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4 hours ago, Big Picture said:
4 hours ago, theswanmcr said:

Tonga, PNG and the rest won't ever be able to host their own Internationals and make money from them because those countries are all too poor; even matches in New Zealand (like the money-losing 1996 GB tour) aren't guaranteed money-makers.

This weird idea that the rise of these tiny third world countries will do anything substantial to boost the game's profile, image and fortunes really is divorced from reality.

For your information PNG has hosted many standalone internationals in the past, especially against Fiji. When Tonga rugby league was broke, we saved them by organising a test match in Lae with all expenses payed for. They lost the match despite having players like Sika Manu, but the revenue it generated helped save them. This was a year or two before their famous RLWC run. 

PNG may be an underdeveloped nation, but the PNGRFL is well financed with alot of political backing and power. It's flagship competition the Digicel cup not only has players from PNG, but also from across the Pacific, especially Fiji and the Cookislands. We've hosted many high level regional events, such as the APEC Summit, South Pacific games (twice), and even the last RLWC to name a few. 

I agree with one or two of the points you've made, but assuming low tier countries can't organise their own test matches is pretty ignorant. 

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18 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Choices, choices and choices.

Do I play for NSW or do I play for Samoa?

The ARL Commission`s ruling to scrap mid-season Test matches may be the decision that ensures the SOO series rules the roost for the next twenty years. It is a mouth-watering prospect if the best of the dual PI/Australian eligible players start putting up their hands for NSW or QLD. And what kid wouldn`t want to play in front of sell-out crowds across Australia and probably NZ over the next few years. As you say there will be no torment now of who to represent mid-season.

I don`t think some quite understand the importance of SOO to the NRL. The mere fact that Channel 7 tried to snatch it off Ch. 9 during the last broadcast negotiations as a standalone event says it all. Nine replied by telling the NRL that its` broadcast rights were nothing without SOO. It is therefore not surprising that the ARLC are doing every thing to protect it. It`s not only a massive money spinner but a crucial tool for flushing out bids for teams 18, 19 and 20 over the next decade or so.

We have to understand that this was a cold hard calculated business decision. A decision that independent commissions are payed to make, to further the best interests of the game for the NRL and for its` future plans. I`ll back their decision over some of the foot stamping and tantrum chucking that has occurred on here.

As much as some of our northern hemisphere compatriots seemed to be pinning their hopes on in-bound tours from various southern hemisphere nations to revitalise interest and generate publicity in the game I`m afraid they are going to have to get on with arranging something themselves, certainly at least mid-season. Without getting any delight in saying this but one has to feel it is a situation of their own making, let`s face it we both began at roughly the same starting point 100 years ago.

 

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Just now, The Rocket said:

And what kid wouldn`t want to play in front of sell-out crowds across Australia and probably NZ over the next few years.

Wow.

Australia *and* New Zealand.

Talk about seeing the world.

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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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16 hours ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

The “vision” set out by 2 of the posters on here could not be more divorced from the reality

I think the vision that the ARL independent commission has is a 20 team competition, 2 conferences and with a 18 week season. Andrew Abdo has certainly expressed an interest in the first two points.

This is in line with other commentary stating that the NRL should ultimately aim for a short season of high intensity like the similarly physical NFL.

I don`t follow other sports and of course the best comparison due to the similarity of the physical demands on the participants would be union, so maybe you could inform me; is it common for other sports to stop their club competitions mid-season for several weeks to accommodate international fixtures.

I`m pretty sure the union over here play a roughly 15/16 week season followed by what they call the rugby championship ( 4 or 5 international teams playing a round-robin) then a spring tour to the northern hemisphere.

With all the NRL broadcast rights now aligned to conclude in 2027 and expected advances likely to be continued to be made in streaming there is strong speculation that a monster broadcast rights bid will be made to grab all the rights for NRL after that date. This may be our best chance to start implementing some of the above. I don`t think too many Rugby League players would turn up their noses at a shorter season for the same money with a properly defined international representative calendar.

 

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On 05/01/2022 at 06:12, Damien said:

No one has said get rid of SOO. It is perfectly possible to have both an international game and SOO. We have already had both for one weekend a year for several years. Previous and more enlightened ex NRL administrators were seeking to expand this.

