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1 hour ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

The next step would be a mid season standalone International weekend independent of Origin, with the Oceania Cup taking place at the end of the season in non World Cup years. Say.

Australia v Tonga

New Zealand v Samoa

PNG v Fiji 

Cook Islands v Lebanon

Mid season international weekend is an unlikely scenario, but would be best placed a week after SOO.

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5 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

Mid season international weekend is an unlikely scenario, but would be best placed a week after SOO.

It`s over mate, kaput. There isn`t the depth in the Islander nations even if they only lose a couple of players to SOO, and no-one, including the Islanders are going to be interested in watching them without even one or two of their stars. End of year it is.

And to be perfectly frank SP , even the end-of years maybe just tokenistic, listening to Tommy Turbo talk last week about how much he`s enjoying doing nothing in the off-season makes me think a lot of blokes will feel the same. This is all well and good for the Aussies who have plenty of depth but what about if a few of the Islander stars feel the same and they don`t have the depth. The whole thing could end up mickey mouse pretty quickly.

No mate League is a club sport and that is where its` strength is. Hopefully with a big celebration of League every four years called the World Cup.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

It`s over mate, kaput. There isn`t the depth in the Islander nations even if they only lose a couple of players to SOO, and no-one, including the Islanders are going to be interested in watching them without even one or two of their stars. End of year it is.

And to be perfectly frank SP , even the end-of years maybe just tokenistic, listening to Tommy Turbo talk last week about how much he`s enjoying doing nothing in the off-season makes me think a lot of blokes will feel the same. This is all well and good for the Aussies who have plenty of depth but what about if a few of the Islander stars feel the same and they don`t have the depth. The whole thing could end up mickey mouse pretty quickly.

No mate League is a club sport and that is where its` strength is. Hopefully with a big celebration of League every four years called the World Cup.

It's really strange how you've suddenly started to push these angles and arguments. I find it staggering that any RL fan would think like this.

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30 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

It`s over mate, kaput. There isn`t the depth in the Islander nations even if they only lose a couple of players to SOO, and no-one, including the Islanders are going to be interested in watching them without even one or two of their stars. End of year it is.

And to be perfectly frank SP , even the end-of years maybe just tokenistic, listening to Tommy Turbo talk last week about how much he`s enjoying doing nothing in the off-season makes me think a lot of blokes will feel the same. This is all well and good for the Aussies who have plenty of depth but what about if a few of the Islander stars feel the same and they don`t have the depth. The whole thing could end up mickey mouse pretty quickly.

No mate League is a club sport and that is where its` strength is. Hopefully with a big celebration of League every four years called the World Cup.

 

 

Mate, I agree, the club game is exactly where the biggest potential for growth lies.

Whilst not perhaps for the majority of the population of this forum, I believe an annual, end of season international window satisfactorily meets demand of the majority of RL supporters, players, corporates and sponsors.

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44 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

Mate, I agree, the club game is exactly where the biggest potential for growth lies.

This would make rugby league unique in world sport.

And, to be clear, rugby league is not unique in world sport.

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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17 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

This would make rugby league unique in world sport.

And, to be clear, rugby league is not unique in world sport.

NFL, AFL ? League can continue to grow if the money keeps rolling in from the club game and expansion is handled incrementally and sensibly.

I`d be more worried about the bull-xxxx situation where Toulouse might get relegated at the end of this year., that`s pure strategic brilliance. Not to mention the damage it would do to the World Cup in France in 3 years of having them up one year and gone the next.

Edited by The Rocket
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The fight for the international game must go on. The Aussies are deluded if they think that the NRL is the be all and end all of TGG. What game do the NRLers think they would be “celebrating” by turning up every 4 years and err that’s it. 

Happily, there are plenty of players and supporters who believe in the sport to keep fighting the good fight. We will have another triumphant World Cup later this year, and we can build on it and go again. 

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Rocket - You are mixing up the NRL and rugby league. World wide, there are dozens of nations playing our game, and every year there are more people playing the women’s and wheelchair games. We owe it to these pioneers to fight to the end for the best possible international exposure. From what I have seen, a lot of very good players feel strong ties to countries like Tonga, Samoa, PNG and Fiji, and it is the game’s duty to attempt to put on competitions allowing them to play for their countries. Anybody that loves our game should back that. 

The NRL is now cashed up, and I hope it uses some of that cash in ways which benefit the game, such as encouraging development in those countries. Unless human nature has completely changed overnight, there will always be people who feel connections to their nations and pride in pulling on their national jerseys. And so the fight will always be worth fighting. You may look at Gould and see a great man and a true visionary, but I think humanity can aim higher. 

Edited by Exiled Wiganer
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16 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

NFL, AFL ? League can continue to grow if the money keeps rolling in from the club game and expansion is handled incrementally and sensibly.

