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


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1 hour ago, ShropshireBull said:

Yep. A four nations with England is the way to go. Strangely if you actually did this then any team that went to SH could actually be GB so as not to interfere with our 4 nations tournament.

But this is where GB&I could serve a purpose for me - i.e. having a 4 nations tournament in the Summer whereby players know they will be putting themselves in the selection frame for a GB&I tour that Autumn. It may encourage bigger names to make themselves available for the other home nations when they otherwise might not, and could therefore serve to help develop those nations instead of all of their best players switching to play for England.

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32 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Those tournaments were terribly organized, what moron thought it good to put Russia and England in the same group after the thrashings Russia received in the 2000 World Cup?

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I just looked at my phone and it said it’s actually 2021 and not either 2003 nor 2004.

I’ll double check it again in an hour to make sure 😉

Context matters, timing is important, but it’s true that you can learn from past mistakes ‘trial and error’ style to be generous.

 

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9 hours ago, Big Picture said:

Those tournaments were terribly organized, what moron thought it good to put Russia and England in the same group after the thrashings Russia received in the 2000 World Cup?

That's correct, however it is a warning that making bold statements about crowds and stuff won't make them happen. 

These games had England 2nd team playing against the likes of Wales, France and Ireland with very low interest. 

They also played Tonga one year with a fierce brawl at the end!

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8 hours ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

I just looked at my phone and it said it’s actually 2021 and not either 2003 nor 2004.

I’ll double check it again in an hour to make sure 😉

Context matters, timing is important, but it’s true that you can learn from past mistakes ‘trial and error’ style to be generous.

 

We have plenty of history of these teams playing, that shouldn't be ignored. 

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One thing I liked about it being Great Britain was that it is a unique brand. What I mean by that is the England rugby league team looks and is branded very similar to the England rugby union team. I like how the Great Britain Lions is unique and think it creates a lot of opportunities for the game in Wales and Scotland (Ireland should be left out of it).

The point has been made that Great Britain never played in Wales and Scotland. While this is true, I don’t see why they couldn’t in the future. I’m a believer that you need big events to attract interest and help the grassroots. An Ashes test against Australia in Cardiff would be a great example. I think you need to give aspiring Welsh and Scottish players who have multiple sporting options somethings to strive for. The ability to play in big games in Ashes series and World Cup finals is an attractive option for young Welsh and Scottish players to choose our code. 

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On 20/10/2021 at 16:45, Bring back GB said:

The GB brand should NEVER have been abandoned in the first place. The GB brand is synonymous with RL, the England brand, not so. And the Scottish and Irish sides are a complete farce.

Ask any high profile player which means more to them, playing for England or playing for GB and they overwhelmingly say GB.

Also, I have a rather superb cotton GB shirt from the 2003 era which I want to wear with pride again !!!!!

It would be useful to hear these high profile players state their preference for GB rather than England. 

Keep it as England .it's 2021 not 1914. 

Four legs good - two legs bad

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

That's correct, however it is a warning that making bold statements about crowds and stuff won't make them happen. 

These games had England 2nd team playing against the likes of Wales, France and Ireland with very low interest. 

They also played Tonga one year with a fierce brawl at the end!

If you exclude the England games against Russia you are looking at 4000, 3600, 2500, 2100 for the England games. Remember this was essentially the England Knights side, those attendances are better than some Super League games.

These tournaments between England Knights, France, Wales, Ireland and Scotland should have continued, if they’d of done that the other sides would have improved and interest grown. 

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26 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

If you exclude the England games against Russia you are looking at 4000, 3600, 2500, 2100 for the England games. Remember this was essentially the England Knights side, those attendances are better than some Super League games.

These tournaments between England Knights, France, Wales, Ireland and Scotland should have continued, if they’d of done that the other sides would have improved and interest grown. 

People complain about the Knights playing Test nations and call it disrespectful. 

IMHO the most important thing is to create a credible Euro Championship for Wales, France, Scotland, Ireland plus others and support them putting on quality events with regularity that allows them to build them up. I've watched a fair few Scotland games in this tournament over the years, and it's all been very random - but despite that there has been a bit of interest - even getting 1500 at Gala on a freezing Friday night. These should be crowds to build on. We have also seen some half decent crowds in France for games against Wales and Scotland. 

I am less bothered about whether England should be in in any form - the Knights' don't offend me like they do some other people, but I think we need to be careful making it all about England. The Euro Championships has been very competitive, with various winners, playing home and away, or at least more games between these teams could be good and I think there is plenty of room for growth for that tournament. 

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

They also played Tonga one year with a fierce brawl at the end!

