The Roar
The Roar

Sleiman Azizi

Roar Guru

Joined July 2012









For years now, the code in the UK has struggled to gain any real attention from outside its heartlands.

Provincial fears seem to dominate and despite some interesting attempts at innovation, there is always the feeling of playing catch up with modernity.

Well, since their inception in 2017, the Toronto Wolfpack have shown a genuine talent for attracting attention.

Clubs – and the league – ought to take note. The Wolfpack are a very clear lesson that engagement with the modern world is not only possible but necessary.

Sonny Bill Williams is Canada bound

Because that is his market value.

Toronto aren’t targeting a local suburb with his signature. This is an attempt to go global, and on many different levels. In the three years Toronto have been in operation, they have shown up every single existing club over in the Super League when it comes to how to engage with the modern world.

Judging his value by the old measures won’t cut it.

Has Sonny Bill signed with the Wolfpack?

Toronto Wolfpack are showing Super League clubs how you engage with modernity.

Well done to them. And good luck SBW.

Has Sonny Bill signed with the Wolfpack?

Many kept expecting Tonga to run out of gas at the 20min or 60min mark.

Historically, that’s what has happened when Australia has played amateurs or inexperienced professionals, respectively.

Gould went along with that storyline too during his pre-match review, going on about Australia having too much smarts and so on. Pfft.

Having said that, I thought Haas and Frizell were huge for Australia but Tonga ramped it up and the Kangaroos just couldn’t keep up.

Tonga too good for Kangaroos in massive boilover

It’s only boilover if you think that professional players can’t defeat other professional players of similar calibre.

Australia have always been brilliant against amateurs, semi-professionals and irregular professional matches. Once England fell behind in professionalism, Australia skipped away and dominated. Good play to them too.

However, once the Warriors were admitted into the ARL, New Zealand were finally afforded an opportunity for its players to regularly play in the top competition. The result since 1995 has been Australia NOT winning all of the international competitions on offer. New Zealand even eventually became world number one for a while.

England have finally come out of the doldrums and have been incredibly competitive against Australia and New Zealand. Tonga’s eligible professional players have finally had a chance to play regular Test matches, fine tuning their performances.

As long as eligible player have a chance to play regular Test matches at the professional level, you will have matches like yesterday’s or games close to it.

Well done Tonga and well done to the Australian players who took pay cuts to ensure that the recent matches could be played.

Tonga too good for Kangaroos in massive boilover

Another timely and well written article.

I hope others don’t share my view as I would like to see the sport realise the potential it has but… I’ve given up on league in Australia and will probably give up on it in the UK too if the provincial types get their way.

Rugby league is ill-equipped to capitalise on new opportunities


– Rugby league players can’t play for as many as they like.
– Like every other sport, athletes can only play for who they are eligible.
– League’s only difference is that the period between changes is much shorter.
– It’s shorter because no effort was made for ‘123 years’ to support internationals.
– Actually, ALL of the international effort has been in the last 10 years.

Thanks for playing.

Jamaica qualify for Rugby League World Cup

If Toronto, London, Belgrade, Sydney, Auckland, Philadelphia etc were all more or less on an even footing in terms of income streams available, would players switch codes?

Why do we kowtow to the NFL every time a player has a dream?

As long as they are eligible, then I’m fine with it.

But it would be nice to see those that actually got the team to the World Cup playing.

Jamaica qualify for Rugby League World Cup

Not sure what you are talking about Crosscoder. Rugby league only exists in Sydney and some road in northern England.

Jamaica qualify for Rugby League World Cup

USA will be up against South Africa and likely Cook Islands? Hard to imagine USA losing to South Africa but the Cook Islands, if they can get their best team on the field, may have their measure.

Jamaica qualify for Rugby League World Cup

Good on Jamaica!

Jamaica qualify for Rugby League World Cup

Unfortunately visa issues in Russia scampered Serbia’s attempts to qualify for the next World Cup. A shame as they are a country really doing the hard work to develop the code further in their country. They’ve even attempting to have one of their top clubs compete in the third tier of the RFL in the same way Toronto did.