I`d be more worried about the bull-xxxx situation where Toulouse might get relegated at the end of this year., that`s pure strategic brilliance. Not to mention the damage it would do to the World Cup in France in 3 years of having them up one year and gone the next.

AFL is an excellent example of a sport being absolutely insignificant to 99% of the world's population because it has no international scene whatsoever.

If being better than the AFL is your benchmark then it's a sad indication of some woefully insular, small pond thinking.

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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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If SOO was all that is made out and the pinnacle then it wouldn't need to become a quasi international series. It wouldn't feel under threat from the international game and seek to diminish it, limit it and seemingly destroy it. It would be happy in its own skin and would seek to grow along with the rest of the game. Less insecure administrators have realised that and have known that it is quite possible to have a strong NRL scene, SOO and international game and have wanted to grow all three. Unfortunately we now have a situation where the NRL is controlled by people that have a very narrow, parochial focus and who would rather destroy parts of RL that may hinder their very lazy focus.

The players have spoken and want to play international RL. Players have chosen international RL over Origin at great financial cost. The NRL holding a gun to the wider game and its players may make some NRL sycophants happy, so they can come out with revisionist nonsense about the international game and where it stands, but that stance fools few.

Edited by Damien
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2 hours ago, gingerjon said:

And the sooner we all realise that having Australia as our biggest market is a key reason why rugby league's international footprint on a global scale is so insignificant.

Having our biggest games as being a battle between two parts of a small market (globally) obviously isn't fixable quickly, or possibly at all, but until it is then league will remain small time.

Exactly, if England are in the RLWC final the viewing figure here will be 2 or 3 times the record viewing figures for State Of Origin in Australia. 

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@Damien, on numerous occasions I have expressed my growing disinterest in SOO, so I agree on your less than glowing sentiments for that contest.

3 hours ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

Rocket - You are mixing up the NRL and rugby league. World wide, there are dozens of nations playing our game, and every year there are more people playing the women’s and wheelchair games. We owe it to these pioneers to fight to the end for the best possible international exposure.

Outside Aus, NZ and the remaining Pacific Island nations, those remaining dozens of nations you speak of are in no way impacted by any NRL decision to stop playing mid season international fixtures. 

Why on earth is a mid season international window going to improve the standing of the sport in any country? Where do we stop? Maybe there should be pre, mid and post season international windows. Maybe that isn’t enough. Heck, let’s just do away with club competition altogether. 

3 hours ago, gingerjon said:

This would make rugby league unique in world sport.

Soccer is huge because of varying domestic competition. The biggest cricket competitions are domestic club leagues. Basketball’s profile is huge, thanks to the NBA. Baseball is an Olympic sport that gains most of its exposure via the MLB. Gridiron’s exposure is exclusively because of NFL. Hockey mostly because of the chase for the Stanley Cup.

 

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14 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

Soccer is huge because of varying domestic competition. The biggest cricket competitions are domestic club leagues. Basketball’s profile is huge, thanks to the NBA. Baseball is an Olympic sport that gains most of its exposure via the MLB. Gridiron’s exposure is exclusively because of NFL. Hockey mostly because of the chase for the Stanley Cup

Gridiron is not an international sport in any meaningful sense. But I'll accept it as another outlier.

Baseball, basketball and hockey have a decent mix of club and international tournaments. Baseball has been played in Cuba, I found out this morning, for longer than MLB has existed. Baseball and basketball being in the Olympics - and players and viewers around the world (i.e. outside the club focused USA) - rather shows the value to those sports of international games.

The biggest cricket competitions are international competitions. That's why they're rigged to keep India, England and Australia in for as long as possible (but, specifically, India). The biggest TV deals are for internationals. The most expensive tickets are for internationals.

Don't know enough about ice hockey to comment but growth in the UK seems to be entirely focused on getting the national team into tournaments rather than making sure the Guildford Flames play in Europe.

EDIT

To add, soccer's most valuable tournaments and highest viewing figures are for internationals. I care and follow a lot more club games than international ones but far more people are interested in country v country. Again though, there is a mix and the international window means priority for international games over club ones.

Edited by gingerjon

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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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Gridiron is not an international sport in any meaningful sense. But I'll accept it as another outlier.

Baseball, basketball and hockey have a decent mix of club and international tournaments. Baseball has been played in Cuba, I found out this morning, for longer than MLB has existed. Baseball and basketball being in the Olympics - and players and viewers around the world (i.e. outside the club focused USA) - rather shows the value to those sports of international games.

The biggest cricket competitions are international competitions. That's why they're rigged to keep India, England and Australia in for as long as possible (but, specifically, India). The biggest TV deals are for internationals. The most expensive tickets are for internationals.

