In an article in todays Sydney Morning Herald the ARL has come under attack for rejecting a proposal to have both an Australian Aboriginal team and New Zealand Maori team take part in the 2008 World Cup.
For once, I agree 100% with the ARL.
It was a complete and utter farce that the Maori were included in the 2000 World Cup. A team of players who wernt good enough to play for New Zealand…uh…no thanks.
I have said for some time that we should make use of an Aboriginal Rugby League team. It would be an incredible side to watch, it would get a large amount of sponsorship and most likley government funding.
It would have a unique place in Australian sport and ontop of all of that, it would be a spectacular side to watch.
However, the 2008 World Cup is critical to the future standing of the International game. Its a chance to claw back some sort of credibility that was lost 6 years ago with the complete and utter face that was the 2000 World Cup.
It will be bad enough watching Australian’s playing for so many different nations as they just look to get around. It will be bad enough seeing the Kiwi side full of Islanders and the Islands sides full of Kiwi’s. The last thing that is needed is a second string Australian or New Zealand team in the competition to further damage its reputation.
I believe Rugby League should have regular games between an Australian Aboriginals and New Zealand Maoris side, but the World Cup is not the right venue for it.