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Thread: How Competitive Would A Celtic Team Be?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Div View Post
    I still identify with Lancashire personally. I was born here and never moved!

    To be honest the "Rodstock War of The Roses" never really took off from my memory and anyone who says otherwise has the rose tinted spectacles on. My abiding memory is that Yorkshire always desperately wanted it whilst the Lancashire team were less enthusiastic
    I can't see any revival being any more successful to be honest.
    I was a huge fan of international RL. I went down under in 1992 to watch an excellent GB side narrowly fail to run the Ashes. Not come any closer since.
    As years gone by become less and less interested the international game. More interested in club football now.
    I understand the attention international sport gets and RU prime example but I just don't feel it's ever going to really take off for our game. Happy to be proved wrong obviously.
    The pricing of the world cup tickets suggests the organisers are out of step with public feeling for me.
    Is a reason Yorkshire wanted it and Lancashire not because Lancashire's supremacy over Yorkshire is pretty solid? Two of the three biggest clubs, Saints and Wigan, both Lancashire with only Leeds being Yorkshire. Bradford historically would be bigger than the other Lancs clubs but Warrington although pretty much being also rans too would be the fourth now.

    I have to agree with you on the international game. Other than GAA (and my interest in Gaelic football would be very very small so I never watch the Gf/Aussie Rules matches and only pay attention to the hurling/shinty composite rules in which Ireland's desire is substantially less than Scotland's) I can't think of any other sports where the international game feels more "bolted on" than rugby league.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Div View Post
    I still identify with Lancashire personally. I was born here and never moved!

    To be honest the "Rodstock War of The Roses" never really took off from my memory and anyone who says otherwise has the rose tinted spectacles on. My abiding memory is that Yorkshire always desperately wanted it whilst the Lancashire team were less enthusiastic
    I can't see any revival being any more successful to be honest.
    I was a huge fan of international RL. I went down under in 1992 to watch an excellent GB side narrowly fail to run the Ashes. Not come any closer since.
    As years gone by become less and less interested the international game. More interested in club football now.
    I understand the attention international sport gets and RU prime example but I just don't feel it's ever going to really take off for our game. Happy to be proved wrong obviously.
    The pricing of the world cup tickets suggests the organisers are out of step with public feeling for me.

    On your final point , I couldn’t believe the prices myself . Even for the final ! I was hoping to attend as many as possible , all England’s games , Tonga and a few others . I’d love to support the comp but simply can’t afford it . I’ll have to put all my money into the final . 2 adult 2 kids that’s my RLWC budget gone .

    I can’t see a big uptake at those prices so hang on for the Black Friday price drop !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Side Of The Moon View Post
    On your final point , I couldn’t believe the prices myself . Even for the final ! I was hoping to attend as many as possible , all England’s games , Tonga and a few others . I’d love to support the comp but simply can’t afford it . I’ll have to put all my money into the final . 2 adult 2 kids that’s my RLWC budget gone .

    I can’t see a big uptake at those prices so hang on for the Black Friday price drop !
    I was surprised at the prices, too. They’re taking a bit of a gamble there. I hope it pays off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Heretic View Post
    Even the last ones, when they brought them back for three years, had respectable attendances.



    Celtic identity wouldn't be forced for people from Celtic countries. "I'm a Celt" is not the first thing you'd say to somebody. Naturally, we'd say "I'm Welsh/Irish/Scottish etc." but to refer to ourselves as Celts is pretty common. Actually, when meeting another Celt from one of the other countries it wouldn't be at all unusual to say "oh a fellow Celt, I'm xyz". Just as an example, I watch a lot of union from France and keep an eye out for and watch a lot of Vannes matches. Why? Because Vannes are Breton and therefore Celtic. So there's a connection. At their matches you see Celtic flags (the flags of the six Celtic nations in one flag). It wouldn't be a forced thing at all to push something because it was Celtic. There would be logistical issues. For example, home grounds would have to be alternated, play one match in Cardiff, next in Edinburgh, next in Dublin etc. otherwise people would perceive it as Welsh/Scottish/Irish if they only played in one location. Obviously we're not going to get tied to such a team in the way we would to our national teams but the point is it wouldn't immediately feel unnatural. You're from about as far away as it's possible to go in England from a Celtic country so it's perfectly reasonable you're not aware of this.

    A good example of why GB doesn't cut it for us is look at the rugby union Lions. They're pretty much exclusively referred to as the Lions, the badge is a shield with the logos of the four countries involved on it and the colour, although it's red is pretty neutral because it's a very different shade of red to the Wales shirt. And everyone, English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh who is a union fan supports them (including me). The rugby league Lions are almost exclusively referred to as GB (so immediately Ireland is excluded), and GB is basically a synonym for England (I know technically it means the main island in this collection of isles but it in common parlance doesn't mean that), the colours are basically England, the badge is very English. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. That's not my point. But it either is England with the odd Celt bolted on, which is its current format, or its something more in-line with the union Lions which it isn't at the moment. Also, if Scotland which is appearing more and more likely goes independent, and the desire for independence is growing in Wales too (this is getting dangerously close to far too political a discussion for a sports forum - and I hold my hand up for being responsible for that but there's no way I can explain what I'm getting at in any other way), where does that leave a GB team? The union Lions continue. The league Lions, what happens? The league Lions can carve out their own identity and don't need to be remotely modelled on the union Lions. In fact, they shouldn't be other than looking at the outline of a blueprint. Another good example is the England cricket team. Personally I would rather watch paint dry than cricket but I do know a lot of people in Wales find the English cricket team obnoxious because technically it is England and Wales but no reference is ever made to that second part. I know plenty of people back home who are ambivalent about England winning at soccer, union or league but who really can't stand to see the cricketers winning for the reason I've outlined.

