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Rugby League World Cup 2021 (Merged Threads)


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Wayne Bennet has his say and supports any Souths players who want to go. 

Calls out NRL on double standards.  

“Who is going to deprive them? It’s not the right of the club,” he said. 

“We don’t have an option when it comes to playing Origin or for Australia. If we refuse to play for Australia we get stood down. What’s going to happen for these players that want to play for their countries? 

“It’s a complete double standard. If a player wants to play and the club says he can’t but if a player doesn’t want to play and the game says you’ve got to play. There’s got to be a balance there.”

Bennett was not taking aim though at Australia or New Zealand for pulling out but insisted international rugby league does not revolve around those two nations.

https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nrl-premiership/wayne-bennett-has-called-out-double-standards-in-a-passionate-fiveminute-defence-of-international-rugby-league/news-story/8ce5da4841f9ea2a971a2376ae497c37

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James Graham.

https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nrl-premiership/nrl-2021-rugby-league-world-cup-cost-date-postponed-cancelled-australia-new-zealand-reaction-james-graham/news-story/a98132835f7ab78758f874791c4b48ec

“We’re here watching the Olympic Games go on, we all witness Wimbledon happen featuring athletes from all around the world, there’s a Golf Open happening, the Wallabies and All Blacks are about to tour to Europe. 

“What that tends to suggest is it is not a Covid issue. I know speaking to people back home, they are really angry that the commission are hiding behind Covid and perceived player welfare and using hypothetical situations. 

“What it tends to suggest is that it is not a Covid issue, it is a lack of prestige, a lack of respect, a lack of any potential financial gain for the NRL and clubs to get off this World Cup. 

“Peter V’landys spoke about when rugby league is in a time of crisis we come together. Maybe he should live by that and help get this World Cup on. I’m not saying he is hiding behind Covid but that is what he is being accused of back in England.”

 
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9 hours ago, Henson Park Old Firm said:

In reality the Government of Queensland has told the NRL one more covid breach and they'll shut down the comp... I have a feeling australia and nz would then play.

I would love the Queensland government to do that

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Just listening to the Triple M Saturday Scrum pod and Jammer was excellent.

He goes on to make the point that the ‘eight weeks off’ thing has always been an issue but it never stopped the likes of Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith playing finals football for Melbourne, then touring/play in World Cups for the Kangaroos - noting that the last World Cup final was in December - then go round again the following year.

They just found a way to make it work, as indeed the ARLC has done with State of Origin and the NRL during Covid.

Edited by Man of Kent
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17 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

So how long before they announce the 2021 Pacific 6 nation's competition to take place in November in Australia and NZ ? 

You haven't read the past few pages then?

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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I'm afraid there's definitely more chance of the tournament being postponed than of it taking place. The NRL and its member clubs are just going to put so much pressure on the pacific nations that one of them will crack and pull out. At that point continuing becomes untenable. There is apparently a meeting of the Asia Pacific RL next week, to decide on a position to take, but I think it'll all be stitched up before then.

In the unlikely event that it goes ahead, I certainly see the appeal in having Indigenous and Maori teams taking part. They'd be very competitive teams, it would have a real 'f you' to the NRL feel to it and I think the optics would be quite good, it's certainly a story to sell to the media. That said, logistically I'm not sure how you'd do it - who would even pick the squads, coaches, etc? There's a Maori RL but they're affiliated to NZRL so would be pressured not to take part, but I don't think there's a comparable body for Indigenous RL. The safest bet would be to invite the USA and Serbia (as next best losers in qualifying) to take part. Like I say, in the unlikely event it takes place at all.

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"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."

Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

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11 hours ago, Henson Park Old Firm said:

In reality the Government of Queensland has told the NRL one more covid breach and they'll shut down the comp... I have a feeling australia and nz would then play.

Oh how funny would that be. We can then offer them the chance to come over here and safely finish the comp - give them full and sole Covid-friendly access to Underbank Rangers to host all games, including global commentary by Mick Gledhill - provided of course that they compete in the World Cup. Sorted.

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28 minutes ago, nadera78 said:

In the unlikely event that it goes ahead, I certainly see the appeal in having Indigenous and Maori teams taking part. They'd be very competitive teams, it would have a real 'f you' to the NRL feel to it and I think the optics would be quite good, it's certainly a story to sell to the media. 

It would be a great story and the BBC in particular would lap it up, and the Indigenous war cry and Maori haka.

But there’s more to play out, I suspect.

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46 minutes ago, nadera78 said:

In the unlikely event that it goes ahead, I certainly see the appeal in having Indigenous and Maori teams taking part. They'd be very competitive teams, it would have a real 'f you' to the NRL feel to it and I think the optics would be quite good, it's certainly a story to sell to the media.

I would actually probably enjoy that more than a WC with Oz and NZ in it!

