The bringing in of 2013 is meant to signal the beginning of a year of Celebration of Rugby League which will culminate in October and November with the next edition of the Rugby League World Cup. Rugby League fans around the world are starting to get excited about the prospect of seeing the worlds best players come out in 14 nations and celebrate the Greatest Game of All.
However 2013 has exploded onto the scene with great news and also some controversial news as well from the UK and it certainly has got the Rugby League forumsphere, blogosphere and twittersphere a buzz with talk and arguing who is the best player in the world (according to Rugby League World Magazine) and to tell you the truth I don’t think this is a bad thing at all.
But first up, Happy new Year to all the readers of Rugby League International Scores. I hope that everyone had a great and safe time and that 2013 brings you all you hopes and dreams.
What is the world coming to. Castleford Tigers had a break in this week where the electrical cabling was stolen and has effected large parts of the ground including the flood lights and also the hospitality boxes, turnstiles and the scoreboard.
However that is not the saddest news of the new year. The spiritual home of Rugby League has shut its doors. IO see some of you looking around and asking yourself the what? The George Hotel in Huddersfield! The place where on the 29th of August in 1895 21 Rugby clubs met and one phoned in via the telephone and decided to break away from the Rugby Football Union and form the Northern Union. These were the beginnings of Rugby League. Within 3 years the sport would loose 2 players on the team, rules would change to make it a more open and exciting form of the two Rugby codes.
The Hotel, built in 1851 next to Huddersfield’s Railway Station was on many occasions the first port of call that travellers would have when they stepped off. Unfortunately in more recent years with competition from chain hotels and also the economy the Hotel was not doing so well and now has shut its doors and is looking at a buyer.
The Rugby League Heritage centre that is in the basement however is independently owned so nothing in there will be effected aside from needing to find a new home. But here is my question, is there no way the RFL or a Rugby League trust could be set up to buy the hotel for Rugby League and run it. Is there a way that it could provide a profit in some why for the sport?
Congratulations Kevin Sinfield.
Rugby League World magazine has names Kevin Sinfield as their Best player, the Golden Boot winner. He joins a long list of very distinguished winners from times gone by, Wally Lewis, Andrew Johns, Billy Slater, Benji Marshal among some of them.
However this has stirred a lot of controversy in Australia about who is truly the best player. Many claiming that Cameron Smith being a more deserving winner. I myself am not going to get into this debate because its a side show to what this is really doing, and its a fine thing it is doing.
It has made aware in Australia with fans and the media there, that there is a World of Rugby League outside of the Sydney, Brisbane and the NRL. This argument that everyone is having is a good thing, its keeping the sport in the spot light and I am hoping it will be one of the steps that will finally start to force thing to become more standardised internationally.
Congratulations to the American Rugby League Youth Association (AYRLA). This is essentially the beginnings of the youth development program in the USARL and has begun with the Rhode Island Rebellion setting this up. Last year I wrote an article on the work the ARLYA has done with troubled youth and they have applied for a $5k grant from the Citgo Fuelling Good program. People could vote online to support and help them possibly win the grant.
Well it has been successful. Today it was announced by the ARLYA that they have succeeded in wining one of the grants. I will try, in the next few weeks, to write something on the plans they have with this money.
The RFL has looked at the recent move by the ARLC to ban the shoulder charge and in a controversial decision decided not to follow suit. They cite that since there has been no official move from the RUGBY LEAGURE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION to ban the shoulder charge they will hold off on any decision till that ruling is made by the RLIF.
I actually applaud this move, this is exactly how the sport should function, not have one nation or competition run off and do their own thing. The ARLC should have petitioned the RLIF, which should have sat down gathered the evidence and made a ruling which then applied to all nations and competitions.
So right now, once again we essentially have different sets of rules in Rugby League depending on which country you live in.
The Brisbane MaG was a lot of fun. A few people came out to chat about the sport, to voice their opinions and to educate. Just as in Brisbane I will be in Sydney next week and I’ll be looking to do another Meet and Greet. At the moment I am thinking it will be next Saturday, the 12th of January, at the Town Hall Hotel in Newtown. Newtown, with its rich Rugby League history and convenience with trains and buses seems like a good spot to do it. However if people suggest somewhere better then we can easily change the venue.
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