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DISCORD 2012: Edition Seven

IN Australia, it's hard to put yourself in the shoes of Stuart Glendinning, the insurance company managing director who last year picketed the Telegraph in London protesting at its poor rugby league coverage.
DISCORD 2012: Edition Seven
by NRL

IN Australia, it's hard to put yourself in the shoes of Stuart Glendinning, the insurance company managing director who last year picketed the Telegraph in London protesting at its poor rugby league coverage.

In Sydney, it is more likely that an insurance company managing director would picket the Telegraph demanding less rugby league coverage.

But the fact no television company in Australia has any interest in showing Super League this year should make all of us feel a little bit like Stuart.

I have always felt there was a disturbing gap in what rugby league fans in NSW - particularly - want and what sports editors a) think they want or b) are determined to give them regardless of whether they want it or not.

I'm convinced, after a quarter century in he industry, that people in newsrooms and electronic media board rooms care far less about Super League and international football than people on the hill do.

Until the Internet came along, they contented themselves dismissing you as "niff nuffs" and "trainspotters" if you complained.

But the Internet doesn't lie. Stories about international footy and Super League attract huge numbers of readers. On my site, Super League stories humble NRL yarns for hits.

Basically, Australian rugby league fans who can spell and know the difference between "your" and "you're" love these aspects of the game. Can't get enough.

Yet bosses at media organizations - maybe middle management is the problem, I don't know - keep saying no-one gives a shit until they convince themselves it's true. I suppose the continuing focus on the NRL guarantees the continuing influence of those very same bosses and middle managers.

Am I suggesting that the continuing mainstream ignorance regarding international football and Super League is an indication that the game is being marketed deliberately to a certain demographic? I guess it looks that way.

I'd like you to take this idea on board for a minute, for argument's sake. I'd like you to assume that media bosses see rugby league as something that is the rough and tumble domain only of a blue collar, suburban family demographic on the eastern seaboard.

They believe trying to push it anywhere else is a waste of time. Does it make a whole raft of other decisions you moan about much easier to understand?

I'm not going to be a hypocrite and lead a crusade against the same mainstream media that employs me.

But if you people want to start an insurrection, I'll cover it. I'm sure you could get at least as much attention as Stuart did.

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MOST Of you will be reading this after the World Club Challenge.

In this week's Rugby League Week, I've written a piece about the concept and where it stands - along with some comments from Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington about where it might go in the future.

Having covered every WCC decider since 1994, I firmly believe it's in need of a new look.

When Melbourne showed up in England in 2000, there was still something of a novelty factor to the idea of club sides from opposite sides of the globe doing battle.

But with the increasing incidence of international club competition in rugby union (sorry to swear) that novelty is long gone.

It's easy to say we should have an eight-team competition in Las Vegas. Those pipe dreams will only ever happen if we give someone the fulltime job of running the WCC. At the moment, it's a post-it note at the edge of desks at Red Hall and Moore Park which is discovered during a general end-of-season clean-up.

While that remains the case, the best we can hope for is to have the 2013 World Club Challenge at a neutral venue or in Australia.

So let's do that.

for a change, make an early decision, announce it, and make it happen.

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THANKS for your comments last week.

I think then reason Cook Islands have been chosen is that there was a suggestion they could get funding, simple as that. On the other hand, Samoa thought they had funding too and pulled out weeks before they were due to arrive in the UK last year.

For that reason, there have been no announcements on the "Two Nations, A Principality and a Protectorate" series and the Cooks may not take part at all.

A full European Cup this year, with big scores, small crowds and minimal media interest, would be disastrous for the World Cup. I understand why they haven't done that.

As for Scotland, I don't totally disagree with you but other sports fill their national teams up with foreigners so why shouldn't we?

Paulmac, apparently no-one in Australia is interested in Super League TV rights. See above. Hopefully this might mean a reliable, legal feed on the Internet? I'll ask Nigel Wood or Richard Lewis if I get a chance.

* There'll be a new White Line Fever after the World Club Challenge.


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