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Rugby League World Cup 2021 (Merged Threads)


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3 hours ago, fighting irish said:

Do you think, I would bother to write these comments, if I didn't believe them?

The fact that they don't look outside ''their shores'' is confirmation that they are insular. If they don't respect other nations players then they are willfully blind and the reason for that is they have very strong (commercial) reasons for maintaining the mystical aura around the SoO series.

So they have a huge vested interest in SoO (which is already declining in popularity).

You know, although I notice you've never acknowledged it, that Tonga, and New Zealand have defeated Australia recently and England have pushed them to very narrow victory. It's reasonable to claim then, that both those teams, and perhaps England, would beat Queensland and New South Wales.

When you add in, that PNG beat a tired GB side, you must admit standards are rising in the Pacific. This is cause for concern amongst the NRL/SoO barons and is the justification for my comment that they (the NRL) would see (the developing, ''beefed up'') International competition as a challenger to SoO supremacy in the hearts and minds of the viewing public.

A stronger, International (World Cup) would obviously (eventually) overtake SoO in class and that means megabuck losses in revenue to the ''insular'' NRL.

Be honest, aren't you also more than a tad, ''willfully blind''? 

This is quite correct. It's completely obvious why SOO is pushed as the pinnacle by the NRL and media corporation that shows it.

The facts are that Australia get 100% revenue from SOO. They get minimal or no revenue from a World Cup. Even tournaments like 4 nations or tests they share revenue with others. This is why they now want to control internationals RL too, which we have seen stated and which has started through the NRL Pacific Tests.

Edited by Damien
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3 minutes ago, Damien said:

This is quite correct. It's completely obvious why SOO is pushed as the pinnacle by the NRL and media corporation that shows it.

The facts are that Australia get 100% revenue from SOO. They get minimal or no revenue from a World Cup. Even tournaments like 4 nations or tests they share revenue with others. This is why they now want to control internationals RL too, which we have seen stated and which has started through the NRL Pacific Tests.

But even if they do, the key point here is that they have the power and the influence to bring that about. It really wouldn’t take much for them to say to the rest of the world “we think that we can make more money and run a better International Board than the current people” and make that happen.

As long as they have a vision for the whole international game, and are prepared to invest in developing the game around the world, as well as putting in place an interesting international calendar, then we could well be better off. Instead, everything they have done recently suggests that they would prefer to have no international games at all. I have seen absolutely nothing constructive from them before and since they exploded the World Cup.  

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14 hours ago, DC77 said:

They see the growth of the International Game as direct competitor to State of Origin and something which can undermine their claim that SoO is the highest standard of RL in the World.”

Do you genuinely believe this? Didn’t State of Origin take off because of the absence of a top quality international scene? When the Aussies make those great player lists they don’t look outside their shores (which maybe gingerjon would see as insular). They don’t respect the standard outside Australia, and will only consider including a player in such a list who has played in the NRL. I’ve heard in NRL commmetary “such and such a player is good enough for an Queensland/NSW jumper”. Again, this could be construed as insular, or it could just be (like their greatest players list and the NRL) they see Origin as the highest level. 

Don’t English lads talk about the prospect of playing in the NRL as being the ultimate for them? Think I heard a few in the Mick Gledhill podcasts. Players in the Scottish Premiership do this with the Premier League. 

It’s a good thing that England and Great Britain didn’t take the same attitude as Australia throughout the early part of the 20th century when they dominated and smashed the Kangaroos just as much as Australia have dominated for most of the last 40 years.

Had it not been for Great Britain’s willingness to board a ship for 3 months away in Australia there might not be a domestic competition in Australia.

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1 hour ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

But even if they do, the key point here is that they have the power and the influence to bring that about. It really wouldn’t take much for them to say to the rest of the world “we think that we can make more money and run a better International Board than the current people” and make that happen.

As long as they have a vision for the whole international game, and are prepared to invest in developing the game around the world, as well as putting in place an interesting international calendar, then we could well be better off. Instead, everything they have done recently suggests that they would prefer to have no international games at all. I have seen absolutely nothing constructive from them before and since they exploded the World Cup.  