If players choose SOO then that's fine as it's their choice, similarly its their choice if they choose their country. It's really odd how some people would rather deprive players of any choice, much like what happened with the World Cup. It shows a real insecurity on the part of NRL administrators that they constantly feel the need to do this and take choice away from players and fans.

 

21 hours ago, The Rocket said:

Ironically one could easily argue that the deprivation of choice actually occurred when players were forced to choose between representing the state in which most were  born and raised in the SOO arena or representing the nation of their forebears in the Pacific Cup test series in a mid-season representative window.

The current arrangement now actually does provide legitimate choice, Kotoni Staggs et.al. can represent the state they were they grew up in SOO mid-year and then if they then so choose can represent either Australia, New Zealand or the country of their forebears at the end of the year.

That would be a better definition of choice I would think.

 

 

19 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Choices, choices and choices.

Do I play for NSW or do I play for Samoa?

That could be like Sophie’s choice for some players wouldn’t you say @The Rocket?

There is another whole element to this discussion that is being overlooked. If the likes of Tonga and Samoa, NZ and PNG are so downtrodden by the NRLs stance on when and how much international footy is to be played, those governing bodies can always go right ahead and arrange a mid season test match/series themselves. So can England and any other country for that matter. The IRL can sanction those fixtures and the NRL clubs have no right to stop a player representing their country. For as long as the NRL chooses to be a member of IRL at least.

Then we would really see players given a choice. Club/SOO or country. Would be a great test to see just how important international football is in the minds of our top professional players.

 

19 hours ago, theswanmcr said:

You did see what happened at the World Cup? The organisers were planning to go ahead without Aus and NZ because in theory players could do just that. In reality players and governing bodies were put under some not very subtly pressure to go along with what their paymasters (eg the NRLwant).
 

Tonga, PNG have no money to go their own way. And of course it will stay that way until they are able to host their own tests! A perpetual cycle and one that is controlled by the NRL as they have the money and power over the game and not the IRL.

 

18 hours ago, Big Picture said:

Tonga, PNG and the rest won't ever be able to host their own Internationals and make money from them because those countries are all too poor; even matches in New Zealand (like the money-losing 1996 GB tour) aren't guaranteed money-makers.

This weird idea that the rise of these tiny third world countries will do anything substantial to boost the game's profile, image and fortunes really is divorced from reality.

The NRL/ARLC don't want anything to undermine SOO. If Australia were to lose 3 test matches in a row the NRL/ARLC could not longer claim that the SOO was played by the best players in the world and that it was the pinnacle of the sport. Hence their fear of International Rugby League being the pinnacle of the sport

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1 hour ago, The Rocket said:

As much as some of our northern hemisphere compatriots seemed to be pinning their hopes on in-bound tours from various southern hemisphere nations to revitalise interest and generate publicity in the game I`m afraid they are going to have to get on with arranging something themselves, certainly at least mid-season. 

Literally no one has said that. Again your post just highlights that the structure of the game in Australia is wrong and there is no proper governing body like the ARL running the show. Its akin to the Premier League in England calling the shots when it comes to Football in England. That would be wrong too.

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1 hour ago, The Rocket said:

And what kid wouldn`t want to play in front of sell-out crowds across Australia and probably NZ over the next few years. As you say there will be no torment now of who to represent mid-season.

Those, like Tuqiri, Rodgers, Sailor, Hunt, Korbiete and Vunivalu amongst others, that go to RU to play internationals and to play in more places than just their home country and one a few hours away.

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14 minutes ago, Damien said:

Those, like Tuqiri, Rodgers, Sailor, Hunt, Korbiete and Vunivalu amongst others, that go to RU to play internationals and to play in more places than just their home country and one a few hours away.

Sorry Damien, those players went for no other reason than $$$$

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9 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

Sorry Damien, those players went for no other reason than $$$$

That's not right. Money talks but it certainly isn't the only reason. Plenty of RU players could go to the NRL for more money, both now and in the past, but choose not to. That is because of the RU international game.

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19 hours ago, theswanmcr said:

Your first point is fair enough - but if there was a proper mid season window then England etc could offer them money to come here.

However, these tiny countries do plenty to boost the game’s profile. Nobody knows or cares really what the size of Samoa is but they do know they are good at ‘rugby’ and offer a legitimate big game for the start of our World Cup.

