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7 hours ago, Mr Frisky said:

Australia isn't a very important country on the world stage and well off the world travel routes - their only real international influences are Cricket and some Rugby ( hence the RLWC decision was baffling)

I blame their sense of importance on that period in the 1980's when Australia became culturally relevant.  Crocodile Dundee, while a pretty good movie, has a lot to answer for.

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1 hour ago, Dunbar said:

I blame their sense of importance on that period in the 1980's when Australia became culturally relevant.  Crocodile Dundee, while a pretty good movie, has a lot to answer for.

Plus Neighbours and Home & Away, must admit I devoured them like most other teenagers in the early 90s but I never went as far as some of my mates who started saying stuff like G’day.
 

RL relevance? Yes, I’m fairly sure Joe Mangel used to wear a Brisbane Broncos shirt sometimes, even though it was set in Melbourne. 

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2 hours ago, Dunbar said:

I blame their sense of importance on that period in the 1980's when Australia became culturally relevant.  Crocodile Dundee, while a pretty good movie, has a lot to answer for.

That's such a narrow minded view of Australia.

In the 80s they also had Neighbours, Home and Away and Rolf Harris 

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28 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Plus Neighbours and Home & Away, must admit I devoured them like most other teenagers in the early 90s but I never went as far as some of my mates who started saying stuff like G’day.
 

RL relevance? Yes, I’m fairly sure Joe Mangel used to wear a Brisbane Broncos shirt sometimes, even though it was set in Melbourne. 

You beat me to it by 22 minutes! Ha!

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13 minutes ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

That's such a narrow minded view of Australia.

In the 80s they also had Neighbours, Home and Away and Rolf Harris 

Are you allowed to say R**f Ha**is anymore 

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11 hours ago, Dave T said:

The problem is it is rather limited in what it can do in the NH. France are miles off. If England RU only had Italy to play every year they wouldn't be filling Twickenham like they do.

The majority of quality international RL teams are SH teams, they are part of the solution, even if it is difficult.

This disparity didn't just pop up out of nowhere though, it has been accentuated over time by England's continued neglect of their own backyard. It is a myth that England cares about the international game as a whole, England only cares about what benefits England (Exiles/Combined Nations anyone?). England have refused to humour the European championships for over 15 years now, such a tournament is no chance of attaining any proper level of coverage and prestige without the strongest European nation participating.

Now that more SH nations have emerged as genuine contenders (some through heritage, some through proper development) England can no longer rely on SH teams to head north outside WCs as the SH have begun establishing their own regular tournaments (ie the Oceanic Cup exists where the 4N previously did). Consequentially, to find international opponents England now have to play development catch up with France + the Home Nations because they let the NH slip this far.

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6 hours ago, UTK said:

This disparity didn't just pop up out of nowhere though, it has been accentuated over time by England's continued neglect of their own backyard. It is a myth that England cares about the international game as a whole, England only cares about what benefits England (Exiles/Combined Nations anyone?). England have refused to humour the European championships for over 15 years now, such a tournament is no chance of attaining any proper level of coverage and prestige without the strongest European nation participating.

Now that more SH nations have emerged as genuine contenders (some through heritage, some through proper development) England can no longer rely on SH teams to head north outside WCs as the SH have begun establishing their own regular tournaments (ie the Oceanic Cup exists where the 4N previously did). Consequentially, to find international opponents England now have to play development catch up with France + the Home Nations because they let the NH slip this far.

Without going cross code, but Italy Union are an example of a team supported, they are still nowhere near a match for England though. 

Hopefully France will see some benefits of what Catalans and Toulouse are doing, but it will be a long game. 

I also don't see why the Sh teams can't be a part of the future - they always have been and now there are more better teams that is an opportunity rather than a negative. Sure there are challenges to face with the NRL, but that will be sorted. 

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

 

I also don't see why the Sh teams can't be a part of the future - they always have been and now there are more better teams that is an opportunity rather than a negative. Sure there are challenges to face with the NRL, but that will be sorted. 

