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


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3 hours ago, Dave T said:

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. 

You obviously never attended the Scotland v NZ draw at Workington.... the ground holds 10k and you couldn't move...... not saying the official gate and money to the tax man was wrong, just saying maybe a few people paid on the gate and they wernt counted.......

What ever the reason it was a full house!!

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16 minutes ago, damp squib said:

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.

Fiasco is one word for it alright, the attempt to include Ireland as part of the tour was comical to say the least. Its been suggested that it's only called GB & I if an Irish player is in the squad, which again throws the brand all over the place. For instance the walker Cup team in golf will always be called GB&I no matter how many Irish players are in the team, its the same with the lions in union of course. 

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2 hours ago, Johnoco said:

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. 

Seems to work in the Olympics- GB curling team etc

Andy Murray was a British Major winner - Scottish now he's losing of course.

Mo Farah is British but not English, Scottish, Northern Irish or Welsh etc etc

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1 hour ago, M j M said:

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

No they didn't.  They were branded as England up until the 1946 tour down under.  See for yourself:589204409_1937AshesProgramCover.jpg.0f7672c4a11f32aee78706e153ba956a.jpg

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1 minute ago, Big Picture said:

No they didn't.  They were branded as England up until the 1946 tour down under.  See for yourself:589204409_1937AshesProgramCover.jpg.0f7672c4a11f32aee78706e153ba956a.jpg

Deeper historical point but perhaps worth noting that England and Britain were synonyms for much of the 20th Century (which was also true internationally). German maps and correspondence in WW2 refer to the England/English more often than British. British flags all over Wembley for the 1966 World Cup final for example. 

A lot of the GB bigger than England stuff is a modern retcon to make things more accurate.

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10 hours ago, Pulga said:

Yep. Play full tests or don't play at all.

To clarify with everyone on this forum, this  exhibition match is  the Australian PM's XIII Vs the PNG PM's XIII, and not the Kumuls. The best players in the DIGICEL cup are selected, along with a few members of the senior squad. In 2017 the entire PNG team was made up of DIGICEL cup players because the hunters were in the intrust super cup finals. A good number of the Australian contingent who played in that match went on to play in the World cup. 

It's a trial match and has been treated by both parties as such, with the exception of a few years in the 2000's, when PNGRfl was marred by politics and infighting. Which then resulted in terrible performances in the 2008 world cup, 2010 4 Nations and the 2013 world cup. I know this because I'm Papua New Guinean. 👍

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6 hours ago, Mr Frisky said:

Seems to work in the Olympics- GB curling team etc

Andy Murray was a British Major winner - Scottish now he's losing of course.

Mo Farah is British but not English, Scottish, Northern Irish or Welsh etc etc

But those are one off examples. The GB Olympic squad could potentially be 100% English but that doesn’t mean there weren’t lots of other nationalities vyving for places. And next time it would be different, whereas we know the GBRL squad will all be English.
I honestly wish this wasn’t the case but it is and renders any rebranding pointless and purely a nostalgic exercise.

It’s  not as if there’s even a bunch of players knocking on the door for selection from Scotland or Wales.

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8 hours ago, Dave T said:

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? 

I'd agree, but for the past 3 years Australia saying "no" has:

1. Critically impacted the return of GB in 2019.

2. Meant England played zero games in 2020.

3. Kiboshed our entire world cup in 2021.

It might not be begging, but our international outlook is very much still Australia or bust it seems - and they can unilaterally decide if its bust or not. Beggars can't be choosers and we don't look like choosers.

10years of regular internationals against France and Wales hopefully sees them become more commercially viable in their own right. BBC Wales covering games not covered when England are playing for example. Australia and NZ seeing both, and the other nations, as worthwhile opponents to tour when they come to the Northern Hemisphere would be a good outcome. England are critical to building these nations up, and England need these nations to be built up.

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56 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I'd agree, but for the past 3 years Australia saying "no" has:

1. Critically impacted the return of GB in 2019.

2. Meant England played zero games in 2020.

3. Kiboshed our entire world cup in 2021.

It might not be begging, but our international outlook is very much still Australia or bust it seems - and they can unilaterally decide if its bust or not. Beggars can't be choosers and we don't look like choosers.

10years of regular internationals against France and Wales hopefully sees them become more commercially viable in their own right. BBC Wales covering games not covered when England are playing for example. Australia and NZ seeing both, and the other nations, as worthwhile opponents to tour when they come to the Northern Hemisphere would be a good outcome. England are critical to building these nations up, and England need these nations to be built up.

2020 was cancelled due to Covid. It wasn't the Aussies refusing at all. The reason they were coming is because of the commercial benefits, these are still some of the biggest draws in RL. 

2021 has been done to death, they are ass holes, but that shouldn't change everything and get us to cut off our nose to spite our face. 

Had there been no covid the Aussies would have been here in 2020 and 2021. There is a good chance we'd have had 60k at Spurs and some serious money for the Ashes. 

