Map Sports

Rugby League World Cup - Pacific Nations

The Rugby League World Cup has thrown up several important questions for the administration of the game. What to do with the minnow nations? How to allocate funding to competing nations? Qualifying fixtures for the next World Cup? Next developmental areas for the game? 

The most important question that needs answering is, how does the game grow internationally when the domestic games in some countries carries more precedent than the international game?

For example, the Australian game is now under the commitment of a $1 billion deal that requires X amount of fixtures to be played including the Crown Jewel - State of Origin. With 30 odd weeks committed each year to the NRL it makes it nearly impossible to arrange any decent international football to give all those outside of Origin eligibility, the opportunity to represent. Adding to that is the talk in the market saying the NRL season is too long and drawn out.

One alternative that has presented itself out of the RLWC is the opportunity to further develop the Pacific Nations as a separate viable competition. With Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands and PNG all acquitting themselves well through the tournament, the following would be a possible alternative.

Play 11 rounds of the NRL to gain a mid season leader of the NRL and then pause it for 6 weeks to play the annual State of Origin series. I would introduce a Pacific Cup each year at this time to determine who plays with the kangaroos/kiwis/lions at the end of the season. It would give the Pacific Nations something to play for and give the players a big reason to stay loyal to a Nation for life as opposed to accepting a role with a country because their first option didn't work out.

Once this rep season has completed the, NRL can recommence with only 11 games to go until the finals making it far more interesting in the drive towards the premiership.

Once completed the players can rejoin their representative teams for end of season internationals (four nations etc)