No, their record is atrocious. They didn't deliver promised profits in the 2017 World Cup and they supposedly run Pacific Tests at a loss. They bundle the Pacific Tests TV deal rights into their own TV rights and take all associated revenue. The world 9s organised by them were also a shambles

They've outlined their vision through their minions like Gould and Richardson and it's horrendous. It's also far easier to take over the international game and be the white knight if its destroyed first and no games are being played and anything is presented as an improvement. It's a lot more difficult to do it if teams are playing regularly anyway and would certainly be more difficult after a thriving a hugely successful and profitable World Cup which would greatly enrich the IRL. 

Edited by Damien
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4 minutes ago, Damien said:

No, their record is atrocious. They didn't deliver promised profits in the 2017 World Cup and they supposedly run Pacific Tests at a loss. They bundle the Pacific Tests TV deal rights into their own TV rights take all associated revenue. The world 9s organised by them were also a shambles

They've outlined their vision through their minions like Gould and Richardson and it's horrendous. It's also far easier to take over the international game and be the white knight if its destroyed first and no games are being played and anythingis presentedas an improvement. It's a lot more difficult to do it if teams are playing regularly anyway and would certainly be more difficult after a thriving a hugely successful and profitable World Cup which would greatly enrich the IRL. 

Spot on

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2 hours ago, Scubby said:

And the 2017 World Cup in Australia was not shown on Fox or Nine (think it was Channel 10). So the aforementioned broadcasters pretty much refused to mention a home World Cup at all during the 2017 NRL season and when it began gave it token mentions on sports news. That's how narrow minded and petty it is.

The 2017 RLWC, like the 2013 edition, was shown on Channel 7 - and yes that meant 9 and Fox pretty much ignored both those tournaments 

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18 minutes ago, Damien said:

No, their record is atrocious. They didn't deliver promised profits in the 2017 World Cup and they supposedly run Pacific Tests at a loss. They bundle the Pacific Tests TV deal rights into their own TV rights take all associated revenue. The world 9s organised by them were also a shambles

They've outlined their vision through their minions like Gould and Richardson and it's horrendous. It's also far easier to take over the international game and be the white knight if its destroyed first and no games are being played and anythingis presentedas an improvement. It's a lot more difficult to do it if teams are playing regularly anyway and would certainly be more difficult after a thriving a hugely successful and profitable World Cup which would greatly enrich the IRL. 

I dont think they woyld destroy it more like play it when it suites them ie. After the GF.

I wonder if as part of signing the participation agreement they could hold the IRL to ransom and not sign unless they hand over power or agree to their future demands regarding scheduling.

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I know some think V'Landys will lead RL to some promised land but I just don't see it.

A few years ago under Greenberg the mid season international weekend began and whilst not perfect was a huge step forward. There was serious talk for some time afterwards about every SOO weekend becoming standalone and an international weekend. 3 mid season internationals would have been truly transformative. Add 3 or 4 end of season internationals and that would have been a fantastic calender.

All that talk is now gone and the NRL now just want mid season internationals scrapped. Not even one. Then we all know what happened with the World Cup. International RL has only gone one way since V'Landys came on the scene.

Edited by Damien
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V’Landys and the NRL are nothing more than a protection racket. As Damien says, the international game has gone backwards since he took over. They are not scared of the international game; but are fully aware they don’t control/make enough money from it. So are actively seeking to control it for the benefit of the NRL. Shame on them.

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56 minutes ago, Damien said:

I know some think V'Landys will lead RL to some promised land but I just don't see it.

A few years ago under Greenberg the mid season international weekend began and whilst not perfect was a huge step forward. There was serious talk for some time afterwards about every SOO weekend becoming standalone and an international weekend. 3 mid season internationals would have been truly transformative. Add 3 or 4 end of season internationals and that would have been a fantastic calender.

All that talk is now gone and the NRL now just want mid season internationals scrapped. Not even one. Then we all know what happened with the World Cup. International RL has only gone one way since V'Landys came on the scene.

