No Australia or NZ at the World Cup

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fozzieskem
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Re: No Australia or NZ at the World Cup

Post by fozzieskem »

widdenoldboy wrote: Thu Jul 22, 2021 9:58 pm Just watching Sky interview of Simon Johnson (RFL Chairman), mightily impressed with his straight talking and passion for RL.
Hand on heart I wondered who he was I had turned sky on late this evening so didn't catch his name.
josie andrews
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Re: No Australia or NZ at the World Cup

Post by josie andrews »

Australia and New Zealand World Cup withdrawal criticised as 'premature' by players

Australia and New Zealand withdrew due to rising Covid cases in the UK; Australian Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) said they had been working with tournament organisers "for some time" on player health and safety protocols and confirm members wanted to compete in autumn tournament

The group representing Australia's rugby league players have criticised the decision by Australia and New Zealand to pull out of the 2021 World Cup as "premature" and said its members wanted to compete in the tournament.

Anger has been directed at the southern hemisphere giants after they attributed their decision to the worsening Covid-19 situation in the UK which made it "simply too unsafe to send teams and staff over".

The Australian Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) chief executive Clint Newton said in a statement the development was "no doubt disappointing for players who were hoping to represent their nations in the tournament".

We have had feedback from a number of players eligible for these nations stating their intentions to compete in the tournament, pending more information becoming available in the coming weeks," the former second-row said.

"Clearly, the views of those players have not been enough to prevent this decision and we believe it has been made prematurely."


The 40-year-old, who spent time with Hull KR in England amid stints in the National Rugby League, said the RLPA had been working with the tournament organisers "for some time" on player health and safety protocols.

"We have an obligation to advocate on behalf of all players to secure the best possible terms and conditions for the tournament, and this remains ongoing," Newton said.

"For players representing remaining participating nations, our priority will be to help ensure appropriate health and safety measures are in place, and also provide them with the relevant information to make an informed decision about participation," he added.

"We had anticipated that players from Australia and New Zealand would have that same opportunity, which has unfortunately been taken away from them with last night's decision."

Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg addressed the issue in Parliament while Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, a Warrington fan, announced he would be meeting tournament organisers to discuss the matter and vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said he and Government officials were also happy to meet them.

Rugby Football League chairman Simon Johnson said: "The World Cup organisers have bent over backwards and turned double somersaults to meet every single requirement that was asked of them, by the Australians particularly.

"To have those assurances completely dismissed, I am angry about this. This is a selfish, parochial and cowardly decision which has been taken by the Australian and New Zealand leadership."

Johnson is hoping for a change of heart and former England coach Steve McNamara is urging the NRL clubs to put their self-interest to one side and get behind the tournament.

Officials promised the most efficient bio-security measures possible in an effort to allay safety fears but the NRL clubs remain unconvinced, while wary of the need for players to go into quarantine on their return to Australia which would affect their preparations for the 2022 season.

https://www.skysports.com/rugby-league/ ... by-players
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage.
josie andrews
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Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 10:17 pm
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Re: No Australia or NZ at the World Cup

Post by josie andrews »

Other nations stand to profit if Australia and New Zealand pull out of World Cup

Wales could be among the beneficiaries of the decision of Australia and New Zealand to pull out of the World Cup.

While organisers prepare to meet with the Government to decide whether to press ahead with the tournament in England in the autumn without the big two, it has been confirmed that a host of their players still want to take part and are ready to switch their allegiance.

International Rugby League chair Troy Grant says there is “a ton” of players still keen to play, including Newcastle Knights second rower Tyson Frizell, who played for Wales in the 2013 World Cup has since won 14 caps for the Kangaroos.

As the backlash continued following Thursday’s snap announcement, the Australian players union described the decision as “premature” and Grant believes the ARL and the NZRL both underestimated the strength of feeling among the players.

I think they’ve underestimated or failed to appreciate the passion the players have for representing their countries, their families and their heritage,” Grant told the PA news agency. “The push-back is pretty significant.”

Both national coaches Mal Meninga (Australia) and Michael Maguire (New Zealand) have said they would not stand in the way of their players switching allegiance to tier-two nations.

Samoa, who are England’s opening opponents, would be the biggest beneficiaries with Jarome Luai, Junior Paulo, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Payne Haas, Brian To’o and Josh Papalii all eligible for the Pacific nation, while Daniel Saifiti and Tariq Sims can play for Fiji, James Tedesco may return for Italy and David Fifita can represent Tonga.

“There’s a ton of them in all honesty – James Tedesco for Italy for example and Tyson Frizell for Wales,” Grant said. “There’s lots of different options.”

Australia and New Zealand attributed their decision to the worsening Covid-19 situation in the UK but it drew criticism from the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) chief executive Clint Newton.

In a statement, the former Hull KR forward said: “We have had feedback from a number of players eligible for these nations stating their intentions to compete in the tournament, pending more information becoming available in the coming weeks.

“Clearly, the views of those players have not been enough to prevent this decision and we believe it has been made prematurely.”

The two nations were branded “cowardly” and “selfish” by the Rugby Football League’s chairman Simon Johnson, who is hoping they can be shamed into performing an about-turn as the World Cup organisers meet to determine their next move.

Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg addressed the issue in Parliament on Thursday while Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, a Warrington fan, is due to meet tournament organisers and vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said he and Government officials were also happy to get involved.

Sports minister Nigel Huddleston has pledged to take up the matter with his Australian and New Zealand counterparts as talks continue at the highest level.

A joint statement from Huddleston, RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer and tournament chief executive Jon Dutton said: “In the best interests of the sport and its millions of fans around the world, we remain open to further discussions with the Australian and New Zealand rugby league authorities about what further reassurances they might need.

“We remain committed to the tournament and putting on a superb spectacle of sport.”

Grant added: “I’m hopeful that it still goes ahead. I guess Monday will be a telling day. That’s when the World Cup (officials) and UK Government are meeting I think to talk about that.”

The tournament is due to kick off in Newcastle on October 23, with the first of 61 matches across the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions, all of them broadcast live by the BBC.

Grant revealed at a press conference eight days ago that he had replacement teams on stand-by in the event of withdrawals and he says that remains an option.

After losing to Jamaica in the last qualifying round, the United States would be the most obvious team to step into the breach while another possibility would be combined line-up on the lines of the Other Nationalities or Exiles teams that have played in the past.

“We’ve got the capacity to replace teams,” Grant said. “That’s a decision for the board as to who and what formation that takes, in conjunction with the World Cup if it goes ahead and remains at 16 teams etc.

Whether you do a formal next up from the qualifications or whether you do something a little bit out of the box or a little bit creative as well, there’s different options.”

“The United States are obviously in the mix and in the women’s competition Italy have expressed their desire and readiness to step up so there’s a whole heap of options and scenarios.”

https://www.sthelensreporter.co.uk/spor ... up-3320382
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage.
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