Agreed, I’d have though the likes of Tonga, Fiji, PNG and Samoa (who incidentally see to have come in to 10/1 for the WC from about 50/1) would jump at the chance to tour here, even if the Aussies and NZ aren’t interested. Tests against England, France and a couple games against club or rep sides such as Cumbria would be great. 

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23 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Agreed, I’d have though the likes of Tonga, Fiji, PNG and Samoa (who incidentally see to have come in to 10/1 for the WC from about 50/1) would jump at the chance to tour here, even if the Aussies and NZ aren’t interested. Tests against England, France and a couple games against club or rep sides such as Cumbria would be great. 

Yes, that should also be part of France's plan to improve. 

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On 12/10/2021 at 12:51, The Great Dane said:

Yeah they were so 'chuffed' that it's never talked about amongst their great achievements, never used in any of their marketing and promotional material, and even the majority of their fans couldn't tell you how many WCCs they've won...

Actions speak louder than words, and controlled interviews given to the media is the cheapest of talk.

What a silly thing to say.

Do you think that St Helens should have to play, e.g., a Qld/NSW cup team to prove they are better than them? Of course not.

St Helens would finish roughly somewhere between 6th and 10th in the NRL, and the only thing that is naïve and disrespectful is you massively underselling the abilities of NRL teams and players out of vain patriotism.

I would counter your argument with a look at the crowds the WCC has drawn in Australia on the rare occasions it has been played in Australia.

1994 Broncos vs Wigan Crowd 54,220 (Their biggest of the season)

2014 Roosters vs Wigan 31,515 (A massive crowd for the Roosters)

2018 Storm vs Leeds 19,062 (Their biggest crowd apart from the Anzac day game)

I agree there isn't much love from many of the coaches but many fans get excited about it despite there been some who have no idea about anything outside NRL. It would really help if it rotated and was played in Australia every second year.

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

Without going cross code, but Italy Union are an example of a team supported, they are still nowhere near a match for England though. 

Hopefully France will see some benefits of what Catalans and Toulouse are doing, but it will be a long game. 

I also don't see why the Sh teams can't be a part of the future - they always have been and now there are more better teams that is an opportunity rather than a negative. Sure there are challenges to face with the NRL, but that will be sorted. 

I agree that we should be implementing a more comprehensive calendar that allows for cross-hemisphere matchups alongside consistent local tournaments. There's no reason the SH nations can't be part of that future, but the caveat is England cannot continue to ignore the rest of Europe's developing nations in favour of inviting SH nations to tour. The gap between the SH/NH developing nations was exposed at the 2017 WC and strengthening these nations needs to be the priority from now on.

On the actual topic of the WCC, it needs to be locked in as a consistent fixture that rotates between the hemispheres each year (covid aside). That way there's no uncertainty where it is happening or whether it is happening following respective GFs.

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Just now, UTK said:

I agree that we should be implementing a more comprehensive calendar that allows for cross-hemisphere matchups alongside consistent local tournaments. There's no reason the SH nations can't be part of that future, but the caveat is England cannot continue to ignore the rest of Europe's developing nations in favour of inviting SH nations to tour. The gap between the SH/NH developing nations was exposed at the 2017 WC and strengthening these nations needs to be the priority from now on.

On the actual topic of the WCC, it needs to be locked in as a consistent fixture that rotates between the hemispheres each year (covid aside). That way there's no uncertainty where it is happening or whether it is happening following respective GFs.

I'm genuinely not sure that England can develop these nations. I agree there is more to do, but in reality France and Wales are the real opportunities as they probably always have been, and they have support and are embedded into the RFL's pyramid. 

I don't see just organising games as developing the nations, but naturally a game in France is welcome - I would have preferred a 2 series home and away test, but we are where we are. 

There is no evidence that England just playing France and Wales will improve them, the hard work needs to be below that level, and the RFL doesn't have the funding and resources to develop French RL (and in fact shouldn't be responsible for it). 

The RFL can be a useful ally to these nations, but cannot be responsible for them. 

I think we are broadly agreeing, but maybe how we would do it slightly differing. 

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20 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I'm genuinely not sure that England can develop these nations. I agree there is more to do, but in reality France and Wales are the real opportunities as they probably always have been, and they have support and are embedded into the RFL's pyramid. 

