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So What's The Plan From Here?


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On 27/07/2021 at 22:18, OriginalMrC said:

A plan? Would be nice wouldn't it. We're not far off where clubs will be looking to retain players for next season and could have huge funding cuts. Championship and League 1 have been excellent this year whereas Superleague is a complete mess. Due to mismanagement at the very top of the game the rest will suffer. No plan other than self interest. 

What’s the testing like in the lower levels? I genuinely don’t know in Rugby League but it wasn’t mandatory to be tested if you were outside of the professional game in Football during last season, so I was wondering if it was similar outside of Super League because I don’t believe Covid discriminates against semi-pro Rugby League players. 

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On 27/07/2021 at 22:07, JM2010 said:

An ideal situation would be a combination of NH tournaments and tournaments involving SH sides plus mid season test matches during a 4 year cycle.

Year 1 - NH tournament.

Home Nations and France plus Jamaica and Nigeria.

Year 2 - Nations Cup.  

8 teams - 6 Oceania Cup teams plus top 2 NH teams. (Can still be played without Aus and NZ. Just draft in next 2 NH teams if Aus and NZ don't play).

WC qualifiers can also be held for all the other nations.

Year 3 - NH tournament as in year 1.

Year 4 - WC.

Mid season tests each year

Eng vs France

Ireland vs USA

Scotland vs Wales

Jamaica vs Nigeria.

Mix and match these teams to play more than one test if needed.

 

Call me greedy, but this still isn't enough for me. I think there should be annual mid-season tournaments and end-of-season tournaments. I agree with the posters who have highlighted the need for an annual tournament to provide consistency for broadcasters, and like the idea of a European championship with groups of 4 and P&R from each group. In an ideal world, this could be played mid-season to minimise travelling and wouldn't get as lost in an Autumn of Premier League football and RU internationals. We keep talking about creating stars for the game, but it's only international RL that has the potential to create household names IMO.

Another point which has been raised many times on here is that Super League is just too long. Every year the interest starts to wane around July/August as the loop fixtures kick in, before it picks up again for the play-offs. Given that the 1895 Cup now offers lower league clubs a real possibility of going to Wembley, I would completely restructure the cup into a Champions League format based on league positions from the previous season. This would help to guarantee every club a minimum number of home fixtures, and you could cut Super League down and bump up Sky's content with the equivalent number of CC games. It would also hopefully break the monotony of one overly long comp starting in Feb and finishing in October.

The bottom line is though that none of this can happen without a change of governance in the running of the game. And unfortunately I can't ever see the Super League clubs wanting to relinquish power until it's too late and the game has withered beyond all recognition.

When I saw last week's press release from Wigan about their new overseas signings for next season, my heart sank as it encapsulated how far the UK game has fallen in the past few years. 20 years ago, Wigan were signing genuine world class international players in the likes of Steve Renouf, Adrian Lam, Matthew Johns etc. Even 10 years ago they were signing players like Ryan Hoffman and Jeff Lima. Where are the players who are going to get the bums on seats? Unfortunately, in most cases the answer is the NRL or RU. And the game doesn't seem to be addressing the problems that are causing this.

 

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6 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Call me greedy, but this still isn't enough for me. I think there should be annual mid-season tournaments and end-of-season tournaments. I agree with the posters who have highlighted the need for an annual tournament to provide consistency for broadcasters, and like the idea of a European championship with groups of 4 and P&R from each group. In an ideal world, this could be played mid-season to minimise travelling and wouldn't get as lost in an Autumn of Premier League football and RU internationals. We keep talking about creating stars for the game, but it's only international RL that has the potential to create household names IMO.

Another point which has been raised many times on here is that Super League is just too long. Every year the interest starts to wane around July/August as the loop fixtures kick in, before it picks up again for the play-offs. Given that the 1895 Cup now offers lower league clubs a real possibility of going to Wembley, I would completely restructure the cup into a Champions League format based on league positions from the previous season. This would help to guarantee every club a minimum number of home fixtures, and you could cut Super League down and bump up Sky's content with the equivalent number of CC games. It would also hopefully break the monotony of one overly long comp starting in Feb and finishing in October.

The bottom line is though that none of this can happen without a change of governance in the running of the game. And unfortunately I can't ever see the Super League clubs wanting to relinquish power until it's too late and the game has withered beyond all recognition.

