Wales have beaten France to claim the European Cup and claim a place in next years Four Nations tournament. Some people have been hailing this as a great thing for the game.
The Welsh side is made up mostly of players born and raised in England. With little to no recognition from the Welsh sporting public, the have managed to get by not making any impact in Wales.
I think the best way to sum up the “quality” of the Welsh side is that fact that Gareth Thomas was named as captain for this game.
Thomas is a really bad player. I mean, a tragic player. He’s crap.
Still, ability apparently plays no part in being selected for Wales and hell, it has no baring on being named captain it seems. While the media won’t say as such, we all known that his selection was purely a PR stunt by the powers that be, and the few hundred people in Wales that give a stuff about Rugby League were probably all really excited by it too!
France is a better side than Wales, yes they lost, but there is no doubt that if you lined these two teams up against Australia or New Zealand, France would come off the better of the two sides.
Wales are going to get thrashed next season.
France is a country with a long history of great Rugby League players and test sides. The game in France has had to fight back many times, not by a lack of enthusiasm for the game in the country, but from undermining by rivals sports and even the government.
Despite all this, France has a thriving Rugby League community, a full structure of leagues and junior competitions….the French Rugby League comp is of a higher standing than the New Zealand competition!
So what went wrong?
As France started showing promise, and showed it was starting to produce players and teams that were close, but not quite good enough, there was an effort from the powers that be to bring France up to standard.
Unfortunately, nearly all the guidance French Rugby League received from from England, a country that has not been competitive for anything length of time against Australia or New Zealand for decades now.
It culminated in the unbelievably bad move to install Bobby Goulding as the national coach. Goulding wouldn’t be able to get a coaching job in Super League!
With all of this losing advice from a nation of losers who are only good at losing, funnily enough, French Rugby League and its slow rise has faltered, and now it has come to this, one of the most damaging losses on the field in the history of international Rugby League.
The people running the game in France need to do a complete review of this debacle. They need to cut all development and consultancy ties with anyone from the UK and only look to gain advice from Australia, where all the successful, growing Rugby League nations look towards.
At the end of the day, for all the help England graciously gave France over the last 10 years, its the RFL rubbing its hands with glee at France failing to keep its place in the Four Nations.
If you think Wales inclusion is a great thing for the game, then I hope to see you there in the crowd with 800 traveling fans in Wrexham as the likes of Australia, New Zealand and even a poor England side lap the mix of English born players, and of course, a very poor, old Welsh rugby union player.
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