Rugby league loves a campaign

Whether you want to bring back promotion or relegation, abolish expansion clubs or support the growth of the game, there always seems to be something in rugby league worth campaigning over.

As a rugby league outlet, we’ve had a few emails in recent weeks from various people campaigning for a variety of different things.

One of which is pretty close to our own hearts, and that is the coverage of rugby league in the national press.

For the Super League Grand Final, there were 37 members of the press who voted for the Harry Sunderland trophy for man of the match. Of course, this figure consisted of a number of local and broadcast press, but the coverage in the national press of the big game was very underwhelming, as it often is.

There are various theories for this, but the most popular conspiracy seems to be the snobbery afforded to rugby league by the southern centric press. Whether you agree with that or not, rugby league’s coverage is scarce – but there may well be people who make the argument, rightly or wrongly, that rugby league deserves such scarce press owing to its current standing within the sporting picture in the UK.

But one man who is taking on the apparent disregard to rugby league coverage is Stuart Glendinning. This Thursday, he is going to picket the Daily Telegraph’s offices in reaction to their dismal coverage in the lead up to the Four Nations final. Good luck to him we say, and it will be interesting to learn how it goes.

View Stuart’s latest video by clicking here.

Another campaign that has been brought to our attention is one to bring back the Great Britain team.

A few years ago, it was decided to break up the traditional Great Britain format in favour of prioritising England rugby league. This decision could have been made for a number of reasons. Stronger branding, the growth of the other UK nations and probably closer to the mark, because of potential funding.

Could Great Britain exist alongside Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England?

A member of the campaign group told us: “We are aware of the development in all regions of the UK and Ireland but feel that as GB is a much stronger brand and identity than England it doesn’t represent everyone in the UK.

“I personally don’t feel England represents me despite being born in England plus the RFL have struggled to sell the England brand, with merchandise sale far down compared to the last GB involved event.”

A potential solution could be to replicate the rugby union model – where the individual nations represent themselves on a permanent basis, and then every few years there is a Lions tour which brings together the best players from each nation.

The only flaw with that system is that, currently, most quality UK players would opt to play for England by default, and the Lions would more than likely end up simply being an exact replica of the England side.

You can find out more about this particular campaign by visiting their Facebook campaign page.

So what is it about rugby league that brings out the campaigning side of people? Is it a desire to see the game grow beyond what it is now? Or is it disillusionment with how the game currently is? What do you think?


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