Recent matches have seen good victories for Wales, Scotland and the newly formed England Knights against Ireland and France before very small crowds in low key events with little publicity.
The French showed us how it should be done with a 17000 crowd to watch the France v England game in Avignon which was very competitive. Although they look good on paper, France are weak in some positions and lack competition for places but they are definitely moving forward. If only Toulouse were in SL and could contribute another dozen players of international standard then matches involving France could be very, very interesting.
There was a good turnout for the Australia v NZ game in Newcastle in Darren Lockyear's last game on Australian soil and USA have qualified for the 2013 RL World Cup with victories against SA and Jamaica. Either Lebanon or Italy will fill the remaining place after their winner takes all decider in Belgrade next weekend. It's a pity that room could not be found for both plus Jamaica because sixteen would be the optimum number for a World Cup which is becoming more and more important by the day.
RU bound Joel and Sam Tomkins like Chris Ashton before them cannot be blamed for being attracted by money and glamour. The challenge for our administrators is to provide playing opportunities which provide enough money and glamour. With great respect to the people of Leigh who are RL supporters to the bone and have a nice, new stadium but Leigh is not the centre of the universe and doesn't even have a railway station. Surely we can find a more prestigious place to hold an important England v Wales match to be shown live on the BBC.
We need to think bigger and sell ourselves to the world because these Mickey Mouse international have gone on for long enough.