My solution to rejuvenate International Rugby League
Since about the mid 1990ís, I have always struggled to get excited about International Rugby League. I remember as a kid growing up, the old Kangaroo tours were held every 4 years. They were exciting in the sense that we did not get to compare ourselves to the Great Britain side very often. Plus there was all this history and greatness created in the past that gave these tours credibility, like the 1982 Invincibles that we still talk about today.
Even when we played the Kiwis growing up, I found it more exciting. Maybe this is partly due to the fact the Warriors were not in the NRL, so there was a sense of excitement around a few unknown faces in the Kiwis squad.
Given these thoughts, these were my ideas to generate interest back into International Rugby League
World Cup Every 4 Years
At the moment we have a World Cup every 4 years. This is fine in my eyes; itís an essential tournament that needs to be played every 4 years, which seems the norm across all sporting codes. It is purely a 3 horse race, but we all accept that and just watch it all unfold. Itís important to keep giving the developing nations something to aim for every 4 years. Plus there is always that 4th spot in the semi-finals up for grabs.
Hosting teams every 4 years
The year after a World Cup, Australia could play NZ in a 3 Test series (at home).† Then host Great Britain for their tour of Australia (with 3 Tests and 2 Warm up games against the two teams that played the most recent NRL Grand Final).
4 Nations every 4 Years
The Second year after a World Cup could be a 4 Nations tournament. But I would like to see a combined Pacific Nations team for this tournament made up of players from Tonga, Samoa and Fiji. This would give them a genuine shot at competing in this series, and be entertaining for the fans. If Rugby Union can have the British and Irish Lions then I donít see why we canít do a combined Pacific Nations side.
Tour every 4 Years
The Third year after a World Cup, Australia could play a reverse 3 Test series against NZ (away) then do a Kangaroo tour of Great Britain (3 tests with 2 warm up games against the club sides that played in the ESL Grand Final).
As for NZ v England series, I think outside of World Cups and 4 Nations, I canít see much point, since the history is not as strong and the interest generated not as high. But we can leave that up to them to decide.
My two strongest points are the return of Kangaroo Tours, and a combined Pacific Nations team for the 4 Nations.
What are your thoughts or solutions?