Jump to content

Mid-Season Tests Confirmed


UTK
 Share

Recommended Posts


https://www.nrl.com/news/2022/04/28/mid-season-tests-to-kick-start-world-cup-campaigns-for-pacific-nations/

Further article makes a good point re: newer eligibility rules around eligibility being confirmed for an entire calendar year to prevent switching occurring before the WC. Ramifications of this will be us getting a much better idea of the WC squads for the SH teams with a players election between NZ/Australia and the islands confirmed following participation in these matches.

For example, a player turning out for Samoa mid-season will not be able to get called up for the Australian WC squad, likewise playing for NZ now would rule a player out from being selected in a Tongan WC squad ala the defections in 2017.

Edit: Theoretically this is the same for players selected for Wales mid-season that will not be able to get picked for England in the WC, I'm guessing given England v CA is an exhibition match it won't apply the other way around but who knows.

Edited by UTK
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, UTK said:

https://www.nrl.com/news/2022/04/28/arlc-confirms-2022-representative-round/

NZ v Tonga, Samoa v Cook Islands, Fiji v PNG - all on June 25 according to this.

Brilliant these games are going ahead, it’d be even better if they were in place 12 months in advance rather than 2 months in advance but that’s where International Rugby League is at the moment.

It’ll be interesting to see the squads and who is committed to Tonga, Samoa and Fiji for the World Cup. Cook Islands have a much smaller player pool to select from, I wonder if they’ll fly some Super League players over, Dylan Napa, Kenny Edwards, Brad Takairangi, Zane Tetevano, Tinirau Arona could potentially feature for Cook Islands.

Hopefully Sky Sports show these games. If Sky Sports don’t, could Premier Sports buy the UK coverage, or will these games be already part of the UK NRL tv deal?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ghost crayfish said:

Relieved by the article's clarification that playing origin won't impact eligibility for pacific Island nations... great there's some games scheduled and it's also great that it'll be shown on channel 9, as well as foxsports. 

It never did. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awesome! A big test match threesome. Pumped for them, especially the main one.

I wonder whether some players who might make the Aussie set-up will hold back from declaring for these teams. If so, strength of squads may be affected... Presumably TONGA will very much want Lolohea to test out their halves pairing before the WC, which might mean he pulls out of the Combined Nations All Stars?

Just hope now that SKY SPORTS televise all three games so that I can get stuck into them!

Edited by StandOffHalf
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, StandOffHalf said:

Awesome! A big test match threesome. Pumped for them, especially the main one.

I wonder whether some players who might make the Aussie set-up will hold back from declaring for these teams. If so, strength of squads may be affected... Presumably TONGA will very much want Lolohea to test out their halves pairing before the WC, which will mean he pulls out of the Combined Nations All Stars?

Just hope now that SKY SPORTS televise all three games so that I can get stuck into them! Having the England game on the same day could mean that they are minded to only show the Tonga game. It's hard to imagine SKY SPORTS showing four international RL games on the same day, when they largely use the NRL as filler in their schedules. Still, we live in hope...

The SH and NH rep rounds actually aren't aligned this year so England v CA is on the 18th June and France v Wales the 19th, the week before these games. 

I had a similar thought re players not declaring but realistically given Origin is on the same weekend, any that are in the frame for Australia will be playing in that match and therefore won't have to declare til the end of the year.

 

42 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Brilliant these games are going ahead, it’d be even better if they were in place 12 months in advance rather than 2 months in advance but that’s where International Rugby League is at the moment.

It’ll be interesting to see the squads and who is committed to Tonga, Samoa and Fiji for the World Cup. Cook Islands have a much smaller player pool to select from, I wonder if they’ll fly some Super League players over, Dylan Napa, Kenny Edwards, Brad Takairangi, Zane Tetevano, Tinirau Arona could potentially feature for Cook Islands.

Hopefully Sky Sports show these games. If Sky Sports don’t, could Premier Sports buy the UK coverage, or will these games be already part of the UK NRL tv deal?

Carrying on from my response above, given the lack of matchup between the two weekends any SL players would obviously now require to be granted a release from their club commitments for that weekend. This could indeed put some strain on the Combined Nations as any players considered for both will effectively have to spend a fortnight away from their clubs, strong-arming players into choosing the CN closer to home is something I wouldn't be surprised to see happen.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Going back a few years you had to declare for Australia to play Origin

That’s a different thing they can tell you you need to be Australian to play origin but playing Origin in itself doesn’t make you ineligible for any other country. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@UTK: Yeah, I realised that after I posted. I've edited my comment. I was thinking of last year's CNAS's date. Still, if Lolohea (and maybe Hopoate and Hurrell) travel down for the Tonga test match, they'll hardly be back in time to be a part of CNAS preparations (not that the latter two are in the squad at the moment).

