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England 21 & France 25 article


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If you want to avoid hammerings in a World Cup then it's what you do between World Cups that matters.

But that doesn't generate enough clicks, I guess.

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Just now, gingerjon said:

If you want to avoid hammerings in a World Cup then it's what you do between World Cups that matters.

But that doesn't generate enough clicks, I guess.

Spot on. 

We take the cheap option of fudging groups. Or we take the harder, more expensive, but ultimately more valuable option of strengthening the sport in these nations. 

Wonder which we'll go for. 

Always interesting to see media and fans clamouring for a structure change once again. 

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It's funny how people try and present the fudges that we have done before as being new and novel. We had formats like this and many moaned.

What we do need to do is expand the player pool of full-time players so that tier 2 and developing nations have more full-time players to pick from. We also need to look at assisting and developing the competitions in countries such as Jamaica and Greece to help them grow and progress. We should be aiming to expand these competitions with the aim of further developing the player pool and progressing them towards part time professional competitions, even on a small scale. The hard yards need to be put in rather than just looking to fudge tournaments with no real change.

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5 minutes ago, Damien said:

It's funny how people try and present the fudges that we have done before as being new and novel. We had formats like this and many moaned.

What we do need to do is expand the player pool of full-time players so that tier 2 and developing nations have more full-time players to pick from. We also need to look at assisting and developing the competitions in countries such as Jamaica and Greece to help them grow and progress. We should be aiming to expand these competitions with the aim of further developing the player pool and progressing them towards part time professional competitions, even on a small scale. The hard yards need to be put in rather than just looking to fudge tournaments with no real change.

You mean like hunters and silktails models 😂😂

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1 minute ago, Damien said:

It's funny how people try and present the fudges that we have done before as being new and novel. We had formats like this and many moaned.

What we do need to do is expand the player pool of full-time players so that tier 2 and developing nations have more full-time players to pick from. We also need to look at assisting and developing the competitions in countries such as Jamaica and Greece to help them grow and progress. We should be aiming to expand these competitions with the aim of further developing the player pool and progressing them towards part time professional competitions, even on a small scale. The hard yards need to be put in rather than just looking to fudge tournaments with no real change.

Absolutely. 

It's not like this doesn't have to be interesting either, tours at every level of the game from kids to the senior national sides should be encouraged. Doesn't have to be Australia or anything that far, lets go tour Europe. Build the bonds that build up the game. I played rugby for nearly 10 years, yet my most vivid memories and friends around the world are from 2 tours and some away days lasting barely over a month and a half in total.

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8 minutes ago, Damien said:

It's funny how people try and present the fudges that we have done before as being new and novel. We had formats like this and many moaned.

What we do need to do is expand the player pool of full-time players so that tier 2 and developing nations have more full-time players to pick from. We also need to look at assisting and developing the competitions in countries such as Jamaica and Greece to help them grow and progress. We should be aiming to expand these competitions with the aim of further developing the player pool and progressing them towards part time professional competitions, even on a small scale. The hard yards need to be put in rather than just looking to fudge tournaments with no real change.

However as @Dave Tpoints out, fudging groups is a cheap option and as we saw in this World Cup cheap options (like no anthem singers for many matches) are what the game likes because it can't afford the better options.  The latter are all expensive and the game (in the northern hemisphere at least) doesn't have the money needed to underwrite them.  And as the fee paid to the International RL won't be all that big after it's spread across all the IRL member countries, that all but certainly remains the case now.

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8 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Absolutely. 

It's not like this doesn't have to be interesting either, tours at every level of the game from kids to the senior national sides should be encouraged. Doesn't have to be Australia or anything that far, lets go tour Europe. Build the bonds that build up the game. I played rugby for nearly 10 years, yet my most vivid memories and friends around the world are from 2 tours and some away days lasting barely over a month and a half in total.

I've said before but there is a nice little cluster of domestic activity in Greece, Serbia and Turkey. Living costs are low in these countries and money spent here can go a long way. The RLEF should absolutely be focussing on developing these countries and bringing them along together with regular internationals thrown in.

