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Australia and New Zealand Withdraw from RL World Cup


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Despite financial penalties for their late withdrawal the two countries won’t be sending teams to the RL World Cup.

They want to postpone the comp while 2022. Can’t see the situation in 2022 being much different if the approaches taken in Aus and NZ  continue to be so different to Europe and large parts of the rest of the world.
 

To isolate or vaccinate? 

Covid control in the two countries will work in the short term and in the long term only if isolation and quarantining continues. 

One report say the two countries warned the RLWC organisers just four minutes before they made their announcement. Not sure how accurate that is.

Should the RLWC be postponed or carry on without them? 
 

Edited by Graham
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The chairman of the Rugby Football League has labelled Australia and New Zealand’s governing bodies “selfish, parochial and cowardly” following their decision to withdraw their national sides from this year’s World Cup, a move that has left competition organisers reeling and trying to decide whether the event can and will proceed without them.

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Simon Johnson, the head of the RFL, has launched a scathing attack on his counterparts. “The World Cup organisers have been bending over backwards for many months to accommodate the concerns raised by the Australians and New Zealanders,” he said. “We believed we were in a position where they were willing to come. I’m sorry, but I have no choice other than to call this a selfish, parochial and cowardly decision.”

NZRL boss Greg Peters said it was “simply too unsafe” to take part, despite assurances from World Cup organisers over the safety of all players and staff. The South Sydney chief executive, Blake Solly, told the Guardian last week that NRL clubs wanted the tournament pushed back into 2022, which is now the most likely possibility as organisers consider whether to take an unprecedented step of proceeding without the two strongest nations. Eight of the last nine world cups have been won by Australia, with the exception being New Zealand’s 2008 win.

But Johnson stressed that at a time when Australia and New Zealand have sent squads to the Olympics, the decision to withdraw now makes little sense. “They have athletes in Tokyo right now,” he said. “But there’s a point here that Australia were just awarded in Olympics in 2032, and would therefore profess themselves as a leader in women’s and disability sport.

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The World Cup has already received around £25m of financial backing from the government, and organisers have secured lucrative broadcast and sponsorship packages for the event, which, as things stand, is due to start in Newcastle on 23 October, when hosts England face Samoa at St James’ Park.

“The withdrawal of Australia and New Zealand from the Rugby League World Cup is a massive blow,” added Jo Stevens, the shadow secretary for digital, culture, media and sports (DCMS). “Hosting the World Cup was due to bring an injection of much needed cash to the sport and communities holding the games. Cases are spiralling, yet the government is hell-bent on ‘Freedom Day; at the expense of public health, businesses and now putting one of this year’s biggest sporting events in Britain at risk.”

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Interesting analysis by Dave Woods half way down this article:

Analysis by BBC rugby league correspondent Dave Woods

So are the Australian clubs more concerned about their own backyard issues - how a World Cup would impact their domestic 2022 season - rather than the good of the wider game?

Edited by Graham
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RFL chairman Simon Johnson has called the Australian/New Zealand decision to pull out of the Rugby League World Cup “selfish, parochial and cowardly” live on BBC
 

Good for him, about time we showed some balls. Play it without em, declare the winners world champions and if the Aussies/Kiwis want to challenge the champs tell them their offer will be considered in due time 

Edited by Phil

"Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice, socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality" - Mikhail Bakunin

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Massively angry about this, arrogant, selfish and short sighted.

Meanwhile the wallabies are coming in the autumn and they’re going to the olympics.

I’ll not be watching the NRL again, they can stick it 

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"Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice, socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality" - Mikhail Bakunin

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30 minutes ago, Phil said:

Massively angry about this, arrogant, selfish and short sighted.

Meanwhile the wallabies are coming in the autumn and they’re going to the olympics.

I’ll not be watching the NRL again, they can stick it 

Phil at the moment I feel the same but is it only the  NRL,their clubs and pompous blokes like Gould I watched him on youtube a couple of days ago.

Has anyone asked the players now if they come out and say no then that's it.

Hilariously on NRL.com's  news page there is a push to have Rugby League included in the Brisbane Olympics. I take it that will be another Eastern Seaboard comp between two states.

 

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Shows how little the Aussies care for the international game when you look at the low number of posts in this thread

"Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice, socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality" - Mikhail Bakunin

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Posted (edited)

The withdrawal getting a lot of media coverage in the UK.

Quote

It made the back pages of newspapers in the UK—almost unheard of for rugby league—and was widely criticized around the globe. The majority of the blame has been placed at the door of the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC), who made the call in what has been seen as a craven move to place the wishes of the National Rugby League (NRL) clubs ahead of the international game.

The decision to withdraw Australia and New Zealand was done without consultation with other members of the Asia Pacific Rugby League (APRL), the regional confederations that includes all of the other Pacific nations. 

Edited by Graham
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APRL nations are thought to be livid that Australia and New Zealand have unilaterally taken themselves out of the World Cup without informing their fellow members. 

Nations beyond the Pacific also angered that two of the major nations on the board of International Rugby League (IRL) have made this call in a way that meant that the members of the same board were not given time to react. It is also thought that they were informed of the pullout less than an hour before the press release was sent.

