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Stranger L
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Re: Smith for England : Mon Oct 03, 2022 12:27 pm  
exiled Warrior wrote:
The sad thing is we have been here before (start of SL) with franchises, setup requirements about grounds/academy, gradings, improvement plans etc etc etc.

It worked briefly then (despite the stupid expansion plans of the time - Paris really?) but very quickly got watered down by the clubs with no ambition who couldn't and wouldn't change over a fairly short time frame the plans were watered down/amended and finally abandoned.

I honestly cannot see things being any different this time, the (usual) naysayers will say nay and water down the ideas and we will end up with some kind of hybrid (read lack of ambition) plan that maintains the status quo as much as possible and drifts back to the old ways within a short time.

Mere survival for some clubs seems to be the highest business plan they can conceive.


Ultimately it’ll boil down to brass or lack of it,the clubs can’t survive on the the games they have now do where is the money going to com from if they do go ahead and cut them,though I suspect SL will increase in size,the mid season international is fine but against who?France and who else?

A lot of what’s been trotted out is stuff that’s been tried before yet because IMG say it’s great isn’t an automatic golden pot at the end of the rainbow.
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Re: Smith for England : Mon Oct 03, 2022 1:49 pm  
Stranger wrote:
Ultimately it’ll boil down to brass or lack of it,the clubs can’t survive on the the games they have now do where is the money going to com from if they do go ahead and cut them,though I suspect SL will increase in size,the mid season international is fine but against who?France and who else?

A lot of what’s been trotted out is stuff that’s been tried before yet because IMG say it’s great isn’t an automatic golden pot at the end of the rainbow.


Exactly - money will always be the driving force but clubs need to look outside the box a bit more, most clubs have a significant asset sat idle for most of the year (ground) so need to look at how that can be utilisied more as an example. Just playing games of rugby these days is not enough to survive on (especially for smaller clubs) - most clubs need money putting in, thats why these pie-in-the-sky ideas will fail again. Ultimately it is about entertainment - that is what brings in the fans and sadly there is a lot more available these days than standing on a cold, poorly equipped sports ground paying over inflated prices for a poor product especially for the younger age ranges (what is the average age of RL fans?) who want more immediate entertainment and the cost of living increases are going to really hurt RL I feel.
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Re: Smith for England : Mon Oct 03, 2022 3:27 pm  
exiled Warrior wrote:
Exactly - money will always be the driving force but clubs need to look outside the box a bit more, most clubs have a significant asset sat idle for most of the year (ground) so need to look at how that can be utilisied more as an example. Just playing games of rugby these days is not enough to survive on (especially for smaller clubs) - most clubs need money putting in, thats why these pie-in-the-sky ideas will fail again. Ultimately it is about entertainment - that is what brings in the fans and sadly there is a lot more available these days than standing on a cold, poorly equipped sports ground paying over inflated prices for a poor product especially for the younger age ranges (what is the average age of RL fans?) who want more immediate entertainment and the cost of living increases are going to really hurt RL I feel.


Well to be fair Saints are Leeds are two examples of clubs that do use their stadium all year round. Its why both clubs suffered more than any other clubs during COVID when the stadium was out of bounds to weddings, conferences and parties.

Fortunately for Saints Langtree (I will never call it the TWS) was used as the regional vaccination centre which allowed costs to be covered. Even then we could have charged more but due to the circumstances we ensured that we charged a fair price for the facility.

Post COVID we have held a concert back in June and the stadium is back to normal operational capacity.
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Re: Smith for England : Tue Oct 04, 2022 8:01 am  
Stu M wrote:
Well to be fair Saints are Leeds are two examples of clubs that do use their stadium all year round. Its why both clubs suffered more than any other clubs during COVID when the stadium was out of bounds to weddings, conferences and parties.

Fortunately for Saints Langtree (I will never call it the TWS) was used as the regional vaccination centre which allowed costs to be covered. Even then we could have charged more but due to the circumstances we ensured that we charged a fair price for the facility.

