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Recently there has been calls for the World Club Challenge to be expanded, this is good in theory but with the amount of games currently played in both SL and the NRL as well as the internationals, is there space for it in the Rugby League calendar?
One possible way of expanding the World Club Challenge would be to take the radical step of getting rid of the 4Nations tournament altogether. Fans care so much more about how there club does compared with the National side and this should be capitalised on. Australia are miles ahead of us in the international game and whatever RL does it will always be well behind Union on the international scene!
You would obviously have to keep the World Cup to have some international competition.
On a personal note I would prefer to see Leeds win the World Club Challenge over in Australia than see England beat Australia in the World Cup Final. I think alot of other fans would feel the same about there club! I am patriotic but when it comes to RL, Rhinos always come first!
Having the top four clubs from SL and NRL play against each other would be very appealing and I think the games would be alot more competitive than England v Australia games! Having two groups of four with the top two going through would be a very attractive prospect and would surely attract a lot of interest from the media, fans, players and importantly sponsorship deals! Alternating the competition each year between Australia and England would make it fair for both and certainly appealing to English fans, or possibly have it in a neutral country such as USA or Dubai. Hopefully it could turn into Rugby Leagues equivalent of the Heineken Cup, which is probably the biggest club competition in Rugby Union.
It could look something like this:
Manly Sea Eagles
I believe that there would certainly be one Super League side that would qualify for the semi finals every time. The best four sides in SL would make the NRL playoffs in my opinion. Its just the rest of our league compared to ours that puts NRL ahead in terms of quality!
A slightly different option could be to have the RL four year cycle to look something like this:
Yr 1 - World Cup |
Yr 2 - World Club Challenge
Yr 3 - 4 Nations
Yr 4 - World Club Challenge
As the WCC is every other year the teams playing in it would be the best performing four sides over that two year period. Having the four year cycle this way would ensure that there is always an end of season competition and more regular matches between the best club sides from opposite sides of the world and still internationals to keep fans from clubs not in the WCC interested.
I know this topic has been discussed previously but in the wake of Fridays win I thought I would make some suggestions in a more formal manner!