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Posted (edited)

 

RLPA chief executive Clint Newton said the decision was "disappointing".

"We have had feedback from a number of players eligible for these nations stating their intentions to compete in the tournament, pending more information becoming available in the coming weeks," he said in a statement.

"Clearly, the views of those players have not been enough to prevent this decision and we believe it has been made prematurely."

5 Live Rugby League podcast: "We've been let down by two of the biggest nations in Rugby league"

The RLPA represents players in Australia's National Rugby League (NRL), which also contains players from Tonga, Fiji and Samoa, who are still set to compete in the World Cup.

Newton says he will continue to work with tournament organisers to ensure the health and safety of players whose countries remain committed to the tournament.

"For players representing remaining participating nations, our priority will be to help ensure appropriate health and safety measures are in place, and also provide them with the relevant information to make an informed decision about participation," he added.

 

Edited by Graham
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Ivan Cleary has come out and stated he will talk to his players about not participating in the World Cup. Obviously,  those Wests Tigers fans were only being honest about him a few weeks ago.

On the other side of the coin Wayne Bennett has stated he would not stand in the way of any of his players wanting to represent countries in the competition. Respect sir respect.

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I hope to get a more rational response from posters on this page than a lynch mob on another thread.

Let me start with, I really wanted the RLWC to proceed this year, but never had the confidence it would. In addition to every item I raise below, due to the respective handling of the Coronavirus, there is simply a different culture and mindset between the public of Australasia and UK towards this pandemic, especially around what is considered “safe”.

Hysteria that players were not consulted do appear to be wide of the mark. The RLPA have made absolutely no such allegation. They have said that the opinions of “some” (or a word similar) players were “not enough” to dissuade this decision.

There are NRL players that haven’t even travelled up to Qld with their clubs, because the bubble has taken its toll.

If individual forum posters think there is an overwhelming player interest in participating at the RLWC, well I would love to see the evidence leading that thought. There certainly is a lack of big name players demonstrating their displeasure with this decision or even moreso, declaring their intent to participate.

From a player point of view, NRL players have been in bubbles for the best part of 16 months. I think it is asking a lot for them to extend that bubble up to 6-7 weeks further, especially this time. without the availability of their families.

Personally, I find the whole response from the RFL both expected and out of touch. Claims of cowardice are pitiful from an organisation that still cannot get a full round of SL fixtures completed because of the very virus that the ARLC and NZRL are concerned of. This screams of don’t judge us on what’s happening now, judge us on what we might achieve in a few months.

I can fully understand the decision not to represent. Those naively debating for the RLWC to proceed will direct your attention to Wimbledon, Euros and Olympics events taking place in this pandemic. The RFL and IRL are obscure organisations in comparison to the bodies organising the three events listed above. To think the RFL and IRL are putting identical safety measures and resources into the RLWC as those in place for by the LTA/ATP/WTA, EUFA and the IOC is simply dreamland.

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6 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Let me start with, I really wanted the RLWC to proceed this year, but never had the confidence it would. In addition to every item I raise below, due to the respective handling of the Coronavirus, there is simply a different culture and mindset between the public of Australasia and UK towards this pandemic, especially around what is considered “safe”.

It is certainly true that the response to the pandemic in Straya and NZ has been even more insane than elsewhere in the world.

I saw a Nine News item yesterday detailing how retail shops and construction sites were to close and 110 Sydney suburbs would be sealed shut with 900 000 residents unable to leave their area even for work. "And this is why", said the anchor portentously - Out of a record 82 000 tests, 111 new cases and 1 death.

Now NSW has declared a national emergency, the Victorian premier is demanding a "ring of steel" around Sydney, and across the water Tsarina Jacinda has closed the Trans-Tasman travel bubble for 8 weeks while claiming to be "the single source of truth".

Watching all this from the UK, it`s hard not to laugh.

No surprise in this atmosphere that PVL has seized the opportunity to make an expedient move. Rhetorically it affords a rock solid alibi. The sanctimonious platitudes about saving lives and welfare being paramount are perfectly in line with the messages coming from politics and mainstream media.

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On 23/07/2021 at 01:23, Phil said:

Shows how little the Aussies care for the international game when you look at the low number of posts in this thread

 

On 23/07/2021 at 07:03, Graham said:

Any Aussie/Kiwi views on this?

The other TRL thread is overwhelmingly anti Aus NZ decision by what appears to be a very large number of non aussie non kiwi posters.

Any Aussie/Kiwi fans want to have their two pennyworth?

 

I`m as ###### as hell on this, if they really wanted it to happen they could of, they could even still now if they all put their heads together, but they won`t  Listening to Phil Gould on channel 9 last night after seeing his twitter comments earlier in the day, just depressed me with his arrogance and tin-pot self importance.

Very disappointed with PVL as well, thought he might have been forced into it, but having seen his remarks I feel he is as bad as the rest on this. 

They`ll pay though as we keep losing our stars to union so that they can play in their WC.

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15 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

I hope to get a more rational response from posters on this page than a lynch mob on another thread.

