Rugby Union Sevens
Rugby Union Sevens has gained quiet good momentum worldwide. They now have a successful international circuit and Sevens will be at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Whilst it will be a long time before Rugby League Nine’s will be considered for the Olympics, we can learn from Rugby Union and incorporate a worldwide Rugby League Nine’s circuit. It is a great way to promote the game amongst developing nations, and the modified rules even the playing field to a certain extent. Logistically it will be nothing like the Rugby Union version, we don’t have the money or resources, but it can be done in a different way, on a smaller scale.
At the moment there are a few popular Rugby League Nine’s tournaments. These tournaments involve both national and club sides. This is great, I’m not against this. However, we should promote a few tournaments to exclusively involve national teams. We could have 8 tournaments for example, spread across many regions. An example tour could be:
* Pacific: Australian Nine’s, New Zealand Nine’s
* UK: England Nine’s, Welsh Nine’s
* Europe: French Nine’s, Italian Nine’s
* Americas: USA Nine’s, Canadian Nine’s
This gives the circuit an international flavour, again, as it is spread across many regions. Now it wouldn’t be reasonable to expect every team to make an appearance at each event, at the moment we are under-funded and under-resourced. That is why I feel it would be best to implement a points system to decide the World Champions of Rugby League Nine’s. The system could work something like this:
* 5 points for appearing at a tournament
* 2 points for a loss
* 5 points for a win
* 5 points for finals appearance
* 10 points for winning a tournament
This awards teams for making the trip out to a tournament, and awards the best teams on the field at the tournaments. It isn’t the best system, after all I’m not a Rugby League administrator, hopefully they’d be able to figure out something better, same goes for the locations on the circuit. This is just for example purposes, and I hope it demonstrates the potential for an international Rugby League Nine’s circuit.
If we look at the success of Rugby Union Sevens it seems logical that we should promote our version, Rugby League Nine’s. A true international Rugby League Nine’s circuit would do this, crowning a new Rugby League Nine’s World Champion every year. Logistically it isn’t simple, but nothing really is, however the positives of such a circuit would outweigh any issues. This is a concept that could get off the ground and in time tournaments could become extremely popular events in the individual nations. All it takes is some consistency, get it off the ground and give it time to flourish, host tournaments in the same cities, and the same countries every year, and when it’s time to expand ask national bodies to bid for the right to hold a tournament there.