League in Los Angeles?

Robert Burgin Columnist

By Robert Burgin, Robert Burgin is a Roar Expert

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    For 99 per cent of people reading this story, rugby league’s sole connection to Los Angeles is a 1987 State of Origin game largely remembered as a kind of athletic spoof movie.

    There was the overblown promotion, posters featuring a spear tackle, scenes of Peter Sterling struggling to burst on the field after being caught in a banner, and of course, Queensland’s questionable preparation and on-field effort.

    On surface value, there doesn’t seem to have been a great deal more to link the sport and the city – despite some valiant individual efforts behind the scenes.

    But with the Toronto Wolfpack going great guns this season and the USARL boasting 12 clubs on the East Coast, some riddles for rugby league beckon: Can the sport ever gain a following in the USA’s west? What will it take? What does the sport stand to gain?

    One of those with a positive mindset is Charlie Jones, the former Burleigh Bears player and Thailand rugby league pioneer who spent the last few year’s running LA Epic Club Crawls in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

    “Most flights from Australia to America have to pass through the west coast,” says Jones, citing more than one million visits by Aussies to the USA in 2016.

    “If there was an established rugby league competition, I’m sure there would be a new Aussie crowd every weekend, on top of all the expats already living there.

    “Americans love rugby union, but most have never seen rugby league.

    “I went to a Toronto game and the crowd was insane, even though 80 per cent of people had no idea what they were watching.

    “The big hits, the atmosphere, the booze and entertainment made it well worth $20. I think the West Coast could be on another level.”

    So why hasn’t it happened already? And why hasn’t there been a single competitive rugby league game in California this year?

    As mentioned, there are USARL teams dotted along the East Coast, from Boston in the north to Tampa in the south.

    California is home to 40 million people contained in an area about half the size of New South Wales, with approximately ten million of those in Los Angeles county – the most populous county in all America and with a higher population than 42 US states.

    It’s a melting pot of cultures, home to remarkable athletes of many varieties, and attracts extroverts and innovators like bees to honey.

    If you were a rugby league strategist (if such a thing actually exists) you’d surely circle it on a map with a big red pen.

    Among those drawn to LA has been Brian Lowe, an Australian print and radio journalist who fell in love with the region after visiting in 1994 and found a way to move their four years later.

    He became a dedicated American commentators on both rugby codes, but has focused almost exclusively on league since 2010 – an odd occupation to hold in a city without a team.

    “Haha, yeah I do a lot of interviews by phone and email obviously,” says Lowe.

    “Rugby union has a very strong presence in California, but I do feel there’s a significant number of people who have had enough with the politics that occur in that game. There’s a lot of disenchantment and talk of financial issues.

    “I think California’s a great place to expand rugby league, but it does need time, effort and, yes, money.

    “The USA and Canada have been given the 2025 rugby league World Cup, so it would make sense to invest there beforehand.

    “You can’t do it half-arsed, basically.”

    One person you’ll hear Lowe and others regularly refer to in regards to Los Angeles and rugby league is Col Manners, the former Fairfax advertising worker and Coogee Dolphins player who quit his job to help encourage the sport abroad.

    After dedicating several years to the USA’s East Coast, he was transferred to Los Angeles for work.

    Along with New Zealander Zane Hirtzel he helped form the California Condors and was a key figure in the Remembrance Cup tournament of 2012 that featured not only a team from California, but also sides from Las Vegas, Utah, British Colombia and the Coogee Dolphins.

    The Condors have effectively since been grounded, a product of a lack of opposition and what could best be described as a case of disillusionment and ‘volunteer fatigue’ by Manners.

    Other sides like the Orange County Outlaws, Los Angeles Raiders RLFC and Bay Area rugby league all started with the best of intentions, but have never competed regularly.

    “The biggest issue I had was player commitment,” says Manners.

    “Everyone said they were keen, but getting them to turn up to training and games was a real headache.

    “When we travelled away I was chipping in 20 or 30 bucks a night per player to help with their accommodation.

    “The amount of money I personally forked out so players didn’t have to pay took its toll.

    “Aside from that, getting administrators, coaches and managers to get their hands dirty and help build a team and competition was difficult.

    “A lot of people like to stand back and say ‘I’m the president or secretary etc’ but you need to help paint the field, wash jerseys, referee and be there at most sessions.”

