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Combined Nations to play England again next year & GB to return


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7 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Go on then, what is the benefit of playing as GB instead of England? As far as I can see it’s a complete flop both home and abroad compared to England games.

The benefit is that you wouldn't be at the match, so no one would have to stand next to you listening to you whinging all through the game

Wibble

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4 minutes ago, FearTheVee said:

It's a flawed question, they don't play as GB instead of England.  They play as GB in addition to playing as home nations.

How many games did England play in 2019? How many did GB play?

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35 minutes ago, Bring back GB said:

How should we have Scottish and Irish teams when there are no professional clubs in these countries ?  Absolutely crazy idea. Hardly anybody in these areas care or even know about RL anyway. Let's face it, Scotland play their home games in Workington !!!!!

I just don't agree with heritage teams either. Filling the Scotland team with players who once had a haggis is a complete joke.

 

Scotland do not play their home games in Workington.

I have watched Scotland play home games in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Galashiels. 

They played in Workington in the World Cup and the Four Nations, hosted by the RFL.

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5 hours ago, Big Picture said:

Unless I'm mistaken that PM XIII is more or less the Aussie equivalent of England Knights.

 

Are you suggesting that GB(&) vs Australia and New Zealand is bigger than a World Cup?  If so that's one of the sport's problems.

The persons who matter don't seem to have a clue about much of anything do they?

Why is the "& I" in brackets, is Ireland in the name or not? The brand is all over the place to be honest and doesn't appel to us over here at all. 

Edited by Keith989
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5 hours ago, Dave T said:

When they go forwards, maybe you will have a point, as they are still very much in the go backwards stage. They don't get benefit of doubt that they will go forwards, as there is no evidence to suggest they will. 

In reality, we have a very different situation here - the UK and Aus are very different places, with a different make-up. Over here we don't have a load of top quality players that are eligible to play for other nations that bring along a fanbase with them. The SH situation is very unique, and has landed perfectly for the Aussies who can now micro-manage this, playing games in Sydney or Auckland and control every aspect of that. 

The natural way of getting more of the lower ranked teams involved in the higher tier comps was to include them in the 8 team comp, which the RFL were pushing. 

The RFL just doesn't have the option of staging a triple header of Wales v Ireland, France v Scotland and Lebanon v Serbia in Wigan in front ot 23k fans.

The RFL got 7k in Leeds for an untelevised Knights game against Jamaica without trying. They got over 20k iirc (including me!) in Coventry for England vs Scotland in the 4 Nations. 

Games against France and the Home nations should be in our international RL support strongholds of Leeds and London, or in strategic expansion areas, or of course in the other countries themselves. I'm not expecting 40k+ crowds, but 20k would be very respectable in most places.

The BBC will support broadcasting the full England team. They won't for either the knights or the other home nations. Thats why England are critical to growing the commercial appeal of these nations and England can do that just as the NRL does for games in Sydney and Auckland.

The 8 Team comp the RFL failed to engineer would most likely have been the Oceania Cup 6 plus England and France. All that does is extend the status quo of European RL development and the NRL quite clearly thought lets get rid of the piggybackers.

That last point is the most critical here. We have in the past 3 years had 3 examples of the Australians saying no to playing England/GB. One sabotaged a GB revival tour, another meant England played zero test matches that year, and the final example kiboshed an entire World Cup. That vulnerability is entirely due to our inability to develop meaningful and regular internationals against teams other than Australia and New Zealand, even when relatively competitive options existed.

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As I posted on another thread, imagine the meltdown on here if Australia decided to play against an NRL All Stars rather than England because they felt it would be more competitive. 

If we care about the development of Rugby League, England's unfortunately rare games should be against actual test nations.

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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14 minutes ago, Keith989 said:

Why is the "& I" in brackets, is Ireland in the name or not? The brand is all over the place to be honest and doesn't appel to us over here at all. 

Its in brackets because GB has always been a team of branding convenience for what is effectively the RFL XIII. 

We were England, until a load of our best players were Welsh or Scottish RU converts then we became GB to accommodate them in the side. Then when Brian Carney came along we became GB&I or the British Isles XIII (controversial on the Emerald Isle I know but hey at least they tried) to accommodate him in the squad. The most recent GB organisation had so little regard for any of the component nations beyond England they didn't even bother. 

The GB team has never really shaken that fact that it was born of convenience to enable the best of the RFL affiliated players to play in a legitimate national team against Australia. Hence why they have never played in Wales or Scotland or Ireland. Since the number of RU players from the home nations went from a flood to a trickle, the GB team has had few reasons to exist.

