The Rugby Football League went out of its way to free up this weekend so that England could play the Exiles team and have the best possible chance to prepare for the World Cup at seasons end.
That makes me wonder, what happened to Scotland, Wales and Ireland this weekend? Why did the Rugby Football League decide against providing those teams with the same opportunity that they have granted the English team?
The way the Rugby Football League is managing the international teams under its control has become a real problem in recent years. While the RFL claim that they want to grow the game across Great Britain and Ireland, when it comes to the crunch it seems they really only care about the prospects of the English side.
Having stood by and watched as England use other home nations as feeder teams, and then providing England with more funding and greater opportunities to be ready for the World Cup, you have to question whether the RFL is the giverning body you want pulling the reigns of international football in the northern hemisphere.
It would have taken very little to have set up at least one game this weekend that involved either Scotland, Wales or Ireland. They could have played as before the International Origin match. Not even that barest of commitment was given to any of these nations though.
In my opinion is shows the insular attitudes within the Rugby Football League. They don’t really care what happens outside of their own little patch of turf in northern England.
This is yet another reason why I believe we should have an independent Rugby League International Federation set up. Unlike the current RLIF, which is little more than a letter head the RFL and ARL like to use from time to time, an independent RLIF could make sure that smaller nations get their chance to play matches during representative weekends. The likes of Scotland, Wales and Ireland wouldn’t need to reply on the likes of the RFL to schedule games for them.
Considering we have a World Cup kicking off at the end of the season, the RFL’s commitment to Scotland, Wales and Ireland is disgraceful.