League Freak Predicts What Will Happen In Rugby League

What you have stumbled across here is a list of things The Glorious League Freak thinks may happen within the game in the near or distant future. None of these predictions are based on any solid evidence. That doesn’t matter, League Freak is that damn good that he can just predict the future….or can he….

St Helens Lead The Charge On Financial Reforms In Super League
Eamonn McManus Makes A Stand And Pushes For Financial Reforms In Super League
With clubs dying and the books impossible to balance, St Helens Chairman Eamonn McManus steps up his campaign to have financial reforms across the game and make Rugby League in Great Britain financially sustainable. He will receive a lot of support from teams worse off than St Helens but Leeds and Warrington in particular will allow short sighted views on their own strength stop them from joining the cause.
When The Prediction Was Made: January 2013
When Will It Happen: June 2013
Did It Happen: TBD

David Smith Steps Down As NRL CEO
The NRL’s New CEO Will Move On Sooner Than Expected
It took the ARLC months to find the right person for the job, and when David Smith was announced as the new NRL CEO to replace David Gallop, the response from most people was one of trepidation. He could not name the Australian captain or any of the games stars, and he is clearly going to have a lot to learn before taking on the toughest job in Australian sport.

The constant grind, the media spotlight and the fact he has no passion for the game will eventually take its toll. When watching him at the press conference announcing his appointment I got the feeling the role of NRL CEO was just a short term stepping stone for Smith, and that we would soon see him running a Rugby Union competition somewhere or jumping on the IRB gravy train.
When The Prediction Was Made: January 2013
When Will It Happen: April 2014
Did It Happen: TBD

Sam Tomkins Will Switch To Rugby Union
Sam Tomkins Will Play In The 2013 World Cup And Then Switch To Rugby Union
Having flirted with Rugby Union by playing in the Barbarians team in 2011, Sam Tomkins sets out his career goals. He looks to end his Rugby League career by playing for England in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, and then switches to Rugby Union with the goal of playing for England in the Rugby Union World Cup and then playing for the English Rugby Union Sevens team in the Olympics to be held in Brazil.
When The Prediction Was Made: January 2013
When Will It Happen: December 2013
Did It Happen: TBD

Sonny Bill Williams Will Switch Back To Rugby Union
The Sonny Bill Williams Circus Will Be Back In Rugby Union Before The World Cup
For all that talk that if he enjoys himself he will stay in Rugby League, it is clear that Sonny Bill Williams has an eye on returning to Rugby Union. It wouldn’t surprise me if he already has contracts signed to play another season of Japanese Rugby Union straight after the 2013 NRL season is over before returning to Europe or New Zealand to play Rugby Union in between boxing bums off the street.
When The Prediction Was Made: January 2013
When Will It Happen: November 2013
Did It Happen: TBD

The Franchise Takes Over
League Freaks Prediction: An NRL Team Gets Privatized With The Sole Purprose Of Moving Relocation By The New Owners
Privatization has saved many a struggling club. For one NRL team, they face what is basically a hostile takeover. The perspective owner wants to buy the club with the sole purpose of taking the NRL’s relocation payment of $8,000,000 and move the team to Queensland. Financially, its a home run.

The new owner has been promised a new stadium by the goverment, sponsors are already on board, it works for TV. Many say its the death of the “club” and the birth of a new era of franchised sport in Australia.
When The Prediction Was Made: December 2010
When Will It Happen: May 2014
Did It Happen: TBD

The Gap Becomes Wider In Australian Rugby League
League Freaks Prediction: There Is A Huge Problem In Australia With The Step Between The NRL And Lower Grades
With so much forcus on getting the NRL right, and the NSWRL being completely hopeless and allowing everything under their control to wither and die, there becomes an issue where NRL clubs start to face the prospect of sending fringe first grade players back to play park football in local competitions rather than state competitions.

In responce the Independant Commission commissions a study into how to fix the probelm. Money is the issue. The ideal scenarios are just too expensive. Eventually not much changes however NRL clubs take more control of lower grade feeder clubs.
When The Prediction Was Made: December 2010
When Will It Happen: August 2012
Did It Happen: It was never really mentioned. This might become less of a problem as clubs look to scout players from much larger areas now they have some money to spend. Still there is a feeling in the game that the level directly below the NRL needs sorted out and that the National Youth Competition needs less of a focus.

Rugby League In Great Britain Hits The Wall
League Freaks Prediction: There Will Be A Financial Crisis Among British Rugby League Clubs
We have seen a few signs already, but within the next two season there is going to be a shocking realization that the game in the UK is basically living on borrowed money, and time. Teams are spending way beyond their means. The salary cap is a non factor. A dozen clubs in one off season announce they have gone into administration. Its too the point where there are more clubs in financial trouble than there are safe clubs.

It forces the RFL to drastically realign the games financial standing. Everything gets downgraded. Top clubs blow up that they are being held back, but the reality of playing in a five team competition quiets them down. The salary cap is scrapped. semi professional clubs are thrown into Super League to make up numbers. Its a disaster, the most uncompetitive competition for decades.
When The Prediction Was Made: December 2010
When Will It Happen: November 2011
Did It Happen: I’m going to say I missed this one but keep in mind that by November 2011 the Wrexham Crusaders and Wakefield Wildcats had gone bust while the Bradford Bulls were also just months away from going into administration as well. I was close!

More NRL Salary Cap Drama
League Freaks Prediction: A Mid Table NRL Club Will Get Caught Breaking The Salary Cap
A team that hasn’t actually done all that well will get caught breaking the salary cap after a disgruntled player manager blows the whistle.

