JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Discord: League's lofty ambitions require more thought

DISCORD

Worthhis weight in gold: Scotland's Danny Brough.

Worthhis weight in gold: Scotland's Danny Brough. Photo: Getty Images

The London Broncos will be competing in Super League next year after agreeing to a ground sharing arrangement at Barnet - but what sort of side will they field? And can the NRL's reported Wembley ambitions finally breath life into rugby league in the capital after 30 years of hand-to-mouth toil?

Some Broncos sides over the years have grossly underachieved after shipping in big names from Australia and New Zealand so we can only hope the opposite is true and a team of young locals can outstrip everyone's - admittedly very low - expectations in 2014.

Which brings us to colleague Brad Walter's recent story about the NRL planning an Origin game at Wembley.

To suggest 74,000 people attended the World Cup final looking for "NRL-style rugby league" would be more than a little egotistical on the part of the commission. They went looking for ... a World Cup final. And most of them bought their tickets when England was still a chance of being there.

The expression is "build it and they will come" not "throw it out there and they will come".

Even the mighty NFL had to saturate television in the UK for years before moving games to Wembley. To think a sport that struggles to get 2000 people to The Stoop every second week can suddenly attract 92,000 for a game between two Australian states is nothing short of extreme Antipodean hubris.

That is not to say we should abandon the idea altogether.

The beauty of it, in fact, is that the NRL now has an incentive to help the British game, and London in particular. If it truly believes it can make money out of the biggest city in the world where our sport has a professional club, then it should get on board and help that club.

This could take the form of scholarship arrangements for young Australian players, an investment in the club, outright ownership, coaching assistance and pre-season training camps in either hemisphere.

Certainly the NRL will find it hard to capture the imagination of rank-and-file Londoners as something more glamorous than the flat cap-and-whippets northern game they know rugby league to be as long as it remains on obscure Premier Sports.

But we had the answer first: NRL helping London. With the prospect of making some money, we now have the question.

End of an era?

Cheerleaders seem to be going the way of differential penalties and five-minute sin bins, and I know many of my female colleagues won't miss them.

Me, I can't see the harm in them - especially if they're trained dancers with athletic routines that truly do entertain the crowds. But I won't be getting overly upset if they go or stay.

Of all the suggestions as to how we truly measure their popularity, and whether they really are over-sexualised or sexist, here's the best: Let's survey female fans and ask whether they find cheerleaders offensive.

Credit where it's due

Comments time and Robbo had a go at Danny Brough, the Golden Boot nominee. Robbo, we only have two fulltime professional comps in the entire world and he was the best player in one of them. He played for Scotland in the World Cup and showed his class in a badly beaten team against New Zealand.

If you're going to have six nominees for the best player in the world, I think it's fair enough the Super League Man of Steel is one of them.

3 comments so far

  • Steve I believe an NRL Super league double header could draw a decent crowd but not even close to filling Wembley.As the London Broncos will be in North London next season I would aim for White Heart Lane.The clubs I would play are the Warriors v Souths and London v Bradford.
    Souths would bring in the Aussies and poms with the Burgess brothers and the Warriors bring the kiwis.Bradford have a large following and are a `name" but on and off the field are in much the same position as the Broncos and Would give more of a contest than say Wigan.

    Commenter
    paulmac
    Location
    Gold Coast
    Date and time
    December 14, 2013, 10:25AM
    • The NRL should work with the England Super League as a joint venture to help London. Promising players who are discarded from the Under 20s competition would be a good start.Coaching and technical assistance would be a positive step as well. We need to develop the game on a global basis and everyone will benefit. The New Zealand England game showed what a great product we have,we just need to have faith in it.

      Commenter
      Bluesbreaker
      Location
      Curl Curl
      Date and time
      December 14, 2013, 6:48PM
      • Another point of comparison, if there is real thought being given to an NRL-SL doubleheader in London, would be to go back several years. After the big Christchurch earthquake their union team, the Canterbury Crusaders, had to relocate their home games. One game went to Twickenham against one of the South African teams. SBW was in the Crusaders at that stage. So, known big names in union, relocating to the Northern Hemisphere, playing at the major English union stadium, with a big existing pool of spectators. Memory says they got something approaching half full…high 30,000s. I don't like union much, but the game was quite watchable. I don't fancy league's chance of filling an even bigger stadium than Twickenham.

        But I do agree, worth trying in a smaller and modern football stadium. And I also think money could be well spent promoting league in the Pacific Islands…the latter are shamefully neglected by union's leadership, including the NZRU. The league niche there is one that could be widened by clever, limited, spending. (As you've suggested Steve with your writing about Fiji's potential).

        Commenter
        Old John
        Location
        Kerikeri,NZ
        Date and time
        December 15, 2013, 10:37AM

        Make a comment

        You are logged in as [Logout]

        All information entered below may be published.

        Error: Please enter your screen name.

        Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

        Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

        Error: Please enter your comment.

        Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

        Post to

        You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

        Thank you

        Your comment has been submitted for approval.

        Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

        NRL Season 2015

        Round 1
        Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
        BRI 6 vs SOU 36 Report Stats
        Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
        PAR 42 vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
        Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
        NEW 24 vs NZW 14 Report Stats
        GCT 18 vs WST 19 Report Stats
        NQL 4 vs SYD 28 Report Stats
        Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
        PEN 24 vs CBY 18 Report Stats
        CRO 20 vs CBR 24 Report Stats
        Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
        STG 4 vs MEL 12 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 2
        Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
        CBY 32 vs PAR 12 Report Stats
        CRO 2 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
        Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
        PEN 40 vs GCT Report Stats
        MAN 24 vs MEL 22 Stats
        NQL 14 vs NEW 16 Report Stats
        Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
        SOU 34 vs SYD 26 Stats
        CBR 6 vs NZW 18 Report Stats
        Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
        WST 22 vs STG 4 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 3
        Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
        MAN 12 vs CBY 16 Report Stats
        BRI 44 vs NQL 22 Report Stats
        Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
        NZW 29 vs PAR 16 Report Stats
        CBR 20 vs STG 22 Report Stats
        MEL 36 vs CRO 18 Report Stats
        Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
        SOU 20 vs WST 6 Report Stats
        GCT 18 vs NEW 20 Report Stats
        Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
        SYD 20 vs PEN 12 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 4
        Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
        PAR 29 vs SOU 16 Report Stats
        WST 24 vs CBY 25 Report Stats
        Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
        NEW 26 vs PEN 14 Report Stats
        CRO 22 vs GCT 24 Report Stats
        STG 12 vs MAN 4 Report Stats
        Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
        NZW 16 vs BRI 24 Report Stats
        SYD 34 vs CBR 6 Report Stats
        Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
        NQL 18 vs MEL 17 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 5
        Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
        CBY 17 vs SOU 18 Report Stats
        GCT 16 vs BRI 26 Report Stats
        Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
        MAN 16 vs CBR 29 Report Stats
        NEW vs STG 13 Report Stats
        Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
        SYD 12 vs CRO 20 Report Stats
        Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
        PAR 6 vs WST 22 Report Stats
        MEL 30 vs NZW 14 Report Stats
        PEN 10 vs NQL 30 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 6
        Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
        BRI 22 vs SYD 18 Report Stats
        CRO 22 vs NEW 6 Report Stats
        Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
        PAR 16 vs GCT 38 Report Stats
        NZW 32 vs WST 22 Report Stats
        PEN 22 vs MAN 12 Report Stats
        Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
        CBR 10 vs MEL 14 Report Stats
        STG 31 vs CBY 6 Report Stats
        Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
        SOU 12 vs NQL 30 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 7
        Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
        CBY 28 vs MAN 16 Report Stats
        STG 12 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
        Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
        GCT 32 vs PEN 6 Report Stats
        NQL 28 vs NZW 24 Report Stats
        MEL 17 vs SYD 16 Report Stats
        Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
        WST 22 vs CBR 30 Report Stats
        NEW 22 vs PAR 28 Report Stats
        Mon, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
        CRO 18 vs SOU 10 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 8
        Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
        CBY 14 vs WST 38 Stats
        Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
        NZW 28 vs GCT 32 Report Stats
        NEW 24 vs NQL 26 Report Stats
        SYD 12 vs STG 14 Report Stats
        MEL 10 vs MAN 12 Stats
        BRI 28 vs PAR 16 Stats
        Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
        PEN 26 vs CRO 18 Stats
        SOU 22 vs CBR 30 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 9
        Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
        BRI 8 vs PEN 5 Report Stats
        SYD 36 vs WST 4 Stats
        Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
        CBR 56 vs GCT 16 Stats
        CRO 16 vs NZW 20 Stats
        NQL 23 vs CBY 16 Stats
        Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
        MAN 30 vs NEW 10 Stats
        PAR 10 vs MEL 28 Stats
        Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
        SOU 16 vs STG 10 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 10
        Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
        CBY 10 vs SYD 24 Stats
        NQL 31 vs BRI 20 Stats
        Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
        PAR 13 vs NZW 17 Report Stats
        GCT 22 vs CRO 23 Report Stats
        MEL 16 vs SOU 12 Stats
        Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
        STG 32 vs CBR 18 Report Stats
        NEW 22 vs WST 12 Stats
        Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
        MAN 10 vs PEN 11 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 11
        Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
        SOU 14 vs PAR 12 Report Stats
        Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
        WST vs NQL 8 Stats
        Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
        CBR 34 vs CBY 41 Stats
        Mon, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
        NEW 18 vs BRI 31 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 12
        Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
        PEN 20 vs PAR 26 Stats
        Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
        GCT 16 vs SOU 22 Report Stats
        CBR 12 vs BRI 24 Stats
        NQL 18 vs MAN 14 Report Stats
        Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
        NZW 24 vs NEW 20 Stats
        STG 42 vs CRO 6 Stats
        Mon, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
        SYD 24 vs MEL 2 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 13
        Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs MAN 19:35SUN
        WST vs GCT 19:35VAS
        Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
