I’ve Got A Conspiracy Theory…

Something has been nagging away at me for a few weeks now, and I haven’t been able to make sense of it at all.

Now, I think it has all come together.

While still in Brisbane for the Four Nations Final, I kept being asked by people about the rumour that Australia was looking to not take any part in the proposed 2012 Four Nations tournament.

It didn’t make any sense to me at all.

First of all, Australia needs those games to prepare itself for the 2013 World Cup. It can’t afford to throw away the year leading into the World Cup like that.

Then you have to consider that, by not having Australia take part in any Four Nations tournament, you are basically trying to sell a competition to sponsors and the public without one of its two biggest attractions.

I also thought that the idea of allowing the Kiwi’s to have all that extra football under the belts, while we sat back and watched everyone else work out their problems, was a really bad idea.

Because of all these thoughts, I completely dismissed the rumour as rubbish. I laughed it off.

However, I’m starting to wonder if there is something behind it. Let me tell you why…

The 2013 Rugby League World Cup in England and Wales is going to be almost impossible to sell.

Over the last decade, only three of the major Rugby League test series have been played outside of Northern England. In effect, you have a market that is pretty much use to having International Rugby League played on its doorstep at the end of every year.

On top of that, you are trying to sell a competition that Wales has no chance in hell of having any impact in, and England, well, you could say the same thing about them too these days.

So how could you possibly make this a little more enticing to the general sporting public?

What is the RFL, having watched England get humiliated once again in the 2010 Four Nations, sat down with the Australian Rugby League and asked them for another favour.

What if England asked Australia to sit out the 2012 Four Nations?

That would mean you’d have England, New Zealand, Wales and either Ireland or France taking part in the 2012 Four Nations, and you’d pretty much be assured that the final would be New Zealand vs England.

We all know the complete and utter contempt that English Rugby League types have for New Zealand, so you would expect them to be thinking they could beat New Zealand in a Four Nations final in 2012.

That would leave the RFL with a World Cup competition the following year that would boast “Your 2012 Four Nations Champions, England!”.

The pieces of the puzzle fit together a little bit too well to disregard this theory, don’t they?

This wouldn’t be the first time RFL has sat down and had a deep and meaningful with the ARL and NZRL. After the 2000 World Cup, the game in England was on its knee’s, carrying a crippling debt left over from the tournament.

They basically said to the ARL and NZRL “We have to play as many series as we can in England over the next few weeks to keep our heads above water financially” and the ARL and NZRL, for the greater good of the game, obliged.

The 2001 Ashes series, the 2002 Baskerville series, the 2003 Ashes series, the 2004 Tri Series, the 2005 Tri Series, the 2007 All Golds Tour, the 2009 Four Nations….they have all been held in England to help England.

So its not out of the question to think that the ARL would be willing to do everything they can to stop a marketing disaster during the 2013 World Cup by trying to give England something to work off, while you know the NZRL, if they are in on it, must be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of winning the 2012 Four Nations with ease heading into a World Cup year.

It will be interesting to see if Australia does pull out of the 2012 Four Nations. If they do, maybe now you know why…

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