Arrogant, Ego Driven RFL Attack Other Organisations, Change Rules

The RFL put out and extrardonary press release last night in which they confirmed their planned 2012 tour of New Zealand had been cancelled, blamed Australian administrators for the cancellation, and then decided to change the laws of the game. You know, just because they felt like it!

The stupid, pathetic, egotistical failures within the RFL must have had some sort of collective nervous breakdown at some point in the last month. Their Press Release ticked all the boxes for Whinging Pom Syndrome and just made the organisation look stupid.

The RFL has always been a self centered organisation but it seems in the leadup to the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, things have gotten well out of hand.

From the World Cup launch, in Salford, and attended only by representatives of England and Wales, to their latest rubbish in which they make accusations about the 16 team NRL competition in Australia while Rome burns.

Lets look into the RFL’s ridiculous claims…

The Cancellation Of The 2012 Tour Of New Zealand
The cancellation of this tour came down to money.

The NZRL just simply doesn’t have a great deal of it. They had already made it clear to the RFL that they were not certain an English tour of New Zealand would be econimically viable. The simple fact of the matter is, it takes a lot to try and sell a series England is participating in in Australia or New Zealand because it has been a lifetime since England or Great Britain have ever turned up down under and been even close to being competitive.

The axe came down on the 2012 tour, and the Rugby Football League blamed….AUSTRALIA!

What the hell!

The ARL made the decision a number of seasons ago that in 2012, they would not play any end of season matches. They made this decision as they wanted to rest their elite players heading into 2013 with the World Cup putting a huge demand on Australia’s elite players.

I didn’t agree with this decision. I felt that Australia needed to play games simply to be ready for the 2013 World Cup. However, that is the decision the ARL made, they made it a long time ago, and everyone has known that would be the case for a long, long time.

Australia’s decision to not play game at the end of 2012 has NO impact on Englands failure to tour New Zealand in 2012. It is a pathetic excuse by an English governing body that is obsessed with Australia.

The RFL’s Nigel Wood said “The RFL’s policy on the primacy of international football is not necessarily shared by everyone around the world. The NRL have issues of their own to work through but hopefully the new administration will have a more enlightened attitude.”

Excuse me?

This is the same competition that has been releasing players for the last decade to head over to England on tour and who helped bail out the RFL in the process after the financial disaster that was the 2000 World Cup!

This is the same Australian competition that spends millions of dollars every single year educating, training, developing and playing youngsters from Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and these days, even England!

For the RFL to take shots at Australia when they refuse to have England playing the likes of Wales, Ireland, Scotland or even France in a series is hypocritical and pathetic.

If England was actually any good, and the RFL had managed to push their national team to any sort of success over the last 40 years, maybe then the NZRL would have been able to host a financially viable test series involving them. As it stands, Englands Rugby League team is a dead duck and impossible to sell to a Rugby League market that knows a half arsed touring side when they see one.

Changing The International Rules
The RFL and the English Rugby League team constantly pissed and moaned for years about the fact that the NRL was played under a different set of rules to the international rules. This despite the fact that every single international game was played under, not the NRL’s rules, but the international rules.

The NRL rules change for a very practicle reason.

Basically the NRL is the cutting edge of the sport. Anything new within Rugby League is born within the NRL’s 16 team elite competition. There are always new coaching and training techniques being tested out, clubs look for an edge in injury provention and recovery, it is a competition that continuoously pushes the envolope. In that sense, the NRL is a little like Formula One.

Because of this extreme competition that is always changing, the rules need to evolve at a rapid rate as well to stay one step ahead of coaches and players looking to get an edge over their rivals. Most rule changes the NRL makes are minor, and yet they can have a massive effect on how the NRL is played.

What the NRL does, and the rules the NRL brings into being, are not always in the best interests of the wider game of Rugby League, and that is fine. The rules the NRL brings into its 16 team elite competition are not intended to be used right the way throughout the entire game. They are simply for the NRL alone.

That is why, the NRL has one set of rules, and then we have the international rules which are used throughout the world in every competition.

The RFL have never liked the fact that the NRL has its own set of rules, for what ever reason. The RFL also have never liked the fact that they have followed every single rule change out of Australia for decades. They feel like Australia bullies the game into rule changes, and that simply is not the case.

So, once again, the RFL decided it would come out and enforce NRL rule changes on the entire game, world wide, without thinking of the consisquenses.

Cutting the game down to 10 interchanges may be great for full time professional players, but for park footballers in Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, France, Tonga, Ireland, the United States and the likes, how good is this rule change for them?

The RFL on their own have announced this rule change because this is what they want in Super League. Typically, they put no thought into the effect these rules changes would have on any other level of the game!

I’ve always said we need three sets of rules in Rugby League.

One set of rules for junior Rugby League. One set of rules that governs everything from Park Football to Test football. Then a final elite set of rules that is used only by professional, full time players.

All three of these levels of the game need their own sets of rules for various reasons. While the RFL looked at the recent Four Nations competition and how England played against Australia and New Zealand, they obviously took no notice of the Welsh performance. Wales, a mostly semi professional side, playing under 12 interchanges, were blown off the park in all three games they played. They simply were not up to the level of their fully professional oponents. Now, that Welsh side, as well as every other team playing the game, will now be asked to play the game under the same conditions as elite, full time professional players.

It is complete madness!

Rugby League at the non professional level should be about having fun. It should be a game thats physical demands do not put it out of the reach of your average person that just wants to have a run and throw a footy around. Now, those people will be asked to play under a ten interchange system, which is just ridiculous. If anything amateur players should be playing under 20 interchanges, if not, unlimited interchange.

The Rugby Football League Has Been Left Behind
Whether its is clubs dying, players leaving for Rugby Union, terrible sponsorship and television deals, or just the non performance of England at international level, it is clear the RFL are running the game of Rugby League in Great Britain into the ground.

This is an organisation that has not pushed a single innovation within the game for decades, yet, they are more than happy to sit back and take shots at the drivers of the entire sport within Australia and New Zealand.

The RFL is an ego driven, xenophobic organisation with no interest in Rugby League played outside of northern England. An organisation that allowed England to use Scotland as a feeder team. An organisation that turned its back on Wales, Scotland, Ireland and France and made up a pathetic team of imports to play mid season….all for the benefit of England of course.

The RFL needs to pull its head in very quickly because the fact is, the NRL is about to have about $1,4 billion dollars in the bank. They will be the economic drivers of the sport, with daylight second.

You will have 16-18 NRL clubs who’s squad will rise from 25-30 players and a salary cap that will rise by millions. All of these resources will be used to either improve the game, or cannibalize it.

I have said before that the poorly run, under funded game in England should be completely embracing this pot of gold. They should be looking at every way they can to link up with the NRL and get a share of all that money.

Instead, the RFL are putting down battle lines, and it is a stupid move for an organisation that is probably fueled by patty jealousy.

Australia, New Zealand, the NRL and everyone else in the game does not give a damn what the RFL has to say. English Rugby League has been completely irrelevant for years now.

I think most see the latest chest beating by the RFL as the death throws of an organisation that can’t even run its own business with any degree off success. For them to be handing out advice is nothing short of a laugh!

As Nigel Wood casts a critical eye over the biggest rugby competition on the planet, Rome continues to burn. One day when Rugby League in England is only played on a semi professional basis, and it has become a feeder system for the NRL and RFL, this latest stupid press release won’t even be a footnote in the former history of professional Rugby League in Great Britain.

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