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The Roar

Working Class Rugger

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Joined June 2009

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With an extensive injury list and the time.

'Not a hit and run': Schmidt explains short-term deal and why he 'surprised' himself by taking Wallabies job

Well, considering most of them called for Jones to be installed and that turned out to be a total trainwreck you’d hope they’d be self aware enough to keep quiet for the foreseeable. Though I doubt it.

'Not a hit and run': Schmidt explains short-term deal and why he 'surprised' himself by taking Wallabies job

Yep. Look up who’s bankrolling things like Major League Cricket. It’s not overly difficult to figure going off some of the team names.

Talk is cheap: Only real investment can stop Test cricket ending up like rugby league

Given Hansen has committed his future to Ireland his opinion on who should coach the Wallabies really isn’t relevant.

Rugby News: 'Doesn't seem right' - Mack urges RA to avoid Kiwi coach, Clive tells Poms to ditch 'ridiculous' ban

Why do you think they chose Vegas? Three games a year isn’t going to make a real impact on participation in the sport. What it might do is get those interested in betting on it to tune in a bit more.

Reaching a fractured US rugby league market will be difficult - even when the NRL actually targets the right code

You clearly have little to no actual knowledge of the playing landscape in the US when it comes to Rugby. Certainly if you think it’s limited to Ivy League schools. There are over 900 College clubs registered with USARugby. The version of Rugby most Americans are familiar with is Rugby Union. There’s even an professional league, Major League Rugby, broadcast on the very same network as the NRL Vegas event and a professional 7s League in Premier Rugby 7s.

Reaching a fractured US rugby league market will be difficult - even when the NRL actually targets the right code

I’ll remember that while watching Major League Rugby next year.

As the NRL tries to crack the United States, is the AFL a realistic chance to get their share of international broadcast dollars?

Do you know the collective populations of those tiny number of Commonwealth countries?

Saudi sportswashing plus a second IPL season adds up to bad news for cricket as we know it

It’s not nowhere. If that were the case then MLR wouldn’t have lasted more than a year. It’s fairly widely played at the University level and has a reasonable presence in High Schools in many states. But it is small. That being said. It’s light years ahead of AFL and League.

As the NRL tries to crack the United States, is the AFL a realistic chance to get their share of international broadcast dollars?

To answer your question. No neither the NRL or AFL signing a handful of Americans will lead to any real meaningful growth or return. More just good PR spin back in Australia. I say this as there have been Americans playing in European Rugby competitions for decades. And that’s Rugby which is far, far wider spread than either League or AFL combined.

If either want to see any real meaningful returns the answer is both simple in statement but hugely complicated in execution. And that is invest. A lot. Both in terms of dollars and time. Something I don’t think either actually wants or has the stomach for.

I’ll use Major League Rugby as an example. The owners have committed according to an interview to investing the better part of $1b USD of their own money from 2019 through to the 2031 RWC with no guarantee of profitability before that point if then in what is very much a start up league with few certainties. And that’s just MLR. The unquantifiable amounts of collective time and money by ordinary people over decades that built what Rugby infrastructure that does exist makes the proposition a truly daunting one. And that’s what both are up against if they want anything meaningful. But again I doubt that’s the goal. For the NRL it’s about tapping into sports betting. Which I think will be a tougher egg to crack than they assume.

As the NRL tries to crack the United States, is the AFL a realistic chance to get their share of international broadcast dollars?

Japan should be seriously considered for inclusion in TRC. Could be scheduled to run as a single round of 4 games. Could go even further with opening up a 6th qualifier spot for a TRC2 featuring in the 1st edition Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, USA, Chile and Uruguay. Winner earns the spot. But that’s probably a bridge too far.

In terms of crossover between League One and SRP it should definitely be in the form of a Cup competition. All 24 teams. 8 pools of 3 playing home and away for 4 extra games. Go from there.

Japanese rugby is a wolf in sheep’s clothing - Australia and NZ must align their strategy or they'll both be eaten

It 100% will and has in practice. Not League but in the amateur (fourth division down) ranks in French Rugby similar laws have been in place for a few seasons now. Not only does data show a 30% decrease in concussions and 64% decrease in contact to the head. But having seen games involving these laws the overall flow of the game with an increased offloading aspects has changed significantly. I’d expect similar to occur in League after an initial period of adaption.

Rugby league follows union's lead with rule change to combat high tackle safety concerns

This is the explainer vid they seem to be using for the rule change. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rncx7-cn_Yc

Look at the legal tackles. While they are saying ‘armpit’ in the demonstrations in is very much sternum and below. So as you suggest even if they slide up they shouldn’t result in a illegal tackle. As for the NRL opting to keep its head in the sand on the issue. That’s a really dangerous game to be playing as all that is required is for one of the UK suits to succeed. It doesn’t matter which one and then everything changes and a big part of why Rugby and now the RFL are doing this is to mitigate any potential impact it could have. If the NRL is shown not to have even tried then things could get hairy.