Don't know enough about ice hockey to comment but growth in the UK seems to be entirely focused on getting the national team into tournaments rather than making sure the Guildford Flames play in Europe.

I don’t know to be sure about cricket, but I would have thought there is more money and eyeballs watching IPL, Big Bash and 100 than there is watching international cricket. That’s not to say that the international game isn’t big either.

You are right, all the other sports do have reasonable international competition, but by far and away, the global exposure of Basketball, Baseball and Ice Hockey is due to the varying domestic competitions, not international competition.

Despite WC, European Cup, ACON and other regional international cup events, domestic club soccer captures far more eyeballs and dollars than its international counterpart.

Edited by Sports Prophet
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20 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

You are right, all the other sports do have reasonable international competition, but by far and away, the global exposure of Basketball, Baseball and Ice Hockey is due to the varying domestic competitions, not international competition.

You say "varying domestic competitions", but let's be clear - it's the NBA, MLB and NHL that are massive. The common denominator is the North American market. Take these competitions out of the equation and does your point still stand?

24 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

Despite WC, European Cup, ACON and other regional international cup events, domestic club soccer captures far more eyeballs and dollars than its international counterpart.

What metrics are you using for this statement? I can only speak from experience in the UK, but the competitions that seem to generate the most public interest and media attention are always international competitions.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

You say "varying domestic competitions", but let's be clear - it's the NBA, MLB and NHL that are massive. The common denominator is the North American market. Take these competitions out of the equation and does your point still stand?

Yes, I think it does. Wherever Basketball, Ice Hockey and Baseball are played with any credible following, the local domestic game outperforms its international counterpart.

Ice Hockey in Europe.

Baseball in Central America and Japan.

Basketball in Europe and Australia.

9 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

What metrics are you using for this statement? I can only speak from experience in the UK, but the competitions that seem to generate the most public interest and media attention are always international competitions.

For a 8 weeks every two years maybe, but I hazard a guess over a two/four year period, club games have more viewers, attendances, media attention, sales and corporate backing than the international version.

Edited by Sports Prophet
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2 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

 

@Damien, on numerous occasions I have expressed my growing disinterest in SOO, so I agree on your less than glowing sentiments for that contest.

Outside Aus, NZ and the remaining Pacific Island nations, those remaining dozens of nations you speak of are in no way impacted by any NRL decision to stop playing mid season international fixtures. 

Why on earth is a mid season international window going to improve the standing of the sport in any country? Where do we stop? Maybe there should be pre, mid and post season international windows. Maybe that isn’t enough. Heck, let’s just do away with club competition altogether. 

Soccer is huge because of varying domestic competition. The biggest cricket competitions are domestic club leagues. Basketball’s profile is huge, thanks to the NBA. Baseball is an Olympic sport that gains most of its exposure via the MLB. Gridiron’s exposure is exclusively because of NFL. Hockey mostly because of the chase for the Stanley Cup.

 

The dozens of nations benefit from the money generated by the international game. Plus, its profile, of course. We will have in 2025 3 World Cups, each with 16 teams, covering dozens of nations. The headline acts from a financial perspective will draw heavily on rugby league men playing in the SH. Those dozens of nations can increase their media revenues, raise their profiles, be more widely recognised locally and attract Government support. We owe it to those nations to press for the best international footprint we can have. If it means going directly to the players, or finding coaches like Bennett prepared to release them, we need to do whatever it takes. 

Your 3rd point isn’t a point at all. 

Your 4th point is irrelevant.

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1 hour ago, Sports Prophet said:

 The biggest cricket competitions are domestic club leagues. 

Gotta disagree with this one - International Cricket dwarfs virtually every domestic league. Traditional English country cricket is dying on its arris with pittyful attendances and about as much entertainment value as watching paint dry. It it weren't for 'novelty' competitions like T20 being created the game would have died in England at county level long ago.

In many respects Union is the same. Many of their club games have attendances lower than league clubs and its primarily international rugby and European club competitions that rake in the money, attendances and media interest. 

St.Helens - The Home of Rugby Champions

Saints Men's team - Triple Champions & Double Winners ; Saints Women's team - Treble Winners ; Thatto Heath - National Conference Champions

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33 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

Yes, I think it does. Wherever Basketball, Ice Hockey and Baseball are played with any credible following, the local domestic game outperforms its international counterpart.

Ice Hockey in Europe.

Baseball in Central America and Japan.

Basketball in Europe and Australia.

Any evidence for this? I'll happily be persuaded if you can provide a convincing argument.

34 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

For a 8 weeks every two years maybe, but I hazard a guess over a two/four year period, club games have more viewers, attendances, media attention, sales and corporate backing than the international version.

As a combined aggregate maybe, but nowhere near the same impact in terms of public consciousness. I'm pretty sure most people in the UK could tell you that England won a football world cup in 1966, but I expect very few could tell you who won the league that year. Likewise, the same for England's rugby union and cricket world cup wins.

