High Profile brands like the British Lions and the Kangaroos

I notice that the All Blacks are due to play an RU game at Soldiers Field, Chicago against the USA in November. I have no doubt that a big crowd will attend and that the All Blacks will clock up a big score. I also have no doubt that the event will be a huge success.

Soldiers Field is famous as, amongst other things, being the venue for the long count fight between Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney in 1927. It's hallowed turf

Dempsey v Tunney 1927

In the 1970s and 1980s, it could be argued that the British Lions (RL version who existed long before RU and were much more successful) and the Kangaroos had a similar international profile to the All Blacks. Since then, the NZ RU have continually worked hard to promote the All Blacks and turned them into the internationally recognisable brand they are.

Meanwhile, the ARL have neglected the Kangaroos and concentrated on SoO. The Kangaroos, who used to be acknowledged as the best rugby team of either code, hardly ever get to play these days and when they do fixtures are usually arranged on an ad hoc basis with little notice.

They British Lions won a home series 3-0 against the Kiwis in 2007 but haven't played a match since then. In their wisdom, the RFL replaced the British Lions with England but to be fair, the RFL would like to send a British Lions team down under in 2015. They are still waiting to be invited but don't hold your breath!

It's such a shame. The British Lions and the Kangaroos could and should be high profile brands on a par with The All Blacks but the ARL seem to have other priorities. I don't really understand why because RL in both hemispheres was built on hard fought Ashes series with a history covering almost a century. The last Ashes series in 2003 was very close despite the 3-0 series result and future series could be very competitive with Graham, Burgess, Tomkins etc representing the Lions. Thousands of supporters would accompany them and we could stage a series of the sort of high profile events RL is crying out for. Over to you ARL


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