    That said, it depends on what the desired outcome is. If league is happy enough to continue as pretty much an M62 sport in the NH, and in some ways I could understand the rationale for wanting this because various attempts have been made to get the game going in Wales, Scotland and Ireland, fair enough. Continue with GB as it is. It doesn't inhibit expansion into London and other areas of England. If it wants to make a serious drive for getting traction in Wales, Scotland and Ireland then GB almost certainly needs a makeover. Certainly if it wants to include Ireland it does. Personally I don't think it would take a huge effort. Call it the "Lions", soften the badge and colours and it's done. But I can completely understand people not wanting to do this too.

    In terms of Merseyside/Greater Manchester, I'm in a similar boat to you with the Celtic name. I'm from relatively near both but I'm not from either and given Merseyside and Greater Manchester were formed and Cheshire expanded in the decade I was born, Saints, Wigan, Warrington etc. have never been in Lancashire within my living memory. To me Saints are from Merseyside (I know that's heresy here but I'm a foreigner so what do I know ), Wigan from Greater Manchester and Warrington from Cheshire. That said, I am aware that within league circles all three are very much still part of Lancashire and there is a rivalry still with Yorkshire but I don't know whether that's to do with the age of the league fans I know or not.

    As per the political side of GB, I hope people reading this will accept that I'm using it here to highlight a sporting point rather than trying to trigger people. I have my political viewpoint but I respect others. Out of courtesy, apart from in relation to GB in this context, I won't be drawn on that viewpoint though as politics has a habit of very quickly derailing good conversation.

    In terms of the Celtic thing, it would be interesting to get the views of the other Celts on this forum. I know there's a Scottish guy who is on the podcast (sorry mate, I feel like I should know your name but I don't) and Tallaght Tiger is Irish. Any way of tagging them into the discussion?
    Proud St.Helens man born and raised for over the first two decades of my life, outcast in many cities GB & worldwide after that before settling in this one by accident, so definitely not Irish, though apparently I need to change my passport due to Brexit. I will not be doing that until it is the last option!!
    Your post is thoughtful and well written but there is ambivalence around our game in general so the introduction of another side may just dilute the game even more. I would side with Dos Cervaz and his Exiles point, in theory a Celtic side could be well supported in practice it may be different. In 2000 a very good Irish side played three games in Dublin for that World Cup, I went along mainly to watch Joynty, Tommy and Steve Prescott, the mid week games were poorly attended and some of the South Sea Island made up teams poor but it was live RL and got the chance to watch the likes of Luke Ricketson, I did not pay much attention to the Aussie game then, who partnered Joynty in the SR and put in more tackles than him. The Saturday game was against an Atori Maori side and was competitive and very well attended it was also a great game with Barry Mac and Tweara Nikau( that man has had his troubles since) having a real straightener, sadly the next match was in the UK and impetus was lost.
    We all agree that internationals raise the profile of the game but it is at grass roots where the game is losing its player pool, that needs addressing quickly.
    I posted on here a few years back about the GAA Kids camps business model, that you will be aware of Heretic, it is a must that we set these up now in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Our game needs to be reinforced there and local business can get on board, the benefit to community obvious and an almost organically grown support rather than a forced project.
    Alas the SL is dictating to the RL governing body and the reward for SL mediocracy is a vote on the future development of new teams and U20`s / second string teams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Side Of The Moon View Post
    On your final point , I couldn’t believe the prices myself . Even for the final ! I was hoping to attend as many as possible , all England’s games , Tonga and a few others . I’d love to support the comp but simply can’t afford it . I’ll have to put all my money into the final . 2 adult 2 kids that’s my RLWC budget gone .

    I can’t see a big uptake at those prices so hang on for the Black Friday price drop !
    I feel quite sorry for the WC2021 organisers. I've lost count of the 'Hurry Barry!' emails I've had about the various ticket options that are 'selling fast', to the point where I'm thinking of unsubscribing!
    I want to support the thing, and do intend to get to as many as I reasonably can. I'm just not in the mood to commit to anything right now for obvious reasons.

    I really have my doubts about the Celtic idea. I'm aware of the Celtic nations historic cultural links, but didn't appreciate that being extended into some sort of representative sporting side. The problem I see with this is most RL fans in the UK will feel the same way and simply dismiss it as another gimmick.
    In short, I'd go to watch England play Wales, but probably give England v Celtic as miss.

    I was just messing about with the 'pets' thing, but the same problem applies. Any sporting side needs to be relevant to both sets of fans to generate that 'tribal' following that I feel is necessary. I think that the 'Lancashire' tag has lost that to many younger people. Not sure about Yorkshire. Maybe they still have more of a complete identity? They seem to shout about it more!

    Finally, and this was mentioned earlier, whatever formats are introduced, they need time to become established. Something that the RFL don't do IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KentishBarry View Post
    Without wishing to sound rude, I'm guessing that was when it actually was Lancashire and Yorkshire?
    I know many of you on here don't like the 'Merseyside' thing, but would kids under the age of thirty or so identify with 'Lancashire' or the War of Roses games if they were reintroduced? I'm not convinced that they would.

