This ANZAC Day we're honoured to share this 2015 piece by Andrew Ferguson.
Honouring Stan Carpenter...
28 hours ago
There's something wrong in the game today if International fixtures are not greeted with more fervour and fanfare than interstate clashes.
Since 2002, Australia has played 50 tests - 27 of them against New Zealand.
Go to any other decade in time prior to the Superleague war and you'll find Australia playing regularly against other nations. It is this very issue that has seen the Australian International Calendar becoming mundane and secondary to State of Origin.
If we are going to have a representative weekend, why have it between players who we see every weekend? Why not get people excited and give them something new and interesting other than the same tired schedule which is slowly starting to bore people.
People really embrace and love the All-Stars concept at the start of the year. Its great, it's a fresh idea and it works.
So here's my suggestions (all games are to be televised Live.):
Friday - Double Header in Country NSW
NSW - City vs Country - With NRL players in both sides.
NSW - City Firsts vs Country Firsts - City eligible players from NSW Cup vs Players from Country RL.
Saturday - Double Header in Country QLD
QLD - City vs Country - with NRL players in both sides.
QLD - City Firsts vs Country Firsts - City eligible players from QLD Cup vs Players from Country RL.
Sunday - Double Header
Oceania vs Europe - It would be a great quality game for all spectators and we would get to see players from other countries as well.
USA vs Lebanon (or any such equivalent) - Have this as an official match.
Here is now an opportunity for the NRL to showcase the game to the world, and to bring the world into the NRL. This would be a massive advertisement for the game everywhere.
It would also make for a much more exciting weekend of rep football than just watching NRL players playing against each other in different coloured jumpers one weekend.