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Is Australia really hurting global RL?

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This is a common beef among Brit RL forum posters. It usually runs like this: RL desperately needs to beef up its international calendar but the Aussies won't do anything to mess with their Origin and NRL. Treating Origin as the pinnacle of the game devalues the international game and harms growth in newer RL areas.

 

I have a range of answers to this, like:

- show me another 3-match series that generates the same cash, ratings and media interest as Origin and we'll play that instead.

- Of course the NRL is focussed on the NRL because that's their job

- The real reason internationals declined is because England and France were such rubbish that nobody wanted to pay to watch it. If every Brit/AUS Test was an even-money bet, people would be more interested. The last time France toured OZ, the Test was played in Parkes or Forbes and they couldn't fill that ground.

 

I also think they are less than fully honest about "the international game" that they desire so much. It always seems to involve England playing OZ. So is it the game itself that matters? or is it really the cash and media interest generated by an OZ/ENG game, that a ENG/France or ENG?lebanon game wouldn't produce. France played England last year and the Rugby Football League scheduled the game for Leigh Sports Village, which only holds 12,000.

 

They have some legitimate gripes. I cringed when NSW, QLD or Roos pick Tamou, Uate, Tuqiri, etc. But this problem belongs to the international board, RLIF. They're the ones who set the rules. Because of Australia's policies on multiculturalism it would be almost illegal to refuse to pick someone because they were a migrant.

 

Is OZ really helping or hurting the World of RL?

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Yep, the RLIF should've bitten the bullet years ago and insisted on no dual country players.

The game would've been a lot healthier by now with top quality players lifting playing standards in their birth countries.

 

The Brits needed to work harder on their grass roots development of the game instead of trying to lift the whole game on the back of Oceania players and coaches.

That is the competitive insular nature of clubs in the English scene. They measure their own success with club trophies, and they've never accepted that tag of being an inferior competition.

The old empire attitude. 

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Yep, the RLIF should've bitten the bullet years ago and insisted on no dual country players.

The game would've been a lot healthier by now with top quality players lifting playing standards in their birth countries.

 

The Brits needed to work harder on their grass roots development of the game instead of trying to lift the whole game on the back of Oceania players and coaches.

That is the competitive insular nature of clubs in the English scene. They measure their own success with club trophies, and they've never accepted that tag of being an inferior competition.

The old empire attitude. 

 

 

On the issue of players playing for their birth countries, I would like to see us move towards that over 4 or 5 World Cup cycles - 16-20 years. The number of players born in Ireland, Scotland, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, USA, Italy and Fiji at the 2013 WC was about 40 all up.

 

Cook Islands: only 10,000 people in total. You wouldn't expect Goulburn or Lithgow to field a competitive team in a WC so how can Cooks?

Tonga: only 100K people and mainly a RU country

Samoa: 200K mainly RU

Fiji: 900K but half are Indians and wouldn't be welcome in a Fiji national team. Also a RU country

Scotland: no domestic RL comp for the last 2 years. Even in SL there are only about 4 Scottish-born players. A soccer country

Ireland: Only a small handful of amateur teams - all sports in Ireland, even the big Gaelic sports, are traditionally amateur.

Italy: has about 15 domestic teams but has already split into 2 federations, with one coming under the umbrella of the Italy RU

 

Only the USA has an established domestic league with 13 clubs, live streaming of many games, reasonable local sponsorship and a growing number of USA-born and bred players.

 

 

The Brits needed to work harder on their grass roots development

 

Their game evolved as the opposite of ours. Ours is based on district leagues running a "full-service" RL: everything in the area from U6s to NRL. Brit RL is based on each village pub team being a completely separate entity. If you look at the early days of NSWRL - Easts, Souths, Wests, Norths, Balmain, Glebe, Annandale, Newtown and Sydney Uni were all within a 10km radius of Central Station.

 

That's what the Brit setup is still like. The City of Wakefield has about 300,000 people and 2 teams in SL, Castleford and Wakefield, another team in 2nd division, Featherstone, and another in 4th division, Normanton. The clubs all refused to merge and won't even agree to any feeder club arrangements. Since each club is privately owned, nobody has responsibility for anything but their own first grade team. There's no clear development path like starting in Rivo Razorbacks then moving through Windsor or Blacktown Workers into Sydney Shield, Ron Massey, then up to the Panthers squad.

 

SL clubs used to have a U19s comp but they scrapped it because half the clubs couldn't afford it. We will be scrapping the NYC but it will be replaced by State-based comps. SL replaced it with nothing - you can form a junior club if you want to then look for some local comp where you might get a game.

