October 11, 2001
5:09 PM   Subscribe

The Australian Rugby League cancelled the Australian Kangaroos rugby league team's tour of the UK after a small number of players were concered about their security. Now there's a major outcry from all over Australia and the UK regarding the cancellation, and they are being branded gutless, wimps, and cowards from both home and abroad. Great Britain hasn't beaten Australia in a rugby league test series in over 30 years, now there's talk it should be given to them by default. Quite pathetic of the ARL considering that the Australian Wallabies rugby union team (note to Americans - rugby league and rugby union are two different sports) have no doubts that their tour to Europe will go on as planned.
posted by Jase_B (10 comments total)
The only reason England hasn't beaten Oz in Rugby League in so long is that Rugby League is a crap sport that nobody in England plays.

...because it is crap.

Rugby Union on the other hand...
posted by TiggleTaggleTiger at 5:20 PM on October 11, 2001

Sorry, that might have been out of order. This line "Congratulations to Great Britain for winning the 2001 Rugby League Ashes. They played fair and honestly." in one of the articles got my hackles up a bit.
posted by TiggleTaggleTiger at 5:25 PM on October 11, 2001


Avoiding the code debate, how many Wallabies actually play in the UK right now? I'm sure there's a few.
posted by holgate at 5:26 PM on October 11, 2001

(Is there a link that could clarify the positions in this hotly-contested Rugby Union vs. Rugby League debate? I'm curious.)
posted by arco at 5:28 PM on October 11, 2001

gutless, wimps, and cowards

of course, it's rugby league (i add to the melee)
posted by cheesebot at 6:25 PM on October 11, 2001

arco: I suspect there's no non-partisan links. Although it's amusing that the greatest disputes are among the fans, while the players now flit shamelessly from code to code, depending on who's paying the most this year.

(League, unless it's Welsh or college rugby. I just hate the middle-class Home Counties culture that surrounds Union in England.)
posted by holgate at 6:31 PM on October 11, 2001

i think they are total wankers. i mean the risk at present would be no different to going over there and getting hurt in a terrorist act by the IRA or something.....
posted by endorwitch at 7:49 PM on October 11, 2001

I'm not interested in rugby of any kind, so I have no interest in whether or not they go, however, they obviously think there is some kind of risk in going to the UK.

Given that, surely it's not for one person to decide that another should be put at risk. (Should there even be a risk) If you were the one making the decision for yourself, you might choose differently, but it is these players who think it may be potentially hazardous for them, and they will be the ones taking that chance should anything happen, not you. Respect their decision.

There will be other tours in other years, and if you think they're wimps... well, I dare you to tell it to their face, let's see who the wimps are! Have you seen how big these guys are?
posted by Jubey at 9:59 PM on October 11, 2001

Unbelievable. Peter Fitzsimons puts it best.

Seriously. For all the public agonising that was going on, you'd think the debate was about whether or not the Kangaroos should be parachuted into Afghanistan with bayonets between their teeth and a photo of Osama bin Laden strapped to their wrists. "Your mission: bring him back, dead or alive."

But that is not what the Kangaroos were asked to do. They were asked to fly business class to luxury hotels in a nation of 60 million - which somehow seems to be making it through from day to day - simply to play football.

Certainly, the whole venture was not totally without risk, but then no venture ever is.

posted by jay at 10:38 PM on October 11, 2001

Holgate: Rugby Union certainly doesn't have a Home Counties culture in the southwest of England in places like Brtistol, Gloucester and Bath.

As to the arguments between League and Union, I think I can be pretty fair about it, since I like both sports, but I wasn't brought up with either. There is no good reason why the Australians are so much better at rugby league. There are probably far more players in the UK. In both countries, the sport is pretty regional, and both have to compete against a more popular code of football (Aussie Rules or soccer).

This is a body blow for rugby league in the UK. Union makes most of it's money through international matches. League can only do that against the Australians. At a time when league is already suffering this is just one more thing they really didn't need.
posted by salmacis at 1:28 AM on October 12, 2001

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