I remember that. That was when the referee blew the match up early because the last 20 minutes had just turned into a war zone and was frankly embarrassing. Any play just kicked off another fight. The referee had lost all control, through no fault of his own I hasten to add, and the Tonga players had just lost the plot.

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33 minutes ago, Dave T said:

People complain about the Knights playing Test nations and call it disrespectful. 

IMHO the most important thing is to create a credible Euro Championship for Wales, France, Scotland, Ireland plus others and support them putting on quality events with regularity that allows them to build them up. I've watched a fair few Scotland games in this tournament over the years, and it's all been very random - but despite that there has been a bit of interest - even getting 1500 at Gala on a freezing Friday night. These should be crowds to build on. We have also seen some half decent crowds in France for games against Wales and Scotland. 

I am less bothered about whether England should be in in any form - the Knights' don't offend me like they do some other people, but I think we need to be careful making it all about England. The Euro Championships has been very competitive, with various winners, playing home and away, or at least more games between these teams could be good and I think there is plenty of room for growth for that tournament. 

It might suggest looking towards cricket for some kind of structure to our international game. In cricket there are the test nations and then everyone else. The test nations play each other regularly and smaller, non-test nations play each other and never play the biggest nations outside of world cups. 

In RL we talk about the tier 1 nations but this doesn't seem to actually mean a whole lot outside of it being a badge of honour. It would maybe be an idea to have a small group of elite teams who play each other regularly and only meet smaller nations in the world cup. It could be made that if a tier 2 nation gets to the point that they are constantly battering other tier 2 nations in their annual continental cup, they could be awarded tier 1 status and participate in tier 1 tours. Ultimately that would be the structure: tier 1 nations would tour each other, tier 2 nations would play in a continental cup. 

I suppose in a sense we already do this in that tours outside of world cups do tend to just be between the top 3 nations but its not an official thing as such, its just that those nations tour because we know they'll be the tours that make the most money and those organisations have just enough money to fund a tour in the first place.

It would be great though if Tonga, Fiji and Samoa were seen as tier 1 "tour" nations and we could see them coming over here more frequently or have England going down there to tour more often, at the same time having a continental cup played. This would ensure there was annual international RL games played on both sides of the world and games for fans everywhere to attend even if it didn't involve their own nation. 

Edited by The Hallucinating Goose
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2 hours ago, Dave T said:

We have plenty of history of these teams playing, that shouldn't be ignored. 

You’re right that lessons should be learned from previous failed attempts to have a tournament involving England with France, Wales, Scotland, Ireland etc.

But I do think something is happening in French rugby league and there is an opportunity to help them to help themselves.  There’s a context that’s different to previous failed attempts.

I also think a broadcaster would be much more likely to pick up a tournament with England in it and I would retire the England Knights branding that isn’t attractive.

When it comes to Knights then strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some... farcical aquatic ceremony!  You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you! 😉

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40 minutes ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

It might suggest looking towards cricket for some kind of structure to our international game. In cricket there are the test nations and then everyone else. The test nations play each other regularly and smaller, non-test nations play each other and never play the biggest nations outside of world cups. 

In RL we talk about the tier 1 nations but this doesn't seem to actually mean a whole lot outside of it being a badge of honour. It would maybe be an idea to have a small group of elite teams who play each other regularly and only meet smaller nations in the world cup. It could be made that if a tier 2 nation gets to the point that they are constantly battering other tier 2 nations in their annual continental cup, they could be awarded tier 1 status and participate in tier 1 tours. Ultimately that would be the structure: tier 1 nations would tour each other, tier 2 nations would play in a continental cup. 

I suppose in a sense we already do this in that tours outside of world cups do tend to just be between the top 3 nations but its not an official thing as such, its just that those nations tour because we know they'll be the tours that make the most money and those organisations have just enough money to fund a tour in the first place.

It would be great though if Tonga, Fiji and Samoa were seen as tier 1 "tour" nations and we could see them coming over here more frequently or have England going down there to tour more often, at the same time having a continental cup played. This would ensure there was annual international RL games played on both sides of the world and games for fans everywhere to attend even if it didn't involve their own nation. 

There are some very good points here.

However, a big difference between cricket and rugby league is that skill tends to be the determining factor in cricket, whereas physicality tends to be the determining factor in rugby league. The physical difference between full time and part time players is therefore far more evident in rugby league compared to cricket. This is important to acknowledge, because the only full-time pro clubs in European RL are in England and France. Which means that any non-English or French players will ultimately be able to represent England or France on residency grounds, regardless of where they were born.