After everyone has wondered what they have spent all that extra money on, the question eventually gets asked. If a mid table team is breaking the cap, and still not actually winning anything, how are the teams above them staying under the cap?
When The Prediction Was Made: December 2010
When Will It Happen: May 2012
Did It Happen: Didn’t happen.

David Gallop Stands Down
League Freaks Prediction: David Gallop Will Lose The Confidence Of Clubs And Step Down
He is an administrator in the purest sense of the word. His job description has nothing to do with anything outside of the NRL’s 16 clubs. However, a feeling grows within the conscious of the game that David Gallop just isn’t doing the job of NRL CEO as effectively as some people want him too.

Gallop senses the writing on the wall decides to move on. At that point the stark realization comes into focus, there really isn’t anyone available to replace him.
When The Prediction Was Made: December 2010
When Will It Happen: June 2012
Did It Happen: David Gallop stepped down in June 2012 despite having just signed a four year contract extension a few months earlier. I was spot on with this one!

Greg Inglis The Fullback
League Freaks Prediction: Greg Inglis Will Force His Way To Fullback
South Sydney will be adamant, Greg Inglis was brought to the club as a center and he will play at center. He won’t quite have the impact fans want at first, and that will start to build pressure at Souths. Everyone will say to them, move Inglis to fullback, but they will refuse to listen. Then, a mid game injury to their fullback will see a reshuffle, and Inglis will end up at fullback. It changes everything…

Inglis is just too good back there to be moved back to the centers. By seasons end he helps Souths into the finals. By that time, people are starting to question if he should take Billy Slaters place at fullback in the Test team.
When The Prediction Was Made: December 2010
When Will It Happen: July 2011
Did It Happen: They wasted a year of having Greg Inglis at fullback at Souths. He only moved there at the beginning of 2012 on a full time basis.

2013 Rugby League World Cup
League Freaks Prediction: New Zealand will win the 2013 World Cup, and it will not even be close!
The 2005 Tri Nations win was a shock. The 2008 World Cup was surreal. The 2010 Four Nations was just flat out a better team winning, and by 2013’s World Cup, New Zealand will be dominant. With the base they have got, and the great young players committing to playing for New Zealand, the Origin concept that will be in place giving them more games, they will belt Australia in the final.
When The Prediction Was Made: December 2010
When Will It Happen: November 2013
Did It Happen: TBD

Sonny Bill Williams
League Freaks Prediction: A Sydney based NRL club will sign Sonny Bill Williams
For all the talk of banning him from the NRL for good, clubs will crawl over themselves to sign Sonny Bill Williams as he looks to cash in on the leagues new TV deal and leaves Rugby Union behind. I’m going to say the Sydney Roosters sign him. Bulldogs fans will say they never want him back….but watch them and the club push hard to be the club that gets him anyway.
When The Prediction Was Made: December 2010
When Will It Happen: June 2012
Did It Happen: It was announced in early July that Sonny Bill Williams would return to the NRL with the Sydney Roosters on a one year deal he already regrets. I’m going to call this one correct though, it was common knowledge he would be a Roosters player by the time the announcement was made.

Super Leagues Bunnies
League Freaks Prediction: The Bradford Bulls or Leeds Rhinos will sign a South Sydney Rabbitohs player allowing Greg Inglis to sign for the Bunnies.
Here is my thinking….The Rabbitohs got Sam Burgess very easily after Bradford said they were not going to release him mid contract, and then demanded a big transfer fee for the best player they had produced in years. I don’t know how it happened, but it happened.

I think the Bradford Bulls, or Leeds Rhinos (Who Souths have links with), will decide they will sign a South Sydney player and that will free up space for Greg Inglis to sign with the club. Once again, I don’t know how it will happen, but I think the club that signs a Souths player will find it is worth their while financially.
When The Prediction Was Made: December 2010
When Will It Happen: January 2011
Did It Happen: Didn’t happen.

Mundine Claims Racism
League Freaks Prediction: Anthony Mundine will claim the NRL is racist for not approving Greg Inglis’ deal.
I’m really confident about this one. Anything Mundine will be trying to promote another one of his Bum Fights against some pub fighter, and he will try and drum up publicity by saying the NRL rejected Greg Inglis’ proposed contract with the South Sydney Rabbitohs because he is Aboriginal.
When The Prediction Was Made: December 2010
When Will It Happen: Heading into the promotion of his next “fight”.
Did It Happen: At the end of the day it didn’t become an issue. The NRL registered his contract without and problem and Mundine didn’t get a chance to promote a pub fight.

NRL TV Rights
League Freaks Prediction: The NRL will get its Billion Dollar TV deal, but it will be over more years than previously expected.
One Billion Dollars! It is the big number being pulled out of the air for the NRL’s next TV rights deal. I think its a figure the NRL will be striving to get, and they will get it, but in exchange for the being able to boast about a billion dollar deal, they will have to extend the TV rights over more years than they wanted. When the deal gets broken down, it won’t be anywhere near as good as it sounds.
When The Prediction Was Made: December 2010
When Will It Happen: August 2011
Did It Happen: I got the month right, the figure right, but I got the number of years wrong.

The 2011 Super League Title
League Freaks Prediction: Wigan will walk it in and easily win the 2011 Super League Title.
In one off season Wigan coach Michael Maguire turned a pretty average team into Super League champions….and they looked like winning that 2010 title from very early on in the season. So with a full year under his belt, another full off season, and then you add more muscle up from (Lima), more attacking ability in their back row (Hoffman) and a quality halfback (Finch), Wigan will dominate the 2011 Super League season and win the Grand Final easily.
When The Prediction Was Made: December 2010
When Will It Happen: October 2011
Did It Happen: Wigan’s season slowly faded and they didn’t even make the Grand Final!

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