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It is pretty small but there are regular domestic club comps in a lot of countries. The Lebanon comp has been going for 10 years and has 8 teams, student league and national student teams. Serbia has had a domestic club comp for years. Aside from the countries at the last World Cup, there are domestic comps in Ghana, Jamaica, Thailand, Sweden, Spain, Ukraine, Canada. It is only growing slowly but it is growing. The big surge will come if the USA gets big enough to attract a TV deal. Then they'll start needing players and will be recruiting in a lot of the Third World countries, especially ones where they play RU but there's no money in it.

 

In a lot of European countries, they play RU in winter and RL in summer to keep fit. Most of these places don't have the history of conflict between RU and RL so they swap back and forth and some sporting clubs run both teams.

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This is a common beef among Brit RL forum posters. It usually runs like this: RL desperately needs to beef up its international calendar but the Aussies won't do anything to mess with their Origin and NRL. Treating Origin as the pinnacle of the game devalues the international game and harms growth in newer RL areas.

 

I have a range of answers to this, like:

- show me another 3-match series that generates the same cash, ratings and media interest as Origin and we'll play that instead.

- Of course the NRL is focussed on the NRL because that's their job

- The real reason internationals declined is because England and France were such rubbish that nobody wanted to pay to watch it. If every Brit/AUS Test was an even-money bet, people would be more interested. The last time France toured OZ, the Test was played in Parkes or Forbes and they couldn't fill that ground.

 

I also think they are less than fully honest about "the international game" that they desire so much. It always seems to involve England playing OZ. So is it the game itself that matters? or is it really the cash and media interest generated by an OZ/ENG game, that a ENG/France or ENG?lebanon game wouldn't produce. France played England last year and the Rugby Football League scheduled the game for Leigh Sports Village, which only holds 12,000.

 

They have some legitimate gripes. I cringed when NSW, QLD or Roos pick Tamou, Uate, Tuqiri, etc. But this problem belongs to the international board, RLIF. They're the ones who set the rules. Because of Australia's policies on multiculturalism it would be almost illegal to refuse to pick someone because they were a migrant.

 

Is OZ really helping or hurting the World of RL?

 

The NRL are fucking hopeless at running a competition in Australia.

 

The rest of the world should be thankful if the NRL has nothing to do with them.

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Yeah, I can't see a Kangaroo tour doing well these days.

Imagine the might of the Australian team going up against those English minnow clubs. Hell, they would even put 50 on the top clubs like Leeds and St Helens (or whoever is good these days).

 

Would rather just a 3 Test series against England or Great Britain.

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Yeah, I can't see a Kangaroo tour doing well these days.

Imagine the might of the Australian team going up against those English minnow clubs. Hell, they would even put 50 on the top clubs like Leeds and St Helens (or whoever is good these days).

 

Would rather just a 3 Test series against England or Great Britain.

You and your three ways.

 

But I agree. They need to reinvigorate English and NZ Rugby League.

 

They came up with Origin which saved Queensland.

Surely they can get creative and design some format that will elevate the game?

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NZ Rugby League has been reinvigorated.

They won the World Cup, Four Nations, and were ranked the number one League team in the world. I think they are doing alright.

England on the other hand are very disappointing. The only way for them to improve nd become competitive again is to get more British players into the NRL.

The Super League just doesn't cut it, and the International game is suffering because of that. 

 

You just need to see what has happened to International basketball over the last decade or so. Whilst the USA is still number one by far, it is now a lot more competitive since there are now so many International players playing in the NBA. The more you have playing in the top grade, the better the International game will be.

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Consistency my friend. Consistency.

 

I understand your argument, but it means there can only be one top quality comp in the world, which spells danger for the game.

 

Look at basketball in Australia. So many clubs have come and gone. Players I'm for the NBA in America, and scouts pick they eyes out of talents, leaving second grade domestic comps.

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Well then the only real way to improve it at all is to simply increase the playing numbers.

Plenty of decent soccer leagues over the world because they have so many people playing the game. Not an easy thing to do, I know, but this should be a major focus everywhere. Get into some European nations and throw some money around there. Try to get a foothold in Union strongholds like England, France and Italy. African countries could be worth a go as well. 

USA is probably not worth it. As hard as it would be to build numbers in Europe and Africa, the USA would be even harder. They don't want to know about anything other than American Football, basketball, baseball and to a lesser extent hockey and soccer.

 

Union is nothing more than a game played by upper-class college students over there. No chance of League becoming anything more than that.

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Numbers yes.

But start by bringing back lower grades in all comps.

Going to the footy should be a big day out, not like going to an entertainment concert to see 80 minutes of a supposed headline act.

 

I remember my dad going on about his mates playing reggies, trying to crack the first team.

When I was a kid, I used to get taken to all the games following the Nevilles of the world. And there was plenty of families and kids there doing the same thing.

That sort of connection with the game has been the game's major loss.

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