International Origin Series Looks Like It Is On The Way Out

The ridiculous “International Origin” series set up by the Rugby Football League has been scaled back to just one game in 2013, no doubt a sign the series is already on its way out.

This year the game will be played on Friday the 14th of June at Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington. Tickets will go on sale on Monday the 25th of February but if you’re willing to wait until closer to the game you’ll probably be able to pick up free tickets fairly easily.

The game see’s England and anyone else the RFL feels like naming as an English player against a team of barely interested Super League imports. Last year saw two games played in what was an expansion of the series but the terrible crowds and garbage football on show no doubt saw the RFL re-think this whole concept. I’d suggest that if there was not a World Cup to be played at the end of the year, this series would have been scrapped all together.

This is a very important year for Rugby League in Great Britain. Of course, the Rugby Football League’s entire focus is on England, with Wale, Scotland and Ireland left to fend for themselves. While the marketing types are working overtime and administrators are spending money trying to put on the facade that everything is fine, the fact of the matter is that if this season doesn’t pan out well for Rugby League in Great Britain and the World Cup ends up being a flop, Rugby League across the world is going to need to step in and bail the RFL out as it did after the 2000 World Cup.

Series like the International Origin games are short term measures to try and fix long term problems. At the end of the day, I don’t think England gets anything out of playing games against a bunch of old disinterested imports.

I for one will be happy to see the day when this series is scrapped completely. When you look at the once proud history of the English Rugby League team…it always feels depressing watching them struggle to beat a bunch of geriatrics in front of 6,000 barely interested spectators.

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5 thoughts on “International Origin Series Looks Like It Is On The Way Out

  1. The problem with this is that McNamara and I dare say a number of others at the RFL looked to the love of their coaching life statistics and used them to prove that “intensity” was achieved. The 2 previous Exile games were statistically shown to be more akin to a high grade SL clash and so the “brains” behind them began heralding a success in honing England regardless of crowds. It’s a little like the Magic Weekend worth a try (maybe) but lack of humility won’t allow reality to hove into view and pass on it. When you hear McNamara talk on the subject it is one rehearsed platitude and media soundbite after another. He is the right man to front other peoples ideas.

  2. Good point. Its like they are trying to convince people of something that just isn’t the reality of the situation. Its the same thing with the “golden boot” award, who are they trying to convince?

  3. Who knows! The new head honcho Nigel Wood rather predictably highlights the RFL’s two main goals. 1) expanding the game. More people need to see live RL to gain us more coverage, so the lesson of London and Wales still not been learned and 2)beating the Australians is a priority but will prove difficult as the omnipresence of Football in the UK often diverts grade A talent unlike down under. So a new broom keeping the status quo so he can wind the job out for 5 years without new innovations.

  4. it’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. The England side need a mid season game against some half decent competition. This immediatley rules out the other home nations and France as the end of season ‘series’ demonstrated. The one thing the exiles games has done is given them some competition – they’re palying against Super League level opposition – and a few have played test/origin level in the past. The only other option is a game against either Aus or NZ and none of the respective parties are likely to travel halfway across the world for a one off.

    Here’s an idea though – let Tim Sheens coach the Exiles this year given he’s only got the ‘Roos to look after and they shouldn’t need much coaching. Get him over here for a while to pick who he wants and let him work with them everytime the England group meet up.

    1. Problem is England/GB had that competition in the Ashes. Not that one or two games is sufficient in elevating the players to current International level. This sort of competition is what happens when you don’t have the money or the will to restructure the English game. Having said that you don’t see the English national football team spearheading restructuring the Premiership because they have a poor record against Brazil. How does the English game that posts £20 million per year compete with a Billion $ Australian sport industry? I wouldn’t want to spend my money watching England practice unless it was a fiver to get in.

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