I don't see just organising games as developing the nations, but naturally a game in France is welcome - I would have preferred a 2 series home and away test, but we are where we are. 

There is no evidence that England just playing France and Wales will improve them, the hard work needs to be below that level, and the RFL doesn't have the funding and resources to develop French RL (and in fact shouldn't be responsible for it). 

The RFL can be a useful ally to these nations, but cannot be responsible for them. 

I think we are broadly agreeing, but maybe how we would do it slightly differing. 

If you dont think there is more Eng can do you massively lack imagination. 

Wales  and France have zero commercial deals because England do not play them,  so they remain uncompetitive.

An four nations tournament which has England play France and Wales away  (plus one other team, I would go Jamaica) would transform the commercial and spobsorship potential of these nations. Giving them the resources to catch up or become more competitive. 

Lock French teams in SL with minimum French players,  lock a Welsh team in with minimum Welsh players.  See If in four years you dont have a tournament that is a commercial boon for everyone. 

England has done very little other than beg Australia to play and we've seen the result. 

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21 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I'm genuinely not sure that England can develop these nations. I agree there is more to do, but in reality France and Wales are the real opportunities as they probably always have been, and they have support and are embedded into the RFL's pyramid. 

I don't see just organising games as developing the nations, but naturally a game in France is welcome - I would have preferred a 2 series home and away test, but we are where we are. 

There is no evidence that England just playing France and Wales will improve them, the hard work needs to be below that level, and the RFL doesn't have the funding and resources to develop French RL (and in fact shouldn't be responsible for it). 

The RFL can be a useful ally to these nations, but cannot be responsible for them. 

I think we are broadly agreeing, but maybe how we would do it slightly differing. 

Yeah I'd say it is a fair comment that we're on a relatively similar page with different approaches.

I completely accept the point about the resource constraints of the RFL but I would disagree that they don't have a level of responsibility to develop these nations. In an ideal world that would be the case, but in an ideal world French RL wouldn't have fallen from the heights it once sat atop. The unfortunate reality is that there are two countries in the world that have access to funding that can assist the growth of the game, as such I believe both of those countries have a responsibility for state of their neighbours. If we had a situation where there were well-funded independent bodies that could adequately support international RL (IRL/ERL) then absolutely they would assume that responsibility.

P&R structure complicates the utility of the French/Welsh clubs in developing competitive international teams. You can't run a PNG Hunters/Kaiviti Silktails in a P&R structure, so the French/Welsh teams exist in a fundamentally different state and for a different purpose. I'm not suggesting to remove P&R because I've come to understand it's greater importance within the English game in particular, hence why I've shifted my focus more to international matches here. 

To address the specific failings of P&R in promoting increased numbers of professional players I would suggest the most realistic option is the funding of annual junior internationals between England/France/Wales at multiple age levels (ie something like 16s/18s/20s). This allows junior talent to be exposed to professional clubs by competing against their English counterparts, putting aspiring kids in the shop window every year. This concept would ideally extend to a side from Wales competing in the academy system, though I imagine this would push the boundaries of resource constraints.

Obviously the Euro championships are my big gripe at a senior level and I think it's fair to suggest that England should be competing here in some form despite the potential for larger score disparities. Their participation gives credibility to the competition as a European championship and ensures regular games against the top nation in Europe as a draw to commit heritage players long-term.

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2 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

If you dont think there is more Eng can do you massively lack imagination. 

Wales  and France have zero commercial deals because England do not play them,  so they remain uncompetitive.

An four nations tournament which has England play France and Wales away  (plus one other team, I would go Jamaica) would transform the commercial and sponsorship potential of these nations. Giving them the resources to catch up or become more competitive. 

Lock French teams in SL with minimum French players,  lock a Welsh team in with minimum Welsh players.  See If in four years you dont have a tournament that is a commercial boon for everyone. 

England has done very little other than beg Australia to play and we've seen the result. 

Let's look at the last 8 or 9 years - we haven't had a reliance on the Aussies (Kangaroos) at all - so I'm not sure why you keep saying that. We have played them only in organised major tournaments, outside of that we have played the Kiwis mainly, plus they have sent GB to play Tests against Tonga and PNG. 