    I can't really comment on the 'Celtic' tag. It seems too general to me, but what do I know? I'm English, live in Kent and would happily support GB.
    Not rude at all. I left before Merseyside came into existence so I only ever lived in Lancashire and still identify myself with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Side Of The Moon View Post
    On your final point , I couldn’t believe the prices myself . Even for the final ! I was hoping to attend as many as possible , all England’s games , Tonga and a few others . I’d love to support the comp but simply can’t afford it . I’ll have to put all my money into the final . 2 adult 2 kids that’s my RLWC budget gone .

    I can’t see a big uptake at those prices so hang on for the Black Friday price drop !
    They made a huge thing of having a very cheap starter price. The reality is the cheap tickets were awful specs and anything like a decent view for any of the games is very expensive.
    Think my seat at Saints for Australia v Italy is around £60.
    Similar behind the goal for the England opener at Newcastle.
    Made me laugh that they called it a ballot like you had to be drawn to have a chance of a ticket! Like Barry I have had numerous communications reminding me how fast is selling.
    I'm hanging on for the inevitable fire sale.
    Last edited by Div; 6th December 2020 at 16:06.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallaght Tiger View Post
    Proud St.Helens man born and raised for over the first two decades of my life, outcast in many cities GB & worldwide after that before settling in this one by accident, so definitely not Irish, though apparently I need to change my passport due to Brexit. I will not be doing that until it is the last option!!
    Your post is thoughtful and well written but there is ambivalence around our game in general so the introduction of another side may just dilute the game even more. I would side with Dos Cervaz and his Exiles point, in theory a Celtic side could be well supported in practice it may be different. In 2000 a very good Irish side played three games in Dublin for that World Cup, I went along mainly to watch Joynty, Tommy and Steve Prescott, the mid week games were poorly attended and some of the South Sea Island made up teams poor but it was live RL and got the chance to watch the likes of Luke Ricketson, I did not pay much attention to the Aussie game then, who partnered Joynty in the SR and put in more tackles than him. The Saturday game was against an Atori Maori side and was competitive and very well attended it was also a great game with Barry Mac and Tweara Nikau( that man has had his troubles since) having a real straightener, sadly the next match was in the UK and impetus was lost.
    We all agree that internationals raise the profile of the game but it is at grass roots where the game is losing its player pool, that needs addressing quickly.
    I posted on here a few years back about the GAA Kids camps business model, that you will be aware of Heretic, it is a must that we set these up now in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Our game needs to be reinforced there and local business can get on board, the benefit to community obvious and an almost organically grown support rather than a forced project.
    Alas the SL is dictating to the RL governing body and the reward for SL mediocracy is a vote on the future development of new teams and U20`s / second string teams.
    Off topic: I don't know why you'd need to change your passport nor have I heard anything about people having to. The Common Travel Area is remaining as it was formed prior to the EU.

    The GAA has its own problems with the financial doping of Dublin (though as long as it doesn't influence hurling I couldn't really care less) but the Cúl Kids is a great concept and really engages children in playing GAA games. The blitzes do likewise. Rugby league could benefit from looking at both. I agree about it being organic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Div View Post
    They made a huge thing of having a very cheap starter price. The reality is the cheap tickets were awful specs and anything like a decent view for any of the games is very expensive.
    Think my seat at Saints for Australia v Italy is around £60.
    Similar behind the goal for the England opener at Newcastle.
    Made me laugh that they called it a ballot like you had to be drawn to have a chance of a ticket! Like Barry I have had numerous communications reminding me how fast is selling.
    I'm hanging on fire the inevitable fire sale.
    Good to know that there is expected to be a fire sale. I'll hang on then. I've been getting emails left, right and centre too. Out of curiosity, are there bad views at Old Trafford? I was considering getting the cheapest ticket for the final and just going for the experience of going as it's a given that my team won't be in it. It's different paying for a decent seat when you support one of the sides playing like the SL Grand Final.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Div View Post
    They made a huge thing of having a very cheap starter price. The reality is the cheap tickets were awful specs and anything like a decent view for any of the games is very expensive.
    Think my seat at Saints for Australia v Italy is around £60.
    Similar behind the goal for the England opener at Newcastle.
    Made me laugh that they called it a ballot like you had to be drawn to have a chance of a ticket! Like Barry I have had numerous communications reminding me how fast is selling.
    I'm hanging on fire the inevitable fire sale.
    Last edited by Angry Dave; 6th December 2020 at 13:19. Reason: Stupidity

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    It's not an easy task pricing the World Cup. We need to strike the balance between affordability and prestige. I wouldn't want to sell the tournament too cheap because a World Cup should be the pinnacle of any sport.

    The opening match has tickets from £20 for adults, tickets for the St Helens matches start at £15 standing or £25 seating. You can get semi final tickets for £20 and final tickets for £30. There are ticket bundles that offer discounts too.

    This is a World Cup and I can't see that you can go much cheaper than that without giving the impression of an event that is desperate and unimportant.

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    Me and my mate were on about doing the corporate for the Aus - Italy game as he's of Italian decent and I'll possibly take my nephew to the Tonga - PNG game. I quite fancy that to be honest and at least it see's money going back into the club. I doubt I'll bother going to any of the England games, I've no interest in sitting next to Wigan/Warrington/Leeds fans or cheering their players on really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RV12 View Post
    It's not an easy task pricing the World Cup. We need to strike the balance between affordability and prestige. I wouldn't want to sell the tournament too cheap because a World Cup should be the pinnacle of any sport.

