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LIKE the Bourbons, the Rugby Football League is guilty of not learning anything from their own history.
They have announced that another round of the International Origin matches will be played at Warrington in the summer, as preparation for the England rugby league team in this autumn's world cup.
These matches have been spurned by the public and largely mocked on various fans’ forums.
The crowds have been derisory and the performance of the various England teams who have faced the Origin selection have been poor.
The problem with international rugby league is the lack of competitive teams and this desperate measure is a good illustration of that.
How playing against a selection of overseas players – many of whom are pensionable in rugby league terms – can meaningfully assist the England team to beat the likes of Australia and New Zealand in the World Cup this autumn is beyond me.
It would be better to see the players selected by England reach the peak of their form during the season and then get together for a few weeks and prepare for the World Cup after the Grand Final at Old Trafford.
The playing pool is small, the lads all know each other, there is really no need for these gestures.
But the RFL wants to look and sound like other big ticket sports bodies so their motto is “act like they act”.
I wonder who Australia and New Zealand are playing in their warm-up matches?
It will not be a bunch of players from outside their own country who happen to be playing in their domestic league.
Rugby league has tried this before.
It used to be called ‘Other Nationalities’.
It was not a success then.
And it will not, for the third year running, be a success now.