Discussion in 'International' started by deluded pom?, Aug 20, 2020.
I had a Scottish grandad, I’m not running around in a skirt, not in public anyway.
I won't argue that England are not playing anywhere near the amount of matches that they should, but when compared to Wales they generally play more matches than the Dragons and in front of larger crowds.
A mongrel then
Wales will never play in front of decent crowds outside of a WC if players keep jumping ship, especially ones who have played for Wales since U16 and then defect to England.
Then change the rules and cut off their supply of talent, that’s what you’re talking about.
Let me ask you this. If your celebrity crush came to you and said look, I will date you for a few years, but once my career picks up again, we go our separate ways. Would you rather have her for a few years or never at all?
This is basically the question (not even a dilemma in my opinion) all non-tier 1 nations face.
Even if Wales had their strongest side possible, with the likes of Frizell, etc turning out for them, I honestly doubt they would draw significantly larger crowds.
Unfortunately, Wales Rugby League does not have the capabilities, budgets, etc to effectively promote events outside of World Cups regardless of the quality of players in their squad or the opposition.
It's why they have gotten pretty much the same crowds against Italy, Russia and Serbia at home as France, Ireland and Scotland.
Agreed, poor form. This is the sort of crap that makes international league look a joke.
If we had a strong International Board who enforced rules that protect the image of the sport with the support of the individual nations this sort of nonsense wouldn't happen.
A spotty 15 year old isn’t my idea of a celebrity crush. A better analogy would be how would you feel if your childhood sweetheart runs off after nine years together with your best friend.
A usually under strength France, Ireland and Scotland. It’s very much Catch 22 IMO.
A lot of people in Rugby League seem to ignore the adage "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Morgan Knowles has played for Wales since he was 16? And - no offence to Morgan - how have Wales gone that time? Bog average, with or without him. He isn't going to single-handedly sink or swim their hopes and dreams. Tinkering the rules again to force players into playing for nations the fans think they should isn't going to fix their problems.
Real, systematic change about how international RL is conducted and financed is the only way nations like Wales are ever gonna hit the big leagues again.
The most obvious starting point is the RLEF and IRL putting some budget into staging and promoting Qualifiers and top level European Cup games. Decent stadiums, in front of influential media, promote it, sell some tickets, get it broadcast.
It’s not the switching that annoys me the most, it’s the BS comments about being a proud Englishman that pisses me off.
being Welsh, having played both codes in Wales and being heavily involved in Wales Rugby League as an organisation I’d say that location and event are key to crowds in Wales.
Cardiff is a key target area with a few quick wins with regard to drawing attention to a game (which hopefully will be more of a cultural and historical celebration) - games in Wrexham and Llanelli because they have semi-pro teams in small towns isn’t the way forward.
Why is it BS?
Same whatever country you're in.
Hosting your biggest events in backwaters is never going to grow your brand.
I can understand WRL not having the cash to do more, but going forward the IRL and RLEF need to prioritise the presentation of high level tournaments and qualifiers.
I went to the Scotland v Wales 2018 game in Scotland. At a local park in Galashiels, an hour drive out of Edinburgh. Crowd wouldn't have been more than 300.
interestingly I was at the same game, at Gala RUFC (Netherdale) and would’ve said it was a bit healthier than that - say 500-600 in attendance but won’t argue over that.
The crowd was reported as 250-300 from what I can dig up.
BUT I don't want to argue semantics when there's a clear bigger issue whether it's 200 or 500.
We know why Scotland RL chose to host at Gala - because it's cheap. This is where the international organisations should step up.
You would think with a little media and social media promotion, hosting it somewhere more central, at a fan friendly time, that you could get a few thousand fans rather than a few hundred.
There are enough people patriotic enough to go have a look at smaller sports, if it's convenient, even if they aren't die hard fans already.
The crowd for Scotland's 2018 match at Galashiels was 278, whilst when Scotland played France there in 2014, they drew 1,432.
Both matches were played on a Friday, however the SRL actually spent some effort marketing the match in 2014... they were invited back in 2018 and clearly did SFA.
This is just an all too common scenario for Scotland, Wales and Ireland hence why these nations are up against it when it comes to retaining players, especially when they qualify for more than one nation.
Wales should be able to draw between 7K - 10K for their home internationals in my opinion, especially as they have a strong history with Rugby League, have just under 3K active players per year, and arguably have drawn large numbers of locals for World Cups and other major events in the past.
If they played somewhere people are more likely to travel to, like as WelshMagpie, playing in the capital or another major centre, pick an appropriate venue and build a strategy for promoting the match beyond a few posts on their Social Channels could do wonders for home internationals, which in turn would go a long way to helping keep dual eligible players stick around...
There are a lot of lessons the game could take from the Wolfpack experience of the last 3 years.
Unfortunately, we will almost certainly take the wrong ones.
The key one, I think, is the power of good marketing. None of the faults of TWP can take away from the fact that they consistently drew 7000+ fans to watch Rugby League in a city that wasn't Brisbane, Sydney, or Yorkshire.
It doesn't take millions in cash to do this.
A well located venue, a few hundred $ on social media campaigns, some interviews in local media to talk up the game.
Get a couple of food trucks, a local brewery, a DJ or band to the game for a bit of buzz and atmosphere.
Were you equally annoyed when Kiwis JT and Fusitua made comments about being proud Tongans?
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