Over the last 6 or 8 years we have built up more rivalry with NZ and actually went over to play PNG and Tonga (admittedly with the muddled GB) but that is progress. 

I've no real issue with playing more local. Internationals, it can have its uses, but it won't replace SH opponents. We shouldn't ignore the best teams in the world because some fans are peed off with the Aussies. I think we could get regular 10 to 15k with France home and away if done properly instead of sporadically, but I think Wales is some way off and likely to be 5k and under - even when they had Jonathan Davies etc the crowds were modest. 

We shouldn't ignore the fact that all good crowds have been in credible top class international tournaments. The RFL know this, hence pushing formal tournaments. 

Edited by Dave T
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11 hours ago, Big Picture said:

No they didn't.  They were branded as England up until the 1946 tour down under.  See for yourself:589204409_1937AshesProgramCover.jpg.0f7672c4a11f32aee78706e153ba956a.jpg

They weren't 'branded' as anything. You are viewing early 20th century sport through the goggles of 21st century commercialism. They didn't have logos, websites, social media or replica shirts back then. It really doesn't matter what they called themselves - they were a British team, regardless of name. This enabled Welsh and Scottish players to play for them. Is that what you're advocating now? A team that is called 'England' but with Scottish and Welsh players playing for it?

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1 minute ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

They weren't 'branded' as anything. You are viewing early 20th century sport through the goggles of 21st century commercialism. They didn't have logos, websites, social media or replica shirts back then. It really doesn't matter what they called themselves - they were a British team, regardless of name. This enabled Welsh and Scottish players to play for them. Is that what you're advocating now? A team that is called 'England' but with Scottish and Welsh players playing for it?

Seems to work for England cricket.

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Seems to work for England cricket.

And if that's the way people want to go then that's fine, but it works for England cricket at the expense of the other home nations. The World Cup winning captain is Irish and has chosen to play for England to the detriment of the Irish national team. There is no Welsh international team that plays at any meaningful level to my knowledge.

If that's what we want in RL, then we're basically giving up on ever making the other home nations competitive. In which case, why not just call it GB&I, so that at least Welsh, Scottish and Irish supporters of RL can have a high profile team to support.

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16 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Seems to work for England cricket.

Scotland qualified for the main stage of the T20 World Cup yesterday. Superb win over Oman. Live on Sky.

Ireland play later today.

Wales' lack of a team is just weird.

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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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6 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Scotland qualified for the main stage of the T20 World Cup yesterday. Superb win over Oman. Live on Sky.

Ireland play later today.

Wales' lack of a team is just weird.

Yes, I keep an eye on the Scotland team. 

I was going to clarify the Welsh point, but it involved more typing on my phone. 

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4 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Yes, I keep an eye on the Scotland team. 

I was going to clarify the Welsh point, but it involved more typing on my phone. 

As I know you know, technically the team is the team of the England & Wales Cricket Board.

But the England & Wales Cricket Board is abbreviated to ECB, their team is called England and they walk out to Jerusalem.

I find the number of Welsh cricket fans who have no problem with this (all of them, I've never met one opposed) to be absolutely baffling.

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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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2 hours ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

They weren't 'branded' as anything. You are viewing early 20th century sport through the goggles of 21st century commercialism. They didn't have logos, websites, social media or replica shirts back then. It really doesn't matter what they called themselves - they were a British team, regardless of name. This enabled Welsh and Scottish players to play for them. Is that what you're advocating now? A team that is called 'England' but with Scottish and Welsh players playing for it?

Whether you call it branding or not, the team was clearly called England and not Great Britain back then.  Maybe they were copying cricket in allowing Welshmen to play for England (were there any Scottish players in the game before Alan Tait?) or maybe as @Tommygilfsays the English arrogantly equated England with Britain back then.

2 hours ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

And if that's the way people want to go then that's fine, but it works for England cricket at the expense of the other home nations. The World Cup winning captain is Irish and has chosen to play for England to the detriment of the Irish national team. There is no Welsh international team that plays at any meaningful level to my knowledge.

If that's what we want in RL, then we're basically giving up on ever making the other home nations competitive. In which case, why not just call it GB&I, so that at least Welsh, Scottish and Irish supporters of RL can have a high profile team to support.

Looking at all team sports which have Internationals, the sports invented in Britain have separate teams and the rest generally only have a Great Britain team although lacrosse is unique in being a non-British sport with separate teams.  None of those other Great Britain teams include Ireland though; you Brits all need to understand that to the Irish Ireland is not a British isle at all.  It would be interesting to hear from the Irish members here how the RU Lions are perceived in Ireland.

The idea that separate teams lessen the chances of beating Australia might have had some credibility in the era when top Welsh and Scottish RU talent came over to RL, but it has no credibility now when no such players are in the game.  The decision about separate teams or GB would require a strategy about how best to position the sport, and as we know the game's leaders aren't too good at strategy.