    The opening match has tickets from £20 for adults, tickets for the St Helens matches start at £15 standing or £25 seating. You can get semi final tickets for £20 and final tickets for £30. There are ticket bundles that offer discounts too.

    This is a World Cup and I can't see that you can go much cheaper than that without giving the impression of an event that is desperate and unimportant.
    I keep geting emails about tickets but not buying any till I see how things pan out

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    Last edited by Angry Dave; Today at 14:19. Reason: Stupidity

    Wasn't even after the Pubs close.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RV12 View Post
    It's not an easy task pricing the World Cup. We need to strike the balance between affordability and prestige. I wouldn't want to sell the tournament too cheap because a World Cup should be the pinnacle of any sport.

    The opening match has tickets from £20 for adults, tickets for the St Helens matches start at £15 standing or £25 seating. You can get semi final tickets for £20 and final tickets for £30. There are ticket bundles that offer discounts too.

    This is a World Cup and I can't see that you can go much cheaper than that without giving the impression of an event that is desperate and unimportant.
    That's a very good point, we don't want a situation where they're free with every box of cornflakes, but we don't want empty stadiums.

    The final sold out last time with a similar pricing structure, however last time they nailed the pricing by offering cheap group games and creating a bit of interest

    I think the 'ballot' was a good idea, I've got tickets for the Arsenal Semi Final and the final, I wouldn't have bothered until a bit later if I could have seen the availability

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    I hope Greece get a decent crowd considering what they have to do to play. Seems bizarre that playing a sport should be illegal and actively policed and prosecuted in a democracy. Personally I think golf should be played on a dark night with no lights but I wouldn't stop anyone playing or watching it if it floats their boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Heretic View Post
    Is a reason Yorkshire wanted it and Lancashire not because Lancashire's supremacy over Yorkshire is pretty solid? Two of the three biggest clubs, Saints and Wigan, both Lancashire with only Leeds being Yorkshire. Bradford historically would be bigger than the other Lancs clubs but Warrington although pretty much being also rans too would be the fourth now.
    You’re forgetting Hull FC who IMO are easily a bigger club than Warrington and the equal of Saints. Hull is the RL city in this country IMO in terms of having two clubs and having arguably the most match going fans of any conurbation that follows the game.

    I think Yorkshire simply has a more unified historic sense of itself because it wasn’t broken up the way Lancashire was. Yorkshire was broken up into North, West, South but still kept the name, and Humberside is still known as East Riding of Yorkshire by lots of people. Whereas over this side of the Pennines we got split up into Merseyside, Greater Manchester and bits went to Cumbria etc, so for some younger people Lancashire is basically the place were Preston and Blackpool is. I still write Lancashire on the address when sending cards to the family in St Helens and get questioned about it, so what chance of getting a 25 year old to have some deep love of Lancashire when they’ve grown up in ‘Merseyside’ or ‘Greater Manchester’?

    Fans of clubs still chant Yorkshire, Yorkshire at games as if their clubs are playing for something greater than themselves, whilst you’ll hardly ever hear any mention of Lancashire these days at a RL ground. It’s just developed in different ways, with Yorkshire retaining most of its historic area and traditions whilst Lancashire had a lot of its area and traditions ripped away and turned into big city conurbations.

    Lancashire still works at times, and of course Lancashire still play at Old Trafford in cricket and still have a good rivalry with Yorkshire, but I think that is still unique in the modern day and is a throwback in some senses. Lancashire play at Old Trafford in the way Surrey play at the Oval, but hardly anyone who lives in Trafford or Kennington in South London will say they live in Lancashire or Surrey. It’s lost its meaning in the modern day, regrettably, and as a result you just won’t get the same emotional response to playing a sport like RL under the Lancashire banner as lads from Yorkshire would have playing for their county.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    You’re forgetting Hull FC who IMO are easily a bigger club than Warrington and the equal of Saints. Hull is the RL city in this country IMO in terms of having two clubs and having arguably the most match going fans of any conurbation that follows the game.

    I think Yorkshire simply has a more unified historic sense of itself because it wasn’t broken up the way Lancashire was. Yorkshire was broken up into North, West, South but still kept the name, and Humberside is still known as East Riding of Yorkshire by lots of people. Whereas over this side of the Pennines we got split up into Merseyside, Greater Manchester and bits went to Cumbria etc, so for some younger people Lancashire is basically the place were Preston and Blackpool is. I still write Lancashire on the address when sending cards to the family in St Helens and get questioned about it, so what chance of getting a 25 year old to have some deep love of Lancashire when they’ve grown up in ‘Merseyside’ or ‘Greater Manchester’?

    Fans of clubs still chant Yorkshire, Yorkshire at games as if their clubs are playing for something greater than themselves, whilst you’ll hardly ever hear any mention of Lancashire these days at a RL ground. It’s just developed in different ways, with Yorkshire retaining most of its historic area and traditions whilst Lancashire had a lot of its area and traditions ripped away and turned into big city conurbations.