Post COVID we have held a concert back in June and the stadium is back to normal operational capacity.


I thought I would thank you for coming on a Wigan site to tell us that you and Leeds are doing the right thing and that all is back to normal at Saints.
I know it is sarcastic.
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Re: Smith for England : Tue Oct 04, 2022 10:07 am  
This seems to have become the thread for discussing the proposals and future....

As others have said, standards/the bar need to be set high and it’s up to those who want to be involved to bring themselves up to them.

I see a lot of fans of some clubs deriding mythical “sunlit uplands” etc. but I don’t think anyone is promising that… Surely though the best chance for League to better itself is to have highly professional organisations presenting a highly professional product.

I’m all for licensing with serious criteria to hold one. Just putting money into your first team squad (a constantly short term, easy, sticking plaster venture) is nowhere near enough. It should include running a comprehensive junior/academy setup, community setup, coaching development, you should have access to (ideally own…) a modern top class stadium, good corporate facilities, proper professional training facilities, proof of the funding for all this and business plan for x amount of years. Sponsorship. Bringing a TV deal to the table for overseas clubs wishing to take part…. I could go on.

You have to be ruthless though and be prepared to say maybe less is more. If 12 teams meet the criteria, great. If only 10, or 8, initially well that’s the reality then and what the size of the league will be. I’d rather less games and a shorter competition with better quality and class to them and no filler. If it’s all heartland clubs meeting the criteria, half a dozen French teams, a London team, North American, Timbuktu, whatever. Everyone has a shot, and you make clear expansion is always the aim, but only if you can meet the standard expected.

The governing body and league also need to play their part. Highly professional decision making. Stop the constant tinkering with the rule book. Get the refereeing and disciplinary up to standard. Dropping the Super League name is one I’d definitely look at. Most people in the UK aren’t really aware of RL as a second code, we have to be honest, and then Super League could mean anything as loads of sports adopt that moniker. And though I know sometimes beggars can’t be choosers and there has maybe been a better effort at this in the last few years, think sometimes they have to look at their sponsorship and implications…. I can tell you all for one that here in the South when I have tried to get people to watch a game of League (often pretty big sports fans with a basic knowledge of it and its existence) they see things like sponsored by Tetley, or Eddie Stobart, or mushy peas, or on a different note the people they have commentary, and they have a chuckle and it plays into Northern stereotypes.

I’m sure many would read all that horrified and say I’d be ripping the heart and soul out of the game and smashing all tradition and historic clubs. It’s also a bit doubtful whether people prepared to put in the money at a large number of clubs are there. But the game has to do something and aspire to be more than it is, or it remains a parochial regional also-ran.
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Re: Smith for England : Wed Oct 05, 2022 11:17 am  
Anyway as much as I'd love to talk about our history making 4 in a row even with all the injuries :wink: its now time to devote all my attention to the WC. I have to say that I have no issues in ignoring club rivalries when it comes to the International game. I can't seem to do the same with football and have little or no interest in the International game despite being a big football fan too.

So what do we think about next week? The Samoa team is start studded but given that 8 of them played in the GF, the England game is 13 days later so thats a few days on the ale for the Penrith lads plus the flight, jet lag and mininal field sessions. England being at home in probably wet and cold conditions gives us a big advantage. I think we could pull of a narrow win, all depends on the team he selects of course.

Seems very strange though to be having a warm up game with half of the expected side against Samoa missing. Surely the point of a warm up game is to build combinations etc.

Be interested to hear other peoples thoughts...
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Re: Smith for England : Wed Oct 05, 2022 11:27 am  
Stu M wrote:
Anyway as much as I'd love to talk about our history making 4 in a row even with all the injuries :wink: its now time to devote all my attention to the WC. I have to say that I have no issues in ignoring club rivalries when it comes to the International game. I can't seem to do the same with football and have little or no interest in the International game despite being a big football fan too.