And without them then we are back to just the old three nations playing rugby league. We are/were beginning to move away from that but the current NRL/Aus insular stance on reducing the number of internationals really doesn’t help this.

 

21 minutes ago, Damien said:

Literally no one has said that. Again your post just highlights that the structure of the game in Australia is wrong and there is no proper governing body like the ARL running the show. Its akin to the Premier League in England calling the shots when it comes to Football in England. That would be wrong too.

See above. And I just love the way you know what`s best for the game in Australia, both its` structure and who`s running it. Being a know-all is one of the worst attributes any young person can have when trying to get ahead, I`d suggest that this played a large part in your own self confessed lack of " employment success " .

17 minutes ago, Damien said:

Those, like Tuqiri, Rodgers, Sailor, Hunt, Korbiete and Vunivalu amongst others, that go to RU to play internationals and to play in more places than just their home country and one a few hours away.

Most of the players on that list occurred 20 years ago. It would seem that the only players we have lost to union over the last few years came from union in the first place and have unfulfilled ambitions - fair enough.

With the strangle hold League has on junior development and the wages we can offer now I don`t expect that to change in a hurry. At the risk of repeating myself every year now we hear the stories of what All-Black player wants to have a crack at League, you don`t hear of a single born and bred League star saying the opposite. 

I know you`ve said how many have actually come over, none, true, but the drums are beating and as we increase our presence in NZ we`ll start heading their juniors off at the pass as well.

BTW that last highlighted sentence is awfully condescending, arrogant and presumptuous, coming from someone of questioning what sort of League fan I am, that`s a bit rich.

 

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2 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

 

See above. And I just love the way you know what`s best for the game in Australia, both its` structure and who`s running it. Being a know-all is one of the worst attributes any young person can have when trying to get ahead, I`d suggest that this played a large part in your own self confessed lack of " employment success " .

Most of the players on that list occurred 20 years ago. It would seem that the only players we have lost to union over the last few years came from union in the first place and have unfulfilled ambitions - fair enough.

With the strangle hold League has on junior development and the wages we can offer now I don`t expect that to change in a hurry. At the risk of repeating myself every year now we hear the stories of what All-Black player wants to have a crack at League, you don`t hear of a single born and bred League star saying the opposite. 

I know you`ve said how many have actually come over, none, true, but the drums are beating and as we increase our presence in NZ we`ll start heading their juniors off at the pass as well.

BTW that last highlighted sentence is awfully condescending, arrogant and presumptuous, coming from someone of questioning what sort of League fan I am, that`s a bit rich.

 

You are precious aren't you. I am certainly not a know it all and have never claimed to be and I certainly haven't had a lack of employment success. Quite the opposite actually. That's a really odd assumption to make and yet again shows your lack of comprehension. Just not as well as @Dunbar if that is what you are referring to. Its sad that you are now resorting to personal insults because your posts consist of strawman arguments and logic built on sand.

Please continue to keep repeating yourself ad nauseum. Clinging to things like an All Black at contract time saying he would like a crack at League is really interesting and convincing. It really is. Most though realise the fact that none actually switch while players like Tuivasa-Sheck do actually switch and do go the other way for the opportunities and international game. Do console yourself in your stories though. You'll be talking about Quade Cooper switching next.

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26 minutes ago, Damien said:

You are precious aren't you. I am certainly not a know it all and have never claimed to be and I certainly haven't had a lack of employment success. Quite the opposite actually. That's a really odd assumption to make and yet again shows your lack of comprehension. Just not as well as @Dunbar if that is what you are referring to. Its sad that you are now resorting to personal insults because your posts consist of strawman arguments and logic built on sand.

Please continue to keep repeating yourself ad nauseum. Clinging to things like an All Black at contract time saying he would like a crack at League is really interesting and convincing. It really is. Most though realise the fact that none actually switch while players like Tuivasa-Sheck do actually switch and do go the other way for the opportunities and international game. Do console yourself in your stories though. You'll be talking about Quade Cooper switching next.

You`ve just chucked all of your toys out of your cot.