    Lancashire still works at times, and of course Lancashire still play at Old Trafford in cricket and still have a good rivalry with Yorkshire, but I think that is still unique in the modern day and is a throwback in some senses. Lancashire play at Old Trafford in the way Surrey play at the Oval, but hardly anyone who lives in Trafford or Kennington in South London will say they live in Lancashire or Surrey. It’s lost its meaning in the modern day, regrettably, and as a result you just won’t get the same emotional response to playing a sport like RL under the Lancashire banner as lads from Yorkshire would have playing for their county.
    Personally I think it's hard to consider Hull FC as Saints' equal. We've 15 championships and 12 cups. They've 6 and 5. A big support yes but in terms of stature and reputation I'd say the two aren't close. It's a bit like how Newcastle United have a massive support but they can't be considered as anything remotely approaching Liverpool, Arsenal or even Chelsea in terms of size of club. Maybe fair enough in saying they're bigger than Warrington though these days Warrington are arguably bigger contenders. In terms of being a real rugby league city, yes, Hull is where it's at but they've never been giants of the game imo. Even if you combine both clubs, you have 11 championships and 6 cups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    You’re forgetting Hull FC who IMO are easily a bigger club than Warrington and the equal of Saints. Hull is the RL city in this country IMO in terms of having two clubs and having arguably the most match going fans of any conurbation that follows the game.

    I think Yorkshire simply has a more unified historic sense of itself because it wasn’t broken up the way Lancashire was. Yorkshire was broken up into North, West, South but still kept the name, and Humberside is still known as East Riding of Yorkshire by lots of people. Whereas over this side of the Pennines we got split up into Merseyside, Greater Manchester and bits went to Cumbria etc, so for some younger people Lancashire is basically the place were Preston and Blackpool is. I still write Lancashire on the address when sending cards to the family in St Helens and get questioned about it, so what chance of getting a 25 year old to have some deep love of Lancashire when they’ve grown up in ‘Merseyside’ or ‘Greater Manchester’?

    Fans of clubs still chant Yorkshire, Yorkshire at games as if their clubs are playing for something greater than themselves, whilst you’ll hardly ever hear any mention of Lancashire these days at a RL ground. It’s just developed in different ways, with Yorkshire retaining most of its historic area and traditions whilst Lancashire had a lot of its area and traditions ripped away and turned into big city conurbations.

    Lancashire still works at times, and of course Lancashire still play at Old Trafford in cricket and still have a good rivalry with Yorkshire, but I think that is still unique in the modern day and is a throwback in some senses. Lancashire play at Old Trafford in the way Surrey play at the Oval, but hardly anyone who lives in Trafford or Kennington in South London will say they live in Lancashire or Surrey. It’s lost its meaning in the modern day, regrettably, and as a result you just won’t get the same emotional response to playing a sport like RL under the Lancashire banner as lads from Yorkshire would have playing for their county.
    Personally I think it's hard to consider Hull FC as Saints' equal. We've 15 championships and 12 cups. They've 6 and 5. A big support yes but in terms of stature and reputation I'd say the two aren't close. It's a bit like how Newcastle United have a massive support but they can't be considered as anything remotely approaching Liverpool, Arsenal or even Chelsea in terms of size of club. Maybe fair enough in saying they're bigger than Warrington though these days Warrington are arguably bigger contenders. In terms of being a real rugby league city, yes, Hull is where it's at but they've never been giants of the game imo. Even if you combine both clubs, you have 11 championships and 6 cups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Heretic View Post
    Personally I think it's hard to consider Hull FC as Saints' equal. We've 15 championships and 12 cups. They've 6 and 5. A big support yes but in terms of stature and reputation I'd say the two aren't close. It's a bit like how Newcastle United have a massive support but they can't be considered as anything remotely approaching Liverpool, Arsenal or even Chelsea in terms of size of club. Maybe fair enough in saying they're bigger than Warrington though these days Warrington are arguably bigger contenders. In terms of being a real rugby league city, yes, Hull is where it's at but they've never been giants of the game imo. Even if you combine both clubs, you have 11 championships and 6 cups.
    I don't think comparing Newcastle with Liverpool is the same as comparing Hull with Saints to be fair. Liverpool are one of the 3 or 4 biggest football clubs on the planet, whilst Newcastle are simply a big regional club. Hull and Saints are alot closer, and yes we've blown them away in terms of trophies in the SL era but before that we were pretty much neck and neck for titles. I don't think that's the gauge of size of club to be honest, otherwise Warrington would have argued they were bigger than us since 2008 (4 trophies to 3 for them) when it isn't really a discussion.

    When I was a kid Hull were a bigger deal to me than Leeds. Wigan and Widnes were the local rivals then Hull were the next big team for me. In the 80s they were title contenders, used to take loads to KR every season, won the Cup, won the Premiership etc. They are a bigger deal than you're giving them credit for, and yes they've stank the place out for quite a while but their average gates have pretty much been the same as ours over the last 7-8 years despite us being near the top and them being erratic to say the least. Our average gate is pretty much the best we'll get nowadays, but their average would rise by several thousands and be on a par with Leeds if they were competing for titles. The size of a club is IMO what they could be when it all clicks, not necessarily what they are from year to year, and Hull can be as big as anyone in the game if they get things right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    I don't think comparing Newcastle with Liverpool is the same as comparing Hull with Saints to be fair. Liverpool are one of the 3 or 4 biggest football clubs on the planet, whilst Newcastle are simply a big regional club. Hull and Saints are alot closer, and yes we've blown them away in terms of trophies in the SL era but before that we were pretty much neck and neck for titles. I don't think that's the gauge of size of club to be honest, otherwise Warrington would have argued they were bigger than us since 2008 (4 trophies to 3 for them) when it isn't really a discussion.

