Pretentious? ....Moi?

I've recently watched Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini giving a TV interview in faltering English and seen England soccer manager Fabio Capello struggling in the same way. It made me thankful for small mercies because at least England RL coach, Steve McNamara is English. The Australians have always appointed Australian RL coaches as have NZ and Welsh coach Iestyn Harris is from Oldham but has consistantly represented Wales. Monsieur Bobbie Goulding is doing a fine job as coach of the French national side but he is from Widnes.

The French are usually very good at preserving and promoting their national culture and identity in the face of fierce attacks from golbal americanisation. Muticuluturism has no place in France where everybody is expected to adapt to the French way of life including learning the language

I'm glad that Adam Mogg and Dane Carlaw didn't play for France. They might have improved the team temporarily but they were obviously Australian although it is very easy to become confused by eligibility criteria in the modern world of  extensive international travel. Everybody is entitled to play for the land of our (their) father (or mother) and if a player settles in a country, gets married to a local and has children then there is nothing to argue about. Surely players can't change countries like they change clubs though

What constitutes a country can also be very ambiguous. West Indies play international cricket and they are a confederation of nations. NI and EIRE play international soccer but Ireland compete in International RL, RU and cricket. Scotland and Wales compete internationally in many sports and have long traditions as independent countries but they have not usually been self governing. Ireland is not a country becasue it is artificially divided into EIRE and NI which are. It is a complex issue but NZ Moari playing in 2000 World Cup was an embarassment to our sport. I've often thought that Tartarstan and Kazahkstan should be encouraged to compete internationaly. I remember big crowds watching a successful student event in Tartarstan in 2002 and it was never followed up

Unfortunately the international sporting agenda is set by premiership soccer where once proud english teams regularly play with few if any englishmen. This causes extensive damage to the prospects of the English national team and I'm sure limits will be introduced. Rugby League has a strict overseas quota but it is ignored e.g. Hull KR currently have ten registered overseas players. The less said about Maurie Fa'asavalu the better

International RL should celebrate national identities. There is no point in competing internationally if all the teams consist of ex-pat Australians and ringers. Matches should be between countries, competitions and styles of play. Regardless of colour of skin, the Welsh should be Welsh, the French should be French and the English should be English

In England, we should be proud of heritage and celebrate our country and identity. This sceptred isle, the birthplace of Nelson, Wellington and Churchill.

Rugby League can help save our way of life !!!!!


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