The RFL staged the biggest World Cup ever in 2013. Just 8 years later they are/were on track to deliver an even bigger tournament, with record investment. 

The RFL have been key drivers in the RLWC and the 4Nations - and these tournaments have been key in getting some of the wider teams playing games against the bigger nations. 

I would love you to be right, but I see no evidence of England battering Jamaica and Wales in Wales as being a good thing. 

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1 minute ago, UTK said:

Yeah I'd say it is a fair comment that we're on a relatively similar page with different approaches.

I completely accept the point about the resource constraints of the RFL but I would disagree that they don't have a level of responsibility to develop these nations. In an ideal world that would be the case, but in an ideal world French RL wouldn't have fallen from the heights it once sat atop. The unfortunate reality is that there are two countries in the world that have access to funding that can assist the growth of the game, as such I believe both of those countries have a responsibility for state of their neighbours. If we had a situation where there were well-funded independent bodies that could adequately support international RL (IRL/ERL) then absolutely they would assume that responsibility.

P&R structure complicates the utility of the French/Welsh clubs in developing competitive international teams. You can't run a PNG Hunters/Kaiviti Silktails in a P&R structure, so the French/Welsh teams exist in a fundamentally different state and for a different purpose. I'm not suggesting to remove P&R because I've come to understand it's greater importance within the English game in particular, hence why I've shifted my focus more to international matches here. 

To address the specific failings of P&R in promoting increased numbers of professional players I would suggest the most realistic option is the funding of annual junior internationals between England/France/Wales at multiple age levels (ie something like 16s/18s/20s). This allows junior talent to be exposed to professional clubs by competing against their English counterparts, putting aspiring kids in the shop window every year. This concept would ideally extend to a side from Wales competing in the academy system, though I imagine this would push the boundaries of resource constraints.

Obviously the Euro championships are my big gripe at a senior level and I think it's fair to suggest that England should be competing here in some form despite the potential for larger score disparities. Their participation gives credibility to the competition as a European championship and ensures regular games against the top nation in Europe as a draw to commit heritage players long-term.

The bit in bold is imho the best model. I think the way that the RFL and NRL can support the development here is to support through providing funding and resources in a JV kind of way. I'm not a fan of nations depending on a bit of goodwill and being at the mercy of the bigger nations. 

I properly resourced and funded IRL/ERL/PacificRL is crucial - but they need to be supported. 

I don't think we can use this approach of using the NRL and RFL/SLE leagues to develop the game worldwide, topped up with the Aussies and England playing against weak teams. We need to be a bit more patient than that, and be giving some of the lower ranked nations regular competitive games in well structured tournaments. It is telling that we give auto qualification quite far down the rankings to our WC - this is because they can't really be bothered organising the full qualification tournaments. 

I think ultimately we need to be more patient and mature than sending England and the Aussies to play games against low nations - that can be a part of development, but it would be a very small part.

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2 hours ago, UTK said:

I agree that we should be implementing a more comprehensive calendar that allows for cross-hemisphere matchups alongside consistent local tournaments. There's no reason the SH nations can't be part of that future, but the caveat is England cannot continue to ignore the rest of Europe's developing nations in favour of inviting SH nations to tour. The gap between the SH/NH developing nations was exposed at the 2017 WC and strengthening these nations needs to be the priority from now on.

On the actual topic of the WCC, it needs to be locked in as a consistent fixture that rotates between the hemispheres each year (covid aside). That way there's no uncertainty where it is happening or whether it is happening following respective GFs.

The trouble is we are dealing with the NRL here (the WC was locked in with stadiums, TV deals and sponsorships all confirmed) and if they can bin the WC because it gets in the way of NRL pre-season friendlys then they will bin anything at short notice.

The best way to get it on for the next few years would be for saints to go to Oz early next year and beat Penrith over there - that way the Aussies can't say its just a friendly like they used to do when they lost regularly in the UK.

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25 minutes ago, Mr Frisky said:

The trouble is we are dealing with the NRL here (the WC was locked in with stadiums, TV deals and sponsorships all confirmed) and if they can bin the WC because it gets in the way of NRL pre-season friendlys then they will bin anything at short notice.