Let me start with, I really wanted the RLWC to proceed this year, but never had the confidence it would. In addition to every item I raise below, due to the respective handling of the Coronavirus, there is simply a different culture and mindset between the public of Australasia and UK towards this pandemic, especially around what is considered “safe”.

Hysteria that players were not consulted do appear to be wide of the mark. The RLPA have made absolutely no such allegation. They have said that the opinions of “some” (or a word similar) players were “not enough” to dissuade this decision.

There are NRL players that haven’t even travelled up to Qld with their clubs, because the bubble has taken its toll.

If individual forum posters think there is an overwhelming player interest in participating at the RLWC, well I would love to see the evidence leading that thought. There certainly is a lack of big name players demonstrating their displeasure with this decision or even moreso, declaring their intent to participate.

From a player point of view, NRL players have been in bubbles for the best part of 16 months. I think it is asking a lot for them to extend that bubble up to 6-7 weeks further, especially this time. without the availability of their families.

Personally, I find the whole response from the RFL both expected and out of touch. Claims of cowardice are pitiful from an organisation that still cannot get a full round of SL fixtures completed because of the very virus that the ARLC and NZRL are concerned of. This screams of don’t judge us on what’s happening now, judge us on what we might achieve in a few months.

I can fully understand the decision not to represent. Those naively debating for the RLWC to proceed will direct your attention to Wimbledon, Euros and Olympics events taking place in this pandemic. The RFL and IRL are obscure organisations in comparison to the bodies organising the three events listed above. To think the RFL and IRL are putting identical safety measures and resources into the RLWC as those in place for by the LTA/ATP/WTA, EUFA and the IOC is simply dreamland.

Let me correct some of the inaccuracies in your post: 

• 75% of players said they were completely willing to play in the tournament when surveyed
• 80% said the quarantine measures that would be in place did not have an impact on them wanting to play in the competition

https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/rugby-league-world-cup-players-21119348.amp?__twitter_impression=true

Also, there are plenty of players showing discontent and circling to find a way to still play - even forming Indigenous and Maori representative teams - here Addo Carr and Cody Walker are leading the way. 
 

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/rugby-league-world-cup-2021-nrl-clubs-headed-for-world-cup-showdown-australia-nz-withdraw/news-story/4dfcc41de0c6604a044590c679ed7014?amp&nk=0bce5069b6f03255cee2857cfcdc70d5-1627131049&__twitter_impression=true

 

Tedesco has said he’ll play for Italy if Australia don’t compete.

 I can see both sides of the argument but when you see players coming out in support and other national teams touring then the Australian/NZ argument falls flat. 

Also, another inaccuracy from your post is in relation to the safety protocols. It’s nothing to do with RFL or IRL. It’s effectively the UK government who are putting everything in place and funding it. It’s the same protocols as for the Euros etc. So there are zero concerns about that. 

When you consider all that, it’s easy to draw the conclusion 

Edited by DoubleD
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11 hours ago, DoubleD said:

Let me correct some of the inaccuracies in your post: 

• 75% of players said they were completely willing to play in the tournament when surveyed
• 80% said the quarantine measures that would be in place did not have an impact on them wanting to play in the competition

https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/rugby-league-world-cup-players-21119348.amp?__twitter_impression=true

Also, there are plenty of players showing discontent and circling to find a way to still play - even forming Indigenous and Maori representative teams - here Addo Carr and Cody Walker are leading the way. 
 

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/rugby-league-world-cup-2021-nrl-clubs-headed-for-world-cup-showdown-australia-nz-withdraw/news-story/4dfcc41de0c6604a044590c679ed7014?amp&nk=0bce5069b6f03255cee2857cfcdc70d5-1627131049&__twitter_impression=true

 

Tedesco has said he’ll play for Italy if Australia don’t compete.

 I can see both sides of the argument but when you see players coming out in support and other national teams touring then the Australian/NZ argument falls flat. 

Also, another inaccuracy from your post is in relation to the safety protocols. It’s nothing to do with RFL or IRL. It’s effectively the UK government who are putting everything in place and funding it. It’s the same protocols as for the Euros etc. So there are zero concerns about that. 

When you consider all that, it’s easy to draw the conclusion 

There may well be some telling statistics there. Then again, there may not be. Is that 75% of Australian and NZ representatives saying they are willing to compete? Your article doesn’t say and I will suggest the answer is no. No doubt, there will be players interested in playing, that’s not my argument.

If Indigenous and Maori want to rally together to enter teams and the organisers allow them to enter, then great. Not sure what governance they will be playing under, maybe IRL, but whatever, if they can draw a team, then great. That still doesn’t dismiss the issues I raised.

To say that the safety protocols are solely down to the government sounds a little wide of the mark to me. You may be right, but if you are, then that means the UK government are organising all the accomodation and transport of players and officials. The government are responsible for the staffing and bio-security measures of match day events. Is that the case? If not, then you cannot say the government is responsible. Funding it is one thing. Delivering it is another.

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Furthermore @DoubleD, it would be difficult to convince many of the safety of participating in the RLWC when SL games are still being cancelled due to COVID.

If the measures set for the RLWC are so safe, why are they not being utilised and/or successful for SL?

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