Agreed...Vlandys is a lackie for news corp interests ie.streaming and gambling...just watch what happens in the next few years.

Possibly the NRL will benefit from this partnership and change of direction by lachlan murdoch....a cut of profits.

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21 minutes ago, rlno1 said:

Agreed...Vlandys is a lackie for news corp interests ie.streaming and gambling...just watch what happens in the next few years.

Possibly the NRL will benefit from this partnership and change of direction by lachlan murdoch....a cut of profits.

Dave Smith did some great things and probably did the single biggest thing in the last 20 years in getting rid of News Corporation ownership. That has fueled all growth since. He achieved record TV rights and huge growth in the digital side, club memberships, club funding etc. Yet he is treated as a failure and with contempt by journalists because he took on Murdoch and have the NRL it's independence.

V'Landys negotiated a reduced TV deal, destroyed the World Cup, tinkered with the rules to suit TV and gets lauded by journalists and the media. The bias is unreal. If Greenberg had done what V'Landys has done he'd have been castigated for exactly the same things. Give me a CEO that shows real leadership for the good of the game, like Smith, any day.

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But they don’t need to destroy the rest of the world to achieve their aims. They could, instead, ask for control of TV rights for all Aussie games and bundle them into their TV deal. They could put a price on developing players across the Pacific. They could make a list of the things that the IRL does in which they have no interest, and the game can form a view as to how the money would be raised to keep those going (eg funding the ERL). The IRL and other bodies have 2 very different roles - acting as a not for profit development tool for new countries and forms of the game across the world, and organising internationals. The 2 could easily be separated. 

There is an adult conversation to be had, which has not been had, and that is to everyone’s detriment. 

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7 minutes ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

But they don’t need to destroy the rest of the world to achieve their aims. They could, instead, ask for control of TV rights for all Aussie games and bundle them into their TV deal. They could put a price on developing players across the Pacific. They could make a list of the things that the IRL does in which they have no interest, and the game can form a view as to how the money would be raised to keep those going (eg funding the ERL). The IRL and other bodies have 2 very different roles - acting as a not for profit development tool for new countries and forms of the game across the world, and organising internationals. The 2 could easily be separated. 

There is an adult conversation to be had, which has not been had, and that is to everyone’s detriment. 

I think it's clear that they are not enthusiastic about dealing with the IRL and although they claim there's no money (for them) in International competition, don't underestimate the very real burgeoning threat that exciting International matches presents to SoO.

Whatever happens between ARLC/NRL and the IRL in future (and it's highly unlikely to be a wholehearted symbiotic partnership) we, in the Northern hemisphere, need to create and nurture regular International competition, in the America's, Eastern Europe, the home Nations and France.

They are not going to spend money, or provide succour to an organisation which threatens the status of their precious SoO circus.

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4 hours ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

But they don’t need to destroy the rest of the world to achieve their aims. They could, instead, ask for control of TV rights for all Aussie games and bundle them into their TV deal. They could put a price on developing players across the Pacific. They could make a list of the things that the IRL does in which they have no interest, and the game can form a view as to how the money would be raised to keep those going (eg funding the ERL). The IRL and other bodies have 2 very different roles - acting as a not for profit development tool for new countries and forms of the game across the world, and organising internationals. The 2 could easily be separated. 

There is an adult conversation to be had, which has not been had, and that is to everyone’s detriment. 

I'm not sure I agree with that last bit, the adult conversations have been had, it created the international board and the governance around it. What has happened since is that clubs are now pushing back against the increased demands on their players.

We adopted a reasonable and tried and tested approach based on other sports, and it was working, we had decent 4 nations, Euro tournaments, the odd Pacific nation and World Cups. We then were ready to the next phas, and we end up here. 

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On 07/08/2021 at 22:40, Exiled Wiganer said:

I have tried to follow your train of thought, but i am really struggling to see what the point your trying to make is. If it’s NRL have loads of money and the Aussies never lose so they view the international game differently from us, then, err, yes that’s so. I think that would be worth a separate thread, but what this thread is about (without being presumptuous) is THIS World Cup and what they have done over to the rest of the game in the last 3 weeks.