    It’s hard not to feel sorry for Manners and the effort he invested, even after just a short chat.

    But after taking some downtime for family, the good news is he now seems to be prepared to give it another stab – provided he can find some compadres to come along for the ride.

    “I think it’s definitely achievable to have a rugby league competition on the West Coast of America, but I think the next time I’d concentrate on Southern California and go from there,” he says.

    “My concept would be a Los Angeles team, a Long Beach team, an Orange County team and a San Diego team.

    “Consolidate those four clubs and then move into North California and the Bay Area, then Las Vegas and Phoenix.

    “I’m keen to give it another go, but only if I have help this time.

    “Southern California is home to some ridiculously good athletes and there are so many Aussies here…it’s crazy more people aren’t prepared to help out.”

    Manners mentions that Los Angeles and San Diego both have touch football teams.

    It reminds me to make contact with another touch football fanatic I know with ties to America: veteran rugby league journalist and part-time Georgia State resident Tony Adams, popularly known as ‘The Mole’.

    “Rugby union is definitely the big dog here,” says Adams, “And rugby league is barely known.

    “No TV coverage is the real killer. If they could get TV, the dollars would come.”

    As I continue researching, I’m pleased to hear of several small pockets of interest bubbling to the surface again in California.

    I put Manners in touch with a young guy called Randy Chavez, a former college gridiron player, now Burbank radio announcer, who has fallen in love with rugby league.

    He and others sometime train for league in a park under the guidance of a Welsh coach-cum-actor, who stars as a spoof super hero in a series of short action films.

    That’s the thing – you think of a city built on entertainment and you wonder why it doesn’t play one of the most entertaining, made-for-TV sports on the planet.

    Robert Burgin
    Robert Burgin

    Robert Burgin is a sports writer of 20 years with a particular appetite for Rugby League's exotic and bizarre tales. Find him on Twitter @RobBurginWriter.

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    The Crowd Says (148)

    • Roar Rookie

      August 5th 2017 @ 11:36am
      Slickeel said | August 5th 2017 @ 11:36am | ! Report

      Great read Robert.

      It is heartening to see dedicated people around the world spreading the greatest game of all. I read a lot on Rugby League Planet that has these type of stories. I am surprised there is no competition on the west coast given the population. The key to growth in America is TV coverage. What is the NRL doing about this, given we have the best competition in the world? It is the best game in the world to watch on TV. The other factor to take into account is the 2025 RLWC which hopefully will go to USA & Canada. That will make a huge difference to the game establishing itself there. I wish those involved with the game on the west coast USA the very best and I am sure there will be great support once the ground work evolves into fruition.

    • Roar Rookie

      August 5th 2017 @ 12:46pm
      Hard Yards said | August 5th 2017 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

      Basically you could make the same argument for Hurling, AFL or Ping Pong. Bring lots of money with you because it will burn up in a couple of seconds. You know, Americans speak English- but they are very different to us, and I’ve seen a few mates learn this to their financial cost over the years.

      Canada has more in common with us than their southern neighbours. When you can conquer Tasmania, then maybe one day dream of conquering the USA.

      • August 5th 2017 @ 1:00pm
        Justin Kearney said | August 5th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

        Forget tasmania. Not a steeden to be seen down here. We got wiped out by the people who knew better 3 years ago.

      • August 5th 2017 @ 4:26pm
        hutch said | August 5th 2017 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

        Maybe because rugby league is a better sport than those you mentioned ?and the fact that there is already a successful rugby league competition on the west coast.

        Also, two of those sports are limited to one country. US rugby league players have the opportunity to play for their country in front of thousands of people.

        • August 6th 2017 @ 9:42am
          Baz said | August 6th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

          Hey hutch if its a better sport why cant it break out of 2 states in Australia mate? Cmon champ its had long enough to produce and some of the excuses why ot cant is pretty funny..
          But seriously mate its fine and well to set up an expat competition but do Americans know what Rugby League is? Just look at their “Nations”team

          • August 6th 2017 @ 9:48am
            Justin Kearney said | August 6th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

            Welcome back matthew!

            • August 6th 2017 @ 11:11am
              razamatazbaz01 said | August 6th 2017 @ 11:11am | ! Report

              Hahaha Baz reminds me of that cat meme, typing feverishly away at the keyboard every time a RL story pops up.