But in all seriousness though, I`ve been on this forum for 18 months and you do seem to exhibit an extraordinary amount of bitterness towards the NRL, surely you have to admit that, and I`m not just talking since the WC withdrawal. Tell me honestly is there a reason for this, because I find it difficult to comprehend, personally I`m fond of England and probably because my ancestors all came from there. I suppose it just doesn`t work both ways.

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Just now, The Rocket said:

You`ve just chucked all of your toys out of your cot.

But in all seriousness though, I`ve been on this forum for 18 months and you do seem to exhibit an extraordinary amount of bitterness towards the NRL, surely you have to admit that, and I`m not just talking since the WC withdrawal. Tell me honestly is there a reason for this, because I find it difficult to comprehend, personally I`m fond of England and probably because my ancestors all came from there. I suppose it just doesn`t work both ways.

No, you are the one that resorted to personal insults and quite falsely tried to mock someone's employment. I find that pathetic and would never sneer at someone's employment as you attempted to. Again quite incorrectly and all because you couldn't comprehend a sentence and struggle to debate your viewpoint.

And no I have no bitterness to the NRL and love watching it, indeed I watch more of it than Super League. It is the best Rugby competition in the world bar none. I want the NRL to be as big as it can be and to attract players from RU. It is not my fault that you cannot separate debates and conflate completely different issues and topics. The trouble is you think the NRL can do no wrong and seek to defend everything it does. When you are proven wrong with facts and can't back up your claims you resort to strawman arguments and hissy fits, as you are doing now. If I rile you that much I suggest you put me on ignore. Others on here are far more objective and obviously don't have the same emotional attachment with even other Australian posters taking a much more rounded view.

Where we seem to disagree is the role of the NRL and what it does with that power. I think the NRL has a wider obligation, as the strongest and most powerful RL league and Australia as the strongest nation, to care about more than just its domestic league. You evidently do not, and are happy with just a World Cup every 4 years, and that's fine. If the NRL do not take that whole game view then I believe that it is the wrong body in Australia to have so much power and is not a true governing body encompassing the whole game as the ARL would have been. Again you disagree and that's fine. 

For what its worth I am just as critical of much the RFL does, both domestically and with its attitude towards the international game but maybe your rage doesn't see that.

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2 hours ago, Damien said:

That's not right. Money talks but it certainly isn't the only reason. Plenty of RU players could go to the NRL for more money, both now and in the past, but choose not to. That is because of the RU international game.

To be honest, I think you are inflating the value the NRL clubs place on average RU talent. NRL in this day and age only bother targeting RU youth, rather than the established.

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1 minute ago, Sports Prophet said:

To be honest, I think you are inflating the value the NRL clubs place on average RU talent. NRL in this day and age only bother targeting RU youth, rather than the established.

Quite true and point taken. I dont blame the NRL for not chasing RU 'star' players when they can sign the next Vunivalu for next to nothing. I'm quite happy with NRL taking that approach although purely from a satisfaction point of view the odd, more public black eye to RU with a start defection would be good to see too.

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35 minutes ago, Damien said:

Quite true and point taken. I dont blame the NRL for not chasing RU 'star' players when they can sign the next Vunivalu for next to nothing. I'm quite happy with NRL taking that approach although purely from a satisfaction point of view the odd, more public black eye to RU with a start defection would be good to see too.

100%! That would cause Rugby shockwaves worldwide!!!!!

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4 hours ago, The Rocket said:

 

I don`t follow other sports and of course the best comparison due to the similarity of the physical demands on the participants would be union, so maybe you could inform me; is it common for other sports to stop their club competitions mid-season for several weeks to accommodate international fixtures.

 

 

Yes, soccer, there's at least 4 international windows per season,  maybe 5, two weeks at a time. Players from Europe leave to play all over the world, including Australia,  Sth America,  Asia etc.

The clubs have to release players or FIFA ban them from representing clubs for 5 days after the international window ends. That's the nub of the problem with international RL, no powerful governing body enforcing the international calendar. 

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24 minutes ago, HawkMan said:

Yes, soccer, there's at least 4 international windows per season,  maybe 5, two weeks at a time. Players from Europe leave to play all over the world, including Australia,  Sth America,  Asia etc.

The clubs have to release players or FIFA ban them from representing clubs for 5 days after the international window ends. That's the nub of the problem with international RL, no powerful governing body enforcing the international calendar. 