 

If their view has always been exactly as you describe, then they should have raised this in one of the dozens of meetings they attended, seeing first hand the real live thousands of hours spent by hundreds of people to put this together. They could have saved everyone a great deal of trouble by withdrawing at any time earlier than when they chose to do so - on 4 minutes notice. Pretty much everyone on this thread knows the reality of where the power resides, what matters here is how that power has been exercised. 

By all means, though, start a thread on reasons why the Aussies are justified in viewing the rest of the world with contempt. I think that would be an interesting discussion point. 

I’m coming from a more neutral perspective as an outsider with no foot in either camp, so I’m not taking sides here. 

The international game not offering loads (or any?) money is tied into the reason the Aussies have pulled out of the RLWC. I believe they are genuine with their concern over covid (their lockdown in Australia would back this up) and that there is no ulterior motive, but at the same time had the international game been lucrative, meaning the Aussies (and all the NRL players they send out to the other teams) could receive no expense spared top notch facilities, travel, hotels etc, they’d currently be planning to play in the tournament. The fella from NRL.com on the BBC podcast spoke about players having to share facilities with the public. This is in contrast to their other sports teams including the Olympians.

 

The 4 minutes notice I agree was shabby. Dutton has been a class act (even going as far as to apologise for the tournament not happening) so the Aussies could learn a thing or two about decorum. Not sure I agree with withdrawing earlier as the covid situation in Oz changed. Look at the Olympics, spectators were only prevented from attending a matter of weeks before the games, so nobody can really plan too far ahead. The Premier League kicks off this weekend, full stadiums, I’m wondering for how long for. We are at the mercy of this virus. 

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On 08/08/2021 at 08:28, fighting irish said:

Do you think, I would bother to write these comments, if I didn't believe them?

The fact that they don't look outside ''their shores'' is confirmation that they are insular. If they don't respect other nations players then they are willfully blind and the reason for that is they have very strong (commercial) reasons for maintaining the mystical aura around the SoO series.

So they have a huge vested interest in SoO (which is already declining in popularity).

You know, although I notice you've never acknowledged it, that Tonga, and New Zealand have defeated Australia recently and England have pushed them to very narrow victory. It's reasonable to claim then, that both those teams, and perhaps England, would beat Queensland and New South Wales.

When you add in, that PNG beat a tired GB side, you must admit standards are rising in the Pacific. This is cause for concern amongst the NRL/SoO barons and is the justification for my comment that they (the NRL) would see (the developing, ''beefed up'') International competition as a challenger to SoO supremacy in the hearts and minds of the viewing public.

A stronger, International (World Cup) would obviously (eventually) overtake SoO in class and that means megabuck losses in revenue to the ''insular'' NRL.

Be honest, aren't you also more than a tad, ''willfully blind''? 

You could only class them as insular if it was across the board, but it isn’t. It’s solely restricted to RL that they don’t look outside their shores. If for example Super League was a billion pound league, with Anfield, Old Trafford, Emirates etc. as RL grounds, and a couple of million in England were playing the sport as opposed to the 44k figure Sport England put out, I think we can be pretty sure the Aussies would be looking up here, a lot. Most of the best Aussie players would be playing over here too as opposed to coming over for a few weeks at the end of their career. The Aussies would be salivating at the prospect of all this, as it would raise the game even more in Australia knowing there was another big player in town. The tv companies would be building games up much like they do with the Ashes, much like they once did with the Bledisloe Cup.

English rugby league (the only other pro league outside Aus) just isn’t a big enough player to turn heads in Aus, and until that changes (which Toronto may have provided a decent first step) they will continue to look towards their own league. NZ RL really is an extension of Aussie RL (especially having a club in it) so them winning the odd game will not cause much of a ripple in Aus. NZ RL in some ways is akin to Welsh football in that both have a pro team(s) in their next door neighbours league (NZ Warriors in Aus, Swansea/Cardiff City in Eng). If NZ RL was the size/standard of the all blacks, with their own top league, income, sizeable playing pool etc. that would be a different story. They be seen as genuine challengers to Aussie supremacy. They would also have won more than one RLWC in half a century that’s for sure.