Rugby league follows union's lead with rule change to combat high tackle safety concerns

Did you not notice that he has only signed for two seasons. Starting in 2025 and ending in 2026. What is happening in Australia in 2027? Leaving the option open to jump back to Rugby for the home RWC.

Welcome to the NRL, Mark - here's everything you need to know about The Greatest Game of All

Understandable that the RFL has taken this step as like Rugby in the UK they are also staring down a potential class action suit by a raft of former players in relation to CTE related issues. And it’s something the NRL needs to look at doing as well. And before anyone suggests this will lessen the spectacle it’s lowering the line by about 6 inches. Right in the zone of what constituents a good tackle.

Rugby league follows union's lead with rule change to combat high tackle safety concerns

Vegas will 100% get a licence when not if the NBA opts to expand to 32. It’s pretty much a no brainer. The Raiders and Athletics have both relocated or are relocating alongside the Knights in the NHL. So that’s three of the Big 4 leagues in the city. Doubt the city will satisfied with just that.

From there I think a second Canadian franchise might be a good option but there’s plenty of interest and contenders.

In-Season Tournament success paves the way for long-overdue expansion of NBA to magic number

The World League could be the vessel to help include and develop some of the more promising nations if they were able to think even a little bigger and long term.

And it could be achieved without the dreaded promotion/relegation but instead with at first a degree of crossover games between divisions and in the medium term planned expansion of the the divisions.

This would require first a 2nd Div. being established alongside the T1 driven World League. Fiji and Japan would move to the RC. In know Sth America are no longer interested in the APAC structure as it stands but with built in divisional crossover games this would then provide this structure with a more robust purpose and meaning.

The 2nd Div. would feature APAC and a Europe/Africa conference. In both divisions each conference would play home and away over two years and one game against the teams from the other conference in their division for a total of 16 games spread over two years. In addition to this divisional crossover game to the tune of 4 over the 2 year period would also be built in to bring the total number of games to 20 over two years.

So looking at APAC it would feature Samoa, Tonga, Chile, Uruguay, the USA and let’s include Canada. They would play each other twice and then each of the Europe/Africa teams which would be Georgia, Portugal, Spain, Romania, the Netherlands and Namibia. Plus two games against RC nations and two games against 6Ns. Over a two year period. Each division operating under a single unified table for their division.

These would utilise the current windows including the 6Ns and RC with the November window of the 2nd year operating as the Finals/rankings series.

These would also operate more akin to the 7s set up with the Top 8 teams from the 1st Div. going into the Cup finals. While the bottom 4 falling into the Plate finals alongside the Top 4 from the 2nd Div. This would reward the Top 4 2nd Div. teams with at least an additional game against a 1st Div. opponent. Bottom 8 2nd Div. teams would play off for rankings 17-24. With the last placed team playing the winner of a 3rd Div. featuring 4×4 regional based conferences and a mini-tournament featuring the winner/top 2 from each of those to determine a winner.

In the Cup and Plate finals. Winners would progress while losers would then play off for rankings. So in the Cup losers in week one would go into the 5-8 play off series while in the plate first week losers would play off for the 13-16 rankings.

At the end of the two year period each team would play a guaranteed 22-24 games. With a mix of opponents. It would provide the T1 Unions with the big games they crave while allowing for emerging T2 Unions with increased exposure to T! opposition.

All without promotion/relegation between the top 2 divisions. But that wouldn’t mean that it would be closed entirely with the intention being to in the medium to long term to grow out the 1st Division to include the 12 2nd Div. nations while also elevating and expanding upon the 3rd Div. to the point where there are two 24 team divisions and a 3rd 16 team division.

'Completely unfair': World Cup's inconvenient 'shame' called out by coach after latest absurd blowout

Not the same squad that got disqualified. After the fallout a large number of established pros retired. It’s a fairly fresh squad. Playing a near full strength Pumas having played in the RC. With very little prep.
I would have expected the Wallabies to have beaten the Portuguese in a similar fashion. But there would have been a time when they would have beaten them by close to 100.

Who caught Eddie's eye? Swinton, Pietsch star in 'underwhelming' Aus A win over RWC rivals Portugal

What is of real concern for Romania is there junior results have been on the slide for several years to the point that Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands have all surpassed them at the U18s and 20s level with them now battling it out with the likes of Germany, Belgium and Czechia. Even when it goes to 24 (which seems like 2031 is the preferred timeframe) there’s no guarantees they’ll still be in the Top 4 in Europe. Georgia are essentially top dog, Spain and Portugal are the next best and the Netherlands with a large number of young players in the French system are on the rise and should be a much more significant force in Europe in the coming decade.

