MARTYN SADLER explains his input into the format of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
Ah well, if I don’t blow my own trumpet, then no one else will.
On the Totalrl.com website forum, a thread has been opened praising the format of the World Cup, and hailing whoever thought of it as “a genius”.
When praise of that order is being handed out, who wouldn’t want to take some of the credit? In fact the person who first put the idea of the current World Cup format into the minds of the organisers was me.
Looking back at my email record, I sent an email to RFL CEO Nigel Wood on 27 August 2009, after he had asked for my advice about the World Cup, as follows:
On the World Cup, just a couple of thoughts:
I’m glad to say the RLIF went with more than 12, but not 16, which I still think would have been a better option, particularly if the Lebanese team could have been included.
Looking at my original email I see that I suggested that Tonga, rather than Ireland, should be in the leading two groups. Last night’s game at Rochdale demonstrated that the Irish are probably over-matched at this level. It’s also interesting to see that at the time Italy were not on the horizon.
The really key thing, though, is that those discussions were taking place in 2009, giving lots of time to prepare for the tournament, which is crucial to its success.
Rugby League rarely plans four years ahead.
We can now see what happens when it does.
MARTYN SADLER is the editor of LEAGUE EXPRESS, for which he writes a weekly ‘Talking Rugby League’ column.