I think rugby union in Europe has three mandated international periods during the season in which players have to be released by their clubs?

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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8 hours ago, Damien said:

That's not right. Money talks but it certainly isn't the only reason. Plenty of RU players could go to the NRL for more money, both now and in the past, but choose not to. That is because of the RU international game.

I don't think any top RU player could turn up in the NRL or SL and get a game these days - they are miles away from being upto playing top level RL.

It would take them at least 12 months to get upto speed then they have to get into the team - which NRL team or top SL team is going to pay a RU international say £500,000 a year to not play in year 1 and probably fail in year 2?

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9 minutes ago, Mr Frisky said:

I don't think any top RU player could turn up in the NRL or SL and get a game these days - they are miles away from being upto playing top level RL.

It would take them at least 12 months to get upto speed then they have to get into the team - which NRL team or top SL team is going to pay a RU international say £500,000 a year to not play in year 1 and probably fail in year 2?

The Roosters were keen on signing All Black TJ Peranara last year.

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My take on this remains that the best thing for the game is to grow the international game across the globe, and that the NRL should not hinder that. As it happens, for the vast majority of the time the goals of the game and the NRL’s goals will overlap - player development, increased profile of league players, and entertainment. The reason we have a complete stranglehold over the whole region is 90% because of the NRL. Plus, spin offs like the Silktails and the Hunters grow the game domestically. Clearly, we are now in the position where any serious athlete looking to play the best game in the region is going to want to play our game. 

However, the NRL is not the world game. It values SoO above all else - and for obvious reasons - but there is room for the international game - men’s, women’s and wheelchair - across the world. And they have playing in their competition a majority of the best players in the world who would happily play for nations for which they are qualified. We know this to be true, because we have seen it with our own eyes. This isn’t the NH coming begging, this is true. 

The NRL can look on internationals as being good for the game, across the world, and not stand in the way of their players being available to play meaningful internationals. There are a few reasons for this - first, the players want to play, second, it is the right thing to do for the game, and third, it potentially opens up new markets to watch and play the game, for very little outlay from the NRL. They can view the sport as stopping at the border of 2 states, but they, their players and the world game would be much the poorer for their doing so. 

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49 minutes ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

 

The NRL can look on internationals as being good for the game, across the world, and not stand in the way of their players being available to play meaningful internationals. There are a few reasons for this - first, the players want to play, second, it is the right thing to do for the game, and third, it potentially opens up new markets to watch and play the game, for very little outlay from the NRL. They can view the sport as stopping at the border of 2 states, but they, their players and the world game would be much the poorer for their doing so. 

The problem with those benefits is that they are intangible and in turn difficult to justify when they can come at the expense of more tangible benefits.

I don’t think the NRL are anti international. I just think that the NRL doesn’t want a mid-season window. I remember hearing that consistently, mid-season internationals like Anzac tests and Pacific tests come at a financial loss for the NRL. This loss is further exacerbated with the risk of injuries to the NRLs most valuable asset, which then compromises the quality of their extremely profitable club game right at the business end of the season. That risk is somewhat offset if taken solely at the end of a season, rather than in the middle of it.

And before someone thinks this is a hypocritical stance when that same injury risk exists for a mid season Origin series, I will kindly remind them that any injury to a player resulting from Origin fixtures has come with the benefit of a cash cow.

Personally, I would love to see a mid season international window. The Pacific tests have been some of my favourite games all year. I would be happy to see the SOO series replaced by internationals, but at least I understand the financial reasoning why that won’t happen. So demonstrating my frustration that it doesn’t happen like many are here is about as useful as screaming at the rain.

What is needed is a different solution, because the call for a mid season international test/s is an option the NRL have tested and have obviously decided will continue to be a failure.

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On 06/01/2022 at 02:59, Big Picture said:

This weird idea that the rise of these tiny third world countries will do anything substantial to boost the game's profile, image and fortunes really is divorced from reality.

If rugby league continues to take off in the pacific we’ll dominate a region of the world.

The population may be small compared to elsewhere but the optics of dominating a region of the world is very appealing.

We’d also then dominate and control a major hotspot for world collision sport playing talent.

I also say this without trying to seem condescending, but it’s also a great thing to have all these smaller countries feel connected by a common sport that builds relationships, good will and community focus. 

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