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4 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

However as @Dave Tpoints out, fudging groups is a cheap option and as we saw in this World Cup cheap options (like no anthem singers for many matches) are what the game likes because it can't afford the better options.  The latter are all expensive and the game (in the northern hemisphere at least) doesn't have the money needed to underwrite them.  And as the fee paid to the International RL won't be all that big after it's spread across all the IRL member countries, that all but certainly remains the case now.

We do have to be pragmatic and accept that money is limited. But this is also why we need tournaments in between World Cups, we do make money from tournaments as well. 

Relatively modest amounts of money can help to strengthen the game in areas, but we can't just splash the case everywhere - we should put the money where the returns come. And that doesn't mean just spending it on staging games in Sydney. 

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44 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

If you want to avoid hammerings in a World Cup then it's what you do between World Cups that matters.

But that doesn't generate enough clicks, I guess.

You reckon in 3 years the order of merit will be any different?

As a fan who along with the missus will travel to France to take in some games, I doubt I would go for the full tournament, then the choice is to go for what should be the quality games (as an England fan) of the group games - if this suggestion came into being - of playing both Australia, NZ and a QF which should also be against good opposition - I wouldn't expect England to top that group - seems very appealing to me, that would make a good 3 week trip.

There were far far to many blow-out games for me in the format this year others may disagree and that is their prerogative, I would not like to think I was paying good money for travel, accomodation, subsistance and match entry to watch such games on offer in France as there were this year. 

Edited by Harry Stottle
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I really hate this idea. Hate it. The dead rubber format.

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I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.

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6 minutes ago, Tosh said:

So how do you increase the player pool of tier2 nations like PNG and Fiji then?

I specifically mentioned Jamaica and Greece. When I talk about more full-time players I'm thinking of countries like France and Wales. You know the countries that really struggled in the World Cup and the ones being placed into the weaker fudged groups in this article.

I'm not sure why you are trying to equate them to PNG and Fiji who aren't being placed in these weaker groups. As far as I'm aware PNG has no issues with a shortage of players or lack of domestic activity and Fiji has an abundance of 'Rugby' players that NRL clubs have long tapped into. I'm happy for PNG and Fiji to take the approach they are taking but their circumstances are quite different than elsewhere.

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1 minute ago, Harry Stottle said:

You reckon in 3 years the order of merit will be any different?

As a fan who along with the missus will travel to France to take in some games, I doubt I would go for the full tournament, then the choice is to go for what should be the quality games (as an England fan) of the group games - if this suggestion came into being - of playing both Australia, NZ and a QF which should also be against good opposition - I wouldn't expect England to top that group - seems very appealing to me, that would make a good 3 week trip.

There were far far to many blow-out games for me in the format this year others may disagree and that is their prerogative, I would not like to think I was paying good money for travel, accomodation, subsistance and match entry to watch such games on offer as there was this year. 

I think it's perfectly valid to not be attracted to one-sided games, and whilst I'm like a broken record on this, this is where you have to tap into different audiences. 

An unattractive fixture, whether between two minnows or a bigger team versus a minnow should be staged and priced accordingly - value tickets plus modest capacity, with a huge focus on getting kids along. These are not necessarily premium events with huge demand, and we shouldn't be ashamed of that or see it as a failure. 

For those who don't like these games, there are plenty others to choose from. 

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9 minutes ago, Just Browny said:

I really hate this idea. Hate it. The dead rubber format.

There is a way of making it work. 4 x 4's, two strong and two weak groups - but you have to have a 2nd round before quarters which sees 3rd place in strong play 2nd place in weak to play in QF. You can't just give 3rd place in a group of 4 a pass through - that was awful in 2008, and should never be used again. There has to be a risk of not qualifying, even if low. 

But, the above is horrible for the reason I highlight - its using a structure to hide the root cause. 

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4 minutes ago, Damien said:

I specifically mentioned Jamaica and Greece. When I talk about more full-time players I'm thinking of countries like France and Wales. You know the countries that really struggled in the World Cup and the ones being placed into the weaker fudged groups in this article.

I'm not sure why you are trying to equate them to PNG and Fiji who aren't being placed in these weaker groups. As far as I'm aware PNG has no issues with a shortage of players or lack of domestic activity and Fiji has an abundance of 'Rugby' players that NRL clubs have long tapped into. I'm happy for PNG and Fiji to take the approach they are taking but their circumstances are quite different than elsewhere.