When I saw last week's press release from Wigan about their new overseas signings for next season, my heart sank as it encapsulated how far the UK game has fallen in the past few years. 20 years ago, Wigan were signing genuine world class international players in the likes of Steve Renouf, Adrian Lam, Matthew Johns etc. Even 10 years ago they were signing players like Ryan Hoffman and Jeff Lima. Where are the players who are going to get the bums on seats? Unfortunately, in most cases the answer is the NRL or RU. And the game doesn't seem to be addressing the problems that are causing this.

 

It's not greedy at all. I completely agree that we should have even more than I suggested. I was just being mindful that the self interest of SL clubs wouldn't allow any more. 

Ideally mid season would have a Euro format as suggested, an Americas championship and a MEA championship with the end of season having NH tournaments either side of a WC and a tournament for SH sides and the top NH sides sandwiched in between the NH tournaments.

I like the CC idea too. Drop the loop fixtures and have a group format in the CC with the SL clubs and any clubs that qualify through to that stage. I would also bring the top 6 clubs from Elite 1 into the CC at the same time as Championship clubs.

Lastly an international 9s circuit could be introduced in both the NH and SH with a combined tournament every couple of years. A lot of people want RL 9s in the Olympics but we don't even play it 

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3 hours ago, JM2010 said:

A lot of people want RL 9s in the Olympics but we don't even play it 

Have we got the player pool for 9s? I mean to do it properly? 

The risk is it becomes the cheap way into international competition for some smaller nations (as 7s has) which means they don't then take or fund XIII seriously.

Meanwhile 9s as a circuit would take away players and fans *potentially* in England

I quite like the idea of 9s, but I can't stress enough how much in the men's game RU's relative numbers of players and interested members of the public masks the fact that 7s is divergent in terms of both players and fans. You do now get people who only watch or play 7s at the top level. It might be a nice problem to have, but while it *might* bring in a new audience, it *could* cannibalise the existing one.

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13 hours ago, Hela Wigmen said:

What’s the testing like in the lower levels? I genuinely don’t know in Rugby League but it wasn’t mandatory to be tested if you were outside of the professional game in Football during last season, so I was wondering if it was similar outside of Super League because I don’t believe Covid discriminates against semi-pro Rugby League players. 

I think its weekly. Players also have to isolate if pinged by the NHS app, even if they've tested negative 

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2 hours ago, PREPOSTEROUS said:

I see Manchester United have called off a friendly because of an outbreak at the club, perhaps a sign of things to come in other sports.

Nottingham Forest have cancelled two this week as well. 

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I think the answer to the OP is that there isn't a plan. Whether the WC goes ahead or not I don't think anything was planned for next year and beyond. Other than WCs is there even an International calendar?

On a domestic front nobody seems to know what's going to happen below SL when the new Sky contract starts.

And as far as expansion, junior development and a plan for the game in Wales, Scotland and Ireland goes then the only people whoever make plans for that is us lot on here

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9 hours ago, OriginalMrC said:

I think its weekly. Players also have to isolate if pinged by the NHS app, even if they've tested negative 

Twice a week. Or more, obviously.

"We'll sell you a seat .... but you'll only need the edge of it!"

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2 hours ago, JM2010 said:

I think the answer to the OP is that there isn't a plan. Whether the WC goes ahead or not I don't think anything was planned for next year and beyond. Other than WCs is there even an International calendar?

On a domestic front nobody seems to know what's going to happen below SL when the new Sky contract starts.

And as far as expansion, junior development and a plan for the game in Wales, Scotland and Ireland goes then the only people whoever make plans for that is us lot on here

The reference to a plan in the OP was to emphasise RL hasn't got one. It would be logical that the game in the NH would wake up to the fact they need to start planning things, especially at international level. Now at least they now know it's probably a plan without SH RL. 

 

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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On 29/07/2021 at 10:38, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

When I saw last week's press release from Wigan about their new overseas signings for next season, my heart sank as it encapsulated how far the UK game has fallen in the past few years. 

Where are the players who are going to get the bums on seats? Unfortunately, in most cases the answer is the NRL or RU. And the game doesn't seem to be addressing the problems that are causing this.

 

This. 100%.

The drop in level is quite scary, yet still you find people on here saying it's not that bad, and the League is still a good standard etc. As you say, it is quite obvious that 'bums on seats' players are now playing elsewhere, and that is not going to change.

