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Rugby League World Cup organisers have not ruled out playing warm-up games in Australia before teams fly to the United Kingdom after the Kangaroos and Kiwis finally signed participation agreements for the postponed event.

Just 100 days after Australia and New Zealand withdrew from this year’s tournament and provided World Cup officials with 10 minutes notice of the announcement, both countries have belatedly committed to rugby league’s showpiece in 2022.

The earlier fallout even prompted Rugby Football League boss Simon Johnson to label the decision as “selfish and parochial” – he later privately apologised for the remark – and the participation of holders Australia and world No.1 New Zealand will guarantee almost $50 million in government funding.

But World Cup officials face an envious task in trying to delicately balance the logistics of the event, with the tournament start date brought forward a week to accommodate stadia availability.

It means the opening match at Newcastle’s St James’ Park on October 15 will be played only 13 days after next year’s NRL grand final.

Nations are due to discuss next week the possibility of sending players to the UK on differing flights once their NRL team has finished their season, or even organising practice matches in Australia.

The Super League grand final has been brought forward to September 24 to allow English and French-based players the best chance to prepare for the World Cup, which is shaping as crucial event to reinvigorate international rugby league.

“We just want to get people over safely, and perhaps on staggered flights,” World Cup chief executive Jon Dutton said.

“We’re very open-minded about warm-up games being played in Sydney before teams depart, some games could take place en route and some games could take place in the UK.

“It’s just another challenge for us, but having had a 61-game, 21-venue schedule to put back together we quite like a challenge.”

The Kangaroos haven’t played a Test match in the COVID era after a shock loss to Tonga at the end of 2019.

Australia and New Zealand’s commitment to the World Cup was considered crucial to ensure the men’s, women’s and wheelchair events went ahead.

It won’t be mandatory for players to be vaccinated to take part in the event, while the previous agreement for players and officials to be flown to and from the UK on chartered flights has been scrapped in favour of commercial carriers.

“There was a period of reflection and I think we felt a little sorry for ourselves for a few days, but we dusted ourselves down and began the conversations with [NRL chief executive] Andrew Abdo and [NZRL boss] Greg Peters in September,” Dutton said.

“They’ve both been conciliatory, positive and constructive and have been very clear they want to play in our tournament next year.

“We don’t know what the future holds from a COVID perspective, but we are hopeful across the world the situation is improving.

“We’ve seen some great events around the world, including Australia winning the T20 World Cup on the weekend and the Wallabies played at Twickenham in front of 80,000 spectators – and that’s what we want.

“We want to move away from the things that were said publicly. We’ve all learned a few lessons, but they are positive lessons.”


So Au and NZ have committed to the tournament then. I hope we can take that to mean they will actually play. You never know.

I’m not sure there was any need for the conciliatory tone used by the RFL. They were let down with little or no notice this year. Their reaction at the time was understandable.

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46 minutes ago, M j M said:

Has there been any comment yet from the NRL or ARL? It's all come from the UK side so far which is predictable if disappointing.

Without being able to pull up direct quotes I have seen it being referred to several times now as going ahead. Comments from coaches, administrators and players alike.

A couple of times I was tempted to post the different quotes but after this years fiasco I`m a little apprehensive that if something changes it will all fall in a heap again. You know the saying ` once bitten....  `.

But certainly all the initial signs are that they are planning on attending.👍

 

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Across the British Isles, through October and November, we`ve received RU touring teams from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Japan, Tonga, Fiji, in the men`s. And from New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, USA, Japan, in the women`s.

Had the RLWC gone ahead in October and November, the male and female players of Australia and New Zealand would have remained at home due to "safety concerns".

Have the NRL media noticed this contrast? Are they putting pertinent questions to administrators?

Respectful note to moderator - this is my final contribution to the Australian section. Won`t be wasting any more time on posts that might be arbitrarily removed. You seem to want this part of the forum to be a narrow dull and humourless place. That is, of course, entirely your prerogative.

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5 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Across the British Isles, through October and November, we`ve received RU touring teams from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Japan, Tonga, Fiji, in the men`s. And from New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, USA, Japan, in the women`s.

Had the RLWC gone ahead in October and November, the male and female players of Australia and New Zealand would have remained at home due to "safety concerns".

Have the NRL media noticed this contrast? Are they putting pertinent questions to administrators?

Respectful note to moderator - this is my final contribution to the Australian section. Won`t be wasting any more time on posts that might be arbitrarily removed. You seem to want this part of the forum to be a narrow dull and humourless place. That is, of course, entirely your prerogative.

 

5 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Across the British Isles, through October and November, we`ve received RU touring teams from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Japan, Tonga, Fiji, in the men`s. And from New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, USA, Japan, in the women`s.

Had the RLWC gone ahead in October and November, the male and female players of Australia and New Zealand would have remained at home due to "safety concerns".

Have the NRL media noticed this contrast? Are they putting pertinent questions to administrators?

Respectful note to moderator - this is my final contribution to the Australian section. Won`t be wasting any more time on posts that might be arbitrarily removed. You seem to want this part of the forum to be a narrow dull and humourless place. That is, of course, entirely your prerogative.