If Lolohea travels down, I think it's very unlikely that he'll be togging out for the CNAS team the following weekend.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, StandOffHalf said:

@UTK: Yeah, I realised that after I posted. I've edited my comment. I was thinking of last year's CNAS's date. Still, if Lolohea (and maybe Hopoate and Hurrell) travel down for the Tonga test match, they'll hardly be back in time to be a part of CNAS preparations (not that the latter two are in the squad at the moment).

If Lolohea travels down, I think it's very unlikely that he'll be togging out for the CNAS team the following weekend.

Yep, tend to agree that anyone who participates in one won't participate in the other which could create some issues for the CN side. Martin, Tetevano, Edwards, Levi, Lino, Lolohea, Lovodua, Ma'u of the current CN squad all well within the scope of selection for their respective international sides with a few more arguable additions too.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, UTK said:

The SH and NH rep rounds actually aren't aligned this year so England v CA is on the 18th June and France v Wales the 19th, the week before these games. 

I had a similar thought re players not declaring but realistically given Origin is on the same weekend, any that are in the frame for Australia will be playing in that match and therefore won't have to declare til the end of the year.

 

Carrying on from my response above, given the lack of matchup between the two weekends any SL players would obviously now require to be granted a release from their club commitments for that weekend. This could indeed put some strain on the Combined Nations as any players considered for both will effectively have to spend a fortnight away from their clubs, strong-arming players into choosing the CN closer to home is something I wouldn't be surprised to see happen.

I’m sure any Super League player would pick playing for Tonga/Samoa/Cook Islands/Fiji/PNG over the combined Nations. Clubs can’t officially stop a player playing in an International, but they can obviously informally put pressure on them not to play. The game is in a bad place if clubs stop players playing in Internationals.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

56 minutes ago, UTK said:

Yep, tend to agree that anyone who participates in one won't participate in the other which could create some issues for the CN side. Martin, Tetevano, Edwards, Levi, Lino, Lolohea, Lovodua, Ma'u of the current CN squad all well within the scope of selection for their respective international sides with a few more arguable additions too.

I think Martin is the current PNG captain, so I'd imagine he will want to head down for the game. The others are all possibilities but don't jump out at me as certainties for their teams. Perhaps Lino? I'm not sure about Samoa's depth in the halves...

I hope that any players who are called up and wish to play in the tests are released by their clubs. That's something I admired from Ian Watson, when he was asked about the club releasing Lolohea for Tonga. Internationals should take precedence.

Edited by StandOffHalf
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, UTK said:

https://www.nrl.com/news/2022/04/28/arlc-confirms-2022-representative-round/

NZ v Tonga, Samoa v Cook Islands, Fiji v PNG - all on June 25 according to this.

Let`s not forget the Women`s State of Origin to be played on the Friday night and the Women`s Tonga vs the Kiwi Silver Ferns before the men`s game on Saturday.

 It`s going to be a cracking three days of League.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The pity on reading that article is that we all know it won't happen again after this year, regardless of how good 2022 is. This isn't a long term plan to grow international Rugby League as V'landys says. Then we have this gem, what Andrew the same dedicated end of season international window that we always had:

NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said the Representative Round would celebrate the game’s best players.

“To have State of Origin and Test Matches across one round for the final time before we enter a new cycle from 2023 of a dedicated international window in October is exciting for the game.’’ he said.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, StandOffHalf said:

I think Martin is the current PNG captain, so I'd imagine he will want to head down for the game. The others are all possibilities but don't jump out at me as certainties for their teams. Perhaps Lino? I'm not sure about Samoa's depth in the halves...

I hope that any players who are called up and wish to play in the tests are released by their clubs. That's something I admired from Ian Watson, when he was asked about the club releasing Lolohea for Tonga. Internationals should take precedence.

There's a few options for Samoa's halves but with Luai likely playing Origin I thought Lino may be in the mix, a lot will depend on who NZ takes in their wider squad.

Tetevano and Edwards would be fairly well nailed on for the Cook Islands if they stick their hands up, Levi is currently the incumbent Samoan hooker but Erin Clark is another option from down here.