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7 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

As I posted on another thread, imagine the meltdown on here if Australia decided to play against an NRL All Stars rather than England because they felt it would be more competitive. 

If we care about the development of Rugby League, England's unfortunately rare games should be against actual test nations.

Yep we should be playing Wales, Ireland or Scotland instead of this made up nonsense. Yes we’ll hammer them for now but you have to start somewhere and build up an annual rivalry.

Agree we have no leg to stand on criticising others for their international obligations when we do this sort of ######.

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5 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

In the absence of Aus, NZ or Pacific teams to play, then the next best option is to play a team made up of the Southern Hemisphere players in this country, any of the home nations or France don't offer strong enough opposition.

True.

1. How do you change that?

2. What happens when the Combined nations team isn't as competitive as France/Wales through dropouts and clubs holding players back?

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Is Rugby League the only sport that is worried that its national side wins too easily?

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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28 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Is Rugby League the only sport that is worried that its national side wins too easily?

Its always important to look at root cause and this does come down to time and money. If you only play 3 or 4 games a year, you want them to be as big and commercially successful as possible. France don't offer that yet. 

By moving to a 4N they did try to bring in these nations on a commercially sustainable basis, on top of the World Cup and then move to an 8 team tournament which failed to get off the ground. For me, that was a very strong plan (not perfect, but great progress). 

While we do have a lot of positive signs about the public's willingness to support internationals, we have had a few warning signs too. Scotland games in the 4N for example, getting 5.5 and 6.6k are not good enough. 

I think France should be strong enough to work commercially but that can't be taken for granted - I hope we get a sellout on Saturday to show the potential. 

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6 minutes ago, Dave T said:

 

While we do have a lot of positive signs about the public's willingness to support internationals, we have had a few warning signs too. Scotland games in the 4N for example, getting 5.5 and 6.6k are not good enough. 

Scotland (ie not England) playing at Workington (10k Capacity) and Hull KR (12k capacity) whilst both aren't marquee facilities in well located places means the crowds there aren't that bad. Equally, you could say that is a poor turnout to watch the Kiwis and the Australians in RL heartlands.

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Did Australia essentially take New Zealand under their wing and attempt to grow a rival by including the Warriors in the NRL?

Was that the reasoning behind doing it at the time as my memory fails me a bit?  To help grow the Kiwis?

Did UK RL have the same plan when Catalans entered Super League that it would help nurture the French national side?

Would be grateful if anyone can clarify?

My twopenneth is that we should help France and Wales from a geo strategic perspective to give England more competitive games.  It’s a long term project, but maybe a future French World Cup with some Euro-cash behind it could help turbo boost that part of the plan.

Edited by Gerrumonside ref
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10 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Scotland (ie not England) playing at Workington (10k Capacity) and Hull KR (12k capacity) whilst both aren't marquee facilities in well located places means the crowds there aren't that bad. Equally, you could say that is a poor turnout to watch the Kiwis and the Australians in RL heartlands.

They were both poor crowds, and whilst you'd expect England to draw a bigger crowd than those, it is a sign that we are not in a priveliged position where fans will turn up no matter what. RL fans are a tough crowd at times and you have to work hard for every speccy. 

We often grumble about some of the terrible scheduling and staging of games, but in reality, an England game anywhere with little promotion should be doing better than some of the crowds we have returned. 

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3 hours ago, Bring back GB said:

How should we have Scottish and Irish teams when there are no professional clubs in these countries ?  Absolutely crazy idea. Hardly anybody in these areas care or even know about RL anyway. Let's face it, Scotland play their home games in Workington !!!!!

I just don't agree with heritage teams either. Filling the Scotland team with players who once had a haggis is a complete joke.

 

I’m a bit confused here. If you’re saying that the other nations don’t have legitimate teams, then how can you possibly argue for calling the side GB if it only contains English players? That’s a bit strange, just call it what it is….England. 

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2 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

Its in brackets because GB has always been a team of branding convenience for what is effectively the RFL XIII. 
We were England, until a load of our best players were Welsh or Scottish RU converts then we became GB to accommodate them in the side.

Nah, after that first series as "Northern Union" they became known as Great Britain very quickly.

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2 hours ago, Dunbar said:

Is Rugby League the only sport that is worried that its national side wins too easily?

It depends.

England cricket fans would like to smash the Aussies every time we play them.

We do not want the same when we play Ireland, Scotland or the Netherlands.

