Boards.ie uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here to find out more x
Post Reply  
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
19-12-2018, 12:18   #1
Beasty
Administrator
 
Beasty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 33,090
What more can RU learn from RL?

Given the elevation of Andy Farrell, and the long history of converts to Union, I wondered if there was a useful discussion to be had about the impact League has had on Union in particular, but also how the two codes can both continue to co-exist and indeed hopefully work for the good of each other

Clearly there was a fundamental change when Union "officially" became professional, and without doubt Union now has a much bigger profile than League (and arguably moreso in Ireland than most other rugby playing nations)

League has suffered but still retains pockets of fervent interest. However the money is surely much better in Union.

Clearly there was a gulf created between the codes when League was established in the 19th century, and arguable there remains a bit of a class distinction between the 2 codes. However there have been some very high profile moves, initially from Union to League, but nowadays much more in the other direction. Although League remains in more "working class" environments, what constitutes "working class" is very different from the heyday of the mining industry, where the hard work in the pits during the week would result in very physical players who would supplement their wages by turning out for the local league club over the weekend

It seems to me that the 2 codes can certainly still co-exist, and League has tried many initiatives to help boost its profile. I guess though there must be questions over whether it can remain a full-time professional sport, unless it can find a way of working alongside Union, and perhaps helping "feed" what has now become a bigger sport

Some unstructured ramblings from me, but hopefully a base for some discussion about where League stands in the current environment, and where it may head in the future (and also to give Tom a bit of assurance that I do try and give the sport a bit of thought on occasion, unlike he who is permanently engrossed in it)
Beasty is offline  
Advertisement
19-12-2018, 12:53   #2
Tom Mann Centuria
Forty - Twenty
 
Tom Mann Centuria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 5,493
Thanks for your post, you think your post was rambling. Stand by.

League is a (predominatly Northern) working class game in England, where as Union is still, on the whole, a middle class game, and while this has changed a bit in recent years, it's still the case (imo). So people in Leeds for example would have the football team as number one, and their second team would be the Rhinos, or people who support Man United might follow Wigan or Salford in League.

Ireland has a different relationship with Union these days, though it appears the players still come from a middle class/private education background, its fan base is much more diverse, and all walks of life profess to enjoy watching Union. Their second team would more likely be their local GAA club or an English Soccer team.

At school kids aren't getting taught League, they are learning Irish sport, and Union and Soccer. Tag rugby is League in all but name mind you, and if the link between the game kids/casual teams play and our wonderful sport could be made, then maybe we'd get somewhere.

Having rampantly successful teams helps, and the Irish, like everyone else love a good bandwagon. Ladies Union team here was everywhere for a few weeks (when they won the six nations, now, not so much) and Hockey was everywhere after the ladies made waves. The world cup before last had a couple of decent Irish results and it did make a tiny blip on the news.

Affiliating a league team with a Union team would seem like a good idea, but even in England when the London Broncos became the Harlequins Rugby League, there was very little transference in support (though the whole class thing is worse in the leafy London suburbs). Maybe it would be different, but I suspect there would be a great deal of resistance from Union here. I remember someone a few years back in a thread a bit like this suggesting affiliation with GAA clubs, footballers playing the game as training/off season etc. but again, I imagine the resistance to affiliation would be as bad or probably considerably worse.

Couple of big names from soccer in the UK have recently become vocal about Rugby League in England, and also its coverage in the South. Tony Adams lined up to be president of RFL and Stuart Pearce has rightly called out the London media. So when the game struggles in it's homeland, it is sadly no surprise to see it struggle here.

If they could maintain a decent structured competition here it would help the grassroots because there are teams and players wanting to play but structures and competitions appear erratic (only observing from the outside). I think the well meaning and passionate people running things just don't get the time/support to improve League here. A massive boost to the game here would be if the national team became more about lads born and raised here, than English and Aussies who have Irish great grandparents.

It would be an interesting experiment to see if a team in Ireland could survive in the English League, like a few French teams and a Canadian team have (though the latter has been bankrolled ++++ they get very good crowds).

One thing that is disappointing is the number of Irish who've returned home from Australia and more specifically Sydney and its suburbs they were never drawn in to Rugby League. It is such an easy game to follow, much simpler than Union, but I wonder if a lot of casual Union fans are just happy with the spectacle of it all and the complexity passes them by.