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53 minutes ago, nadera78 said:

I'm afraid there's definitely more chance of the tournament being postponed than of it taking place. The NRL and its member clubs are just going to put so much pressure on the pacific nations that one of them will crack and pull out. At that point continuing becomes untenable. There is apparently a meeting of the Asia Pacific RL next week, to decide on a position to take, but I think it'll all be stitched up before then.

I tend to agree. I simply don’t see how those Pacific nations will be able to compete; they are pretty much reliant on the NRL for everything. 

On a related note, really pleased with James Graham’s statement. The bit about financial reward the NRL specifically. That gets to the heart of this issue (with COVID as a smokescreen). Well done him. 

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If it is postponed, Vlandis will have won, and the WC will be a damp squib, what with all  the competing sports events. Vlandis will then claim ownership. 

If it goes ahead, Vlandis will claim its a mickey mouse cup. 

Either way, he'll win and assume control of the game worldwide. 

"Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution."

Albert Einstein   (Fat chance on THIS forum)

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There's no perfect outcome now. 

Loathe as I am to let the NRL win, in the cold light of day you have to accept the realities of power. 

I think the least worst option now is postponement to 2022, if we can get binding participation agreements from the Australians. 

The 2022 dates aren't great, but I genuinely fear a 2021 WC without Aus and NZ will be a financial disaster. Plenty of people are definitely going to ask for their money back for the Aus and NZ games, and the organisers will probably face refund demands for the rest of the tournament given it just won't be what was promised. They're still running social media ads now featuring Aus and NZ. 

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It has to go on. All the expenses and match fees for the players are coming from the Workd Cup not the NRL. For the first time, Tonga, Samoa and Fijian players are actually going to be rewarded. Add to that the prize money of getting to and winning the final it could be pretty lucrative for these nations.

That has never happened in the history of RL. These countries have always been treated like dirt.

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1 minute ago, Toby Chopra said:

There's no perfect outcome now. 

Loathe as I am to let the NRL win, in the cold light of day you have to accept the realities of power. 

I think the least worst option now is postponement to 2022, if we can get binding participation agreements from the Australians. 

The 2022 dates aren't great, but I genuinely fear a 2021 WC without Aus and NZ will be a financial disaster. Plenty of people are definitely going to ask for their money back for the Aus and NZ games, and the organisers will probably face refund demands for the rest of the tournament given it just won't be what was promised. They're still running social media ads now featuring Aus and NZ. 

Fans may even boycott Aus and NZ games even if they do come in 2022.

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2 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Fans may even boycott Aus and NZ games even if they do come in 2022.

Then fans would be contributing to the demise of English rugby league. 

We all feel betrayed, and we have been. So it's natural to want to stick it to the Aussies and tell them we can do without them forever. I've felt that too. 

But when tempers have settled we have to find a way back from this. There's no future for international rugby league without Australia, and without international rugby league the English game would be on the fast track to total marginalisation. 

It's a terrible situation, but cutting off our noses to spite our faces will be even worse. 

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We postponed it from last year saying it’ll be better next year . Now theyre saying the same , who knows ? And who knows if they’ll turn up next year , what if there’s another spike here that spooks them , what if they’ve been in the bubble in the NRL again as they’ve COVID zero tolerance and don’t want to be bothered to come again ? We keep kicking it into the long grass with no guarantees everything’s gonna fall into place anyway . To me this is power games and self interest and we’ve got to get this on or we’ve basically surrendered . The arrogance and shifting of goalposts in terms of the reasoning tells a story and should stiffen resolve 

Edited by DavidM
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Just now, DavidM said:

We postponed it from last year saying it’ll be better next year . Now theyre saying the same , who knows ? And who knows if they’ll turn up next year , what if there’s another spike here that spooks them , what if they’ve been in the bubble in the NRL again as they’ve COVID zero tolerance and don’t want to be bothered to come again ? We keep kicking it into the long grass with no guarantees everything’s gonna fall into place anyway . To me this is power games and self interest and we’ve got to get this on or we’ve basically surrendered 

Eh? It's always been scheduled for this year. 

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9 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

Then fans would be contributing to the demise of English rugby league. 

We all feel betrayed, and we have been. So it's natural to want to stick it to the Aussies and tell them we can do without them forever. I've felt that too. 

But when tempers have settled we have to find a way back from this. There's no future for international rugby league without Australia, and without international rugby league the English game would be on the fast track to total marginalisation. 

It's a terrible situation, but cutting off our noses to spite our faces will be even worse. 

Fans are fans. A large portion of fans really don't care about the game too much. It is a fact of life sadly. To them it is entertainment or just their club.

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The Aus and NZ games directly contribute relatively modest numbers to the crowd total. This tournament has already taken the decision to delink England from them. 

Games like Coventry would be a challenge, but I think it will anyway tbh. 

Sponsorship from Aus would take a hit, and tv rights from those territories would be at risk. 

If these things can be overcome, and they may be reasons to have 'rebel' Aus and NZ teams then we should continue. 

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