Ask Yourself, Why Do We Have A Rugby League World Cup?

Why do we have a Rugby League World Cup? In fact, why does any sport have a World Cup?

The Rugby League World Cup was first held in 1954 after a lot of work by the French to make it happen. The French saw the need for a World Cup and the opportunities the competition would open up for the game.

Those ideas however got lost some time after the 1995 World Cup, and now the administrators of the game as well as some of the media and a hell of a lot of fans have forgotten what is needed to have a legitimate World Cup.

I want to see how people from other nations play the game of Rugby League. I want the best players from every country competing to see who is the top Rugby League playing nation in the world.

I want to see players I have never heard of matched up against superstars. I want to see teams who only have a couple of professional players in their ranks show what they can do against the big guns of the competition.

Surely these are all major reasons to hold a World Cup!

What we have been delivered by the games administrators though is something very different.

Once Australia, New Zealand and England select their teams, the best of the rest of their players are drafted through every other competing nation under a mesh of rules and regulations that are so flexible that you can play for who ever you like.

Haven’t ever been to that nation? Doesn’t matter! Don’t know the national anthem? No worries! Can’t find the country on a map? Who cares!

Of course the coaches and administrators of smaller Rugby League nations get into a mind set where they HAVE to chase name players no matter what. It gets to a point where the number of players who have actually played just one single game of Rugby League in the nation they are representing is alarmingly low.

People say to me “Its the only way to go. These nations couldn’t field teams without all of these ring ins” but thats not the case.

Every single country competing in the 2008 World Cup has its own domestic competition. Sure these competition vary in quality, but the fact remains that there are 17 REAL Irish, Scottish, Samoan, Fijian and Tongan players out there.

These are good players too, born and raised in their country. They love the game, they play at every chance they get and they would give their right arm to represent their country just once.

Imagine what its like for these players to look towards the 2008 World Cup only to see a bunch of Aussies, Kiwis and Poms fill their squads.

People suggest that if teams selected real national squads and didn’t draft in Aussies, Kiwis and Poms, the scorelines would be so lop sided that the competition would lose all credibility.

This is a failed argument for the simple fact that for all the players these teams draft in, they still get smashed. Anyway, the last time I checked the credibility of the Rugby League World Cup hinged, not on scorelines, but on the fact that so many overseas teams are filled with players born and bred in our own back yard!

Some teams are worse than others.

Scotland World Cup team is nothing short of a disgrace. Samoas World Cup team is a pathetic joke. Ireland is a bit off, while New Zealand have always gone out of their way to select anyone born anywhere in the south pacific.

Fiji isn’t bad, but they really let themselves down with a couple of shocking selections. France managed to draft in a few Aussies who have been playing in the French competition for a few years, PNG are pretty good while England are not bad apart from that Samoan fella in their side.

Australia is pretty hard to argue against while Tonga is so busy whinging about players they can’t select that they have forgotten about the players who play the game in Tonga!

This all comes back to two excuses people trot out, neother of which I give any weight to.

1. The Grandparent Rule
Can someone please tell me where this stupid rule started? Where it became common practice to not play for the country you were born in, or the country your parents were born in, but the country your garndparents were born in? Where Grandads stories of the old land that good?

2. Other Sports Do It
I watch other sports. I like other sports. Do I give a flying f*ck what rules other sports use? No. Should Rugby League follow the worst examples set by other sports? No!

Look, at the end of the day all people want is a genuine Rugby League World Cup.

They want to see 17 Real Life Tongans playing against 17 real life Frenchmen. They want to see people from other countries play the game, not players from this country playing for other countries.

Why is this so difficult ofr the games administrators to understand?

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