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Troy Grant on LinkedIn, critical of England support for Tonga Series and other interesting stuff


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(the price for hosting three games in the M62 corridor)

 

'I'm confident the Pacific Championships will build in time with the right support and investment'

BY JOHN DAVIDSON

International Rugby League boss Troy Grant is happy with the performance of the inaugural Pacific Championships but admits there are lessons to be learned for the sport in the northern hemisphere.

The Pacific Championships took place through October and November, involving six nations broken into two separate tournaments.

World Cup holders Australia, New Zealand and Samoa participated in the Pacific Cup, which was won by the Kiwis, in matches played in Townsville, Auckland, Melbourne and Hamilton.

Papua New Guinea, Fiji and the Cook Islands competed in the Pacific Bowl, which was taken out by the Kumuls, with all games hosted in Port Moresby. There were also women’s internationals between the Jillaroos, Kiwi Ferns and Tonga played alongside the men’s games.

Grant is confident attendances and interest in the Pacific Championships will grow in time.

“We’re very pleased with the international season, the Pacific Championships in their inaugural year with a late lead in time were always going to be challenged to secure crowds and generate a following,” he said.

“That is the exact purpose of a calendar to give fans and supporters confidence in content building rivalries and a narrative for the international game.

“I’m confident it will build in time with the right support and investment into a wonderful bookend for rugby league each season.”

While the Pacific Championships were on Tonga toured the UK for the first time.

“Tonga’s historic tournament was also a plus but there are lessons to be learnt for the future in the Northern Hemisphere,” Grant admitted.

“It’s a difficult market with loud calls for content but not commensurate levels of support.

In August it was reported that Grant will step down as boss of the IRL at the end of this year, citing work pressures with his other full-time employment.

The Australian, a former policeman and deputy premier of NSW, was appointed by the IRL in March 2021.

He also currently serves as the Inspector-General of Water Compliance Australia.

The 53-year-old said he will stay on in the IRL role until his replacement is secured.

“There’s no timeframe set for me to depart,” Grant said.

“I have two years remaining on tenure so the Board will do a recruitment process and I’ll stay until they’ve identified a replacement.

“I’m not abandoning [the IRL] just moving on as my workload has increased dramatically and I no longer have the time needed to run the IRL.

“I’ll stay and chip in for as long as I’m asked and for the amount of time I can commit.

“Not being able to attend a single match due to massive work/travel commitments reinforced my decision.

“I’ve watched every match on TV but I couldn’t attend, which isn’t what the game needs going forward, especially on the commercial-growth side.

I’ve humbly been asked to stay but I’m trying to do the right thing by the game.”

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It's an interesting narrative. The biggest team in the world in the biggest market in the world gets 18k versus Samoa, and 20k versus the Kiwis and that's all cool. 

England gets up to 15k and it's presented as a disaster. 

We were all disappointed with the England series, but I'm not sure why the Pacific Final between the Aussies and Kiwis with 13k is not being criticised as the worst international this Autumn. 

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5 minutes ago, Dave T said:

It's an interesting narrative.

I often write that when I mean, "self-serving, load of balls".

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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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20 minutes ago, Dave T said:

It's an interesting narrative. The biggest team in the world in the biggest market in the world gets 18k versus Samoa, and 20k versus the Kiwis and that's all cool. 

England gets up to 15k and it's presented as a disaster. 

We were all disappointed with the England series, but I'm not sure why the Pacific Final between the Aussies and Kiwis with 13k is not being criticised as the worst international this Autumn. 

Yeah that's what struck me, its a real sycophantic view of what the NRL does. I'm more than happy to criticise the Tonga tour but please don't make out what we saw in the southern hemisphere was a raging success.

The other galling thing is the continuing made up narrative coming from Grant, and the NRL, about a calendar like it never existing before. All of these teams played as many if not more matches in 2019, in the last non World Cup year before Covid, as they did this year. This revisionist we've never had it so good talk is pure bull.

Edited by Damien
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17 minutes ago, Mathius Hellwege said:

But he states clearly that the Pacific Championship has to get better

He believes they (the NRL) are able to improve and learn from their mistakes while the RFL are not

would you bet against him?

There is little historic evidence that the NRL will grow international RL, and if they do manage to get it to a decent level, they will abandon it. Just like they've done with ANZAC Test, Four Nations, World Sevens/Nines, World Cup, Ashes etc. 

They have a short attention span for anythibg other than NRL and Origin. 

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6 minutes ago, DoubleD said:

Nice to see he views the international game as the bookend of the season.
 

If there’s anything that encapsulates the general malaise for the international scene, he’s summarised it there. 

He has no time to do the job, didn't get to a single international match, yet has been asked to stay on. 

Jesus Christ. 

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Grant is influential. Former politician. Worked closely with Vlandys when he had responsibility for Liquor & Gaming portfolio. His reign will be remembered for the covid years. Thing is, we’ve stuffed up and we need to be better. 


1) France WC. Grant was instrumental in getting the original support. Then covid and elections led to the gov support evaporating. Whose fault is this? Should the FFRxiii have been better with managing relationships? 

2) the 2021 WC. A disaster. And they’re handing out OBEs to the organisers. Seriously?

3) Tonga series. 3 lacklustre venues. Why were they selected? Why no dialogue from RL Commercial/RFL? Why are the fans not good enough to get a response? Why don’t our journalists ask the tough questions? 
 

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5 minutes ago, dealwithit said:

Then covid and elections led to the gov support evaporating.

It is worth clarifying, every time, that the government support was match funding.

The French Rugby League produced six magic beans instead of the money they said they would raise thus there was no government support.

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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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