              • August 6th 2017 @ 11:17am
                Justin Kearney said | August 6th 2017 @ 11:17am | ! Report

                His biggest challenge is remembering which id he is using at the time. He has used at least 8 this year alone.

              • August 6th 2017 @ 2:30pm
                Agent11 said | August 6th 2017 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

                It’s always nice to see all the Rugby League experts come out whenever there is a international or expansion article on League to tell the author and other intrigued readers to stop wasting their time.

                It’s also amazing how people can have such knowledge of Rugby League crowds and overseas comps and not seem to have any idea about whats happening in the NRL comp.

              • August 6th 2017 @ 3:36pm
                Justin Kearney said | August 6th 2017 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

                Yep. Why do they bother?

          • Roar Guru

            August 6th 2017 @ 11:48am
            Sleiman Azizi said | August 6th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

            Hi Baz, welcome back.

            A sport and its management are not necessarily one and the same thing.

            Also, time has nothing to do with it when you are dealing with self-interested thinking.

            A long time can pass with not much in the way of progress before a flurry of movement as more active minds get involved.

            As for whether Americans know rugby league, it may be best to ask those over there who play it.

            Thanks again for your time Baz. You’ll score a try eventually.

            • August 6th 2017 @ 12:00pm
              Baz said | August 6th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

              Im married to an American Sleiman. There is a tiny bit of Union there but haven’t seen a Game of League yet. The expats im sure love it mate

              • August 6th 2017 @ 12:08pm
                Justin Kearney said | August 6th 2017 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

                Really baz? Is she the mystery woman who gave you all of those free state of origin tickets? Did she go to liverpool with you to watch that league game played in caringbah? Does she fly with you to england to watch 4th division football? Is her first name ‘nemo’?

              • August 6th 2017 @ 12:14pm
                Baz said | August 6th 2017 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

                Yea Justin??? Please enlighten me mate im intrigued

              • August 6th 2017 @ 12:17pm
                Crosscoder said | August 6th 2017 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

                My Aunty was an American from Boston Mass.Baz who married my Uncle.
                She became a mad Rooster’s fan, living in an expensive area of the Eastern Suburbs.You know those demographics you and your mate go on about.

                I just wish she would have provided me with all those freebie tickets for rl games, you are able to accumulate.

              • August 6th 2017 @ 12:58pm
                Justin Kearney said | August 6th 2017 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

                I am married to an American rugby league international mat! Its true i tell ya!

              • August 6th 2017 @ 1:07pm
                Baz said | August 6th 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

                I dont get it Justin plrase can you enlighten me on your joke?

              • August 6th 2017 @ 1:10pm
                Justin Kearney said | August 6th 2017 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

                Which joke?

              • Roar Guru

                August 7th 2017 @ 1:00am
                Sleiman Azizi said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:00am | ! Report

                USARL finals are currently underway Baz.

                A lot of Americans know about it. Of course, many, many more don’t.

                Your wife may or may not be part of the latter.

                Either way, it makes no difference to the fact the USARL finals are underway.

          • August 6th 2017 @ 12:00pm
            hutch said | August 6th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

            Hi baz, you must love rugby league since you comment on it a lot.

            I have been to or watched rugby league games with crowds of 85k in London, 75k in Manchester, 45k in Auckland, 90k in Melbourne, 15k in port moresby, 7k in Toronto, 44k in Cardiff, 10k in Suva, 17k in Avignon, 15k in Perpignan and even 10k in tripoli, Lebanon.

            The common denominator here is that none of these are in the two states of Australia that you mention. How is that even possible?

            • August 6th 2017 @ 12:02pm
              Baz said | August 6th 2017 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

              Where have you really watched it Nathan? Tell the truth mate.

              • August 6th 2017 @ 1:23pm
                Justin Kearney said | August 6th 2017 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

                I have an idea for your next ID baz/billy/nathan/matt. How about coco. As in coco the clown?

              • August 6th 2017 @ 2:04pm
                Baz said | August 6th 2017 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

                Oh i see now. I use those IDs? So there are more people than just me that have these opinions? Is it illegal to have opinions Justin? I know you and a few on here wish you could make Rugby League like a dictatorship where you cant question what is fed to you

              • August 6th 2017 @ 2:14pm
                Justin Kearney said | August 6th 2017 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

                Nobodys falling for it anymore coco.