    When I was a kid Hull were a bigger deal to me than Leeds. Wigan and Widnes were the local rivals then Hull were the next big team for me. In the 80s they were title contenders, used to take loads to KR every season, won the Cup, won the Premiership etc. They are a bigger deal than you're giving them credit for, and yes they've stank the place out for quite a while but their average gates have pretty much been the same as ours over the last 7-8 years despite us being near the top and them being erratic to say the least. Our average gate is pretty much the best we'll get nowadays, but their average would rise by several thousands and be on a par with Leeds if they were competing for titles. The size of a club is IMO what they could be when it all clicks, not necessarily what they are from year to year, and Hull can be as big as anyone in the game if they get things right.
    I don't think Liverpool are one of the 3-4 biggest clubs on the planet. Top ten definitely but 3-4 is pushing it. That's another debate though.

    Hull have stunk the place up for decades. The mid fifties was the last time they had anything resembling regular success. They won back-to-back Challenge Cups admittedly but, for me, the true test is the league and they've won that once in 62 years. To be honest, even though we haven't won the Challenge Cup in a good few years, if I was offered winning either the Grand Final again next year or the Cup, I wouldn't have to think twice. They might have been a big club back in the day but given the period when they were a real force was well over 20 years before I was born (and I'm not exactly a kid anymore) I don't consider them much more than also rans. Wigan and Leeds, those are the two fixtures I look for when the calendars come out. Then Warrington though the fact it's near to St. Helens is probably a part of that. I do try to watch Hull FC v Hull KR when it's on but that's more for the local rivalry and the bite of a cross-city derby than anything else. Hull are one of those teams that were important in the far off distant and misty past but not anymore and haven't been for a very long time. Judging the size of a club for me is a mix of how many fans they have and what they have in the trophy cabinet and how recently that trophy cabinet has been regularly added to. Hull has the first but is desperately lacking in the second. That doesn't mean they don't on paper have the potential to come strong again at some point but until they do, for me, I don't see any reason to rate them at anything other than a middle of the road club.

    In terms of Warrington being bigger than Saints, when Warrington haven't won the championship in 65 years and have only won three in their entire history, there's no discussion. A good number of Challenge Cups (though a good few fewer than Saints, Wigan and Leeds) but as I said, for me, whilst the cup is nice to win, it isn't the measure of where a team is at. Warrington could have 50 Challenge Cups and I still wouldn't rate them as being remotely as big as any of the teams which have regularly won the championship (i.e. Saints, Wigan & Leeds).

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Heretic View Post
    I don't think Liverpool are one of the 3-4 biggest clubs on the planet. Top ten definitely but 3-4 is pushing it. That's another debate though.
    Top ten? Who are bigger? Man Utd, Real Madrid and Barcelona are the only clubs you can even consider. History, global fanbase, current successs, continental reputation etc, Bayern, Milan, etc are nowhere near them. They’re 4th biggest at worst.

    But sticking to RL, Hull won the Challenge Cup in 2016 and 2017, so not sure how misty eyed you need to be to think that is recent success.
    Last edited by Gray77; 6th December 2020 at 20:45.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    Top ten? Who are bigger? Man Utd, Real Madrid and Barcelona are the only clubs you can even consider. History, global fanbase, current successs, continental reputation etc, Bayern, Milan, etc are nowhere near them. They’re 4th biggest at worst.

    But sticking to RL, Hull won the Challenge Cup in 2016 and 2017, so not sure how misty eyed you need to be to think that is recent success.
    Unless there's an official list somewhere of which are the biggest football clubs in the world, it's a matter for opinion, conjecture and debate. No I don't believe Liverpool are the fourth biggest football club in the world. I think you have to look through an Anglocentric lens to think they are. The world doesn't revolve around England and the Premier League. At that, Liverpool didn't win their domestic league for 30 years. Back it up over the next few years, then we might talk about fourth biggest (at best) lol. And returning to my initial point in this paragraph, it's a matter for opinion, conjecture and debate, so we'll shake hands and agree to differ.

    Maybe you missed the part where I said I don't consider the Challenge Cup as being on a par with the championship. Until they win the championship, regularly, I won't consider them a top outfit. It's ludicrous to say a club which has won the championship once in 60+ years is as big as one which is regularly winning it these days. You might as well argue Villa are as big these days as Chelsea lol. If you want to consider Hull as being as big as Saints it begs questions as to what your opinion of Saints is .

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Heretic View Post
    If you want to consider Hull as being as big as Saints it begs questions as to what your opinion of Saints is .
    Keeping it RL but as an aside, please name me these clubs that would relegate Liverpool to tenth biggest in the world. I’ve followed Italian football for decades, I have relatives in Germany and know a lot about their football, I’ve been to Boca Juniors, River Plate in Argentina, I do not follow football from an anglocentric lens at all. I’d like to see the six other clubs other than United, Real and Barca who are bigger than Liverpool.

    Anyway, RL. You may not consider the Cup as big as the league, and it shouldn’t be, but for a lot of my life it was every bit as big. Getting to Wembley and winning the Cup was massive, and for some clubs it still is. Winning the league now means you win a few play off games, and so the qualities to win a GF aren’t much different to winning a few Cup ties. When teams can win the league from 5th place it demeans the argument that winning the league is a bigger accomplishment than winning the Cup, because winning the league is now about winning Cup ties at the end of the regular season. Ask people on here if they’d prefer to win at Wembley next year or win the GF again, it wouldn’t exactly be a blow-out margin for the GF.

