The RLIF had a meeting in Singapore earlier in the week, revealing some details about what the international calendar might look like moving forward. Of course, the main outcome, that the powers that be have acknowledged the need for a calendar in the first instance, should be considered something of achievement.
We don’t know what that calendar looks like but I can guarantee it’s not what I would have done, not what you would have done and it will satisfy no nerd’s ambitions (“What about Niue?” I read, then looking up that country’s population. It’s 1,600 people by the way and probably won’t exist in a couple of decades thanks to climate change). That’s just the world we live in.
The meeting is coming on the back of
- the reignited debate of how the NRL should deal with it’s obligations to fill a 192 game regular season while three interstate all-star games kill at least twelve, and as many as thirty-six (up to 18% of the product), of the entertainment value of those games,
- the overly complicated qualification system for the 2021 World Cup slowly grinding to a close and how this might be made more efficient, simple and keep costs within reach of cash-strapped newer affiliates
- and trying to figure out what, if anything, is going to happen for the 2025 World Cup. With Moore Sports falling out of the picture, a US/Canada host, if one can be found, is unlikely to be viable but no one has stepped into the breach just yet. With England hosting 2021, odds are that Australia will take 2025 unless there’s a miracle bid from somewhere else. The reality is that while the RLWC should be a cost effective international event for nations to hold, it is not and does not offer a great opportunity for return on investment unless you have something to sell the northern English and east coast Australians. We either need to accept that the World Cup will alternate between Australia and England for the foreseeable future or some innovation will be required in how the World Cup is formatted to make it more attractive to prospective hosts.
is fortuitous in it’s timing but offers no answers to any of the above, which are really quite large and important questions.
Here are the tips for this weekend’s action:
National Rugby League
Intrust Super Cup