Former Australian star and rugby league legend Laurie Daley has come out in support for an Australian Indigenous side to compete at the next World Cup in 2021.
There has been a lot of talk this year about whether or not the move would be a good idea for the country or if it could divide the nation when it came to representing Australia on the world stage. However, the former New South Wales mentor is adamant that, if it’s done correctly, there is no reason why it shouldn’t go ahead.
After this year’s World Cup, it’s easy to see that the game is improving on a global stage, and there’s definitely room for expansion in the near future. We saw some major upsets during the competition, with the most notable being New Zealand’s loss to Fiji in their quarterfinal match-up after the Bati kept the Kiwis to just one penalty kick during a 4-2 victory.
It’s clear to see the rest of the world starting to catch up with the usual suspects of Australia, New Zealand, and England, and it won’t be long until the competition turns into a much more competitive event. Many bettors even tried their luck on some of the more unfamiliar teams this year, with Tonga, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea receiving quite a lot of interest pre-tournament.
It can be worthwhile backing some of the more unknown countries nowadays, especially when a range of bookmakers, as well as CentreBet, now offer free bet promotions on rugby league, taking the risk out of betting on an outsider. And, why not try your luck on one of these outside chances when they’re constantly improving so rapidly?
The question remains though about how Australia would go about selecting an Indigenous team to compete in the next World Cup. While speaking with the press, Daley believes players should be eligible for the squad if they aren’t selected for the Kangaroos. He wouldn’t want there to be a division between the two sides when representing Australia at the highest level.
If such a move were to go ahead, it would surely benefit the quality of the game within Australia, with twice as many players having a chance to play at the top level. The indigenous players in the National Rugby League undoubtedly have the quality and it seems as though a team in the future is inevitable.
More and more players are starting to swear their allegiance to their home countries with Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita both opting to play for Tonga over New Zealand and the Kangaroos in the recent World Cup. Teammate Will Hopoate has come out and said that it’s great to see players committing to their countries over a Tier-One nation.
It has been something that has been part of the game for some time now, with many indigenous stars suggesting they would rather play for a purely all-star team. The NRL will have to manage the situation carefully though, to ensure the integrity of the game is not affected in any way.