    I believe that Hull have always been a big RL club, and like Saints, Wigan and Leeds they don’t need to win trophies to be a big club. Leeds were fairly average for a long while from the 70s to the Super League, they were always a big club. Wigan got relegated, they were still a big club, and remained the most famous name in the sport when they had their bad spell and were getting 70 and 75 put on them in 2005. Man United didn’t win a league title for 25 years but were the biggest club in England for the entirety of it, even when they were relegated in the 70s. Some clubs are just big clubs regardless of what they are winning at any given time, and Hull are a big RL club in this country.

    You ask me what my opinion of Saints is. Strange question. I’m from St Helens and have been a Saints fan for 35 years, so I reckon my opinion of Saints is fairly sound. We are a big RL club but a few other clubs are bigger or a similar size. Wigan have always generally been a bit bigger, have had more success and a slightly bigger fanbase, and Leeds and Hull are city clubs who have more fans than us when things are going well. I’ve always considered us one of the 3 or 4 biggest clubs in the league, no more no less. I’ve stood in KR when we got 4,000 some weeks, and I’ve stood in KR when we’ve had 21,000. We’ve always had a fanbase that turned up when things were good and turned away when things weren’t as rosy. We’ve always been a famous club and one of the biggest in the country, but I’ve been around the town and around the club long enough to never consider us to be bigger than other famous clubs simply because we are currently better than them on the park. Hull average crowds now that we wouldn’t average if we were missing the playoffs every year, and they average crowds we never averaged at KR when we were top dogs between 96-06 for example. Nobody that has been around as long or longer than me would disagree with what I’m saying, because it’s simply a fact that since the heydays of the 60s we’ve never averaged the kind of crowds that Wigan, Leeds and Hull could average when they were doing well, and all of those clubs average what we get when they’re not as good as us. That’s not me bagging the club I’ve followed and loved since the mid 1980s, that’s just a fact, it’s there in black and white, pardon the pun.

    If Castleford won the league for the next ten years they still wouldn’t be as big a club as Saints, and if Wigan got relegated they’d still be bigger than almost everyone. You are gauging the size of club on trophies, it’s just not as simple as that, and if you regard Hull as a middle of the road club that’s fine, but I doubt many people in the game would agree with you.

    Had we been having this conversation in 2004 would you have been calling Leeds a middle of the road club? They’d won 3 league titles in their history at the start of 2004. Three! 15 years of success makes them a big club that regularly wins the league, but what about the century before it? They were always a big if underachieving club in everyone’s eyes, but by your logic they’ve only been a big club since 2004. Could Saints have been called a middle of the road club in 1995 before we started winning stuff consistently, because your logic indicates that if Hull are middle of the road now then so so were we until 1996, which is fairly insulting and indicates that RL doesn’t actually have any genuinely big clubs if the only definition of a big club is if they are are winning stuff right now.

    If you’re merely looking at how many leagues and cups Hull have won you’re ignoring that for a long part of the games history the county cups were big deals, the Premiership was a big deal in the 80s, the JPS/Regal trophy was a comp that was taken seriously in that decade as well, and Hull did well across the board.

    You say Hull haven’t been relevant for 60 years but in the 80s they won the league, won the Cup, lost another couple of Cup Finals, won the John Player trophy, won a few Yorkshire Cups, etc. They were always relevant. You don’t consider them worthwhile, but ask anyone who remembers the Meninga season and how massive it was that we won the Lancashire Cup in front of 26,000 at Central Park or the Premiership that season.

    Hull are of course not achieving their potential, they are a mess in many regards, but a middle of the road club? Only if we and Leeds also were for periods of our history as well. You don’t gain or lose big club status in a generation, you gain it over time. Leeds didn’t gain big club status since 2004, we didn’t gain it since 1996. We had it because we were big clubs regardless of sustained success and despite both having decades of failure. Hull are having similar failures now, if you ignore two Challenge Cups in the last five years, but they’re still a big club. To call them middle of the road is baffling IMO.
    Last edited by Gray77; 7th December 2020 at 02:37.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray77 View Post
    Keeping it RL but as an aside, please name me these clubs that would relegate Liverpool to tenth biggest in the world. I’ve followed Italian football for decades, I have relatives in Germany and know a lot about their football, I’ve been to Boca Juniors, River Plate in Argentina, I do not follow football from an anglocentric lens at all. I’d like to see the six other clubs other than United, Real and Barca who are bigger than Liverpool.

    Anyway, RL. You may not consider the Cup as big as the league, and it shouldn’t be, but for a lot of my life it was every bit as big. Getting to Wembley and winning the Cup was massive, and for some clubs it still is. Winning the league now means you win a few play off games, and so the qualities to win a GF aren’t much different to winning a few Cup ties. When teams can win the league from 5th place it demeans the argument that winning the league is a bigger accomplishment than winning the Cup, because winning the league is now about winning Cup ties at the end of the regular season. Ask people on here if they’d prefer to win at Wembley next year or win the GF again, it wouldn’t exactly be a blow-out margin for the GF.

