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Rugby League World Cup 2021 (Merged Threads)


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The very first rugby league game I ever attended was a World Cup match, in 1975 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. 

https://www.rugbyleagueproject.org/matches/world-championship-series-1975/game-1/australia-vs-england.html

 
I sat in the old Sheridan Stand, long since demolished, and watched as two proud teams of Australian and English gladiators walked out on the pitch resplendent in their magnificent national rugby league jumpers. 

I was in total awe. I was 11 years old.

I have had a passion for international RL football ever since, just as we all on here have had our passions for rugby league. My spirits have soared and crashed to the ground over the years as I have watched the game go through its highs and lows, get torn apart during the idiotic Super League War, seen my beloved  North Sydney Bears get totally shafted, and seen the huge rise of insularity in the NRL and their parallel denegration of international rugby league in favour of their completely overhyped and uninteresting State of Origin.

Yet in 1995 I could watch a fantastic RL World Cup (with 10 teams!) on TV and thought, 'Wow, what about the incredible potential of international rugby league!" Then I witnessed a idiotic 2000 tournament, so badly organised and badly timed you could see a disaster coming from miles away. In 2008 things got better and in 2013 we had a brilliant World Cup, so in 2017 – the first ever RL World Cup that would actually follow four years after the previous one! – my hopes were high.

A group of friends and I bought tickets – the most expensive tickets possible on the halfway line – to the RL World Cup final at Suncorp, we booked flights from Sydney to Brisbane and hired a house for the weekend, all of us confident that this was going to be an amazing event.

Yet it was the culmination of a rather insipid World Cup, organised by the NRL in a rather haphazard, "Who cares?" manner, ending in a final that couldn’t even sell out. I was shockingly disappointed that there were 12,000 empty seats. But the rise of Tonga and the great performances by Papua New Guinea and Fiji, and a huge response from Pacific Island fans, led me to believe the RL World Cup finally had a REALLY big future.

I planned to go to see the 2021 tournament in the north of England, I was all set to take long-service leave and some of the same mates who had come with me to attend the 2017 World Cup final were hopefully going to join me. Covid meant we could not come but I was excitedly looking forward to watching it on TV anyway.

The idea of the World Cup in France in 2025 excites me even more, but of course there are serious doubts that will now happen. Why on earth would the French Government pour money into a tournament like this when the two biggest RL nations can torpedo it without any thought, give organisers four minutes' notice and not even consult the players?

But this is what we have come to now in rugby league: the total wrecking of this incredible tournament – five years in the planning, with huge UK government backing – by incredibly shortsighted, idiotic NRL clubs and officials, and by the ARLC and the NZRL and its major figures.

We all know the covid excuse is an absolute fig leaf; the NRL clubs have long wanted the RLWC torpedoed – for some unfathomable reason, they want to destroy international football – and now they have got their way.

All the hopes and dreams of the organisers, the players – men, women and wheelchair – and the fans, all GONE.

As such, I have zero confidence that the 2022 tournament will go ahead. If the clubs and the game's officials can torpedo it this year for no reason whatsoever, why won’t they do the same next year? I suspect that over the next 15 months they will be doing their best to undermine a 2022 RLWC and ensure it does not go ahead.

It stinks. The whole thing stinks.

At the moment I just feel numb.
Edited by Jim from Oz
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9 hours ago, Derwent said:

If that’s the case then it’s still better than a commercially catastrophic one this year. 

So how is next year going to different? 

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Just read that the WC is postponed to 2022 and I am extremely disappointed but not surprised.

I am not going to waste my energy by moaning about the ARLC/NRL so I have accepted the decision and now look forward to a great WC next year and I hope that everyone on here supports the event next year as enthusiastically as they did this year.

Just one question to ask - a poster on here said that there would be no Govt funding for the event next year. Is that true and if so why?

 

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Missed opportunity and ‘catastrophic’ is no over-exaggeration, considering the competition we’ll be facing from other sports next year. 

2021 was the chance to ride the wave of public good feeling as we left the pandemic, and as the sole sport in the UK international limelight at that time.

This will just confirm Northern Hemisphere RL will fade into obscurity as far as the general public are concerned. 