So if the game decides to go down a route of Tier 1 and Tier 2 nations, then it has to accept that talented non-English and non-French players will most likely choose to represent these countries internationally, because they will be afforded far higher profile playing opportunities. In which case, it would likely lead to a player drain and prevent the other European nations from ever getting close to being able to compete with England. If we chose to go down the tier 1 and tier 2 route (which I'm not a fan of personally), then I think it should definitely be GB&I instead of England as the tier 1 'home' nation, as it at least provides opportunities for talented Welsh, Scottish and Irish players to maximise their playing career and play on the biggest stages. They would also then be able to represent these other nations in World Cups etc, without having to have committed to England.

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14 minutes ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

You’re right that lessons should be learned from previous failed attempts to have a tournament involving England with France, Wales, Scotland, Ireland etc.

But I do think something is happening in French rugby league and there is an opportunity to help them to help themselves.  There’s a context that’s different to previous failed attempts.

I also think a broadcaster would be much more likely to pick up a tournament with England in it and I would retire the England Knights branding that isn’t attractive.

When it comes to Knights then strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some... farcical aquatic ceremony!  You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you! 😉

I'd keep England out of a Euro Champ personally, but that doesn't mean these teams shouldn't play England, particularly in mid-season or as warmup tests for major tournaments. 

In terms of TV, I think we accept that Euro Championships wouldn't have a TV valur at day one, and growing it into a regular credible tournament would help that. Even if free coverage can be gained on secondary channels as a starter. 

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I'd keep England out of a Euro Champ personally, but that doesn't mean these teams shouldn't play England, particularly in mid-season or as warmup tests for major tournaments. 

In terms of TV, I think we accept that Euro Championships wouldn't have a TV valur at day one, and growing it into a regular credible tournament would help that. Even if free coverage can be gained on secondary channels as a starter. 

Where I think we probably agree is the NH international fixture list needs to happen on a regular basis especially if we want to develop nations and build tradition and prestige in tournaments.

England playing France somewhere in France on an annual basis seems to have come of age for me now, particularly if Toulouse and Catalans can flourish in terms of producing players.

Obviously for England the greater learning/test is against the SH nations, but as we know we can’t control what the NRL dictates (I wish we could of course) in terms of fixtures.

However we can control the destiny of the NH and because increasing the talent pool in France has upsides at club and international level, there shouldn’t really be opposition to it except maybe only amongst those lacking vision that a strong France will strengthen England too.

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2 hours ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

Where I think we probably agree is the NH international fixture list needs to happen on a regular basis especially if we want to develop nations and build tradition and prestige in tournaments.

England playing France somewhere in France on an annual basis seems to have come of age for me now, particularly if Toulouse and Catalans can flourish in terms of producing players.

Obviously for England the greater learning/test is against the SH nations, but as we know we can’t control what the NRL dictates (I wish we could of course) in terms of fixtures.

However we can control the destiny of the NH and because increasing the talent pool in France has upsides at club and international level, there shouldn’t really be opposition to it except maybe only amongst those lacking vision that a strong France will strengthen England too.

This is the thing isn't it, the reason we tour, and receive tours from, Aus and NZ is because we want a competitive game which as a result will attract fans and more media attention. The reason 30,000 fans go to watch England v one of those is because they know they'll see a good game. The reason only 5,000 show up to Leigh on a Wednesday night to watch England v France... well so many reasons... 

If we can help France really develop and get them to a level where they will be seriously competing with England and create a really exciting game (yesterday's was great once France got into it) there is no reason England couldn't play a series against France with maybe a couple of warm-ups against Wales and Jamaica or something say. A lot cheaper than touring NZ, a lot easier to organise, a lot more fans from England will travel to France, BBC can show it at a decent time and so will probably get more viewers. So many benefits if only we can actually actively work with the French. 

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On 23/10/2021 at 13:05, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

But this is where GB&I could serve a purpose for me - i.e. having a 4 nations tournament in the Summer whereby players know they will be putting themselves in the selection frame for a GB&I tour that Autumn. It may encourage bigger names to make themselves available for the other home nations when they otherwise might not, and could therefore serve to help develop those nations instead of all of their best players switching to play for England.

I still don’t want GB to return at all but this is the best argument I’ve heard for it and is worth some consideration.

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On 23/10/2021 at 13:05, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

But this is where GB&I could serve a purpose for me - i.e. having a 4 nations tournament in the Summer whereby players know they will be putting themselves in the selection frame for a GB&I tour that Autumn. It may encourage bigger names to make themselves available for the other home nations when they otherwise might not, and could therefore serve to help develop those nations instead of all of their best players switching to play for England.

Players switch to England because they are really English and only pretend to be foreign to play international footy

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Maybe the GB&I thing could be used in the way the other nob use that lions thing, a biannual (or more/less often) tour to somewhere with a proper mixed squad. Run the women's tour alongside it, use it to spread the good word....