    I believe that Hull have always been a big RL club, and like Saints, Wigan and Leeds they don’t need to win trophies to be a big club. Leeds were fairly average for a long while from the 70s to the Super League, they were always a big club. Wigan got relegated, they were still a big club, and remained the most famous name in the sport when they had their bad spell and were getting 70 and 75 put on them in 2005. Man United didn’t win a league title for 25 years but were the biggest club in England for the entirety of it, even when they were relegated in the 70s. Some clubs are just big clubs regardless of what they are winning at any given time, and Hull are a big RL club in this country.

    You ask me what my opinion of Saints is. Strange question. I’m from St Helens and have been a Saints fan for 35 years, so I reckon my opinion of Saints is fairly sound. We are a big RL club but a few other clubs are bigger or a similar size. Wigan have always generally been a bit bigger, have had more success and a slightly bigger fanbase, and Leeds and Hull are city clubs who have more fans than us when things are going well. I’ve always considered us one of the 3 or 4 biggest clubs in the league, no more no less. I’ve stood in KR when we got 4,000 some weeks, and I’ve stood in KR when we’ve had 21,000. We’ve always had a fanbase that turned up when things were good and turned away when things weren’t as rosy. We’ve always been a famous club and one of the biggest in the country, but I’ve been around the town and around the club long enough to never consider us to be bigger than other famous clubs simply because we are currently better than them on the park. Hull average crowds now that we wouldn’t average if we were missing the playoffs every year, and they average crowds we never averaged at KR when we were top dogs between 96-06 for example. Nobody that has been around as long or longer than me would disagree with what I’m saying, because it’s simply a fact that since the heydays of the 60s we’ve never averaged the kind of crowds that Wigan, Leeds and Hull could average when they were doing well, and all of those clubs average what we get when they’re not as good as us. That’s not me bagging the club I’ve followed and loved since the mid 1980s, that’s just a fact, it’s there in black and white, pardon the pun.

    If Castleford won the league for the next ten years they still wouldn’t be as big a club as Saints, and if Wigan got relegated they’d still be bigger than almost everyone. You are gauging the size of club on trophies, it’s just not as simple as that, and if you regard Hull as a middle of the road club that’s fine, but I doubt many people in the game would agree with you.

    Had we been having this conversation in 2004 would you have been calling Leeds a middle of the road club? They’d won 3 league titles in their history at the start of 2004. Three! 15 years of success makes them a big club that regularly wins the league, but what about the century before it? They were always a big if underachieving club in everyone’s eyes, but by your logic they’ve only been a big club since 2004. Could Saints have been called a middle of the road club in 1995 before we started winning stuff consistently, because your logic indicates that if Hull are middle of the road now then so so were we until 1996, which is fairly insulting and indicates that RL doesn’t actually have any genuinely big clubs if the only definition of a big club is if they are are winning stuff right now.

    If you’re merely looking at how many leagues and cups Hull have won you’re ignoring that for a long part of the games history the county cups were big deals, the Premiership was a big deal in the 80s, the JPS/Regal trophy was a comp that was taken seriously in that decade as well, and Hull did well across the board.

    You say Hull haven’t been relevant for 60 years but in the 80s they won the league, won the Cup, lost another couple of Cup Finals, won the John Player trophy, won a few Yorkshire Cups, etc. They were always relevant. You don’t consider them worthwhile, but ask anyone who remembers the Meninga season and how massive it was that we won the Lancashire Cup in front of 26,000 at Central Park or the Premiership that season.

    Hull are of course not achieving their potential, they are a mess in many regards, but a middle of the road club? Only if we and Leeds also were for periods of our history as well. You don’t gain or lose big club status in a generation, you gain it over time. Leeds didn’t gain big club status since 2004, we didn’t gain it since 1996. We had it because we were big clubs regardless of sustained success and despite both having decades of failure. Hull are having similar failures now, if you ignore two Challenge Cups in the last five years, but they’re still a big club. To call them middle of the road is baffling IMO.
    When a club wins its domestic championship once in thirty or in Hull's case 60+ years they're no longer one of the very top clubs in my opinion. I can't make it any clearer than that.

    Btw I didn't say I would place Liverpool tenth, I said top ten definitely. It doesn't matter which other clubs I name, you're going to rattle on about why they're not as big. I. don't. include. Liverpool. in. the. top. four. Build a bridge lol.

    Always fascinates me how Liverpool and Manchester United hate each other when their supporters are literally cut from the same cloth. In many ways it's highly amusing lol.

    Now can we get back to discussing the theme of the topic, developing rugby in the Celtic countries and by extension the rest of the international game please?

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Heretic View Post
    Now can we get back to discussing the theme of the topic, developing rugby in the Celtic countries and by extension the rest of the international game please?
    Threads tend to evolve as this one has, and to be honest, I think we've more or less covered the original question. IMO Celtic couldn't compete any more than Wales, Scotland and Ireland, so why not just leave things as they are? Let them complete at whatever level they find themselves. Unless we see some sort of mass movement of players turning to RL, as we've had in the past, then there's little you can do about it.
    The Grandparent rule doesn't really help. All you get are players not quite good enough for one of the 'bigger' nations (there's that word again). I think I could qualify for Celtic but as I said earlier, I'm English, so if they came knocking, you can guess what I'd do!

    Bigger? I don't follow football, but I see where Gray is coming from. I posted something on a different thread about Hull being a sleeping giant. I'll leave it there.

    Finally. I'm not a big fan of inventing teams just to try to copy State of Origin, although I can see why the authorities would want something similar.
    I don't like it myself, but I'll throw 'Rivers' into that mix. Mersey, Calder, Humber etc.
    I'll get my coat.

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