 

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48 minutes ago, DC77 said:

You could only class them as insular if it was across the board, but it isn’t. It’s solely restricted to RL that they don’t look outside their shores. If for example Super League was a billion pound league, with Anfield, Old Trafford, Emirates etc. as RL grounds, and a couple of million in England were playing the sport as opposed to the 44k figure Sport England put out, I think we can be pretty sure the Aussies would be looking up here, a lot. Most of the best Aussie players would be playing over here too as opposed to coming over for a few weeks at the end of their career. The Aussies would be salivating at the prospect of all this, as it would raise the game even more in Australia knowing there was another big player in town. The tv companies would be building games up much like they do with the Ashes, much like they once did with the Bledisloe Cup.

English rugby league (the only other pro league outside Aus) just isn’t a big enough player to turn heads in Aus, and until that changes (which Toronto may have provided a decent first step) they will continue to look towards their own league. NZ RL really is an extension of Aussie RL (especially having a club in it) so them winning the odd game will not cause much of a ripple in Aus. NZ RL in some ways is akin to Welsh football in that both have a pro team(s) in their next door neighbours league (NZ Warriors in Aus, Swansea/Cardiff City in Eng). If NZ RL was the size/standard of the all blacks, with their own top league, income, sizeable playing pool etc. that would be a different story. They be seen as genuine challengers to Aussie supremacy. They would also have won more than one RLWC in half a century that’s for sure.

 

I think you might have had a few too many knocks on the head. What position did you play?

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34 minutes ago, DC77 said:

You could only class them as insular if it was across the board, but it isn’t. It’s solely restricted to RL that they don’t look outside their shores. If for example Super League was a billion pound league, with Anfield, Old Trafford, Emirates etc. as RL grounds, and a couple of million in England were playing the sport as opposed to the 44k figure Sport England put out, I think we can be pretty sure the Aussies would be looking up here, a lot. Most of the best Aussie players would be playing over here too as opposed to coming over for a few weeks at the end of their career. The Aussies would be salivating at the prospect of all this, as it would raise the game even more in Australia knowing there was another big player in town. The tv companies would be building games up much like they do with the Ashes, much like they once did with the Bledisloe Cup.

English rugby league (the only other pro league outside Aus) just isn’t a big enough player to turn heads in Aus, and until that changes (which Toronto may have provided a decent first step) they will continue to look towards their own league. NZ RL really is an extension of Aussie RL (especially having a club in it) so them winning the odd game will not cause much of a ripple in Aus. NZ RL in some ways is akin to Welsh football in that both have a pro team(s) in their next door neighbours league (NZ Warriors in Aus, Swansea/Cardiff City in Eng). If NZ RL was the size/standard of the all blacks, with their own top league, income, sizeable playing pool etc. that would be a different story. They be seen as genuine challengers to Aussie supremacy. They would also have won more than one RLWC in half a century that’s for sure.

 

We do still hear the names of English clubs mentioned by our commentators but certainly not in the reverential tones that they were spoken of in 30 years ago. Clubs like Wigan had a mythical status to a young Rugby League fan (was that the club whose jersey was described as `blood and bandages`) and games like the CC final were on FTA over here live early in the morning.

I remember a time in the eighties when there was a host of great English backs playing in the NRL, Lydon, Currier, Schofield, Hanley, Connolly, all class acts who used to be every bit as good as the Aussies and often better. We love having the great English forwards over here, Ward, Morley, etc. etc. etc. but it was the backs they really got you excited about English League. I believe Oliver Gildart is coming to play for the Tigers next year, I know absolutely nothing about him but I`m really looking forward to it.

Another thing that never helps is the Club Challenge with Australian teams travelling to England every year, not even having played a game and often with a host of players sitting it out and more often than not giving the English side 6 weeks into your season a drubbing or certainly winning pretty comfortably. None of this helps the general perception that English Rugby League has fallen off the pace. I think we`ve won 16 out of the last 20.