I am quite happy that as you put it the groups would be fudged, at least these teams have the semblance of an opportunity to gain a victory maybe two, it must have been great for them having 60+ points against them, a couple of lucky teams can wait for the QF's for that distinction.

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3 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

I am quite happy that as you put it the groups would be fudged, at least these teams have the semblance of an opportunity to gain a victory maybe two, it must have been great for them having 60+ points against them, a couple of lucky teams can wait for the QF's for that distinction.

Those weaker nations could play in a tournament like that any time. It's practically akin to the European Cup for next year.

Similarly, the stronger nations could do 4 nations any time.

We really don't need a World Cup for these type of tournaments.

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17 minutes ago, Damien said:

I've said before but there is a nice little cluster of domestic activity in Greece, Serbia and Turkey. Living costs are low in these countries and money spent here can go a long way. The RLEF should absolutely be focussing on developing these countries and bringing them along together with regular internationals thrown in.

I know the game in Lebanon has taken a hit over the past 5 years (like the country as a whole) but there is still some RL played there, plus a sizeable number of people who were still engaged relatively recently, as well as a general awareness of the game. The recent RLWC would have helped with that too. It wouldn't take a huge amount of money to regenerate the school, college and club competitions that were previously in place.

Adding the Lebanese to that trio would help establish a really interesting web of local and regional development, where clubs and rep teams (at a variety of levels) could bounce off one another. It presents a lot of very interesting developmental possibilities. 

The question isn't really about money, that can be found if we really want it to be, it's more about having someone in authority who can recognise the strategic benefits of focussing on one area and pushing through with it. The fact we've allowed Serbia to stagnate and Lebanon to wither is, frankly, criminal.

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10 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I think it's perfectly valid to not be attracted to one-sided games, and whilst I'm like a broken record on this, this is where you have to tap into different audiences. 

An unattractive fixture, whether between two minnows or a bigger team versus a minnow should be staged and priced accordingly - value tickets plus modest capacity, with a huge focus on getting kids along. These are not necessarily premium events with huge demand, and we shouldn't be ashamed of that or see it as a failure. 

For those who don't like these games, there are plenty others to choose from. 

Fully understand what you are saying Dave, and as you intimate it is a personal preferance, France in my opinion will need all the travelling overseas support it can get following their teams to take best advantage of that make as many fixtures as attractive as possible even those lesser nations could attract more fans if the games were going to deemed competitive. I have already made tentative enquiries about the trip, but I am going to await what the group formats will be before committing at what stage I will make the trip.

 

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6 minutes ago, Damien said:

Those weaker nations could play in a tournament like that any time. It's practically akin to the European Cup for next year.

Similarly, the stronger nations could do 4 nations any time.

We really don't need a World Cup for these type of tournaments.

That's your opinion Damien, the WC is supposedly the bees knees of our sport so make it as attractive as possible fixture wise, as I say it is personal preference and if I am going to pay good money to attend the proposed format is much more attractive to me than this years format.

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26 minutes ago, Damien said:

I specifically mentioned Jamaica and Greece. When I talk about more full-time players I'm thinking of countries like France and Wales. You know the countries that really struggled in the World Cup and the ones being placed into the weaker fudged groups in this article.

I'm not sure why you are trying to equate them to PNG and Fiji who aren't being placed in these weaker groups. As far as I'm aware PNG has no issues with a shortage of players or lack of domestic activity and Fiji has an abundance of 'Rugby' players that NRL clubs have long tapped into. I'm happy for PNG and Fiji to take the approach they are taking but their circumstances are quite different than elsewhere.

This is the problem in that I wouldn’t class nations like Jamaica and Greece as tier2 nations but more developing ones.

Nations like France and wales are more similar to PNG and Fiji in that both countries are part of the UK league pyramid/structure with pathways setup for their local produced players to progress into a professional environment. 

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I personally feel that the sport is no way near strong enough to hold a 16 team format tournament and should instead be a 10 team tournament with one group of 4 teams and two groups of 3 teams.

The winners and runners up of the 4 team pool progress to the semi-finals along with the winners of both the 3 team pools.

Id also bring back the emerging nations cup and run it concurrently alongside the 10 team World Cup.

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