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7 minutes ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

Of course there is a market for international games between England and Wales or England v France.

However, it appears that RL fans - and maybe you are one of them - are so insecure about how a blow out score will be perceived by the existing RL fan and non-RL fan that it has totally stifled the opportunity to grow the international game in the NH.

In football you have for example WC Qualifiers such as England v San Marino or Liechtenstein or Andorra.  Should those game be scrapped because the result is a foregone conclusion?  How about RUWC where you could get England v Namibia or Russia or Canada?  Are those games such a colossal mis-match that the RFU ought to refuse to play it in case England score a ton plus in each game? What about the Cricket World Cup where England might play Netherlands or Scotland and skittle them within twenty overs - ok, I admit that that is unlikely due a shambolic England team at present.

The difference is that those sports are not embarrassed by blow-outs and celebrate teams of all abilities playing in the same competition and therefore establish their international competitions whilst we hide our game from fear of being ashamed by a mis-match.

Looking at past attendances, there is less interest in England football playing a San Marino, Andorra or the like than there is against bigger nations and it would appear that the same is true of Rugby League, looking at attendances of games against France in the past in non-tournament fixtures. 

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38 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

No disrepect to Batley but if I´m a serious about growth it really isnt about growing Batley, it´s about establishing ourselves in bigger markets like Sheffield London and Manchester. 

Well, that's the key isn't it. Martyn suggested that WWR was such a club that could be targetted for growth. Personally, I'd put them more in Batley category than the Sheffield one, so which type of clubs benefit will determine how this strategy goes down in practice.  We really don't know which type it will be yet. (Or indeed, if growing certain clubs this really is a target.) 

 

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2 hours ago, ShropshireBull said:

So it never grows because we never play them so they never improve so it never grows. .. see the problem?

Yes last time England played Wales they pumped them.  That was 10 years ago.  Both games in Wales were held at same venue. The home international was held in Leigh.  No disrepect to Leigh but come on.  

Do it regularly so players know that committing to Wales gets them serious games.  Same for sponsors and commercially WRL have something to sell. 

The alternative is nothing because the NRL do not care about needing England anymore. 

You can make exactly the same points for Serbia. 

Growing RL isn't just playing internationals and everything works out nicely and grows. 

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2 hours ago, gingerjon said:

This is a genuine Q: when did Wales men last play a full international at all?

They couldn't play in 2019 because all of their stars were playing for Great Britain. 

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

They couldn't play in 2019 because all of their stars were playing for Great Britain. 

Behave.

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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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33 minutes ago, Damien said:

You are comparing apples and pears here.

In Football, RU or Cricket they do not play these nations every year in a tournament, which is the suggestion. They actually play these kinds of nations very infrequently, unless they have to in a qualifier or World Cup. Its really not that different to RL.

and there is constant talk about pre qualifier qualifiers to get rid of Andorra, San Marino et al playing the big nations and getting thumped.

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18 minutes ago, Dave T said:

You can make exactly the same points for Serbia. 

Growing RL isn't just playing internationals and everything works out nicely and grows. 

To be fair Dave i dont think anyone is either saying that or believes that. Internationals are part of a much bigger program that is needed but it is definitely part of it and without it the other bits are tougher.

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51 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I agree with all this but why not just have a  France vs. England test rather than an England XIII challenge match?

Language eh. A test is what I also mean. Call it say Puig Aubert Trophy.

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2 hours ago, RP London said:

1. why is this an either/or? us doing a 3 way with France and Wales does not preclude our ability to play Aus, Nz or the pacific nations.. we should be doing both.. but France and Wales can be mid season. 

2. In answer to your first paragraph.. how very RL absolutely.. but don't stop, carry it on, keep it going.. its the France game that initially is more important for England. 

3. Wales don't play enough internationals at all.. they play some yes, against Ireland and Scotland both known to not be great RL teams. England is a different matter.. and why are we so against MORE internationals.. every one should play more. 

4. Why are you wanting it to be big in 5 years.. thats extremely short term and is exactly why we are where we are.. we expect things to happen in such short spaces and when it doesn't we bin it off.

5. There is absolutely no silver bullet which is why I emphasised, really hard BTW, that it is not about the one match its about everything before and after it, its about mid season so there are games to put people on to, its about general interest growth that then in turn leads down the road to bums on seats and supporters and players.. but if we look at 1 match, if we look for the silver bullet we will never get close to fixing this.. you have to start somewhere and this type of thing IMHO is the START.

