Nurturing our game

Nurturing our game

Phil Clarke says the World Club Challenge must sell out Wembley before it aims for global domination.

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Comments (10)

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Alan Whitfield says...

A good honest article Phil. You miss the vital thing cost. Lets see a drop in you pay more for the best seats which is a rip off. Level the cost out say £25 across the board as its a bigger game. Then see the crowds pulled in.

Posted 12:24 12th March 2013

Chris Harper says...

I agree with your reservations. At the moment we get between 50,000 and 70,000 people willing to turn out to watch our elite comp every week. Not sure of the championship gates but it's not many. How can we hope to then get ALL of them to travel maybe 150/200 miles to watch a match that will be televised and is it seems of much less interest than their club's games? I think we have to start off with an easier target. We have to create habit with RL supporters. We need almost a 3 line whip for 1 day a year where the whole of RL has a party with a game at it's heart. The magic weekend is along the right lines but it hasn't really captured the imagination of anyone outside of that hard core 50,000 fans. RU have nurtured a different approach. On their "party" days for big games every rugby club in the UK will run trips. So you'll get massive numbers of amateur , semi pro and pro players , their families , friends and supporters all turning up for the day out or the weekend. We've done it for the Challenge Cup Final to an extent but that's in danger of fading. Maybe we can't support two competitions? Do we try to replace the CC with the WCC? We need that showcase where the event is oversubscribed , in a big stadium and just cannot be ignored by the media. The RFL needs to help to not only organise the event but also the clubs , amateur and pro , and to subsidise it to make sure people are there. Whether that's cheaper travel , accommodation , tickets etc or financial incentives that reward those clubs that get x number of their members there. Until we can be certain that we can get significant numbers of people to major games and events we'd be committing suicide if we set up a WCC game , made a big noise about it and ended up with 20 or 30,000 in a 80,000 capacity stadium. Closer to home , what are "Match Facts" all about on the Sky website? Teams in the wrong order , incomplete and a waste of time! Regards

Posted 09:48 10th March 2013

Mark Seabrook says...

I have always thought RL has great potential in the states most Americans think NFL is the greatest, not because it is but because its all they know. When yanks watch a SL or NRL game they are blown away by how tough and fast RL is. Maybe some games in the US but with decent PR. Of course another hurdle is that the few American who know about rugby don't realise RL is not union......

Posted 20:16 9th March 2013

Dujon Vilisoni says...

I have asked everyone around here in NZ as well as good friends in Aussie, and we've come up with the same conclusion - that WCC expansion is stupid! NOBODY cares about an expanded WCC over here, let alone the names of the other Super League teams involved. No one here sees how any Super League side is meant to be competitive in any scale when considering the huge differences in salary cap and squad depth between the two competitions. With us knowing the Super League salary cap is atleast 1/6th the size of the NRL's, all of us here have NO expectation whatsoever that an expanded WCC would even pose any serious thought other than as a warm up match for pre-season

Posted 12:33 9th March 2013

David Lea says...

Before we have any thoughts of expanding the wwc why cant we focus on our games exposure. Premior Sports have announced a 5 year deal with the NRL for all NRL matches (5 live a week) the Anzac test, Grand Final and the State of Origin series, also the championship games and what do we have? 2 games a week Friday which is normally good then Saturday which is normally at let down. Yes we have a magic weekend but that is once a year hardly 5 games every week. i hardly see any advertisement for league on sky yet alone anywhere else so lets sort our game out first before we try expanding.

Posted 16:46 7th March 2013

Richard K says...

Phil, Your article raises more questions than it answers, and I don't see how you can conclude that the WCC would not be good for RL based on the arguments you present. - Just because crowds at the WCC have been falling doesn't necessarily mean people are losing interest; is this more indicative of the general decline of rugby league over the years? - By including more than one team from each country, we might increase interest in this side of the game and draw in larger crowds. - Comparing RL to other sports is ill advised at the best of times; why then have you compared it to RU seven's and stated that this helped general RU - where is the evidence? - You explain that you played in Brisbane in front of 50,000 during the only time a British team has won over there - surely if we play more games against the NRL teams our game will improve and we will turn the tide on this statistic - is that not motivation enough? - I agree that the WCC could be played at Wembley / Old Trafford when in the UK to raise it's profile. A 'magic weekend' style competition might work, where over two/three weekends teams play each other. - I have my own reservations about moving the WCC to countries outside UK and Aus - how are people supposed to afford these trips during difficult financial times? Perhaps this might be an idea for the future, but for now I would think that establishing this competition in Aus and the UK would be sufficient. In truth, these are only a few comments and my conclusion is that whilst the RFL may have not found many workable / successful options to develop this sport they are at least looking into avenues that have merit and should not be dismissed out of hand without relevant empirical evidence to substantiate the arguments.

Posted 15:23 7th March 2013

Martin Aspey says...

I can't see the point in 3rd vs 3rd. There is no motivation for the team or the fans. Why not have Grand Final Winner and Challenge Cup Winner play off against the two Aussie Grand finalists? The winners of the two games play in the final to be crowned World Champion. Motivation for all teams and all fans.

Posted 12:07 7th March 2013

Steve Mellors says...

I like Philip Hill's idea of three games all in one day, at say Wembley. Imagine Wigan V Rabbitohs, Leeds V Melbourne and Warrington V Roosters all in one day. It would be a massive high profile event that could rival the Heineken Cup in prestige and be Rugby League's jewel in the crown, if marketed right. Maybe it could be played in Britain and Oz alternately, although I'd love a trip to Dubai or Boston to watch it.

Posted 11:54 7th March 2013

Philip Hill says...

My thoughts on expanding the world club challenge would be the top three play off like suggested. But all on the same day in the same stadium, this kind of event is perfect for a magic Saturday. It would be encourage supporters to watch other teams and not just there own.

Posted 17:38 6th March 2013

Dom Varley says...

Get a fixture or two played in Dubai. There are plenty of RL fans in the Emirate that would fill the same stadium that the sevens are played at. We get all SL and NRL fixtures out here on the TV but no live games.

Posted 13:31 6th March 2013

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