Lovodua I understand has been playing well for Hull and has been somewhat of a fixture for Fiji playing 8 tests between 2017-19, think he strengthens the halves where they lack some depth so I'd say they'd be keen to get him on board.

Ma'u is probably the longest odds, given the emergence of some younger talent I wouldn't be surprised to see him miss out but at the same time he was a key fixture during both the 17 WC and 19 win over Australia.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Damien said:

The pity on reading that article is that we all know it won't happen again after this year, regardless of how good 2022 is. This isn't a long term plan to grow international Rugby League as V'landys says. Then we have this gem, what Andrew the same dedicated end of season international window that we always had:

NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said the Representative Round would celebrate the game’s best players.

“To have State of Origin and Test Matches across one round for the final time before we enter a new cycle from 2023 of a dedicated international window in October is exciting for the game.’’ he said.

It really is crushing this is the direction being taken, undoing the good work that had been done to support the previous mid-season tests. We should've been heading in the other direction toward 3 standalone rounds but that seems out of the realms of possibility now.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It ain`t necessarily so. As long as they are serious and in future years we see a month of Test football in October every year I won`t be complaining. 

A one-off weekend is great but a month of round-robin Test matches with two tiers better.

It also means that there will be a lot of the best PI players who will not be encumbered by having to choose between Origin and the home of their ancestors.

Edited by The Rocket
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, UTK said:

There's a few options for Samoa's halves but with Luai likely playing Origin I thought Lino may be in the mix, a lot will depend on who NZ takes in their wider squad.

Tetevano and Edwards would be fairly well nailed on for the Cook Islands if they stick their hands up, Levi is currently the incumbent Samoan hooker but Erin Clark is another option from down here.

Lovodua I understand has been playing well for Hull and has been somewhat of a fixture for Fiji playing 8 tests between 2017-19, think he strengthens the halves where they lack some depth so I'd say they'd be keen to get him on board.

Ma'u is probably the longest odds, given the emergence of some younger talent I wouldn't be surprised to see him miss out but at the same time he was a key fixture during both the 17 WC and 19 win over Australia.

Fair comments. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing them all make the trip.

Edited by StandOffHalf
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

It ain`t necessarily so. As long as they are serious and in future years we see a month of Test football in October every year I won`t be complaining. 

A one-off weekend is great but a month of round-robin Test matches with two tiers better.

It also means that there will be a lot of the best PI players who will not be encumbered by having to choose between Origin and the home of their ancestors.

I know we don't share views on this so Im not going to argue endlessly about it.

However it is clear that there was absolutely nothing stopping that happening at the end of season anyway. The end of season window was there anyway. It did not need the scrapping of a mid season international to do as you say. Its a lame excuse by the NRL to justify it.

Edited by Damien
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, Damien said:

The pity on reading that article is that we all know it won't happen again after this year, regardless of how good 2022 is. This isn't a long term plan to grow international Rugby League as V'landys says. Then we have this gem, what Andrew the same dedicated end of season international window that we always had:

NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said the Representative Round would celebrate the game’s best players.

“To have State of Origin and Test Matches across one round for the final time before we enter a new cycle from 2023 of a dedicated international window in October is exciting for the game.’’ he said.

There should be mid-season tests and end of year tests. A whole club season without internationals and the NRL are spinning that as a great success and a bright new dawn?

Makes me want to cry.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

It ain`t necessarily so. As long as they are serious and in future years we see a month of Test football in October every year I won`t be complaining. 

A one-off weekend is great but a month of round-robin Test matches with two tiers better.

It also means that there will be a lot of the best PI players who will not be encumbered by having to choose between Origin and the home of their ancestors.

If we see some reform that does produce a committed calendar then I agree, that will soften the blow. 

It just feels like an opportunity missed though, we all know the NRL competition around the Origin period drops to a lower standard due to players missing games or having to play twice in a week. With three standalone rounds we could build a comprehensive rep round offering to match the number of games played each week in the NRL and therefore produce the same amount of content for broadcasters while also avoiding the usual issues created by Origin.

Representative football is one thing we have over our major competitor in the AFL, they will never have proper representative offerings like we can, in that sense we have a major potential point of difference. Not only that, this point of difference is proven to have a strong following in non-RL heartlands with both Origin and Internationals reaching big audiences and crowds outside of NSW/QLD. International rep football is also particularly important for engaging NZ who love to follow a winner but unfortunately haven't had one in club land for some time and boast proud Polynesian communities to tap into.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...