Hull KR and Ireland forward Tyrone McCarthy gives his thoughts on how to improve and develop international Rugby League..
The Autumn internationals have been thrilling to follow, with England showing they aren’t too far away from the big two and New Zealand triumphing in the Four Nations, finally giving Australia some competition. In addition to this the European competition was just as exciting and tense, with Ireland missing out on the Four Nations in 2016 needing one score against Wales, which saw an impressive Scotland qualifying.
This is fantastic to see considering France were probably favorites and Wales (below) had won the competition last time the winners received such a prestigious reward. Furthermore with internationals being played by Bosnia Herzegovina, Hungary, Greece, Serbia, Papua New Guinea, Lebanon, Fiji and Tonga, to name a few, it shows there is a real opportunity for the sport to prosper globally.
Some people may question the quality of some of the games, as several players don’t play in the NRL, Super League or Championship. However, if we wish to see our tremendous game grow nationally in the UK, you cannot ignore the importance a strong international game is to the development of the domestic game, especially in the UK.
Interest in Super League would surely grow at considerable rate if there were a greater presence of international games for England. People are passionate about supporting their country no matter what sport is being played, they want the nation to win and represent the nation successfully.
A great example of this is during the Olympics, the nation seems to stop to take notice if they know there is a chance to be proud of a fellow countryman’s efforts and they can hype about how good the country it is, regardless of which sport is being played.
Rugby League has failed to capitalise on this after the wonderful crowds the 2013 World Cup attracted. I think fans were crying out for further chances to get behind the England side that was seconds away from a World Cup final appearance. That semi final against New Zealand left new and loyal spectators wanting a taste for more..
..Read the second part of Tyrone McCarthy’s exclusive TotalRL column on Friday, as he continues to pitch his ideas for improving international RL.
Tyrone McCarthy is a former Warrington Wolves forward who spent the 2014 season with the Northern Pride in the Queensland Cup. He is returning to the UK in 2015 to play for Hull Kingston Rovers. He is closely involved with Rugby League charity The Full Blood Project