              • August 6th 2017 @ 5:16pm
                Justin Kearney said | August 6th 2017 @ 5:16pm | ! Report

                I thought you were nathan. Ahh that was 3 ids ago. Apologies. That was the id that lied about the origin tickets. I get confused.

              • August 6th 2017 @ 6:29pm
                Baz said | August 6th 2017 @ 6:29pm | ! Report

                Na now you’ve really lost me Justin! I went to game 1 up here does that help?

              • August 6th 2017 @ 6:34pm
                Justin Kearney said | August 6th 2017 @ 6:34pm | ! Report

                Does what help coco?

              • August 6th 2017 @ 8:28pm
                Baz said | August 6th 2017 @ 8:28pm | ! Report

                With your Origin Tickets you were going on about

              • August 7th 2017 @ 8:57am
                Crosscoder said | August 7th 2017 @ 8:57am | ! Report

                The guy is still waiting for them Mat.Promises ,promises.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 10:12am
                Baz said | August 7th 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

                What guy? Where to Crosscoder?

              • Editor

                August 8th 2017 @ 2:13pm
                Daniel Jeffrey said | August 8th 2017 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

                Guys, this thread has got well off topic. The Roar is a place for respectful debate about the issues raised in each article, and we want to keep it that way. Please get the thread back on topic, otherwise we’re going to have to close comments on this article.

              • Roar Guru

                August 9th 2017 @ 7:36am
                Sleiman Azizi said | August 9th 2017 @ 7:36am | ! Report

                Moderating is an art 🙂

    • August 5th 2017 @ 1:29pm
      Your Kidding said | August 5th 2017 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

      How about trying to tackle Sydney 1st.
      Anyone see the crowd at the Souths vs Dragons game yesterday? Don’t believe the official crowd figure. It was a very,very poor turnout.

      • August 5th 2017 @ 1:33pm
        Justin Kearney said | August 5th 2017 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

        We could always do both. But you wouldnt like that would you YK?

        • August 5th 2017 @ 2:16pm
          Your Kidding said | August 5th 2017 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

          I’m all for doing both if your own backyard is in good order 1st.
          Whoever scheduled that game yesterday at 6pm ,on a Friday ,at the SCG needs to be made accountable.

          • August 6th 2017 @ 9:49am
            Justin Kearney said | August 6th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

            Yeah that was a joke. Great game but the crowd count must have included teeth.

      • August 5th 2017 @ 4:52pm
        Kenw said | August 5th 2017 @ 4:52pm | ! Report

        I think it was poor planning – 6pm Friday at the SCG? What were they thinking? Considering that the crowd was probably on the high side!

        • August 5th 2017 @ 5:28pm
          AGO74 said | August 5th 2017 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

          It was disgraceful planning. Surely you could have swapped either the 3pm or 5.30pm games today with the 6pm last night. Swapping the Newcastle or Gold Coast games would not have materially effected the crowds due to lack of traffic etc in those markets compared to centre of Sydney.

        • August 5th 2017 @ 6:15pm
          Your Kidding said | August 5th 2017 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

          That official reported crowd figure is a straight out big fat lie. The NRL is trying to cover its ass.
          I agree, shocking planning.

      • August 6th 2017 @ 10:12pm
        Agent11 said | August 6th 2017 @ 10:12pm | ! Report

        what are you even on about? what does crowds in Sydney for the NRL comp have to do with some expats trying to take the game to foreign lands? Rugby League is an english sport played in many different countries, a couple professionally and many amateur. It is not some business run out of Sydney trying to put franchises everywhere.

        • August 7th 2017 @ 10:37am
          clipper said | August 7th 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

          Because it relates to how well a game is going in it’s heartland – if the crowds are declining there, then the argument could be made that resources should be focused to correct that statistic rather that forays into lands where the vast majority would never even know the game.
          The second sentence could be used on any number of sports – even AFL is played at an amateur level in many countries, although only played professionally in one, not two countries.

          • August 7th 2017 @ 4:27pm
            Crosscoder said | August 7th 2017 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

            Money from 2018 is being increasingly spent by the NRL on grassroots in this country for a start Clip.

            Declining crowds as has been shown last weekend can be tied in with dumb scheduling.6pm Friday Dragons v Spuths ridiculous.Yet contrast this with the Panthers and Manly home games ,played to near full houses.