 

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4 hours ago, Dave T said:

2020 was cancelled due to Covid. It wasn't the Aussies refusing at all. The reason they were coming is because of the commercial benefits, these are still some of the biggest draws in RL. 

2021 has been done to death, they are ass holes, but that shouldn't change everything and get us to cut off our nose to spite our face. 

Had there been no covid the Aussies would have been here in 2020 and 2021. There is a good chance we'd have had 60k at Spurs and some serious money for the Ashes. 

Over the last 6 or 8 years we have built up more rivalry with NZ and actually went over to play PNG and Tonga (admittedly with the muddled GB) but that is progress. 

I've no real issue with playing more local. Internationals, it can have its uses, but it won't replace SH opponents. We shouldn't ignore the best teams in the world because some fans are peed off with the Aussies. I think we could get regular 10 to 15k with France home and away if done properly instead of sporadically, but I think Wales is some way off and likely to be 5k and under - even when they had Jonathan Davies etc the crowds were modest. 

We shouldn't ignore the fact that all good crowds have been in credible top class international tournaments. The RFL know this, hence pushing formal tournaments. 

I don't know why it's an either/or situation. Lock in full tests against Wales and France EVERY YEAR. If Australia or NZ decide they care enough to play then play them too. 

At best you have a full international schedule, at worst you're helping develop local rivalries that may bear fruit in the future.

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10 minutes ago, Pulga said:

I don't know why it's an either/or situation. Lock in full tests against Wales and France EVERY YEAR. If Australia or NZ decide they care enough to play then play them too. 

At best you have a full international schedule, at worst you're helping develop local rivalries that may bear fruit in the future.

That isn't the worst case is it?

Worst case is you batter these teams every year and end up playing in front of 5k for France and 2k for Wales with no sponsors, broadcasters and you lose money. 

The risk of that is lower in France and I hope we see a sellout and good battle tomorrow to show the potential. 

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29 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

Looking at all team sports which have Internationals, the sports invented in Britain have separate teams ...

By and large because the earliest 'internationals' were seen less as national contests and more between as challenges between associations.

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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35 minutes ago, Dave T said:

That isn't the worst case is it?

Worst case is you batter these teams every year and end up playing in front of 5k for France and 2k for Wales with no sponsors, broadcasters and you lose money. 

The risk of that is lower in France and I hope we see a sellout and good battle tomorrow to show the potential. 

In 1995 Japan lost 145 - 17 to the All Blacks.

In 2019 they beat South Africa as hosts of the World Cup.

Rugby League needs some vision. If getting flogged is the worst case then sign me up.

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1 hour ago, Pulga said:

In 1995 Japan lost 145 - 17 to the All Blacks.

In 2019 they beat South Africa as hosts of the World Cup.

Rugby League needs some vision. If getting flogged is the worst case then sign me up.

You're incorrect about them beating South Africa in 2019, the Springboks won 26-3 according to Wikipedia.  As you can see here, the 1995 Japanese RU team only included two foreign-born players whereas this list of their players in 2019 includes 12 foreign-born players.  They were playing at home in 2019 as well, that likely helped them too.

Heritage players excepted, that isn't going to happen with Wales or Scotland and other than Regan Grace we'd probably all struggle to name any other Welsh or Scottish born RL players good enough to represent either country.  Until the sport once again has the sort of money to entice top Welsh and Scottish RU players to cross over, unfortunately Wales and Scotland aren't going to give England much of a challenge.

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1 hour ago, Pulga said:

In 1995 Japan lost 145 - 17 to the All Blacks.

In 2019 they beat South Africa as hosts of the World Cup.

Rugby League needs some vision. If getting flogged is the worst case then sign me up.

Whilst somewhat true teams getting flogged in isolation don't just get materially better by playing more games. All developing nations need more full time professional players playing at a high level, and a full squad of them and not just a few players, to be competitive. Toulouse SL give France that bigger pool which should help somewhat.

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4 minutes ago, Damien said:

Whilst somewhat true teams getting flogged in isolation don't just get materially better by playing more games. All developing nations need more full time professional players playing at a high level, and a full squad of them and not just a few players, to be competitive. Toulouse SL give France that bigger pool which should help somewhat.

You hit the nail on the head there.  Unfortunately the opportunity for players from developing nations to play at the top level of what the sport has now will probably be maxed out with Toulouse in SL.

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5 hours ago, gingerjon said:

I find the number of Welsh cricket fans who have no problem with this (all of them, I've never met one opposed) to be absolutely baffling.

There seems to be a reasonably large set of Scottish cricket fans who happily support England too.

Difference is, there's approaching 150 years of history there, not constant chopping and changing on an annual basis like RL does.

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5 hours ago, gingerjon said:

As I know you know, technically the team is the team of the England & Wales Cricket Board.

But the England & Wales Cricket Board is abbreviated to ECB, their team is called England and they walk out to Jerusalem.

I find the number of Welsh cricket fans who have no problem with this (all of them, I've never met one opposed) to be absolutely baffling.

Maybe Welsh cricket fans are Anglophiles?

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