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25 minutes ago, Saint Toppy said:

International Cricket dwarfs virtually every domestic league.

The only one where it might not be guaranteed is the IPL - as that's now the only one where international fixtures tend to be avoided playing during.

But the temperature of cricket in India absolutely depends on a successful international team.

Right now, the BBL is playing at the same time as the Ashes. Even though the Ashes is more than a tad one-sided, it is the one with the money.

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, Sports Prophet said:

Why on earth is a mid season international window going to improve the standing of the sport in any country? Where do we stop? Maybe there should be pre, mid and post season international windows.

Yea that exactly what there should be. Pretty much every major sport does just that. We are the anomaly.

Football has regularly international windows all year - with qualifiers and friendlies alongside Euros and World Cup etc. Despite having the wealthiest domestic league in the league somehow England managed to squeeze in lots of games. In 2019 England played this many men’s matches in the three big UK sports:

Football: 10

Rugby Union: 16

Cricket: 18 (12 tests, 3 ODIs, 3 T20)

That compares to just 4 in Rugby League - the infamous GB tour.

Those figures are an embarrassment to our sport.

There is no reason why you cannot have huge interest in club and national competitions and we should be having more and not less windows to Showcase  our sport on the international stage.

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5 hours ago, The Rocket said:

It`s over mate, kaput. There isn`t the depth in the Islander nations even if they only lose a couple of players to SOO, and no-one, including the Islanders are going to be interested in watching them without even one or two of their stars. End of year it is.

And to be perfectly frank SP , even the end-of years maybe just tokenistic, listening to Tommy Turbo talk last week about how much he`s enjoying doing nothing in the off-season makes me think a lot of blokes will feel the same. This is all well and good for the Aussies who have plenty of depth but what about if a few of the Islander stars feel the same and they don`t have the depth. The whole thing could end up mickey mouse pretty quickly.

No mate League is a club sport and that is where its` strength is. Hopefully with a big celebration of League every four years called the World Cup.

 

 

Aussie rules here we come. 

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Various posts edited.

Please carry on the debate without calling each other names.

That includes calling people trolls.

If you think someone is trolling on here, report the evidence of trolling to moderators, and do not respond to the alleged trolling yourself, or you will just make matters worse.

Just to be clear: trolling does not include someone simply having a different opinion to you.

If you do not want to read a certain individual's opinions on here at all, use the ignore option to block their posts from your sight.

Thank you.

.

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29 minutes ago, John Drake said:

Various posts edited.

Please carry on the debate without calling each other names.

That includes calling people trolls.

If you think someone is trolling on here, report the evidence of trolling to moderators, and do not respond to the alleged trolling yourself, or you will just make matters worse.

Just to be clear: trolling does not include someone simply having a different opinion to you.

If you do not want to read a certain individual's opinions on here at all, use the ignore option to block their posts from your sight.

Thank you.

#BeKind

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6 hours ago, Damien said:

If SOO was all that is made out and the pinnacle then it wouldn't need to become a quasi international series. It wouldn't feel under threat from the international game and seek to diminish it, limit it and seemingly destroy it. It would be happy in its own skin and would seek to grow along with the rest of the game. Less insecure administrators have realised that and have known that it is quite possible to have a strong NRL scene, SOO and international game and have wanted to grow all three. Unfortunately we now have a situation where the NRL is controlled by people that have a very narrow, parochial focus and who would rather destroy parts of RL that may hinder their very lazy focus.

The players have spoken and want to play international RL. Players have chosen international RL over Origin at great financial cost. The NRL holding a gun to the wider game and its players may make some NRL sycophants happy, so they can come out with revisionist nonsense about the international game and where it stands, but that stance fools few.

The problem with what you are saying is that most of these blokes with dual eligibility are as Australian as me, full-on Aussie accents, born and spent their whole life here. If they are made to choose between representing their state ( and $20 000/game ), where they`ve spent their whole life ( and grown up watching SOO ), Staggs in Wellington near Dubbo, Laui St. Mary`s in Sydney etc. etc. etc. etc. they will choose NSW or QLD over the country that either their parents or grand-parents came from.

Now this is not to diminish the passion they feel for those countries, but for long as a choice has to be made in the middle of the year, SOO will largely win out.

So what do you suggest, get rid of SOO and make them choose mid year. As I`ve stated earlier ain`t going to happen, SOO paved the way for a team into Melbourne, it may well pave the way for a team into Perth and further NZ teams and it earns a bucket load of money for the NRL as well.

Therefore the best situation at this stage is to allow these young blokes to represent their state mid-year and then if they want they can then choose to represent the nation of their forebears at the end of the year.

That doesn`t seem like a bad outcome to me.

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