Apologies for breaking it down by numbers, but there are some good questions here:

1. It doesn't have to be either or, and you'll notice I state we (England) should play more games, including against Wales and France, I just don't buy an annual Tri-Nations against Wales and France as a good idea, whether it is mid-season or end of season. 

2. But that is quite important - you can't just keep going flogging a dead horse, that isn't good business sense on any level. If it isn't showing signs of growth (and I think annual floggings would lead to that) then it would be killed off.

3. You'll note in my post I never stated that Wales play enough, I stated that they play plenty - up to the last time they played (God knows why they are in hibernation) they had played 33 games over the previous decade (vs Kiwis 51, England & Aus 46, France 38, Tonga 22 (used for context). If playing regular games allows for building events, why haven't the games they have played grown? We expect that England playing lower teams will be a draw, but Wales playing competitive games at their level wont?

4. 5 years gives you an indication - all you need is a glimmer, it doesn't have to be big, but there needs to be improvements, and I don't believe there would be. 

5. And that is where I am happy to respect your opinion and disagree. I see no reason why England v Wales annually would be attractive to many people at all - and certainly not to a new untapped audience who would attend.

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8 minutes ago, RP London said:

To be fair Dave i dont think anyone is either saying that or believes that. Internationals are part of a much bigger program that is needed but it is definitely part of it and without it the other bits are tougher.

But that is ultimately what it is. I'm not sure I buy into any benefits of Wales playing England annually. Wales play internationals - they play in the World Cup, and they play in their European Cups (when organised) - I'd love them to play more, including some against England - but on a thread about transforming and growing the sport, talking about Annual England v Wales games appears to be misguided to me. But, happy to agree to disagree RP.

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2 hours ago, RP London said:

More than prepared to be wrong on this but i would be surprised if IMG would put their name to this if they are going to rely on the skint RFL to follow through properly on any idea they come up with. They havent built what they have on the back of "if they had only invested properly in our ideas this is the intangible that they would have got".. they want numbers and figures to prove their superiority. 

But as I say it may be wrong.

That's my hope - that there may not be upfront investment, but if they can see an initiative that will deliver £xm benefit to them, hopefully their 'partnership' would involve them stumping up some of the investment.

It is the 12y commitment that is giving me some hope on that. rather than us just using them as a consultant for 12m.

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

But that is ultimately what it is. I'm not sure I buy into any benefits of Wales playing England annually. Wales play internationals - they play in the World Cup, and they play in their European Cups (when organised) - I'd love them to play more, including some against England - but on a thread about transforming and growing the sport, talking about Annual England v Wales games appears to be misguided to me. But, happy to agree to disagree RP.

You might be surprised to hear me say this but, I agree that England v Wales (every year) may be counter productive.

I do believe that a tournament could be built between Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France (maybe) and/or a.s.a.p. Canada, USA, Jamaica et al, the winners of which, could challenge England each season.

Such a tournament would give the players in each Nation a huge incentive to play and commit to RL.

Making money out of it is a different matter but even if we can just break-even, we ought to be doing it.

Once the tournament winner can give England a game, then England can be draw into the competition proper.  

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1 hour ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

Of course there is a market for international games between England and Wales or England v France.

However, it appears that RL fans - and maybe you are one of them - are so insecure about how a blow out score will be perceived by the existing RL fan and non-RL fan that it has totally stifled the opportunity to grow the international game in the NH.

In football you have for example WC Qualifiers such as England v San Marino or Liechtenstein or Andorra.  Should those game be scrapped because the result is a foregone conclusion?  How about RUWC where you could get England v Namibia or Russia or Canada?  Are those games such a colossal mis-match that the RFU ought to refuse to play it in case England score a ton plus in each game? What about the Cricket World Cup where England might play Netherlands or Scotland and skittle them within twenty overs - ok, I admit that that is unlikely due a shambolic England team at present.

The difference is that those sports are not embarrassed by blow-outs and celebrate teams of all abilities playing in the same competition and therefore establish their international competitions whilst we hide our game from fear of being ashamed by a mis-match.

There isn't. Not for the product that we can offer them, say next year. And remember the post I responded to said that he doesn't want existing fans - this is for newbies.

Your examples are irrelevant - when England play San Marino they get a crowd built up on the England football brand, but the crowd will be lower than other games. Same in the RUWC where England can fill Twickenham no matter who they play. 

England RL in the world cup have shown they can get decent crowds - but that isn't what is being proposed here. 

We have seen over the years what an England v Wales Test match brings in - not very many!

What these other sports have done is exactly what we should be doing - they integrate the smaller nations into successful tournaments - we did it with the 4N and have done it with the World Cup. That is what your post is advocating.