People are looking at this result for only half of what it is. Did Aus A underperform. Yeah, probably. But the Portuguese are a solid side with a game against the Eagles under their belt and a pretty electric playing style. They were never going to be rolled. And that I see as an exciting prospect. For all the doom and gloom with the game here. Many are missing the developments happening in Europe and South America. I think we’re going to see some really solid performances from the likes of Portugal, Uruguay and Chile. In excess of what many people would expect. Not so long ago both Chile and Uruguay were taking losses to the likes of Argentina XV. Now they are comfortably beating them and instead of running their top squads out against their other South American rivals like Brazil and Paraguay are sending out A(U23s) teams that are pushing those nations top sides.

Who caught Eddie's eye? Swinton, Pietsch star in 'underwhelming' Aus A win over RWC rivals Portugal

Mate, as someone who watches the REC the Top 3 from that competition are comfortably good enough to compete with most nations A sides. To the point given more exposure to them they could easily close the gap in a relative short time frame on them.

Take Spain for example. If you were to rank their current crop of U20s in order with the rest of Europe including the 6Ns you’d have them ranked at 7th. Behind France, Ireland, England, Italy, Wales and Georgia. You can determine this as they won the Junior World Trophy beating Uruguay in the Final who themselves dispatched Scotland in convincing style in the semi. Scotland would be 8th but with a question mark as both the Portuguese and Dutch pushed the Spanish in the qualification stages. Now beyond this, the Spanish Union is opening a number of HP centres and has taken over the RE Super Cup licence with intention of running it as a centralised professional program.

I use Spain as an example because prior to their disqualification in the RWC qualifying process they were the next best side in the REC behind Georgia. Who have beaten Italy and Wales recently. Aus A probably underperformed in this. Sure. And the Wallabies proper squad handle the Portuguese comfortably enough but the gap isn’t as wide of a chasm as it once was.

Who caught Eddie's eye? Swinton, Pietsch star in 'underwhelming' Aus A win over RWC rivals Portugal

You’re being a bit disingenuous to the Portuguese here. This is a side that’s been in camp for a while and has most of it’s squad either playing in France or part of a centralized program throughout the year. It is also a side that pushed Italy all the way just last year. Contrary to the narrative pushed by some the Top 3 in Europe which for the record are Georgia, Portugal and Spain (Romania is only at this RWC because of the actions of one Spanish players and club falsifying documents and the FER taking them at face value) all of which have solid local structures and decent numbers of French based pros to call on. Are actually not as far behind the Tier 1 nations as many may think. Given more exposure to games like this they’d close the gap relatively quickly. Particularly Spain, Portugal and to many surprise the Netherlands. With Georgia having arguably and based of recent senior and junior results already having done so.

Who caught Eddie's eye? Swinton, Pietsch star in 'underwhelming' Aus A win over RWC rivals Portugal

There’s a middle ground. A hybrid model. Grand finalists from each of Sydney and Brisbane qualify. As does the winner of the ACT comp. That’s 5 clubs. Then a rep squad from Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra designed to capture the best talent not affiliated with those clubs join a rep squad from each of Melbourne and Perth. That’s 10 teams. Playing a single round robin for 9 games plus finals. Total 11 weeks.

Why RA CEO is leaning into 'beating heart' of club rugby in third tier plan as crunch talks loom

What’s probably most impressive so far has been their defensive structure and physicality. In order to beat them you’re going to have to bring your best attacking game. Tomorrow will be an interesting test for them. Canberra showed they have strike power last week to match them and I think it will come down to who stands up most in defence. That said, I do think the Tigers forwards have the advantage and outside of the halves which I think both teams are pretty even I think the Tigers have the edge in the backs.

NRLW Round 3 Preview: Titans and Tigers chase hat-tricks but Eels and Broncos still searching for first win

You weren’t too far off. 10-0 to the Tigers.

NRLW Round 2 Preview: We've kicked off but it's still hard to predict who's going to come out on top

That’s something I’ve given some consideration as well. But more focused on domestic SR A/extended squad games. Primarily because it could be run before the U20s TRC where as entering a team in the NPC in NZ would be after the JWC. How it would work is fairly simple. Games are already played among SR A/extended squads at least in Aus and this would be an expansion of that. The 5 franchises plus the U20s teams. At a minimum a single round robin but ideally home and away for 10 games. Club games are fine but at least in theory this would present a higher standard of play which is what is need.

But probably the best opportunity would be entering them in a SRP A competition that runs alongside SRP. Or at least have them playing in one of the SRP A squads at a minimum. While the most talent would obviously be playing SRP proper.

Is SANZAAR's new under 20 tournament the silver bullet for player development, or a step too late?

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