The best way to get it on for the next few years would be for saints to go to Oz early next year and beat Penrith over there - that way the Aussies can't say its just a friendly like they used to do when they lost regularly in the UK.

The WC fiasco is a valid source of concern however in the decade pre-covid it was played 8/10 times in England without issue. I'd imagine a return to a more equitable annually rotating basis would make it even more likely to continue without reluctance. 

Completely agree that nothing would improve the standing of the competition more than having a SL team beat an NRL team on their own turf, would be brilliant to see.

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23 hours ago, Mr Frisky said:

Australia isn't a very important country on the world stage and well off the world travel routes - their only real international influences are Cricket and some Rugby ( hence the RLWC decision was baffling)

Far more people in the UK watch SL than the NRL as next to no one watches NRL but SL figures on Sky are always very strong. SL gets some mainstream press from time to time - The Mirror or the Sun and some BBC coverage.

We don't have any household RL players at the moment- Sinfield was close and before that it was Offiah and Hanley but with that in mind someone like Sam Tomkins is closer to being a household name than any NRL player.

As this is a UK RL site so mainly UK RL fans your comments are simply wrong.

SL viewing figures here would dwarf the NRL, which is a shame after what I’ve seen this season in my first time watching the game in Aus. The NRL has been a godsend in that I haven’t seen rugby (either code) this good in ages. Admittedly I really only watch the top NRL sides similar to what I’ve done with Barcelona over many years (extending from Ronaldo, to Rivaldo, to Ronaldinho, to Messi (as well as Xavi and co.) lining out for them...haven’t watched Barca in a while as they are currently skint and without a superstar). To watch Cleary run a game for Penrith is unlike anything on offer in SL. Melbourne are equally as good (really tiny margins between them that could go either way). These two play a different game. The standard among the next three or four teams below these two is still high quality. The speed and execution of plays is on another level to SL. The PTB happens quickly, attacks are swift, there is a slickness to the way the game is played there. If they transported their product here stars would be created in the UK.

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5 minutes ago, DC77 said:

SL viewing figures here would dwarf the NRL, which is a shame after what I’ve seen this season in my first time watching the game in Aus. The NRL has been a godsend in that I haven’t seen rugby (either code) this good in ages. Admittedly I really only watch the top NRL sides similar to what I’ve done with Barcelona over many years (extending from Ronaldo, to Rivaldo, to Ronaldinho, to Messi (as well as Xavi and co.) lining out for them...haven’t watched Barca in a while as they are currently skint and without a superstar). To watch Cleary run a game for Penrith is unlike anything on offer in SL. Melbourne are equally as good (really tiny margins between them that could go either way). These two play a different game. The standard among the next three or four teams below these two is still high quality. The speed and execution of plays is on another level to SL. The PTB happens quickly, attacks are swift, there is a slickness to the way the game is played there. If they transported their product here stars would be created in the UK.

We know mate, you tell us in every single post you do.....

We get it -

- SL = Bad,

- NRL = Amazing,

- Lower level (especially in the UK) is evil.....

I used to be an NRL member for many years and its great but belive me a Friday night SL game at Leeds or Warrington etc infront of 15,000 trumps 40,000 at an NRL game for pure entertainment.

Maybe give UK games under SL a go as well  - there has been some cracking Lg1 games this season. 

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16 hours ago, Dunbar said:

I blame their sense of importance on that period in the 1980's when Australia became culturally relevant.  Crocodile Dundee, while a pretty good movie, has a lot to answer for.

Neighbours? What a huge deal that was....Angry Anderson on Top of the Pops.

Frisky likes to make out the Aussies are irrelevant, deliberately overlooking how much stuff on TV he (and we) have consumed from them growing up...Henderson Kids, Home and Away, Round the Twist, Halfway across the galaxy and turn left, Heartbreak High...and Frisky’s personal favourite, Prisoner Cell Block H.

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16 hours ago, Dunbar said:

I blame their sense of importance on that period in the 1980's when Australia became culturally relevant.  Crocodile Dundee, while a pretty good movie, has a lot to answer for.

 

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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