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Lockyer tackling international eligibility

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by mozgrame, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. mozgrame

    mozgrame Well-Known Member

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    Steve Mascord NRL.COM

    THIS time last year, Darren Lockyer and Jamie Peacock were tackling each other in the Four Nations. Yesterday, they met in London to tackle the vexed issue of rugby league's eligibility rules.

    Of course, the retired captains of Australia and England (Peacock is still playing for Leeds) had a little prompting from NRL.com when we caught up with them at the offices of London PR firm Fasttrack, who have been hired to promote the 2013 World Cup.

    Lockyer is in the United Kingdom as part of his role as the ARLC's ambassador for international rugby league. He has been mobbed at functions in Leigh, Wigan and Hull - requiring security to get him out of a dinner suite on one occasion.

    Eligibility shapes as one of the biggest issues in the game in the 12 months until the World Cup, to be hosted by England and Wales.

    Lockyer says players who miss out on selection for Australia, New Zealand and England must be allowed to play for other countries.

    "Those developing nations at the moment need all the support they can get and if we can get the services of some NRL players, that's only going to benefit them," the record-breaking five-eighth told us in a sixth-floor boardroom on Victoria Street, before doing a host of phone interviews.

    "Once they get a black and white picture around eligibility for Origin, that will be a good thing for the game. But when we're trying to develop countries like Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Wales, all those countries ... I think having these players who have had NRL experience but can't represent Australia ... well in this point in time, it's the right thing to do to allow those guys to play for other countries.

    "Once those countries get a foundation and become a lot stronger, then we should look at altering the rules. But at this point in time, we need to make as many nations as we can competitive against the so-called Big Three.

    "We've got to face the facts that our game, at an international level, has still got a long way to go. We need to put things in place where we can get it to a point where we don't have to have these issues.

    "At the moment, eligibility rules are relaxed in a World Cup year. That's the right thing to do."

    Peacock, who retired from representative football earlier this year, offered even more forthright views - supporting calls from Origin and Australian eligibility to be separated.

    "With guys like (James) Tamou, he should play for New Zealand and New South Wales," said Peacock, "That rule needs to change over there.”

    "If you're born in New Zealand or have New Zealand parents but you play your first club football in NSW or Brisbane ... I think (Origin) is killing (international football) a bit, really.

    "And if you had a bigger international scene, you wouldn't have it as much. Players think they won't get the chance to play the big teams so they choose to represent Australia or England or New Zealand."

    And the man who captained Great Britain in its last Test before the home countries were split, in 2007, said a return to the famous red, white and blue strip would stop the drain of players from Wales, Scotland and Ireland to England and its feeder team, England Knights.

    "That's down to losing Great Britain - pure and simple," Peacock said. "If you had Great Britain playing every four years, you wouldn't see that.

    "You'd see the players who can play for Scotland, play for Scotland. You'd see the players who can play for Ireland, play for Ireland and you'd see the guys who can play for Wales, play for Wales.

    "And then once every four years, you get together for Great Britain. These guys will play in a strong side against Australia.

    "Great Britain is an unbelievably big brand ... hugely after the Olympics ... and should be brought back, not every year but every four years."

    Lockyer, whose trip is mostly funded by the NRL, will enjoy a holiday in Hong Kong on his way home early next week. He says his first year of retirement has been an adventure.

    Television, he said, was "nerve-racking. You have to learn a whole new set of skills.”

    "At the start of the year, the enjoyment wasn't there for me and I probably questioned whether it was the way to go or ... did I really want to be doing this?

    "But as the season wore on, I got a bit more comfortable and obviously the guys I played a bit of footy with ... and guys I haven't worked with before, once I got a bit more comfortable with them, I started to enjoy it.

    "You're sitting on the sideline for some pretty big games so the adrenaline rush you miss as a player, you get some sort of substitute."

    Lockyer says there is no doubt the ARLC rates international football highly. "Our domestic game is in good shape with the new broadcast deal - things are looking very positive in Australia," he said.

    "We need to start making some investments in the international game as well. The NRL sees that and that's why I'm here. I believe in the international game. It was a big part of my career.

    "Back home, it's important we get the word out and we try to encourage Australians to come over and watch the Kangaroos."

    Peacock will be an intrigued spectator when England takes on France in the final of the Autumn Internationals series at the City of Salford Stadium on Sunday.

    But he's already looking forward to Leeds' World Club Challenge clash with Melbourne, which is expected to be played at Headingly on February 16.

    “It needs to move on, it needs to change its format a bit - like the Heineken Cup in rugby union and also the Champions League in football," Peacock said of the WCC. "A good international club scene is important for rugby league."
     
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  2. Mark from Brisbane

    Mark from Brisbane Living the dream Premium Member

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    Maybe he can tackle the SOO issue at the same time.

    Fair dinkum, Tamou playing for NSW and all the others playing for Queensland are a dead set joke!!

    It's simple to me.. "State of ORIGIN"...my Origin is in NSW, born in Moree....I choose to live in Brisbane...if I was just starting my football career the fact that I went to (which I personally didn't) the Southport School and played Junior Rugby League there doesn't mean I play for QLD...the Rogers father and son issue is a perfect example, both born in NSW, Dad Steve plays for the Blues and the son Matt the Maroons...sorry but that is plain ridiculous.

    So by all means open up the World Cup to give the emerging nations some firepower but first of all lets fix the bloody SOO
     
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  3. globaleagle

    globaleagle Où est mon chapeau Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Two things Mark:

    1) You said you chose to live in Qld. Are you being held against your will? Knock twice if yes!

    2) They don't play league at TSS. We would never allow such a sport to be played on the hallowed grounds adjoining the Nerang river!
     
  4. Napper

    Napper Well-Known Member

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    More lies. Lockyer couldn't tackle anything.
     
  5. Stevo

    Stevo Well-Known Member

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    Except an old publican
     
  6. mozgrame

    mozgrame Well-Known Member

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    Even that took about a week.
     
  7. The Who

    The Who Well-Known Member

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    Mark, your solution sounds simple, but what about those people born in other Australian States (other than NSW & Qld) or in non RL playing countries and move to NSW or Qld?
    Are they ineligible for SOO?
     
  8. eagles2win

    eagles2win Well-Known Member

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    Use the rule that Peacock has suggested
     
  9. manlyfan76

    manlyfan76 Parra Trolls are the best. Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    i think that origin should be where you play your first organised game of competition leauge, that will mean U8s for some and NRL for others. the only exception is that if you have represented a country other then Australia you are not eligble. If you play Origin and then decide that you are a Kiwi or Pom etc. and play a test not representing Aus then no more Origin. If you do a Tahu and switch codes then you cant play rep untill you have been back for the time you were away ie two seasons away = two years ineligible.
     
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  10. Stevo

    Stevo Well-Known Member

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    1. Place of Birth
    2. Majority of schooling
    3. First game of footy
    4. First State/National level rep game at school boy level. CRL/NSWRL/QRL/NZRL
    5. First Senior game at any level.

    Majority wins

    Lets take Greg Inglis for Example

    1. Kempsey NSW
    2. Borawville NSW
    3. Bowraville NSW
    4. Group 2 NSW
    5. Newcastle Hunter. NSW
     

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