Another thing I hear a lot of is if it only wasn`t for Dugan`s ankle tap on Grace, and someone`s no-try in Melbourne then the English team may have beaten us, but the fact was they didn`t and didn`t again. When they start winning those close games time and time again then Australian League supporters will sit up.

Best thing that can happen to NH League now is to get Toulouse into your competition. NH League needs more cashed up glamour teams that can put together world class teams and pay top dollar for the very best, this might bring the top young athletes back into you sport and we might start to see a few of those world class backs we used to see that we all so enjoyed and got people excited about watching international Rugby League.

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2 hours ago, The Rocket said:

We do still hear the names of English clubs mentioned by our commentators but certainly not in the reverential tones that they were spoken of in 30 years ago. Clubs like Wigan had a mythical status to a young Rugby League fan (was that the club whose jersey was described as `blood and bandages`) and games like the CC final were on FTA over here live early in the morning.

I remember a time in the eighties when there was a host of great English backs playing in the NRL, Lydon, Currier, Schofield, Hanley, Connolly, all class acts who used to be every bit as good as the Aussies and often better. We love having the great English forwards over here, Ward, Morley, etc. etc. etc. but it was the backs they really got you excited about English League. I believe Oliver Gildart is coming to play for the Tigers next year, I know absolutely nothing about him but I`m really looking forward to it.

Another thing that never helps is the Club Challenge with Australian teams travelling to England every year, not even having played a game and often with a host of players sitting it out and more often than not giving the English side 6 weeks into your season a drubbing or certainly winning pretty comfortably. None of this helps the general perception that English Rugby League has fallen off the pace. I think we`ve won 16 out of the last 20.

Another thing I hear a lot of is if it only wasn`t for Dugan`s ankle tap on Grace, and someone`s no-try in Melbourne then the English team may have beaten us, but the fact was they didn`t and didn`t again. When they start winning those close games time and time again then Australian League supporters will sit up.

Best thing that can happen to NH League now is to get Toulouse into your competition. NH League needs more cashed up glamour teams that can put together world class teams and pay top dollar for the very best, this might bring the top young athletes back into you sport and we might start to see a few of those world class backs we used to see that we all so enjoyed and got people excited about watching international Rugby League.

I agree with all of this.

The annoying thing about the World Club Challenge is that the 2 times it has been held in Australia the attendances have been fantastic. In 2014 Sydney City Roosters v Wigan got over 30k, which great and far higher than an average Roosters game. In 1994 Brisbane v Wigan was a 55k sell out. It's crazy that some are so dismissive of it when attendances suggest there is plenty of interest.

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9 minutes ago, Damien said:

I agree with all of this.

The annoying thing about the World Club Challenge is that the 2 times it has been held in Australia the attendances have been fantastic. In 2014 Sydney City Roosters v Wigan got over 30k, which great and far higher than an average Roosters game. In 1994 Brisbane v Wigan was a 55k sell out. It's crazy that some are so dismissive of it when attendances suggest there is plenty of interest.

It was also held in Melbourne in 2018 and got 19,062

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3 hours ago, The Rocket said:

Best thing that can happen to NH League now is to get Toulouse into your competition. NH League needs more cashed up glamour teams that can put together world class teams and pay top dollar for the very best, this might bring the top young athletes back into you sport and we might start to see a few of those world class backs we used to see that we all so enjoyed and got people excited about watching international Rugby League.

We have to go so much further than adding Toulouse.

We need a proper NH growth strategy focused on the long-term development of the UK game (might I add that Toulouse being in SL is a must and I do agree with that being the short term decision that needs to be made ASAP), whilst building a NH international calendar to support developing nations.

It's about creating a perpetually increasing circle of:

International matches = profits for IRL & individual federations = funding elite & amateur RL = increasing volumes of players = increasing volumes of talent = International matches....

Until we get this started, rolling and building, we will never consistently match the SH.

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