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43 minutes ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

Just read that the WC is postponed to 2022 and I am extremely disappointed but not surprised.

I am not going to waste my energy by moaning about the ARLC/NRL so I have accepted the decision and now look forward to a great WC next year and I hope that everyone on here supports the event next year as enthusiastically as they did this year.

Just one question to ask - a poster on here said that there would be no Govt funding for the event next year. Is that true and if so why?

 

If it's true (don't know if that is or isn't the case) that govt. funding has been pulled, it can only be because they quite rightly don't trust the Australian rugby league authorities. ..and who can blame them? 

Edited by JohnM
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People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.

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48 minutes ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

a poster on here said that there would be no Govt funding for the event next year. Is that true and if so why?

Nobody knows yet but, my personal understanding of the funding, is that that POV came out of the belief that the RLWC funding from the government was linked to opening up after covid which it never has been. It is linked to the government's 'northern powerhouse' funding, hence the location of the majority of matches and the community spending the RLWC is doing.

There may be a continuation of that funding or there may not be. Unless anyone knows better, I haven't seen anything to confirm that detail either way.

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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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At the end of the day if major sport is played in the UK this year at the same time as the Rugby League World Cup was supposed to then we know who we can thank for that rushed decision.

Morally it was wrong to back out with no notice. Then instead of taking a breath to come back to the negotiating table they back peddle further & strengthen there position. They then get the clubs onside which made it almost impossible by then to get the players you need.

If your product is damaged to that extent I guess its hard to sell to the public & why they had no choice but to postpone.

We will never know how much work went behind the scenes to try to rescue the event but in the end it seems it couldn't be.

So the NRL have assured the competition in Australia starts on time in 2022 with no impact - well aint that a blessing.

People will make there own minds next year if its worth attending or supporting. 

It has opened up peoples eyes now to the attitude that the NRL has to International Rugby League & it sure isnt pretty.

What is also hard to comprehend is this all happened during an Olympics when sport is played at the highest level during a COVID pandemic.

 

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16 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Nobody knows yet but, my personal understanding of the funding, is that that POV came out of the belief that the RLWC funding from the government was linked to opening up after covid which it never has been. It is linked to the government's 'northern powerhouse' funding, hence the location of the majority of matches and the community spending the RLWC is doing.

There may be a continuation of that funding or there may not be. Unless anyone knows better, I haven't seen anything to confirm that detail either way.

I would imagine government funding is one of the major issues the World Cup Committee has been discussing with interested parties before making a final decision. My guess, and it based on nothing other than a guess, is that if/when the decision to postpone until next year is formally announced it will be because continued government funding, or most of it, has been secured. I would hope this would also apply to some, or all of the major venues too 

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100% League 0% Union

Just because I don't know doesn't mean I don't understand

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1 minute ago, Cumbrian Fanatic said:

I would imagine government funding is one of the major issues the World Cup Committee has been discussing with interested parties before making a final decision. My guess, and it based on nothing other than a guess, is that if/when the decision to postpone until next year is formally announced it will be because continued government funding, or most of it, has been secured. I would hope this would also apply to some, or all of the major venues too 

I'm a lot more confident about the government funding - because the RLWC can remain a conduit for community project funding - than I am about sponsorship and being able to use the same venues.

The thing I'm least confident about is there ever actually being a World Cup outside Australia.

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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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1 minute ago, gingerjon said:

I'm a lot more confident about the government funding - because the RLWC can remain a conduit for community project funding - than I am about sponsorship and being able to use the same venues.

The thing I'm least confident about is there ever actually being a World Cup outside Australia.

I don't think I'd disagree with you there. Even if the world cup goes ahead next year and we retain sponsors, I suspect securing sponsors for future events has become much harder now.

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100% League 0% Union

Just because I don't know doesn't mean I don't understand

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16 Clubs have just told 16 Countries they can't have a World Cup.

When they told 2 big countries they thought that would be enough. But the other nations still persisted.

So now they've intimidated their employees into not representing these nations.

This has critically impacted international RL. It now cannot confidently plan anything, or secure sponsors, or secure funding. No government is going to be able to take them seriously.