What is being proposed is England RU setting up an annual tournament with Romania and Georgia - but even worse because England RL doesn't have the sound footing that England RU does.

But you have rather missed the point - I'm not concerned with mis-matches - we will get plenty in the World Cup I expect, but going out of your way to organise a new standalone tournament that is a mis-match is not something anyone is clamouring to do. Do you have any examples of that?

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55 minutes ago, Jughead said:

Looking at past attendances, there is less interest in England football playing a San Marino, Andorra or the like than there is against bigger nations and it would appear that the same is true of Rugby League, looking at attendances of games against France in the past in non-tournament fixtures. 

Yup. None of this is rocket-science. We have evidence that unattractive games do not attract the same level of attendances, sponsors and viewers. 

Wales are not an attractive RL playing nation at this stage. England are not exactly turning them away at the turnstyles.

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9 minutes ago, Dave T said:

But that is ultimately what it is. I'm not sure I buy into any benefits of Wales playing England annually. Wales play internationals - they play in the World Cup, and they play in their European Cups (when organised) - I'd love them to play more, including some against England - but on a thread about transforming and growing the sport, talking about Annual England v Wales games appears to be misguided to me. But, happy to agree to disagree RP.

I think on both posts we will need to agree to disagree. The one thing i would add is that the idea is that they also play France which should be more competitive. They also can play Scotland and Ireland post season when we get to play Aus or NZ.. 

Everyone needs more internationals, the international game is an embarrassment, but its not just about playing them and who turns up to watch its the TV, the general "oh i didnt realise that was on" type audience that you can start to bring in, then the next week its another match, then another domestic. Thats why I wouldnt judge it on 6 k at leigh... whats happening to the TV? whats happening to the commercial revenue of the game as a whole. Can it benefit Super League viewing, merchandise etc

This is about growing Welsh RL, French RL and English RL and internationals must play a part in that. 

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59 minutes ago, Damien said:

You are comparing apples and pears here.

In Football, RU or Cricket they do not play these nations every year in a tournament, which is the suggestion. They actually play these kinds of nations very infrequently, unless they have to in a qualifier or World Cup. Its really not that different to RL.

Exactly.

Embedding developing teams into major tournaments is the strategy everyone else is following, and is indeed the one we had until it was deemed too much hassle.

Walking away from the Aussies and playing developing nations is not a strategy that will grow the game here. 

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6 minutes ago, fighting irish said:

You might be surprised to hear me say this but, I agree that England v Wales (every year) may be counter productive.

I do believe that a tournament could be built between Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France (maybe) and/or a.s.a.p. Canada, USA, Jamaica et al, the winners of which, could challenge England each season.

Such a tournament would give the players in each Nation a huge incentive to play and commit to RL.

Making money out of it is a different matter but even if we can just break-even, we ought to be doing it.

Once the tournament winner can give England a game, then England can be draw into the competition proper.  

I think we should be looking to rekindle some forms of series here in as many years of a four year cycle as we can.

Tonga and Samoa are hot property, and I really hope that their brand will grow at the world cup this year - if we could get two Southern Hemisphere teams to tour each year at the end of the year, then a Four/Five Nations Series could be played with a qualifier from the Euro Cup. That system was working - we saw Wales, France and Scotland get games and have a viable qualifying process. There is an argument for France to be in with England, then if the Kiwis and Tonga were over you either play 4N with Wales/Scot/Ire being included in tour games, or you stretch it to 5n, but that causes problems from a scheduling pov.

Or you have England/Kiwis/France +1 Euro, but I think that is far less of a draw than a 2nd SH team. 

And when we tour, we try and replicate the same.

 

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Exactly.

Embedding developing teams into major tournaments is the strategy everyone else is following, and is indeed the one we had until it was deemed too much hassle.

Walking away from the Aussies and playing developing nations is not a strategy that will grow the game here. 

you keep saying the last line but NO ONE is advocating we are walking away from this. They are not coming over here mid season, they may not even come anymore at the end of the season.. at which point there are 0 internationals.. none.. we can play NZ every so often but its going to get repetitive quickly but again they are not coming mid season. 

What everyone seems to be saying (unless I am missing someones outlandish idea of walking away) is that we play 2 matches (doesnt need to be a tournament can just be a match) against Wales and France (I am more bothered about playing France than Wales, but I can see benefits in Wales) AS WELL as playing end of season test matches against the big nations.

We dont play mid season internationals so this is additional stuff. 