        NEW vs CBR 15:00HS
        SOU vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
        PEN vs MEL 19:30Pepper Stadium
        Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
        CRO vs SYD 16:00Remondis Stadium
        Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
        CBY vs STG 16:00ANZ
        PAR vs NQL 19:00Pirtek Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 14
        Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
        WST vs SOU 19:45ANZ
        Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
        NZW vs SYD 18:00MSS
        Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
        GCT vs CBY 16:00Cbus Super Stadium
        Mon, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
        MEL vs PAR 19:00AAMI
        View All Fixtures
        Round 15
        Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
        MAN vs WST 19:45BO
        Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
        CBR vs NQL 15:00GIO Stadium
        GCT vs NZW 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
        CBY vs PEN 19:30ANZ
        Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
        NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
        MEL vs BRI 16:00AAMI
        Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
        STG vs SYD 19:00AS
        View All Fixtures
        Round 16
        Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs NEW 19:35SUN
        SOU vs MAN 19:35ANZ
        Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
        NZW vs CBR 15:00MSS
        NQL vs CRO 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
        PAR vs STG 19:30Pirtek Stadium
        Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
        SYD vs GCT 14:00AS
        WST vs PEN 16:00VAS
        Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
        CBY vs MEL 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
        View All Fixtures
        Round 17
        Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
        PEN vs SOU 19:45Pepper Stadium
        Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
        STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
        Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
        MAN vs CRO 16:00BO
        Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
        WST vs PAR 19:00ANZ
        View All Fixtures
        Round 18
        Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
        CBR vs NEW 19:45GIO Stadium
        Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
        PEN vs SYD 17:30Pepper Stadium
        CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
        Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
        NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
        CRO vs STG 16:00Remondis Stadium
        Mon, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
        GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus Super Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 19
        Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
        PAR vs CBY 19:35ANZ
        MEL vs PEN 19:35AAMI
        Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
        CBR vs CRO 15:00GIO Stadium
        NEW vs GCT 17:30HS
        STG vs SOU 19:30SCG
        Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
        SYD vs NZW 14:00AS
        BRI vs WST 16:00SUN
        Mon, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
        MAN vs NQL 19:00BO
        View All Fixtures
        Round 20
        Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs GCT 19:35SUN
        WST vs SYD 19:35ANZ
        Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
        NZW vs MAN 15:00MSS
        SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
        MEL vs STG 19:30AAMI
        Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
        PEN vs CBR 14:00Pepper Stadium
        CBY vs CRO 16:00Belmore Sports Ground
        Mon, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
        NQL vs PAR 19:001300 Smiles Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 21
        Thu, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
        NZW vs CRO 22:00MSS
        Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
        NQL vs CBR 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
        STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
        SOU vs PEN 00:00ANZ
        SYD vs CBY 00:00AS
        MAN vs BRI 00:00TBA
        WST vs MEL 00:00VAS
        GCT vs PAR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 22
        Thu, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
        NZW vs STG 22:00MSS
        Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
        NEW vs SYD 00:00HS
        CBR vs WST 00:00GIO Stadium
        MAN vs SOU 00:00BO
        CRO vs NQL 00:00Remondis Stadium
        MEL vs GCT 00:00AAMI
        PAR vs PEN 00:30TIO
        View All Fixtures
        Round 23
        Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs STG 00:00SUN
        CBY vs GCT 00:00TBA
        NQL vs SOU 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
        PEN vs NZW 00:00Pepper Stadium
        CBR vs MAN 00:00GIO Stadium
        SYD vs PAR 00:00AS
        CRO vs MEL 00:00Remondis Stadium
        WST vs NEW 00:00CSS
        View All Fixtures
        Round 24
        Wed, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
        NZW vs NQL 22:00MSS
        Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
        STG vs PEN 00:00WIN
        SOU vs CBY 00:00ANZ
        SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
        MAN vs PAR 00:00BO
        CRO vs WST 00:00Remondis Stadium
        MEL vs NEW 00:00AAMI
        GCT vs CBR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 25
        Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
        PAR vs CRO 00:00Pirtek Stadium
        NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
        SOU vs BRI 00:00AS
        CBR vs PEN 00:00GIO Stadium
        MAN vs SYD 00:00BO
        MEL vs NQL 00:00AAMI
        WST vs NZW 00:00CSS
        GCT vs STG 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        Round 26
        Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
        BRI vs MEL 00:00SUN
        CBY vs NZW 00:00ANZ
        NQL vs GCT 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
        STG vs WST 00:00ANZ
        PAR vs CBR 00:00Pirtek Stadium
        PEN vs NEW 00:00Pepper Stadium
        SYD vs SOU 00:00AS
        CRO vs MAN 00:00Remondis Stadium
        View All Fixtures
        NRL Ladder 2015
        Overall standings
        Team P W L D Pts
        St George-Illawarra Dragons 11 8 3 0 18
        Brisbane Broncos 12 9 3 0 18
        North Queensland Cowboys 12 9 3 0 18
        Melbourne Storm 11 7 4 0 16
        Sydney Roosters 11 6 5 0 14
        South Sydney Rabbitohs 12 7 5 0 14
        Warriors 11 6 5 0 14
        Penrith Panthers 11 5 6 0 12
        View all
         
        Featured advertisers