It's not been confirmed, but it seems certain that the GB Lions Tour to Australia in 2015 will not take place. They haven't been invited!!! It appears that the Australian players don't want to play because they are guaranteed a winter off every four years.
I find this very hard to believe!!!
Which Australian players don't want to represent the Kangaroos in an Ashes series against the Lions?
The RL Ashes is a competition with a long history which has not been contested since 2003. That series was very close, despite the 3-0 scoreline and the overall scoreline is very close too despite recent Australian dominance. On either side of the world, crowds would flock to see the Burgess brothers, Widdop, Graham, Tomkins etc represent thec Lions
There are many thousands of very good RL players in Australia. Why don't they ask for volunteers?
The queue would start in Preston
Let's hope International Federation Chairman, Nigel Wood has some power and influence and is able to pull some strings. The International Federation out ranks the ARL doesn't it? Maybe some form of disciplinary action is appropriate if the ARL won't cooperate with an agreed stategy
RL was formed in 1895 when our ancestors broke away from an arrogant and intransient organisation who only looked after it's own interests and wouldn't compromise on important issues. Maybe it's time to consider another breakaway, this time from the ARL
I've written before on these pages about the possibility of International RL being played without NRL players. Very competitive Australian and NZ teams could be formed from players not contracted to NRL clubs and a uniform set of rules could be used world wide. The Pacific and European Nations are desperate for more games and would love to participate. Crowds would initially be low because the big draw cards would be missing but what other choice have we got? With decent promotion, hopefully interest would grow
After the SL war, I recognise that a breakaway would cause a massive amount of bad feeling and acrimony but the ARL might begin to recognise a pattern caused by their behaviour
On the other hand, they might argue that the NRL and SoO are very successful and that they don't need International RL. The 2013 World Cup was very successful but the Kangaroos won easily and were hardly given a game. Maybe so but it followed from a period where NZ were dominant including the 2008 World Cup win.
I've heard it said that "if only the Lions could beat the Kangaroos a few times, the Australians might show more interest?" Again, maybe so but it's not really a long term strategy and the Lions can't win if they don't play