|Canada's Toronto Wolfpack creating a stir in the UK.|
Would they have been allowed into Australia's RL system?
A strength becomes a weakness when it makes us complacent. A weakness becomes a strength when we see it as such and keep working to improve it. How do those two qualities apply to RL? We shall see.
First up, the weakness. I see RL's biggest weakness it’s lack of international reach. The opportunity in NA is huge and has landed on RL's lap. There are risks in expansion but even bigger risks in simply maintaining the status quo. There is a realisation by many in RL of the need to take the bull by the horns and give it a go. As expansions go, this one is relatively risk free due.
Now for the first point. Where is RL's strength? Australia. Some years back, the game was expanding there, plans to take the game nationally were unfolding. After SL in Australia, the game retreated and expansion ignored. What I thought was regrouping proved to be prolonged inaction. The game in Australia still rides on its popularity but the mindset certainly isn't visionary anymore. The recent issue over a lucrative match in the US (I thought a no-brainer) risks being stymied by some clubs concerned about injuries. It would also be a good run for the 2025 WC organiser (behind this one off game) to test the waters. Australian clubs are not happy about it. If they say no, it doesn't happen.
A game that is run by introverted clubs in Australia deserves nothing more than to fail. Their strength is proving to be the game’s weakness. If Australia continues to dominate all decisions made in RL, it will hold the game back. There is no vision of growth in Australian RL. Opportunities to expand don't come along very often. Shortsighted self interest will keep RL in the backwaters. Australia is in my opinion RL's weakness, too self absorbed. Can RL overcome it's greatest weakness and take the game international? Time will tell.