(It could, by the way, be possible by the middle of next summer that the last time we played each of those teams, they won. It would need the Dutch to win the last game of the upcoming three match series for that to work.)

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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1 hour ago, Tommygilf said:

Scotland (ie not England) playing at Workington (10k Capacity) and Hull KR (12k capacity) whilst both aren't marquee facilities in well located places means the crowds there aren't that bad. Equally, you could say that is a poor turnout to watch the Kiwis and the Australians in RL heartlands.

As a RL fan from Hull I would suggest that attendance in Hull was due to location and the fact it was on a Friday evening more than anything. From where I live that would be 2 buses and the best part of a hour journey time to one of the least reputable parts of the city (no offence intended, its just true). I know a few people that didn't bother with that game for those reasons. I don't think any of us wanted to be hanging round Preston Road at 10 at night and when you're getting to that time there's hardly any buses. 

I'm sure the tournament organisers just thought they could plonk a game down in Hull and fans from all over the city would have gone but they don't think of the practicalities of these things. I can guarantee you if that game had have been on a Saturday afternoon instead there would have been 10,000 there at least, no question. Me and my mates would have certainly gone. 

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20 minutes ago, M j M said:

Nah, after that first series as "Northern Union" they became known as Great Britain very quickly.

That wouldn't be in 1908 when they picked the Welsh and Scottish fellas who'd being playing against England for "other nationalities" in years previous would it?

The Great Britain RL team existed to make the RFL team as strong as possible against the Kangaroos and Kiwis whilst also providing some international football for the Welsh and Scottish RU converts which for 100 years were the backbone of much of English RL.

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17 minutes ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

As a RL fan from Hull I would suggest that attendance in Hull was due to location and the fact it was on a Friday evening more than anything. From where I live that would be 2 buses and the best part of a hour journey time to one of the least reputable parts of the city (no offence intended, its just true). I know a few people that didn't bother with that game for those reasons. I don't think any of us wanted to be hanging round Preston Road at 10 at night and when you're getting to that time there's hardly any buses. 

I'm sure the tournament organisers just thought they could plonk a game down in Hull and fans from all over the city would have gone but they don't think of the practicalities of these things. I can guarantee you if that game had have been on a Saturday afternoon instead there would have been 10,000 there at least, no question. Me and my mates would have certainly gone. 

I totally agree. 

Craven park is a dire choice for that game, both as a ground and, no offence, as a city. Hull is a way out for everyone except people from Hull; and Craven park is a way out from there. On a Friday night was poor scheduling too.

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26 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

That wouldn't be in 1908 when they picked the Welsh and Scottish fellas who'd being playing against England for "other nationalities" in years previous would it?

The Great Britain RL team existed to make the RFL team as strong as possible against the Kangaroos and Kiwis whilst also providing some international football for the Welsh and Scottish RU converts which for 100 years were the backbone of much of English RL.

They were still known as England in Australian tours, even many years later. Plus if it was a team containing Welsh/Scottish players, then it could be legitimately called GB, which hasn’t been the case for some time. 
 

Using this sort of logic, maybe we should still call the game Northern Union.

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I still think there are people who have forgotten that Australia made the choice for us this year. 

There is no desire on their part to go bk to the tri nations days and there is no desire on their part for internationals to be the pinnacle. 

It may take years but it would be better to spend the next decade playing an annual Euro comp bar WC,  giving the other Euro nations a chance to build the commercial and sponsorships that come from annual tv games vs Emgland than begging Australia. 

If more players know that declaring for Wales or others leads to big internationals vs Eng, the more competitive games will grow. 

It suggests a terrible lack of faith in the product of RL. We could have 2022,  two great years of RL Euros with games at Cardiff Arms Park,  London, Toulouse or Avignon before a World Cup in France in 2025. 

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11 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

It may take years but it would be better to spend the next decade playing an annual Euro comp bar WC,  giving the other Euro nations a chance to build the commercial and sponsorships that come from annual tv games vs Emgland than begging Australia. 

It really wouldn't be better in the slightest. 

I don't know why you keep suggesting we are begging Australia, we are arranging international games, no more no less. 

If we played Wales and France for the next 10 years, what do you think year 10 looks like? 

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4 hours ago, Keith989 said:

Why is the "& I" in brackets, is Ireland in the name or not? The brand is all over the place to be honest and doesn't appel to us over here at all. 

Thankfully the last GB fiasco killed off any remaining interest I had in Rugby League "Ireland" so this GB rebirth is much less stressful than last time.

Once you're emotionally detached it's just such a classic rugby league move you can only really be amused.

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