With the Rugby League World Cup closing in I have taken the time to check out my beloved home team and see exactly what state Irish Rugby League is in.
I have been brought up with Rugby Union and after spending the last few years working in Rugby League in the UK, I have to admit, I was excited to see Ireland were sending a squad to the World Cup.
Excited that was, until I saw who was playing for Ireland…
I must admit, as an Irish citizen and a Rugby League enthusiast, I’m pretty pissed off and offended that none of the players actually play for a Rugby League team in Ireland. It’s like application forms were sent to rejected Warrington Wolves & Featherstone players, people who knew someone that was Irish, who’s name sounds Irish, and anyone who once got a ban for cocaine (Coz every team needs a nutter).
What happened to pride for playing for your country? There are teams all over Ireland training and playing every week to try to earn a place on the Ireland RL squad, so why aren’t they involved? Instead of a group of English and Australian players who simply aren’t good enough to represent their own countries, who say
‘Ah fuck it, my next door neighbours, gardener’s dog’s latest bitch is an Irish setter, fuck it, I’ll play for Ireland’.
It’s a Rugby Union country anyway, not like anyone would notice.
Well I noticed and I’m pretty pissed off about it.
It will be interesting to see who sings the National Anthems (we’re special so we have 2 songs).
It would have been better to select Union boys from Leinster, Connaught, Munster or Ulster to represent their home team instead of these rejects. Although Australian born, English adopted Pat Richards is a pretty big coup for my little country, he isn’t Irish!
So what if his grandparent was Irish, it doesn’t mean he is Irish and the lads up and down the country should be cast into the Irish Sea to accommodate him. He doesn’t even know the meaning of being Irish.
When selecting the players to play for Ireland, they should have done it the same way they do with any GAA team- that means having a few parameters, such as living in the area and playing for a local team to earn your place to represent your county.
In this case of course, it would help if the lads were at least born and/or lived in Ireland.
To top it off, I contacted Ireland Rugby League via Twitter 2 months ago asking where can I buy a shirt. Their response was “They are coming soon”.
I contacted them again this week and once again I asked,
“The link on your site to buy Ireland RL shirts doesn’t work, where can I buy one?”
“…they are currently on sale through @FitaSportswear and will be on sale in the UK and Ireland in the coming days.”.
Seriously? The World Cup starts in a few days and I still can’t buy a shirt. Not only that, but Fita Sportswear are Sydney based. Can’t even buy an Irish shirt in Ireland, and by the time they send from Sydney the World Cup will be over.
If this is what constitutes Irish rugby league, you can stick it up your arse!
So, in answer to my original question, ‘What is the state of rugby league in Ireland?’
It’s a joke, a really big, unfunny joke!
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com