Sorry to hear that. What posts have been removed? If so it has not been by me.

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On 21/11/2021 at 11:07, Graham said:

Just checked. The posts you mention have been removed by John, the overall site administrator. 

I did think that was the most likely explanation, on previous form. 

It`s a pity, because Australian RL is my primary interest.

I`ve just had a post removed from "Any other business" for no obvious reason. In general, it could be that everyone`s sense of humour is different. Easy to misinterpret.

I think I`m better restricting my contributions to the "Women`s and Girls" and "International" sections, where I seem less prone to attract the disapproval of Mr. Drake.

No hard feelings.

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On 24/11/2021 at 21:22, unapologetic pedant said:

I`ve just had a post removed from "Any other business" for no obvious reason. In general, it could be that everyone`s sense of humour is different. Easy to misinterpret.

I think I`m better restricting my contributions to the "Women`s and Girls" and "International" sections, where I seem less prone to attract the disapproval of Mr. Drake.

No hard feelings.

:kolobok_bb: " I`m just going outside and may be sometime".

Edited by The Rocket
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Don’t go out there Captain Oates it’s chilly. Okay then but at least put your gloves on. 

As Oates said as he left the tent…

”Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits on the Australian Rugby League forum, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”

Hang on that was Prospero.

Ah well… as you were.

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It`s a beautiful speech Graham but I`ve always been partial to the Duke from Huckleberry Finn`s take on Shakespeare`s soliloquies. It`s got something for everyone.

"To be or not to be; that is the bare bodkin
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would fardels bear, till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane,
But that the fear of something after death
Murders the innocent sleep,
Great nature's second course,
And makes us rather sling the arrows of outrageous fortune
Than fly to others that we know not of.
There's the respect must give us pause:
Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The law's delay, and the quietus which his pangs might take,
In the dead waste and middle of the night, when churchyards yawn
In customary suits of solemn black,
But that the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns,
Breathes forth contagion on the world,
And thus the native hue of resolution, like the poor cat i' the adage,
Is sicklied o'er with care,
And all the clouds that lowered o'er our housetops,
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. But soft you, the fair Ophelia:
Ope not thy ponderous and marble jaws,
But get thee to a nunnery—go!"

 

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1 hour ago, The Rocket said:

It`s a beautiful speech Graham but I`ve always been partial to the Duke from Huckleberry Finn`s take on Shakespeare`s soliloquies. It`s got something for everyone.

"To be or not to be; that is the bare bodkin
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would fardels bear, till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane,
But that the fear of something after death
Murders the innocent sleep,
Great nature's second course,
And makes us rather sling the arrows of outrageous fortune
Than fly to others that we know not of.
There's the respect must give us pause:
Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The law's delay, and the quietus which his pangs might take,
In the dead waste and middle of the night, when churchyards yawn
In customary suits of solemn black,
But that the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns,
Breathes forth contagion on the world,
And thus the native hue of resolution, like the poor cat i' the adage,
Is sicklied o'er with care,
And all the clouds that lowered o'er our housetops,
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. But soft you, the fair Ophelia:
Ope not thy ponderous and marble jaws,
But get thee to a nunnery—go!"

 

That about covers it… well I reckon I can make out allusions to three plays in that cracking quote.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I received the dismissive response that I had expected on the General Forum, where I posed the question whether the NRLs and NZRLs decision not to attend has now been partially justified in light the Omicron explosion in UK, could easily have happened a few weeks earlier and potentially delayed or cancelled the RLWC Final.

What do we think here on this page?

Personally, I have always supported the NRLs and NZRLs right to pull out of the 2021 tournament based on the outbreak.

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As someone who has purchased tickets for the original dates but would not have been allowed to travel  to UK I am delighted it was postponed to 2022.

Lets face it, the UK govt didnt take COVID seriously . . . until it was too late - Cheltenham racing festival, Liverpool v Atletico madrid, Half term skiiing holidays in ravaged Italy etc etc.  Private sector left to manage procurement and distribution of PPE. It took outsiders to help them help themselves because BoJo couldnt help them. Sadly 1000s of people died who needn't have.

Even Captain Tom fell for their (lack of) serious travel advice and regulations and accepted a holiday in the Caribbean, only to sadly pass  away shortly after his return.

 

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On 29/12/2021 at 14:47, Anita Bath said:

As someone who has purchased tickets for the original dates but would not have been allowed to travel  to UK I am delighted it was postponed to 2022.

Lets face it, the UK govt didnt take COVID seriously . . . until it was too late - Cheltenham racing festival, Liverpool v Atletico madrid, Half term skiiing holidays in ravaged Italy etc etc.  Private sector left to manage procurement and distribution of PPE. It took outsiders to help them help themselves because BoJo couldnt help them. Sadly 1000s of people died who needn't have.

Even Captain Tom fell for their (lack of) serious travel advice and regulations and accepted a holiday in the Caribbean, only to sadly pass  away shortly after his return.

 

As I said in the other forum. A by product of the tournament being delayed a year will make for some pretty hostile crowds for Kangaroos matches. I just hope both Aus and Eng are good enough to cross paths.

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