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1 hour ago, Damien said:

You are comparing apples and pears here.

In Football, RU or Cricket they do not play these nations every year in a tournament, which is the suggestion. They actually play these kinds of nations very infrequently, unless they have to in a qualifier or World Cup. Its really not that different to RL.

And you are also comparing apples and pears here as the football, RU and Cricket teams play many more international games each year than the English RL and in part because the international game is the pinnacle of the sport and is invested in as such.

There is one nation in the NH that provides a valid and historic opponent for England and that is France.  We need to play them regularly.

"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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8 minutes ago, RP London said:

I think on both posts we will need to agree to disagree. The one thing i would add is that the idea is that they also play France which should be more competitive. They also can play Scotland and Ireland post season when we get to play Aus or NZ.. 

Everyone needs more internationals, the international game is an embarrassment, but its not just about playing them and who turns up to watch its the TV, the general "oh i didnt realise that was on" type audience that you can start to bring in, then the next week its another match, then another domestic. Thats why I wouldnt judge it on 6 k at leigh... whats happening to the TV? whats happening to the commercial revenue of the game as a whole. Can it benefit Super League viewing, merchandise etc

This is about growing Welsh RL, French RL and English RL and internationals must play a part in that. 

The last time we played Wales in England - we got 10.4k. Prior to that we got 11.3k in Doncaster.  But the suggestion was (not from you) that these are not the fans we want - we want new fans.

Unfortunately we got 4k and 3.2k in Wales.

And I agree with some of the above points, everyone does need more. 

I'll try and word this without seeming offensive - but England need to support the developing nations by dragging them up through bigger tournaments, not by joining them down in minor ones. That is probably the place we disagree to be honest.

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4 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

And you are also comparing apples and pears here as the football, RU and Cricket teams play many more international games each year than the English RL and in part because the international game is the pinnacle of the sport and is invested in as such.

There is one nation in the NH that provides a valid and historic opponent for England and that is France.  We need to play them regularly.

Eh? I'm not comparing anything, I was replying to the person that did.

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6 minutes ago, RP London said:

you keep saying the last line but NO ONE is advocating we are walking away from this. They are not coming over here mid season, they may not even come anymore at the end of the season.. at which point there are 0 internationals.. none.. we can play NZ every so often but its going to get repetitive quickly but again they are not coming mid season. 

What everyone seems to be saying (unless I am missing someones outlandish idea of walking away) is that we play 2 matches (doesnt need to be a tournament can just be a match) against Wales and France (I am more bothered about playing France than Wales, but I can see benefits in Wales) AS WELL as playing end of season test matches against the big nations.

We dont play mid season internationals so this is additional stuff. 

RP - comments like that are aimed at SB and others who are absolutely saying we should be moving away from the SH teams thsi will replace it.

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

I think we should be looking to rekindle some forms of series here in as many years of a four year cycle as we can.

Tonga and Samoa are hot property, and I really hope that their brand will grow at the world cup this year - if we could get two Southern Hemisphere teams to tour each year at the end of the year, then a Four/Five Nations Series could be played with a qualifier from the Euro Cup. That system was working - we saw Wales, France and Scotland get games and have a viable qualifying process. There is an argument for France to be in with England, then if the Kiwis and Tonga were over you either play 4N with Wales/Scot/Ire being included in tour games, or you stretch it to 5n, but that causes problems from a scheduling pov.

Or you have England/Kiwis/France +1 Euro, but I think that is far less of a draw than a 2nd SH team. 

And when we tour, we try and replicate the same.

 

I'd absolutely love that at the end of the season!

But England also need at least 1 mid season match that isnt IMHO the exiles. 

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13 minutes ago, Dave T said:

The last time we played Wales in England - we got 10.4k. Prior to that we got 11.3k in Doncaster.  But the suggestion was (not from you) that these are not the fans we want - we want new fans.

Unfortunately we got 4k and 3.2k in Wales.

And I agree with some of the above points, everyone does need more. 

I'll try and word this without seeming offensive - but England need to support the developing nations by dragging them up through bigger tournaments, not by joining them down in minor ones. That is probably the place we disagree to be honest.

I dont disagree with the last bit,  I think there is a bit of both in what we are thinking with Wales and France though. I certainly dont think there is any point in England playing Ireland and Scotland. I just feel Wales could benefit from it, which is where i think we disagree the most. 

The most important thing to bring in for me is 1 or 2 matches mid season without our NRL players against France. Wales is a potential but if it didnt happen I wouldnt lose any sleep as long as an alternative was there for them. 

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