By Richard Cowley, Date: 29/10/12
In what is big news for international rugby league the ARLC have included the international game in their 5 year strategic plan. The finer details are yet to be released but the International game could finally see some support from the most powerful rugby league body in the World.
For the first time the ARLC will drive the Kangaroos selection as the pinnacle of the sport which has in recent times been overshadowed by State of Origin and the rumoured $50,000 per game match payments. No detail around match payments but one would think that the current imbalance between SOO and the Kangaroos will be addressed.
There will be some focus on strengthening the international game around the Pacific. One would have to think that the international eligibility rules will be modified at some stage to strengthen the Pacific Nations at international level along with the continuation of grass roots development that is currently taking place.
The cat is out of the bag so to speak with the 2017 Rugby League World Cup to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. The ARLC aim is to make it the best Rugby League World Cup ever which is a bold statement ahead of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup which is also predicted to be the best ever.
One of the great outcomes is that the National Rugby League will be promoted internationally to help drive up viewing numbers and ultimately revenue. Rugby League has seen a big increase in the number of nations taking up the code in recent times and some local TV exposure of the sport will go along way to bringing new people to the game.
International Rugby League points from the ARLC strategic plan are:
– Kangaroo selection is revered as the pinnacle of player achievement
– The international game and specifically Pacific nations will be strengthened
– The 2017 Rugby League World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will be the most successful ever
– The NRL competition will be promoted internationally, growing viewer numbers year on year