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9 hours ago, The Frying Scotsman said:

This. 100%.

The drop in level is quite scary, yet still you find people on here saying it's not that bad, and the League is still a good standard etc. As you say, it is quite obvious that 'bums on seats' players are now playing elsewhere, and that is not going to change.

 

If it's ever going to change, there has got to be a plan on how to get there. With no plan there is no hope of change.

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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12 hours ago, RayCee said:

If it's ever going to change, there has got to be a plan on how to get there. With no plan there is no hope of change.

I agree.

Perhaps worth remembering now that had Toronto Wolfpack been given another year or two in the Super League then Sonny Bill Williams would have been playing in the Super League ?

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2 hours ago, westlondonfan said:

I agree.

Perhaps worth remembering now that had Toronto Wolfpack been given another year or two in the Super League then Sonny Bill Williams would have been playing in the Super League ?

' given ' ? , They financially fell apart ( and I said they should have had the SKY money ) 

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It seems to me that in common with other sports and other businesses, short term survival, players and workers well being and  spectator covid risk control would be the top priority.

Four legs good - two legs bad

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The main priority at the moment IMO is Super League, as that is the competition that brings the most money into the game. However before a plan is made to address the issues that Super League has the first thing that is needed is for somebody or somebodies to be given free reign to do what they think is best without being overruled by the clubs. 

Rugby League is a much bigger sport in Australia which is why the NRL generates the amount of money it does but also looks to me like it is run more as a business than Super League and if SL wants to improve its revenues then it needs a proper business plan with some hard nosed decisions. Which clubs provide the games Sky wants to show? Which clubs have the potential to pull in 10k crowds? Which clubs are taking youth development seriously? Which clubs outside of SL can add more commercial value?

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On 29/07/2021 at 13:04, iffleyox said:

You do now get people who only watch or play 7s at the top level.

That's fascinating like people who only watch One day cricket.

I used to love league sevens but a bit like many other ideas never could be as good as the real thing.

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Oxford said:

That's fascinating like people who only watch One day cricket.

I used to love league sevens but a bit like many other ideas never could be as good as the real thing.

I genuinely think 7s only hasn't killed RU because of the size of the RU playing/spectating pool being large enough to accommodate it - I would expect any halfway decent 9s circuit to do huge damage to proper RL, certainly in terms of siphoning off players. It might take 15-20 years, but I think it would happen.

By the way, I think I've said before that there are some fans of Pro RU clubs who will only watch their amateurs, not the pro side, so there are many varieties of spectator madness out there.

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2 hours ago, Liverpool Rover said:

The main priority at the moment IMO is Super League, as that is the competition that brings the most money into the game. However before a plan is made to address the issues that Super League has the first thing that is needed is for somebody or somebodies to be given free reign to do what they think is best without being overruled by the clubs. 

Rugby League is a much bigger sport in Australia which is why the NRL generates the amount of money it does but also looks to me like it is run more as a business than Super League and if SL wants to improve its revenues then it needs a proper business plan with some hard nosed decisions. Which clubs provide the games Sky wants to show? Which clubs have the potential to pull in 10k crowds? Which clubs are taking youth development seriously? Which clubs outside of SL can add more commercial value?

Apart from youth development I would of thought Toronto Wolfpack would of fit the criteria you set out very nicely actually. 

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23 hours ago, iffleyox said:

I genuinely think 7s only hasn't killed RU because of the size of the RU playing/spectating pool being large enough to accommodate it - I would expect any halfway decent 9s circuit to do huge damage to proper RL, certainly in terms of siphoning off players. It might take 15-20 years, but I think it would happen.

By the way, I think I've said before that there are some fans of Pro RU clubs who will only watch their amateurs, not the pro side, so there are many varieties of spectator madness out there.

It was interesting hearing the end of the GB Olympic Men's team interview on the BBC. The player (cant remember his name!) stated quite clearly that 7s is not working in RU. Then went on to describe a whole load of issues that we quite often use to evaluate RL. Largely around turning up to places like Singapore/HK/London because organisers have popped pins in a map. The lack of a commercialisation strategy and ultimately there not being enough money in the game/sport to keep players in the 7s game and to compete with RU proper.

Sounds familiar to our conversations doesnt it?

I dont see how a 9's RL competition solves any of the 13 a-side game's problems... I think it becomes a huge (potentially expensive) distraction.

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