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philcaplan

Friday, 31 December 2010

Let's hope it's a good one


I wish everybody a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Lets hope it's good one

Let's hope we can avoid the repeated missed opportunities that has blighted our game over the years

Thankfully, Crusaders are still with us and still have the opportunity to add to their growing band of supporters and build on the great work carried out in Wales recently.  I'm sure we'd all like to forget the the calamitous Leighton Samuals regime which was awarded a three year SL franchise and embarrassed the RFL and it's vetting procedures. We can all be wise in retropect and it's great to see us not repeating similar mistakes made with Paris St Germain (PSG) and Gateshead.

Paris St Germain, who were  the mother of all missed opportunities, played in the initial SL competition all those years ago and were a great success. They were a high profile, capital city, French club who plaid in front of big crowds and were very competitive using French players despite competing on unequal terms.For RL to be incorporated into the famous PSG network was a dream come true but unfortunately it was all thrown away for trivial reasons. It took more than ten years to organise another comparable French franchise and it was all such a waste. The French RU have since successfully copied the model with southern based players playing for a team in Paris.

We all had such high hopes for RL in Russia and sadly, after twenty years, this seems to have come to nothing. Similar stories could be told about Italy, the former Yugoslavia, SA and USA.

We must prioritise international RL and return to the days when high profile matches were played at high profile stadia and shown live on terrestial TV. Martin Offiiah, Ellery Hanley, Gary Schofield etc became household names in the nineties as a result and we must strive to return to this situation. Possibly Russell Crowe's proposal for playing the World Club Challenge in Las Vegas is a step in the right direction.

I will look foward to the Four Nations Tournament next year and a double header at the Millenium Stadium involving Wales v England and NZ v Australia.

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