First of all how good is the 2013 Rugby League World Cup?
Brilliant crowds, Brilliant Coverage, Stronger competitions, Career Finales, Unearthed Superstars and most important re-igniting the passion of the fans for International Football even the unfeeling machine that runs this website has asked Dave Smith for more internationals.
The Rugby League World Cup despite it being one of the oldest must continue after this current event continue to push for credibility on the World Stage.
Already looking at 2017 with South Africa competing against Australia and New Zealand wanting to bid for the next World Cup, South Africa home of the Springboks want to host Rugby League’s World Cup in a big way.
So serious they are they have brought in the same guy who delivered South Africa the Soccer World Cup in 2010 and the Olympics to London in 2012, doesn’t sound serious how does this sound $200,000 appearance fee per team and bringing in an Emerging Nations event.
$200,000 Team Appearance Fee Not Bad For a Joke Tournament, this figure can’t be ignored, some of these teams are playing for less than a Big W worker per day to turn out and mark SBW, Inglis and Burgess.
Imagine what Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, USA, PNG and Cook Islands nations could do with 200K.
Right now they would be diverting what little money they have to appear at the World Cup, using this appearance fee to pay for Hotels, Players, and Staff etc all their current funding could be redirected into grass roots football and build the game at home.
South Africa’s “Emerging Nations Cup” idea of using those outside the Top 14 would be a great way to raise the profile of up and coming nations and the Rugby League in general by playing them as a curtain raiser event underneath World Cup fixtures
Tier 1 World Cup Elite
Australia, New Zealand, England, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Papua New Guinea, United States and Cook Islands.
These teams will all be stronger now that RLIF is working out a fixed calendar for the next four years allowing them greater time to develop squads, play quality opposition, build team cohesion, attract corporate and government funding heading into 2017.
Tier 2 Emerging Nations Cup
Will make the World Cup event a larger spectacle for new fans and new nations, keeping them outside the Top 14 will keep the competition as even as possible limiting blowouts, humiliation and so instead to showcase the nations on the World Stage.
Lebanon, Serbia, Norway, Canada, Malta, Ukraine, South Africa, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic, Belgium, Sweden, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Singapore, Palestine, Russia, Pakistan, Philippines, Greece, United Arab Emirates Trinidad and Jamaica are the teams that could qualify for the second tier competition.
Interestingly there is also another 40 plus un-ranked nations that highlights the length of reach Rugby League has on the globe.
Whether it’s all or just some of these teams would be an awesome even competition staged like a Toyota Cup curtain raiser game.
Adding these extra nations could be a great way to turn the Rugby League World Cup into an Olympic style event based around worldwide inclusion but keeping opposition at competitive levels and attracting new ethnic groups here and abroad to our sport.
An Olympic style event would see greater World Exposure for our sport
-Participating Nations would get access to greater Government funding.
-Greater corporate exposure for Elite and Emerging nations.
-Giving Local players a chance to participate and represent their country.
-Inspire the next generation of fans and players to choose Rugby League
Appealing to new ethnic and social groups to Rugby League is a must for 3 reasons
Fans – Tapping into the passion of these ethnic groups would do wonders for Rugby League for example should the next World Cup be in Australia and a nation such as Greece were recognised in the Emerging Nations tournament Greek ex-pats may just tap into Rugby League but also expose them to the NRL as new fans of local clubs or future Rugby League players.
Expansion and Investment – This tournament and the emerging nations component could push the strength of Rugby League into places like China, Russia and Saudi Arabia these nations have deep pockets could lead massive global sponsorship or to wealthy club ownership of Local Domestic teams or of Super League and NRL Clubs a factor that has powered the huge English Premier League Soccer.
Let’s not forget Fiji just signed a jersey sponsorship with Vodafone for $4 Million Dollars over 4 years dwarfing some NRL jersey deals.
Players – The exposure these nations and their players would get would be huge so far in this World Cup 2 Papuan’s players have been signed to Hull and now the Tigers and Widnes are competing for the signature of Les Soloai from USA wouldn’t have been found without this event and you can bet there will be more signings to Super League and the NRL before this tournament concludes.
South Africa’s bid will be hard to topple a combined Australia/New Zealand bid for the 2017 World Cup but Australia/New Zealand should be forced to match South Africa’s appearance fee and Emerging Nations idea, but think of the pathway it could open up in the African nations for players into Super League and the NRL.
I think the addition of the Emerging Nations Cup wherever the tournament is held could be a huge in bringing Rugby League forward the World over in terms of new nations, strengthened domestic competitions, new players, new fans, and most importantly investment in Rugby League “The Greatest Game of All”.