This is genuinely worse than anything Rugby Union has done to League over the past 25 years. Its not far off burn the NRL shirts time, they are worse than the dark side in my eyes now. I can't wait for them inevitably to be overran by Soccer and wondering where it all went wrong.

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I hope the RFL and IRL are contacting Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Jamaica, USA, Canada and Nigeria and organising tests and possibly tournament so at least there is some International RL at the end of this year. I cant decide what would be best for England though

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1 minute ago, JM2010 said:

I hope the RFL and IRL are contacting Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Jamaica, USA, Canada and Nigeria and organising tests and possibly tournament so at least there is some International RL at the end of this year. I cant decide what would be best for England though

We'll know soon enough whether the RFL thinks internationals have any kind of future by what they schedule for the Autumn.

And that will be on them, not the NRL.

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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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4 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

16 Clubs have just told 16 Countries they can't have a World Cup.

When they told 2 big countries they thought that would be enough. But the other nations still persisted.

So now they've intimidated their employees into not representing these nations.

This has critically impacted international RL. It now cannot confidently plan anything, or secure sponsors, or secure funding. No government is going to be able to take them seriously.

This is genuinely worse than anything Rugby Union has done to League over the past 25 years. Its not far off burn the NRL shirts time, they are worse than the dark side in my eyes now. I can't wait for them inevitably to be overran by Soccer and wondering where it all went wrong.

Wow. I know its a forum, but calm down

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3 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I can't wait for them inevitably to be overran by Soccer and wondering where it all went wrong.

They've surrendered domestic expansion to the AFL and international expansion to soccer.

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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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1 minute ago, gingerjon said:

We'll know soon enough whether the RFL thinks internationals have any kind of future by what they schedule for the Autumn.

And that will be on them, not the NRL.

Yes, this will be very interesting.

France. In Leigh. On a Tuesday night. 

 

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Just now, MattSantos said:

Yes, this will be very interesting.

France. In Leigh. On a Tuesday night. 

 

6.15pm kick off.

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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Just now, gingerjon said:

Which bit is wrong?

Last paragraph is so dramatic. I love RL so much that i now want the best bit to fail.. 

Theyve pulled out and with all the context, its an understandable decision. I dont agree or like it, but i can understand it.

The whole sport is a huge mess, the one successful element is trying to maintain that in a complex landscape and even more complex pandemic. 

 

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On the NRL Facebook page 😀

The Olympics, but it's just #NRL players who are selected 🏅 

Who would you choose for these sports? 🤔

100m Sprint 🏃‍♀️

Basketball 🏀 

Boxing 🥊

Cycling 🚴🏻‍♂️

Diving 🏊‍♀️

Equestrian 🏇 

Golf 🏌️♀️

Gymnastics 🤸‍♀️ 

High Jump ˦

Marathon 🏃🏽‍♂️

Rowing 🛶 

Shot Put 💪🏽

Surfing 🌊

Swimming 🏊‍♂️ 

Table Tennis 🏓

Tennis 🎾

Trampoline ⏫

Weightlifting 🏋️♀️

Wrestling 🥋

 

https://www.facebook.com/6878248073/posts/10158864584223074/

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3 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

How long do you give them?

To be overtaken?

No idea. I wonder if they'll even notice.

The numbers watching the Olympics football has really surprised me though.

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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17 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

We'll know soon enough whether the RFL thinks internationals have any kind of future by what they schedule for the Autumn.

And that will be on them, not the NRL.

I recall the other time the Aussies decided they wouldn't support internationals in November. England organised a credible tournament of England, Wales and France

 It was shown live on the BBC. I enjoyed it, but it got rubbish crowds and people lacked interest. 

There is a risk something similar this year would be worse, maybe no NRL players. 

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

I recall the other time the Aussies decided they wouldn't support internationals in November. England organised a credible tournament of England, Wales and France

 It was shown live on the BBC. I enjoyed it, but it got rubbish crowds and people lacked interest. 

There is a risk something similar this year would be worse, maybe no NRL players. 

I'd be okay with taking the hit on rubbish crowds just to give England any kind of momentum.

They have to organise *something*.

(And not put it on half in apology).

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