The ridiculous “International Origin” series set up by the Rugby Football League has been scaled back to just one game in 2013, no doubt a sign the series is already on its way out.
This year the game will be played on Friday the 14th of June at Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington. Tickets will go on sale on Monday the 25th of February but if you’re willing to wait until closer to the game you’ll probably be able to pick up free tickets fairly easily.
The game see’s England and anyone else the RFL feels like naming as an English player against a team of barely interested Super League imports. Last year saw two games played in what was an expansion of the series but the terrible crowds and garbage football on show no doubt saw the RFL re-think this whole concept. I’d suggest that if there was not a World Cup to be played at the end of the year, this series would have been scrapped all together.
This is a very important year for Rugby League in Great Britain. Of course, the Rugby Football League’s entire focus is on England, with Wale, Scotland and Ireland left to fend for themselves. While the marketing types are working overtime and administrators are spending money trying to put on the facade that everything is fine, the fact of the matter is that if this season doesn’t pan out well for Rugby League in Great Britain and the World Cup ends up being a flop, Rugby League across the world is going to need to step in and bail the RFL out as it did after the 2000 World Cup.
Series like the International Origin games are short term measures to try and fix long term problems. At the end of the day, I don’t think England gets anything out of playing games against a bunch of old disinterested imports.
I for one will be happy to see the day when this series is scrapped completely. When you look at the once proud history of the English Rugby League team…it always feels depressing watching them struggle to beat a bunch of geriatrics in front of 6,000 barely interested spectators.
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