (or Barca, or Man United etc.) belongs to the world, St Helens belongs to St Helens. Sponsors are almost exclusively drawn to those with a larger fanbase/geographic footprint which explains the discrepancy in the names between a Liverpool and a St Helens. I think the problem for RL started with its origin in that it’s regionally locked in. I think another issue (certainly in England) is that when you follow a team sport you don’t tend to follow another one (with any great degree of interest). 

I can’t really see the status of club RL in England getting much beyond what it is now (perhaps a few thousand above the current average) so really it’s up to the international games to try and generate extra interest, hence the understandable annoyance at the pull out of the Aussies/Kiwis.

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1 hour ago, Jim from Oz said:

More quality Australian RL journalism here:

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/api-s-original-sin-continues-to-grow-20210731-p58eqn.html

 

Taken for granted

The perils of allowing politicians into rugby league were laid bare this week when International Rugby League chairman Troy Grant turned on the very people who appointed him.

Grant, who is a former NSW National Party leader, was given a professional lifeline in March when he was appointed to the role after five years out of the public spotlight. His promotion from obscurity was led by senior figures on the ARL Commission, including chairman Peter V’landys and former chairman Peter Beattie.

So the commission had every reason to expect he would support their decision not to send an Australian team to the World Cup in England at the end of the year due to COVID concerns. Instead, Grant launched a tirade against the Australian and New Zealand bosses, claiming they did not adequately consult with the players before pulling out.

“The obvious question being asked of us is why rugby league players are not able to make the same sacrifices as players from other sports?” he asked. “Sadly, players are telling me they haven’t had the opportunity to make that decision for themselves.”

The ARLC is furious at Grant’s outburst considering he was given the plum role ahead of a host of rugby league identities who coveted the position.

Grant’s stance has painted the World Cup decision – which was the right one – as being rushed through when, in fact, senior players were widely consulted.

 

I can't believe the absence of logic here. The commission appointed him so they should expect him to agree with everything they say, even if he thinks it wrong. The ungrateful beggar! His tattered career was saved and this is how he repays them, by expressing a different opinion? 

Senior players were widely consulted but who were they? Journalists making sweeping statements but I'd like some evidence as players are disputing that claim. 

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My blog: https://rugbyl.blogspot.co.nz/

It takes wisdom to know when a discussion has run its course.

It takes reasonableness to end that discussion. 

 

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1 hour ago, Jim from Oz said:

More quality Australian RL journalism here:

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/api-s-original-sin-continues-to-grow-20210731-p58eqn.html

 

Taken for granted

The perils of allowing politicians into rugby league were laid bare this week when International Rugby League chairman Troy Grant turned on the very people who appointed him.

Grant, who is a former NSW National Party leader, was given a professional lifeline in March when he was appointed to the role after five years out of the public spotlight. His promotion from obscurity was led by senior figures on the ARL Commission, including chairman Peter V’landys and former chairman Peter Beattie.

So the commission had every reason to expect he would support their decision not to send an Australian team to the World Cup in England at the end of the year due to COVID concerns. Instead, Grant launched a tirade against the Australian and New Zealand bosses, claiming they did not adequately consult with the players before pulling out.

“The obvious question being asked of us is why rugby league players are not able to make the same sacrifices as players from other sports?” he asked. “Sadly, players are telling me they haven’t had the opportunity to make that decision for themselves.”

The ARLC is furious at Grant’s outburst considering he was given the plum role ahead of a host of rugby league identities who coveted the position.

Grant’s stance has painted the World Cup decision – which was the right one – as being rushed through when, in fact, senior players were widely consulted.

 

Absolutely disgraceful article that. When the history of the 2021 WC is written, Grant certainly won't be marked down as one of the villains.

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3 minutes ago, RayCee said:

Senior players were widely consulted but who were they? Journalists making sweeping statements but I'd like some evidence as players are disputing that claim. 

That's why it's deliberately so vague, they don't name anyone so it cannot be checked. They also dont say whether any of these "senior players" support the NRL decision, they probably were consulted and said "###### off I want to tour". Not a single NRL player has come out and said the WC should be postponed.

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2 minutes ago, Whippet13 said:

Absolutely disgraceful article that. When the history of the 2021 WC is written, Grant certainly won't be marked down as one of the villains.

Grant was given a job to promote international RL. He feels the current actions of the ARLC and NRL is working against international RL's interests. It is his responsibility to say so and call out any who are undermining what he's trying to achieve. Even if it involves those who got him the job. 

The fact that a journalist openly says Grant should work against what he was employed to do says much about the world they live in. What is right and fair isn't part of that. 

My blog: https://rugbyl.blogspot.co.nz/

It takes wisdom to know when a discussion has run its course.

It takes reasonableness to end that discussion. 

 

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2 hours ago, Big Picture said:

My viewpoint isn't negative, it's realistic and it's based on the facts as they are in the real world.  I understand well what the game is up against and I know that it doesn't presently have an answer to that.

I have no snobbery about where the game is played, I simply recognize how that could reinforce the negative stereotypes about the game in the eyes of outsiders.  A while back on another thread I asked @Oldbearhow the Geordies viewed the game when he still lived over there and his reply was that they saw it as "decidedly downmarket".

I wasn't really surprised by that, I've previously observed that same sort of attitude among Torontonians who've come to look down on the CFL because smallish places like Hamilton and Regina have teams in that league and they don't think such places belong in the same league as Toronto, so it's not difficult to put 2 and 2 together.

