Connect with us

International Rugby League

Fans fear for international Rugby League after “waste of time” game

Rugby League England France Andy last

Representing your country should be the pinnacle of any professional sport but it’s hard to believe that international rugby league is a priority based on yesterday’s showing.

Make no mistake, Shaun Wane and the England players are certainly bought in. You’ll have to search high and wide for a national team manager or head coach who is more invested and passionate than Shaun Wane, something that is evident in each and every one of his press conferences.

However, one man’s passion cannot sustain a whole international sport and that was evident yesterday with the England and France double-header feeling akin to an amateur game in terms of promotion, production and even attendance.

The attendance figure has been confirmed to be 4,500, a decline of 10,000 from when Avignon hosted an England-France game in 2016 and a decline from over 16,000 back in 2011. Quite simply, International Rugby League is going backwards. At least in the northern hemisphere.

A huge overhaul process and inquiry must be done for how International Rugby League, especially in the northern hemisphere, can be saved from the brink and that’s something that a number of fans on social media have also pointed out.

Quiz: Can you get these 15 questions about Rugby League correct?

1 of 15

At which ground did Australia beat England in the opening game of the 2013 World Cup?

“An injustice” – Former player one of many to slam the state of International Rugby League

England France International Rugby League Toulouse Tom Johnstone

Credit: Imago Images

Serious About Rugby League asked for fan reaction on the game that England did win 40-8 after a shakey start and the most common response was damning.

“Waste of time”, was the response on X by a handful of individual users with suggestions for other formats instead of “pointless” games against France being suggested.

One of those suggestions was for a revival of the War of the Roses, a concept that proved popular when it was in place, however, it hasn’t been played since in over 20 years with the last edition being 2003.

Incredibly, the number of series wins is level on 44 which would make it an obvious concept to recall and play a decider instead of a “waste of time” mid-season international against France.

One fan posted: “Awful game, we need to sort out, some kind of origin series, West Vs East, Lancs V Yorks, anything but that I just watched.”

Former Super League player and current Newcastle Thunder head coach Chris Thorman labelled the game “an injustice” to the players as he called on the sports organisers to show more respect and prioritise International Rugby League.

For others though, it’s a concept that cannot be saved in the northern hemisphere without a “massive mindset change”, something that they believed would not happen.

We’re currently in the midst of a State of Origin series with the Australian’s internal competition being something that prevents mid-season internationals against Australia, however, there is expected to be an Ashes series next year.

The decision to revitalise that concept will prove popular if it can be confirmed and it could kickstart an International Rugby League revival, something that one fan claimed needs to happen if the sport is to grow.

Ultimately, it’s hard to fathom what the answers are right now but games against France on an app that doesn’t work and in front of just 4,500 fans appears to just be a token gesture to appease fans. If International Rugby League is to have a future then it must be done properly, not for the sake of it.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Must See

More in International Rugby League