January 25, 2022

Forget a second-string Australian team at the World Cup – just take them out of the tournament completely

3 min read

BY CURTIS WOODWARD

@woodward_curtis

It is quite simple – if Australia aren’t at the World Cup in England at the end of the year – who cares?

Rugby league as a code may need the National Rugby League in the southern hemisphere but rugby league needs a World Cup in the current climate more than anything.

Wimbledon is in full swing right now in London.

Yet Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys has conceded NRL clubs are worried about releasing their players for the World Cup because players may need to quarantine on return. Their pre-seasons might be a little different.

Really?

This is not a normal world we live in, right now.

It is imperative that the NRL supports the game however it can.

Especially so as officials in Sydney always sprout how multicultural and inclusive the game is.

Imagine not sending your national team to a World Cup?

The fans aren’t stupid – they can see through the bullshit.

One minute Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga is saying that only players eligible for Australia should play State of Origin.

The next, he wants to head-hunt Jarome Luai from Samoa.

This isn’t about the World Cup to them.

It’s about the NRL and the cocoon they blanket themselves with.

Just yesterday, highly-respected NRL.com journalist Brad Walter offered the idea that Australia and the Kiwis should be represented by UK-based players. Forget that. You’re either in or your not. The majority of Aussie fans understand the importance of the world game better than administrators in their ivory towers in Sydney. They would rather see nations that just missed qualification get a promotion than second-string Kangaroos or NZ teams.

Walter then confirmed via Twitter that “New Zealand has signed the World Cup participation agreement for their teams on the proviso that a solution can be found to COVID related travel and quarantine issues.”

Good on on our brothers and sisters across the ditch.

Some fine words came from Welsh head coach John Kear.

‘If Kangaroos and Kiwis don’t want to be there then stuff them’: World Cup doesn’t need blow arse NRL or their players

“I would invite them and if they don’t come.. I would go ahead anyway,” Kear told BBC.

“If the FIFA World Cup went ahead and Brazil chose not to participate that’s Brazil’s problem; it’s not the rest of the world’s problem. The top echelon of the game should be international football and we need buy-in from all the nations that it is a priority.”

Bye, bye Australia.

The fact is, all of rugby league needs this World Cup to go ahead and the NRL needs to understand this.

Almost everyone in “club land” right now has nothing nice to say about the NRL or their recent decisions.

Getting behind the sport at the World Cup might help them ever so slightly.

But if Australia doesn’t show up – screw them.

Your writer will bet that a World Cup in England at the end of the season will get just as much support from Aussies whether the Kangaroos are there or not.

They might actually enjoy watching something that isn’t the constant cluster of crap being forced down their throats as we speak.

@woodward_curtis

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