Simpler format for 2021 RL World Cup

Getting ahead of the curve – even being aware a curve exists – seems too hard for some people.

Thanks for the read.

Confessions of a dreamer: I voted for Tommy Makinson

That’s a fair call.

Instead of asking "who's Tommy Makinson", first ask "what's the Golden Boot"?

A weak international scene? On the professional level we’ve just had an excellent Test series featuring England and New Zealand. Tonga finally got to play matches this year.

On the amateur and semi-pro level, the France just won the European Cup. Wales and France just qualified for the next World Cup. Scotland bit the bullet and went with domestic players and unearthed a couple of decent semi-pro potential talents. The Americas are competing to qualify for the same World Cup soon. Chile is one of those competing nations who had to go through their own qualifying matches to reach this stage.

The RLIF have been working hard with the limited resources they have to create a credible international scene.

That scene has grown immensely over the last decade. For a number of reasons, the previous decades don’t actually count except in the minds of those who want to think that international league is what it was 50 years ago.

The RLIF may be an incompetent rabble but on their $1.50 an hour budget they have done a huge amount of positive work for the future of the code.

Imagine if Australia and the NRL worked with them… but no, it’s the outside world that is always wrong.

Glebe? Yeah, I remember them.

Instead of asking "who's Tommy Makinson", first ask "what's the Golden Boot"?

As far as I am aware, the award is the property of the RLIF and they can do with it what they like.

Given that their remit is international rugby league, why shouldn’t they change the criteria of the award to reflect that?

Instead of asking "who's Tommy Makinson", first ask "what's the Golden Boot"?

The RLIF should have waited until the end of the third Test – to say nothing of the World Cup qualifying matches by lower-tiered nations coming up.

Instead of asking "who's Tommy Makinson", first ask "what's the Golden Boot"?

If Australia can’t find a way to play more Test per year, then we shouldn’t worry about the award?

The reward is clearly rewarding those who do play. If Australia can’t or won’t play then too bad for them.

Instead of asking "who's Tommy Makinson", first ask "what's the Golden Boot"?

I take disingenuous arguments to heart.

The RLIF have every right to change what they have the rights to.

They aren’t in the business of propping up domestic leagues and tournaments.

My only concern for the award is that the players from lower-tiered nations – who also play Test football – should also get a look in.

Instead of asking "who's Tommy Makinson", first ask "what's the Golden Boot"?

I disagree.

The RLIF’s remit is international rugby league, not domestic leagues or tournaments.

Instead of asking "who's Tommy Makinson", first ask "what's the Golden Boot"?

What’s amazing is that people think that an award for the best Test match player in a calendar year is not worth offering to a player who was one of the best Test match players in that calendar year.

It’s also amazing to think that players who play well in domestic leagues and tournaments should be considered for an international Test match playing prize.

And what do you mean ‘considering the international schedule this year’?

England played in 5 Test matches. New Zealand, 4. PNG played 4, Tonga 2, Australia 2. Hell even Samoa, Fiji, Spain, Russia, Serbia, Wales, Scotland, France, Ireland, etc etc have played matches…

Instead of asking "who's Tommy Makinson", first ask "what's the Golden Boot"?

Don’t expect homework from Fittler.

The last time I saw him host a World Club Series match coverage, he was asked about one of the English teams and his reply was along the lines of “I don’t really know because I don’t watch Super League.”

And he gets paid for that….

For f’s sake, can’t a professional commentator at least spend 15 minutes on wikipedia before a match to get some idea?

Instead of asking "who's Tommy Makinson", first ask "what's the Golden Boot"?

That’s your argument?!?

That he was only a replacement for another winger and then played very well in each of his Test matches this year and so therefore he shouldn’t win the award for the best international player of the calendar year?


Instead of asking "who's Tommy Makinson", first ask "what's the Golden Boot"?

The good yarn indeed….

Having Tommy win the award doesn’t devalue it. What devalues it is Australian myopia towards rugby league played outside of its garden.

Instead of asking "who's Tommy Makinson", first ask "what's the Golden Boot"?