Hope for the future

I thought the English players in the recent Four Nations looked  very tired. The RFL should look to ways to reduce their workload and a reduced number of matches in SL is an obvious option. The clubs would complain about reduced turnstile receipts with some justification but in reality, scarcity adds value and this should improve revenues in the medium/long term in addition to providing more the intense, competitive matches the players need.

Fewer imports are another obvious modification we could easily introduce especially in crucial positions e.g. half back. To be fair though the RFL have addressed this issue

A squad system as used in cricket/RU and cricket is another possible alternative where selected players are on central contracts but the number of club matches they can play is severely limited. Kevin Pietersen is an extreme example of a centrally contracted cricket player who doesn't seem to play club cricket anymore. Nice work if you can get it

The introduction of central contracts would involve the RFL giving International RL a higher priority than than club matches which has never happened before. I still think international competitions should take place in June/July when everybody is fresh

In the past, touring teams always had the advantage when weekend and mid-week teams both played matches and players could gain match practise, develop form and play their was in or out of the team. It's sad but times have changed and mid-week matches are no longer feasible because international matches are played out of season and there is no-one else to play. It is the same for all teams though      

Let's point to some tour success stories. Luke Robinson enhanced his reputation and made his big sacrifice ( cancelling his wedding) worthwhile. Ben Westwood, Michael Shenton and Tony Clubb enhanced their reputations. It was nice to see Tony Clubb (from Gravesend) and Darrell Griffin (from Oxford) included and they prove we are increasing our player pool. This a good thing and must continue   

There is hope. We had significant injury problems and the presence of key players e.g. Morley, Eastmond, McGuire, Peacock etc might have made a big difference. Our players didn't perform to their usual standard and continually made uncharacteristic, unforced errors. This is particularly frustrating but remember we beat NZ convincingly three years ago and again last year and while we lack confidence things can quickly change. NZ have proved have proved how easy it is to gain a winning habit
We must use neutral referees in all international matches. The controversy caused by Mr Archer's decisions in the Australia v England match damaged the credibility of the sport. The RLIF in conjunction with SL/NRL urgently need to identify and develop more referees from places such as France, NZ, PNG, Wales etc

A new governing body should be in place in Australia soon. Let's hope they can be more professional, more altruistic and more far sighted by taking decisions for the good of the sport rather than for  parochial reasons


  1. the international federation is a joke they always do what australia want there should be a clear out and new people be appointed with no ties


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