Whether or not you call the idea that prospective sponsors see the game as decidedly downmarket too based on where it's played snobbery, it's still part of the what game is up against in the UK.  Sponsors want audience reach for their money, so the smaller the audience reach a sport has the less it's going to be worth to a sponsor and that's just how it is.

We both know that the game has most often been started up in new places by expats from the regions where it's historically been played, though there are occasional exceptions such as Romeo Monteith.  I know well that they all struggle to gain sponsorship, the Canadian organization headed by Dave Silcock had no sponsors at all when I was involved with them years ago, Dave and his three partners paid most of the expenses out of their own pockets.  I think that @yantocould probably describe similar difficulties in the Netherlands.

Yes I did ask you how the world cup might double or triple the number of players in the world, and though I can see that you believe that I also see you don't have any answer to give me about how it might happen.  It's a belief not supported by objective facts.

Sorry but the idea that Samoa might thrash France in RU is completely fanciful considering how many more top level pro players France can call upon in that sport.  According to Wikipedia they're played four times and France has won all four by a combined score of 156-49, an average winning margin of just under 27 points.  Their last match in 2016 ended 52-8 for France.

On the subject of how results like Samoa thrashing France could inhibit growth, I'll share a response I received years ago on a Canadian gridiron forum to my suggestion that the way ahead for the CFL (which was teetering on the brink at the time) was to Canadianize their game and open an International dimension through World Cups and the like by adopting RL.  One respondent asked, "And just who would we play, New Zealand?"

We can be sure that someone who doesn't rate NZ sure wouldn't be very impressed with a sport where tiny Samoa can thrash France.  No doubt that sort of viewpoint exists in other countries too just as it does over here.  Just how the likes of that other Canadian would view a tournament with several such little countries in its quarter-finals I'd hate to think.

However successful the World Cup could be, it won't change any of those fundamentals about the game and that's why the idea that all by itself it could spark a turnaround is fanciful.

Yes , yes , yes and yes 

But , you've never offered a sensible alternative 

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49 minutes ago, DC77 said:

I think you have a valid point here in regards to the locations of teams. RL is seen as a regional sport and almost detached from those outside it. There’s not much crossover. While at University I lived in Liverpool (also stayed in Manchester) and there was pretty much zero RL presence in either. Some Aussies have posted on here previously their bewilderment at how this can be given the close proximity of these northern cities to RL towns. Professor Tony Collins in his RL podcast has talked about going a few miles outside a RL town and finding no RL interest. England is quite unique (I think) in that there are so many completely distinct regional accents, which reflects how different each area is. They have their own mini cultures which makes it extra difficult for what is seen as a regional sport like RL to break through. 

I think there are two main reasons an individual follows a sport. A.You have a team in it. B.You have an interest in a player. It’s hard to follow a team in RL as they are so parochial. They are entrenched in their own towns (alluding to what I said previously that outsiders (even in neighbouring cities) feel detached from them). This is completely different with major sports teams (Premier League clubs, Barca, Real Madrid, AC Milan etc., or NFL teams) in that they are much more international/accessible. My own team, Liverpool FC, they might be based in Liverpool and have a core Liverpool (scouse) identity but anyone around the world can identify with the club. One of the best renditions of the club’s anthem “You'll Never Walk Alone” was by 95k Aussies at the MCG. You can’t really have this connection with a parochial team unless you are from the same town/have a family connection. And in relation to B, I don’t have a team in basketball, but I did watch Michael Jordan in the play off finals in what turned out to be his final year (I haven’t watched since). But he was enough to get me watching, and I’m not alone in that. RL in England hasn’t had such a name in a long time. RU last had it with Jonah Lomu who was an enormous draw. 

He has a point though. I don’t think it’s snobbery, I think it’s the parochial aspect of the club game that makes it very hard for outsiders to connect to (club RU has the same issue as RL). While Liverpool FC (or Barca, or Man United etc.) belongs to the world, St Helens belongs to St Helens. Sponsors are almost exclusively drawn to those with a larger fanbase/geographic footprint which explains the discrepancy in the names between a Liverpool and a St Helens. I think the problem for RL started with its origin in that it’s regionally locked in. I think another issue (certainly in England) is that when you follow a team sport you don’t tend to follow another one (with any great degree of interest). 

I can’t really see the status of club RL in England getting much beyond what it is now (perhaps a few thousand above the current average) so really it’s up to the international games to try and generate extra interest, hence the understandable annoyance at the pull out of the Aussies/Kiwis.

So tell me , how do you convert St Helens to Liverpool in RL ?

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10 minutes ago, RayCee said:

Grant was given a job to promote international RL. He feels the current actions of the ARLC and NRL is working against international RL's interests. It is his responsibility to say so and call out any who are undermining what he's trying to achieve. Even if it involves those who got him the job. 

The fact that a journalist openly says Grant should work against what he was employed to do says much about the world they live in. What is right and fair isn't part of that. 

They probably thought; he's an ex-politician, they are all corrupt so he'll do whatever we tell him to do.

I don't know what Grant's team of office is but I hope it's a damned long one.

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Suggestion 

We postpone the RLWC till next year 

We play it in July 2022 , the Australians take a mid season break to send the various teams over here 

We do the same with SL and the Championship 

Problem solved 😉

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  • John Drake changed the title to Rugby League World Cup 2021 (Merged Threads)
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