With the Rugby League World Cup in full swing, it is clear who the major players will come the business end of the competition.
In this week’s edition of ‘At The Bar’ Michael ‘Speedy Stratton and The Area News’ sports journalist, Liam Warren sit down to discuss whether there are benefits to having a Rugby League World Cup.
Liam: Well Speedy it that time again with the most farcical sporting event taking to the field in the Rugby League World Cup. What have you made of it so far?
Speedy: You were on the right track when you called it farcical. I have been watching it, and the best game so far was the game between Australia and England. England lifted as they would do against Australia but some of those other countries they rely on Australians too much. If Australians weren't able to play for say Lebanon and Tonga and those sort of places what would it be like it would be farcical. But on the other hand, it is good for these countries that the Australians who have a heritage in those countries can play for them because hopefully, the interest will rise.I think the other day Lebanon got their first ever win over France and Tonga have also impressed me I give them a good shot.
Liam: They have Will Hopoate at fullback and Andrew Fiffita up front, so there is no doubting their firepower.
Speedy: If New Zealand or England or even Australia falter watch Tonga. They have the blokes there, and the Australians that are playing for them lift the standard, and those other blokes around them will lift with them.
Liam: There have been a fair few injuries picked up during the opening couple of games including to some big names.
Speedy: Yea England look like they will be without the mighty Rabbitoh Sam Burgess for at least two weeks so he should be back for the big ones should England reach that stage and there was one guy who went down with a broken wrist, and one who broke his leg and all the teams have replacements, but it is whether or not they are up to standard.
Liam: What do you think the smaller nations get out of tournaments like this.
Speedy: Hopefully after it is all over these teams improve and it will be a great boost for them down the line. I go back to what I have said before the NRL and ARL should be bringing these minor countries out here and playing divisional sides like Riverina, Monaro and Western.
Liam: The Samoans did that a couple of weeks ago, they played the Riverina Under 23s.
Speedy: And they should keep doing that. If they can keep doing that on a regular basis those teams will improve out of sight.
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