So what do we think about next week? The Samoa team is start studded but given that 8 of them played in the GF, the England game is 13 days later so thats a few days on the ale for the Penrith lads plus the flight, jet lag and mininal field sessions. England being at home in probably wet and cold conditions gives us a big advantage. I think we could pull of a narrow win, all depends on the team he selects of course.

Seems very strange though to be having a warm up game with half of the expected side against Samoa missing. Surely the point of a warm up game is to build combinations etc.

Be interested to hear other peoples thoughts...


Just got my tickets downloaded today for the opening game, going to the France game at Bolton and the semi at Arsenal. Really looking forward to the competition. I can never understand this club 1st mentality, International games should be the pinnacle of our sport. I'm lucky enough to have seen GB beat the Aussies in an Ashes series, I just hope my children and grandkids get to experience that.
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Re: Smith for England : Wed Oct 05, 2022 11:27 am  
I’m optimistic for the World Cup. Whatever happens with England, I’m looking forward to it and can’t wait to get up to Newcastle for that first game. What I do hope is everyone doesn’t throw their toys out the pram if we lose that first game. We can still get past Tonga in a quarter IMO and take Samoa on again in the semi. It would be nice to start with the win but it’s not the be all and end all.

As for this warm up fixture, I can understand it not being full strength. I look at who isn’t playing and Bateman/Knowles are banned and I get the feeling Sam Tomkins isn’t at 100% going in to this tournament. I doubt Oledzki is 100% either, given he battled through the play offs. That leaves Makinson and Lees, who both also had niggles at the back end of the season. A little rest will freshen them all up hopefully.
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Re: Smith for England : Wed Oct 05, 2022 12:09 pm  
I also think we can win the first game,would set it up great if we did.

We all should put local rivalries aside and shout for England be it your Welsby,Batty,Wlliams etc.
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Re: Smith for England : Wed Oct 05, 2022 12:11 pm  
NickyKiss wrote:
I’m optimistic for the World Cup. Whatever happens with England, I’m looking forward to it and can’t wait to get up to Newcastle for that first game. What I do hope is everyone doesn’t throw their toys out the pram if we lose that first game. We can still get past Tonga in a quarter IMO and take Samoa on again in the semi. It would be nice to start with the win but it’s not the be all and end all.

As for this warm up fixture, I can understand it not being full strength. I look at who isn’t playing and Bateman/Knowles are banned and I get the feeling Sam Tomkins isn’t at 100% going in to this tournament. I doubt Oledzki is 100% either, given he battled through the play offs. That leaves Makinson and Lees, who both also had niggles at the back end of the season. A little rest will freshen them all up hopefully.


I'm looking forward to the competition as a whole but concerned about how England will match up. The real fear is it ends up being humiliating and a real reality check about the difference in standard between the hemispheres. Frankly if someone offered a semi-final exit with competitive games I'd take it and run just now.

England look to be in a transitional phase just now - in 2017 we had Graham, S Burgess, O'Loughlin, Roby, Widdop, Mcgillvary etc who have all now gone. We're obviously missing some big names in Walmsley, Newman, Hodgson with Lomax being the big one. Our playmaker options are either untested/unproven at this level (Sneyd, Ackers, Welsby), out of form (Williams), or carrying an injury (Tomkins). We also have a number of players who clearly have been picked for their experience which I can understand to a degree but there's no denying that most of them are past their best (Hall, Mcilorum, Cooper, Hill).

There are reasons to be hopeful - we do still have the potential of a very good forward pack particularly with Tom Burgess, Luke Thompson, Elliot Whitehead and Victor Radley. We have some exciting players out wide with Makinson, Farnworth and Young (although I worry it might be a bit soon for the latter - would have gone for Joe Burgess personally). Shaun Wane will no doubt prepare them very well and they'll be fired up. But looking at the other squads on paper it looks ominous.
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