There, think I have out rambled you Beasty.
Tom Mann Centuria is offline  
(4) thanks from:
19-12-2018, 12:58   #3
Beasty
Administrator
 
Beasty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 33,090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Mann Centuria View Post

There, think I have out rambled you Beasty.
Challenge accepted - may be a while before I get back.....
Beasty is offline  
19-12-2018, 13:02   #4
Tom Mann Centuria
Forty - Twenty
 
Tom Mann Centuria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 5,493
Oh and I don't think Union in Ireland can learn anything from League, It is a different story in Australia where the wheels have well and truly fallen off for Union, but then League and AFL were always the bigger sports there anyway.
Tom Mann Centuria is offline  
(2) thanks from:
19-12-2018, 13:07   #5
banie01
Registered User
 
banie01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,793
The view of Union as a "middle class" or D4 game is very much a UK and a Dublin/Leinster conceit IMO.
In Limerick its just another game, granted there is a preponderance of clubs in Limerick and the rivalry amogst senior clubs for players is still very tribal.

The rugby League WC 2013 game in Limerick, was an interesting but sadly unappreciated event. If memory serves attendance was only @5k.
There is an antipathy towards league that is quite interesting, especially given the amount of League tactics and techniques crossing over to union.

The path I've seen players take in those who've gone Union to League is a strange reversal of what was common in the amatuer era.
I know a couple of guys who have gone through the academy system, never quite made it to being Union pros here and after embarking on the journeyman path around Europes lower tier and Semi Pro clubs, have turned to league.
banie01 is offline  
Advertisement
19-12-2018, 13:20   #6
Beasty
Administrator
 
Beasty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 33,090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Mann Centuria View Post
League is a (predominatly Northern) working class game in England, where as Union is still, on the whole, a middle class game, and while this has changed a bit in recent years, it's still the case (imo). So people in Leeds for example would have the football team as number one, and their second team would be the Rhinos, or people who support Man United might follow Wigan or Salford in League.
I lived within a kilometer of Headingley for 3 years back in the 80s. I would go to the odd RL match, and certainly cricket. Headingley RU were just as close, but I never went to anything there

Interestingly Yorkshire Carnegie RU are now playing out of Headingley Rugby League stadium, but that is being massively redeveloped along with the adjacent cricket ground

The AJ Bell ground hosts Salford RL and Sale Sharks RU, so there is a lot more joined up thinking nowadays

Of course, my football allegience is very much Old Trafford focussed!
Beasty is offline  
Thanks from:
02-02-2019, 10:30   #7
Pauliedragon
Registered User
 
Pauliedragon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 627
I won't pretend to know the intricate details of either sport. I was obviously watching rugby growing up without being a massive fan. Soccer was king my a mile when I was a kid and it's still my no.1 sport. I got into league whilst living in Oz. I'd much rather go to an NRL match than a super rugby game. One thing I always found interesting is that at one stage or another all the Aussie super rugby teams had a defence coach with a league backround and even our own Andy Farrell has a league backround. What's the thinking behind hiring league defence coaches in union?
Pauliedragon is offline  
02-02-2019, 10:40   #8
uptherebels
Registered User
 
uptherebels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 834
Send a message via AIM to uptherebels
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pauliedragon View Post
I won't pretend to know the intricate details of either sport. I was obviously watching rugby growing up without being a massive fan. Soccer was king my a mile when I was a kid and it's still my no.1 sport. I got into league whilst living in Oz. I'd much rather go to an NRL match than a super rugby game. One thing I always found interesting is that at one stage or another all the Aussie super rugby teams had a defence coach with a league backround and even our own Andy Farrell has a league backround. What's the thinking behind hiring league defence coaches in union?
Are they being hired because they are good defence coach or hired specifically because they are a league defence coach?
uptherebels is offline  
02-02-2019, 10:51   #9
Tom Mann Centuria
Forty - Twenty
 
Tom Mann Centuria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 5,493
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptherebels View Post
Are they being hired because they are good defence coach or hired specifically because they are a league defence coach?
Shaun Edwards was another League man hired in Union. Historically League defence coaches were better, because defensive lines are vital in league, in fact they're virtually everything. Union has evolved though, and so has coaching meaning the speciality of league is no longer that special.

If you've deciphered that gibberish, you're a better person than me, and I wrote it.
Tom Mann Centuria is offline  
Post Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Remove Text Formatting
Bold
Italic
Underline

Insert Image
Wrap [QUOTE] tags around selected text
 
Decrease Size
Increase Size
Please sign up or log in to join the discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Share Tweet