Sort International Rugby League Out, Or Scrap It

I love international Rugby League. I grew up watching test football and enjoying every single minutes of it. I would set my alarm late at night to watch games played over in England, and I still credit the 1994 Kangaroo Tour for giving me the terrible sleeping habits I have today.

Then Super League hit, the game was split, and both side needed to find a way to fill out representative sides so they could put on a show. Everyone took a look at the out dated rules that were in place and found every loop hole possible.

The rest is history.

On Saturday night the best New Zealand born and raised front rower in the game will line up for Australia against New Zealand. That just highlights the fascicle situation we now have these days that has seen international Rugby League turn into an out of control mess.On top of that, it will be the only game both Australia and New Zealand play until the middle of next year.

Over in Europe we have a thrown together afterthought of a series that will take place between England, France and Wales that has seen so many players withdraw from the series that they will be flat out fielding teams. Most quality players have decided they couldn’t be bothered playing, and who can blame them with the way the series was patched together at the last minute.

The whole thing is just a shambles and even for me, a long time supporter of the international game, I’m wondering whether it is worth taking any interest in this farce any longer.

If the ARL and the RLIF can’t sort out eligibility rules and lock in an international calender, why should I bother? Why should anyone?

Just scrap the lot of it. Scrap international football and throw something else on!

If it really is that low of a priority for the people running the game, come up with something else. If that is an end of season World Club Challenge every year or Rugby League 9’s tournaments…..just work out what direction you want to take the game in, but do it properly!

I could fix fix international Rugby League in five minutes. Sort out the eligibility rules so that you play for the state/country you were born in, and then flesh out a four year calender.

It isn’t like 10 years ago when administrators claimed their hands were tied because there was no money available to do anything, we have the money to make things work now. So why does it feel like we have being sold a rubbish product? Why does the 2013 World Cup feel like a way to dupe the British government so that it pours money into Rugby League by pretending it is a sport that cares about international competition?

Rugby League is a great sport with an incredible history, but it is run but people that are so incompetent that they can’t even re-word and eligibility document with a three month lead in. When you look at it that way, what is a fan supposed to do? Hope can only go so far and a lot of people simply don’t care about international Rugby League because our games administrators don’t give them a reason to.

I’ll watch all the international games, but will I enjoy them? No. I get nothing at all out of watching Australia beat New Zealand knowing that we happily pick their best players. Where is the achievement in that?

If I as a die hard international Rugby League fan am thinking this….what do you reckon the casual sports fan thinks? International Rugby League isn’t even on their radar….and for good reason.

Sort it out, or scrap it!

Liked it? Take a second to support League Freak on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

2 thoughts on “Sort International Rugby League Out, Or Scrap It

  1. The annoyance from fans seems to come from the fact that, on the surface, this problem seems so simple to fix. Yes, there have been mistakes previously. Right, from the end of this representative season, you play for the country/state you were born in/currently affiliated with. If you move as a youngster to a different country, then you can apply to be recognised as a citizen of that country. But that’s it. No flip-flopping between opportunities. No mercenary attitude. You are now part of a system that is bringing back what is so special about international sport

    This means that rugby league needs to advertise and pay better for all (not just AUS, NZL and GB) international teams and give more opportunities for these other countries to participate in international fixtures. Plan ahead to maximise everyone’s participation and increase rugby league’s presence in the world sport scene. Can’t hurt…

    In the (recent) past, what has shit me is that we have to provide extra financial incentives to play for your country (or someone else’s country or state). Yes, players should be well payed for providing the entertainment for us, the fans. But some of the payments and demands, I think, have really put to shame some of the pride and privilege that comes with representing your country.

    Come on RLIF, ARLC, NZRL (and any other acronym who wants a piece), this will only help you in the long run.

Leave a Reply