So, our national side was defeated yet again and it's time for English RL's annual self appraisal.
We're depressed and down hearted and some of us might be thinking, is this really more trouble than it's worth?
In 1817, while living in Venice Lord Byron wrote a famous poem called "So, We'll Go No More a-Roving" expressing doubts about his hedonistic lifestyle
Maybe we should stay at home too and concentrate on club competitions. We could quit international RL and allow our friends down under to continue to develop their NRL code of football with two referees and no corner flags. We could continue to proclaim how good SL is every year and forget about beating the Aussies.
Absolutely not. Like Lord Byron, we must go a-roving. He carried on and died seven years later
We must continue to participate and develop International RL or the sport will wither and die.
I was alarmed at the lack of coverage given to the Four Nations in the UK. I realise that the world is changing and newspapers are much less important than the internet and iPhone apps and it's a good job because in the papers I read there was next to nothing. The media presence of RL in the UK is very low and is decreasing rapidly. We need to urgently reverse this trend and the easiest and most obvious way to do this is by promoting international competition. As George Osborne (an MP for a northern constituency) keeps saying, there is no alternative.
I thought PNG were uncompetitive and Wales will be the same next year but we must persevere in both cases. Look at the way cricket develops new nations such as Zimbabwe and Bangladesh by giving them high level international competition. In the same way the International RU authorities have persevered with the Italians and we must do the same to encourage these minor nations to improve.
I would like to see a subsidiary competition underneath the Four Nations where lower ranked teams e.g. Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Wales, France, Ireland, Scotland etc compete against each other.