            Where do you get the ideas the NRL will be spending money in Los Angeles or anywhere in the USA?
            That is the remit of the RLIF with RLWC profits and the RLEF with european grants and Govt grants.

            Rugby league is not only played at amateur level in many countries but has clubs playing pro and semi pro in 6.The AFL has but one.A here of a difference.DSo the other poster had a point ,which you fail to understand.

    • August 5th 2017 @ 1:31pm
      Fred said | August 5th 2017 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

      I’m surprised there’s no comment from Baz yet.

      • August 5th 2017 @ 1:34pm
        Justin Kearney said | August 5th 2017 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

        Don’t worry baz will roll up soon brim full of negativity.

      • August 6th 2017 @ 9:46am
        Baz said | August 6th 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

        Just here Fred i had a good chuckle. Its amazing what the expat community can get done. Good luck to them i say

        • August 6th 2017 @ 9:50am
          Justin Kearney said | August 6th 2017 @ 9:50am | ! Report

          On fire this morning matty!

    • Roar Guru

      August 5th 2017 @ 2:06pm
      Sleiman Azizi said | August 5th 2017 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

      The problem is provincialism.

      It’s one thing to be dedicated to ensuring that your village survives. That is commendable.

      But take that dedication and vision outside and you suddenly hit walls.

      Clubs should be there to promote the code but it seems that a lot of people think the code is there to support their club.

    • Columnist

      August 5th 2017 @ 2:15pm
      Robert Burgin said | August 5th 2017 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

      Concentrate on Sydney where the market is already saturated? Concentrate on Tasmania where there is limited population, sponsorship revenue and minimal global influence? You’ll have to excuse me if I think both these strategies are as similarly ill conceived as what you believe a club competition in LA would be.

      • August 5th 2017 @ 4:24pm
        GWSINGAPORE said | August 5th 2017 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

        Robert. I am in my mid 60s. I have been hearing similar folktales for over 50 years. Enjoy rugby league by all means, but in terms of international sport, it will always be small beer.

        • Columnist

          August 5th 2017 @ 4:58pm
          Robert Burgin said | August 5th 2017 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

          The world has changed an awful lot in 50 years.

        • August 6th 2017 @ 9:49am
          Baz said | August 6th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

          Well said GWSINGAPORE. Robert it will be another 50 years and Rugby League will be in the same spot internationally.
          Lets just concentrate what we have here before it falls off the cliff

          • August 6th 2017 @ 10:52am
            duecer said | August 6th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

            Really RL should try to get to where is was 50 years ago – with 5 competitive nations, good participation rates – this is what they should be aiming for, although it will be a tough task in England after decades of decline and much harder in France where it is a shadow of what it once was and even Wales, which actually had a decent team once. I really don’t think having ‘heritage’ players in teams that have no RL tradition is helping these once proud RL nations in trying to restore former glories.

          • Roar Guru

            August 6th 2017 @ 11:52am
            Sleiman Azizi said | August 6th 2017 @ 11:52am | ! Report

            “Lets just concentrate [on] what we have here…”

            That’s why it’s been ’50 years’….

            • August 6th 2017 @ 12:05pm
              Baz said | August 6th 2017 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

              Deucer without heritage rule there would be no World Cup or International Rugby League

              • August 6th 2017 @ 3:09pm
                duecer said | August 6th 2017 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

                Well, there sure would be fewer countries, but sometimes you have to go backwards to move forwards. By propping up these heritage RL teams you are basically ensuring genuine once former RL forces that they keep slipping down the rankings while these new teams pass them. I don’t know if it’s really a positive, although it could be argued that these fill in teams may inspire home grown players.

              • Roar Guru

                August 7th 2017 @ 1:07am
                Sleiman Azizi said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:07am | ! Report

                Not true.

                Without leagues in those countries you would not have a World Cup or international league.

                How national teams are populated is not an indicator of the code’s lack of existence but rather of its depth and/or management.

          • August 6th 2017 @ 12:20pm
            Crosscoder said | August 6th 2017 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

            You don’t get out of your home base much Baz.There’s a big world out there and a lot has been happening ,whilst living in a bubble.

            • August 6th 2017 @ 1:10pm
              Baz said | August 6th 2017 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

              Crosscoder where would they find the players for the World Cup without the Heritage rule?

