International Set Up Not Ideal, But Alternatives Are Unrealistic

Much has been made of the short preperations both Australia and New Zealand had in the leadup to the ANZAC Test in Brisbane last Friday night.

There has been calls for players to be stood down from the preceeding club game, calls for Test matches to be played as stand alone events on a weekend of their own and even calls for the NRL competition to be stopped for a month and play a number of International during that time.

Lets look through these ideas more closely.

Right now NRL clubs can expect their elite players to be missing for 3 games in the lead up to the three State Of oriigin matches. On top of this clubs can expect their elite players to be tired for the three games following State Of Origin games as well as the City vs Country game and the Anzac Test match.

Thats means that currently clubs can expect to possibly have 7 games in which their best players will either be missing or has poor preperation for games. Thats nearly one third of a season of disruption.

Keep in mind, its the clubs that pay the players salaries.

So as it stands right now the set up of representative football is far from ideal, and clubs will not be keen to see players they pay for not taking part in yet another match.

The idea to play representative games has got some merit, but you have to question how much real benifit you would get from such a huge disruption to the game.

The length of the season is long, but just about right as it is. So to see the club season extended by a month is just not realistic.

Ontop of that, the Test teams would only get an extra couple of days preperation than they already do now. So its a lot of hassle for just a couple of extra days at best.

Then we have the idea that we should shut down the club season for a month and play Tests matches during this time.

The disruption to the club season would me immense. Just as clubs got into the swing of the season and players got up to speed, everything would stop for a month and we’d have to go through early season pains all over again.

Keep in mind, there are hundreds of players taking part in clubs football, not just the elite few that end up playing test football.

Then you have to think about what you would get out of such a disruption. 4 weeks of rushed Test football and teams scramble around to make the most of the month. If you think that the first week of the month would be just like any rush test match, and then factor in things like travel between countries in between Test matches, its just a very, very bad idea.

What we currently have id not idea, but its the best we can do at this point in time. Until the game is making enough money out of Test football to be able to fun such radicle changes to the calender, we should just be happy with what we have got and work towards getting as much as we can out of Test football in the hope that one day we can make changes.

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