Great Britian Break Up, The 2008 World Cup And More At The RLIF Meeting

Well in case you didn’t know, the RLIF has been meeting this week and a few key announcements were made.

First, news that Great Britain would be broken up into England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland heading into the 2008 World Cup was surprising. Just as the Great Britain Lions have started drawing sizable crowds in the UK and have become a recognized brand…the RFL will pull the plug.

The idea is sound, but the fact is splitting the teams in 2007 is just to little to late. It might have worked if they have made the move a couple of years ago, but now…..its just not enough time for anything good to come of it.

So we’ll see the likes of Wales, Ireland and Scotland dragged out of in 2007…..and in the space of a year, they are supposed to build a profile, a following, a team chemistry…..

Where will the players come from. How will they improve in just one season. How the hell did they expect Wales, Ireland and Scotland to compete with just a single year under the belts???

Russia will be more prepared!

Away from the RFL…..the NZRL has put forward a proposal to have their own Origin series in NZ to give their players something to aim for. This move was supported by the ARL and the games are expected to be played at the same time as the Australian Origin series.

The Kiwis then proposed that New Zealander’s be allowed to compete in the Australian State Of Origin series! What??? Did they just under mine their own series?

Once again, another short sighted, stupid idea. Thank goodness that THIS time, the idea was not supported.

The 2008 World Cup will be Co-Hosted between Australia and New Zealand. The Final will be held in Australia but there is still some talks going on about how many teams will take part with anything form 6-12 teams being likely.

That says to me that the 2008 World Cup will be far from the amazing event the 2003 rugby union World Cup was.

I believe the 2008 World Cup should have 16 teams taking part. The games should have been spread far and wide. Why cant PNG host a game? Why cant Pacific Islands such as Tonga, Samoa and Fiji host a game with their home nations.

I have to say…..I think the 2008 World Cup is going to be dreadful. Its going to be typical Rugby League. The big three nations will go about their own business for EIGHT YEARS……they’ll then drag out the same old teams from no where for the World Cup….thrash them…..destroy any good work thats happened over the last 2 years at test level and then wonder what went wrong!!!

I’d love to place a bet that the South African side gets a run. They really sum up Rugby League World Cups for me. You hear nothing about the game in South Africa apart from the odd web site that crops up claiming the start of a new competition is just around the corner. Then, one the eve of a World Cup….there they are, having not played a game since the last World Cup. They come in, get thrashed….and then they get packed away for the next World Cup which at this rate should be in about 2018.

I said three years ago that the thing that would save the 2008 World Cup would be REGULAR international matches between ALL nations. Thats just hasn’t happened.

While Australia has played a few games here and there against France, PNG and the United States, nations such as Russia, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and the like are just no existent. Its worse for GB and NZ….they just refuse to play games against any of the smaller nations.

Great Britain doesn’t even bother playing France….France are a train ride away!

I hope I’m wrong, but a few years out…..its already looking like a complete disaster.

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