              • August 6th 2017 @ 1:49pm
                Justin Kearney said | August 6th 2017 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

                Not one of our better days is it matt.

              • August 6th 2017 @ 2:06pm
                Baz said | August 6th 2017 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

                Justin could you please answer me Where would the players come from if the heritage rule was non existent? Please mate just answer this

              • August 6th 2017 @ 2:14pm
                Justin Kearney said | August 6th 2017 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

                Why?

              • August 6th 2017 @ 3:32pm
                Go warriors said | August 6th 2017 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

                Baz

                They would come from the local competitions. You do realise every nation in the world cup has their own domestic comp.

                They have to have a local comp with a minimum number of teams to qualify for the world cup.

                Not that you would believe it but a lot of countries missed out on the qualifying.

              • August 6th 2017 @ 3:42pm
                Crosscoder said | August 6th 2017 @ 3:42pm | ! Report

                They could have a world cup if they so choose ,with players from all the local comps,and get cricket scores racked up.I’m sure the Tv station and fans would love it LOL.

                Tell me Baz or Mat( or whatever name next you dream up),,apart from the obvious Scottish situation do all all the countries involved in the RLWC have local competitions ?Simple question.No multiple choice responses.

                Could you please answer this question,Why is it you are only sighted on International rl threads to agitate, and rarely know facts behind the subject matter?

                I feel terrible at times,arguing with an unarmed opponent .

              • August 6th 2017 @ 4:45pm
                Baz said | August 6th 2017 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

                Its Baz Crosscoder or you can call me Barry if you like. Ive commented on 3 articles questioning the authenticity of International Rugby League and how ridiculous chopping and changing countries is

              • August 6th 2017 @ 5:02pm
                Justin Kearney said | August 6th 2017 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

                And under your other countless ids youve made identical comments probably over 1000 times. Thats how you roll coco.

              • August 6th 2017 @ 8:31pm
                Baz said | August 6th 2017 @ 8:31pm | ! Report

                Why is it Coco Justin? Is that one of my other Ids?

              • August 6th 2017 @ 4:54pm
                Crosscoder said | August 6th 2017 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

                No it’s not you tell porkies again melad.I’m still awaiting you to arrive on general rl threads ,to offer something constructive.
                You have queried International rugby league eligibility for RLWCs,and very Tom Dick and Harry has spelt out the reason for Heritage players ,with in some case a few locals or in some cases the majority local born.
                You choose whether deliberate or being smart (and I tend to believe the latter)to ignore the straight out facts,taht says something.
                You have been advised of the sponsors ,Tv stations ,Govt grants involved in the tournament and you ignore it all.
                You come here for no other reason than to stir.
                If my comment is awaiting moderation, it means anyone else who wants to wreck a thread can do so with impunity.

              • Roar Guru

                August 7th 2017 @ 1:20am
                Sleiman Azizi said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:20am | ! Report

                Without the heritage rule nations would be forced to field only domestic players.

                Heritage representation can only apply if there is an actual governing body – with attendant leagues and clubs and domestic players – for the nation in question.

                The use of heritage players is a question of management, not proof of non-existence of the code.

                Again, thanks for playing Baz.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 10:42am
                clipper said | August 7th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

                Sleiman – there’s no doubt about local competitions around the world – that’s what happens with globalisation, but the answer is they use heritage players so these countries don’t get flogged against the few countries that field a majority of domestic players – like the AFL teams world wide that play in the international cup would get flogged by a professional, or even semi professional Aussie Rules side.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 1:06pm
                Crosscoder said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

                Please!The difference is Clip is very clear and unambiguous., rugby league has pro and semi pro teams in England,France,PNG,NZ and Australia and even Canada.Your mob has but one country here.
                Heritage players were used by ru in the early RWCs and I understand certainly residency rules still apply.
                In fact International games between Europen countries in rl is hardly a rare thing.You can check out their results easily.

                There is nothing wrong with having heritage players involved and in fact more local players are now being involved as the tournament contuse through the years.That’s the reason they are also included ,so they don’t get the floggings and make it competitive.If you believe the passion and effort is not there ,then you have never seen one of the games.
                Else you can argue why have a residency rule in RWC .They strengthen those countries.