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17 hours ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

This is the thing isn't it, the reason we tour, and receive tours from, Aus and NZ is because we want a competitive game which as a result will attract fans and more media attention. The reason 30,000 fans go to watch England v one of those is because they know they'll see a good game. The reason only 5,000 show up to Leigh on a Wednesday night to watch England v France... well so many reasons... 

If we can help France really develop and get them to a level where they will be seriously competing with England and create a really exciting game (yesterday's was great once France got into it) there is no reason England couldn't play a series against France with maybe a couple of warm-ups against Wales and Jamaica or something say. A lot cheaper than touring NZ, a lot easier to organise, a lot more fans from England will travel to France, BBC can show it at a decent time and so will probably get more viewers. So many benefits if only we can actually actively work with the French. 

Maybe the Wednesday night in Leigh with no train station  (population 40,000) is probably the overwhelming reason. 

A few people on here have suggested a Euro 4 nations without England.  Well we've had that for years and it is financially and commercially worthless. If it doesnt get TV coverage, I dont blame players with one year  contracts not in a World Cup saying 'no thanks'. 

People saying 'oh we tried a 4 nations in 03-04 ' are ignoring that noone who wants a 4 nations with England (who has a brain) where England:

Never played Wales in Wales. 

Never played Ireland in Ireland. 

Never played Scotland in Scotland 

Played France away once in two years. 

Surprisingly if you organise something to be as ###### as possible,  it will be awful. 

A simple 4 nations England,France, Wales + 1. England play France and Wales away, then home game and Final in England. If England insist on having a SH side have them be a rotating guest team.  

4 weeks of FTA coverage (which is what the actual market is). Done.  

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11 hours ago, yipyee said:

Players switch to England because they are really English and only pretend to be foreign to play international footy

Eoin Morgan is the prime example from cricket. Ireland have an international team, but he's captain of England's one day side. England's gain is Ireland's loss.

In rugby league you've got examples such as the Evans brothers who were signed by Warrington as teenagers and opted to join the England pathway because it offered more opportunity, despite being Welsh. Whilst they've subsequently switched back to Wales this is most likely because they weren't getting the opportunities they'd hoped for with England. The most talented players will get those opportunities and won't switch back. So this strategy will consign the other home nations to Tier 2 status for evermore. If that's what people want, then fine. But I don't believe that's going to help develop the international game.

Edited by RugbyLeagueGeek
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Literally the only reason to bring GB back would be because people like the kits/badge/brand.

Everything else is counterproductive. It limits our international scope, reduces the number of potential matches/opponents for absolutely no gain as none of the players of those nations are likely to make it into the GB team.

Seriously, the RFL should just take ownership of the GB Lions brand, change it to the England brand and everyone will likely stop clamouring for days of yore.

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1 hour ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

Literally the only reason to bring GB back would be because people like the kits/badge/brand.

In your opinion. Not in my opinion.

1 hour ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

Everything else is counterproductive. It limits our international scope, reduces the number of potential matches/opponents for absolutely no gain as none of the players of those nations are likely to make it into the GB team.

You're viewing it as an either/or. I don't view it like that. As I've posted previously on this and many other threads, IMO GB&I should exist to complement an expanded international calendar - not as a replacement for England in a limited calendar. 

While none (or very few) of the genuine Welsh, Irish and Scottish players might currently make it in to a GB&I team, what about having this as a carrot to encourage future players? By removing GB&I completely, you are forcing the other home nations players to (a) be consigned to playing low-key internationals in tournaments with zero media profile, or (b) switch allegiance to England in order to maximise their playing potential and enjoy the best opportunities. A World Cup every 4 years does nothing for the other home nations in the intervening 3 years - the best players just come out of the woodwork for the major tournament but invariably are unavailable for the other games.

An annual European Championship played in the Summer (which could double up as WC qualification points) including England would provide more regular, high profile fixtures than the home nations currently enjoy. Add in a WC, a biennial GB&I series, and the once-promised Confederations Cup, and you've got high profile Autumn fixtures every year as well. And every talented home nations player would have the opportunity to play in all of those Autumn comps, so wouldn't have to chop and change their allegiance in order to maximise their playing career.

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9 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

You're viewing it as an either/or. I don't view it like that. As I've posted previously on this and many other threads, IMO GB&I should exist to complement an expanded international calendar - not as a replacement for England in a limited calendar. 

2019 showed it is either/or. England didn't play a single game all year because of the return of GB.

Yes you may envisage something different, as everyone does on here when it comes to international RL. However the reality is we are struggling to get any international matches at all and the only real slot is at the end of the season when it is precisely an either/or situation.

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