                The comparison therefore with rl is nebulous.
                Rugby league has European Sports Commission backing, and early stage Cweal.th Games support.
                The RLWC teams have financial support from the Welsh Govt,the PNG Govt ,the English Govt,the Lebanese Govt,and state govt support here with the exception of NSW(who are involved in the ANZ redevelopment).
                The European teams in the main had to qualify for the tournament with local players not expats .

                Just concluded an Irish v Wales under 16 match over the weekend,It’s happening at grassroots level also.

                Again no comparison,the All Australian team has zero to play against,requiring composite rule changes to get one country so the can play against .And sure as hell no Govt and crowd support when they do have their International Rules games here with the lesser lights.

                Rugby league regardless of who is involved plays with the same ball and the same game rules.

                When AFL is in that situation with International Govts providing financial support ,and sponsors hopping on board ,also crowds, then we are talking turkey.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 1:56pm
                Baz said | August 7th 2017 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

                Clipper AFL and Rugby League have the exact same relevancy Internationally as each other. You cant tell these blokes that are passionate and hope like hell people care about International Rugby League. Atleast AFL dont pretend to be an international sport

              • August 7th 2017 @ 2:20pm
                Crosscoder said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

                The resources are being set aside fro grassroots development from 2018 Clip.Have you not been bothered too check all the media guff, re the RLPA and NRL wanting a slice of the financial action.The NRL wants to allocate $100m more to ensure the grassroots are adequately financed.
                .Of course if you had shown a little objectivity, last weekend,you would have noticed a terrible crowed for a 6pm game at the SCG for the Dragons V souths.That tells you the schedulimngnhas had a big impact on crowds.
                The proof look at nth sunday afternoon crowds.Brookvale just about chockers and Penrith stadium ditto.

                The NRL would nato be pushing into Los Angeles ,San Diego or Disneyland anyway.They are waiting tor the 2025 RLWC set down for Canada and the USA.So don’t worry the NRL will not be putting money into California.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 2:27pm
                Crosscoder said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

                You can tell, clearly Baz feeds off Clipper and vice versa.
                Sort of debating tag team.
                Rugby league has European Govt Support and C’Wealth Games Committee support ,and has pro and semi pro clubs in a about 5 countries.Put simply AFL does not.

                If an Australian TV company and English TV companies see fit to spend money, to show RLWC and the AFL does not have that privilege,no matter how Baz/Mat /the Lone Ranger/Tonto and Clipper like to spin it, it is a chalk and cheese comparison.

                And you can stir, agitate,play the comedy routine as much a you wish, but you arrive here unarmed and not a leg to stand on.The above facts are the reality, and undeniable.

                It just amazes me how anyone can want to expose their ignorance on the matter so publicly, so often.It’s masochism on the keyboard.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 2:36pm
                clipper said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:36pm | ! Report

                Agree Baz – it would be interesting to know the world wide participation figures, I would think they would be pretty close.
                Nothing against being passionate, but being blinded to reality and sidestepping with long winded replies seems to be their game. At least we don’t stoop to insults.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 4:20pm
                Crosscoder said | August 7th 2017 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

                oh clip and Baz your constant echo chamber in desperation mode.
                ..If your mob was so confident about their International game ,they would be staging a world cup, gain sponsorship, crowds,European and Foreign Govt backing, and make a few million dollars in teh process , just like rugby league .

                The fact they can’t or haven’t been game to do so, says it all.

                Where have the traditional tests involving England,France.NZ and Australia been for AFL Waiting………….
                There is zero history between countries .
                “at least we don’t stoop to insults” LOL. Instead you stoop to disrupt and undermine rl International threads simply to pointscore.because of your intense dislike for the code.You have made it plainly obvious from day one.You reap what you sow.

                There would be more people playing rl in PNG,than just about the rest of the world other than Oz for AFL.And in fact I suggest far less expats.

                Talk about making silk out of a pig’s ear.

              • Roar Guru

                August 7th 2017 @ 4:35pm
                Sleiman Azizi said | August 7th 2017 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

                “Sleiman – there’s no doubt about local competitions around the world – that’s what happens with globalisation, but the answer is they use heritage players so these countries…”

                Uhm, no they don’t.

                Local competitions use local players except in the case of Super League and the NRL which are professional leagues and of course attract players from other nations looking for a career in rugby league.

                Heritage players are used in international tournaments so that, yes, the nations don’t get flogged and can therefore attract some decent media and sponsorship interest.

                Nothing surprising there, really.

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