Code War: RA’s offensive plan to target the league for the World Cup



Rugby Australia has signaled that it will crack down on NRL players after securing the 2027 World Cup at home, but league officials say they are not concerned about the threat of a code war.

RA chairman Hamish McLennan told the Sun-Herald newspaper that CEO Andy Marinos and Wallabis coach Dave Renny have already discussed targeting “some good league players who have grown up in rugby”.

“These players love the game and they know that the experience of the Rugby World Cup in Australia cannot be replicated by the league.”

If McLennan’s remarks are a shot across the bow of the rugby league, then NRL CEO Andrew Abdo looks set to be fired.

Hamish McLennan, chairman of Rugby Australia

Hamish McLennan. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images)

“We focus on the rugby league; We don’t think too much about what’s going on around us from other sports perspectives, “Abdo told the Sun-Herald.

“People have the right to say what they want and to trade whatever they want.

“We’ve found some incredible talent in our competition year after year. We see some great players retire and then you see some rookie players come and become fans’ favorites.

“We’re focusing on razor-sharp to make sure our competition is the best in the world.”

Abdo said the league had a mandatory advantage over the union.

“It’s a great game to play, a great game to watch. We have tribalism and passion, a great support base, we have found clubs that have unprecedented investments in excellence centers and new stadiums, “said Abdo.

“When a professional athlete makes a choice about where they will play, they consider a number of considerations. We must be confident that we have the systems to attract and develop our talents. We will continue to do that.

“Coming out of the epidemic, we are going to see the international game revived. We have a World Cup in the UK this year, we have a Pacific double-header coming up in June and we are working on an international calendar in October and November on an annual basis.

“If you are a rugby league player, you have a lot to look forward to. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. “

Rugby Australia has been hunted for several years and many of its top stars have been hunted abroad. They seem optimistic that an injection of funds from the successful bid for the 2027 World Cup will help stop their tide and then push the NRL into the region.

McLennan was not prepared to discuss possible goals.

Former Wallabies captain George Gregan said RA had to be careful about their choices.

“Before I had a checkbook, I had an attitude book,” Gregon told the Sun-Herald.

“If their attitude is to compete on the international stage, to contribute to the Walabi team and they want to play and try rugby and reach the heights that enable you to do it, then this is great. The rest take care of themselves.

“Of course I was lucky to have players from the rugby league in my career. Their attitude was that they wanted to be world champions and they could be the best in our game. They bring to the team the attitude and the work ethic that I think is really important. “

Wendell Sailor from the Gregan League, Lotte Tukiri and Matt Rogers reflect signatures. They were also big stars in rugby union.

“They’ve got their place and cut their teeth playing Super Rugby, going on tour,” Gregon said. “They were quality players. The skill set required to play both games, there are some differences, but then there are some things that are interrelated. They all had a big-match mood. They were never afraid. “

Gregon said RA could offer something that NRL could not.

“Rugby distinguishes itself from these two codes [NRL and AFL] With a Rugby World Cup, ”he said.

“It’s a global, international event that attracts the best players in the world and draws incredible support from around the world. You will play in front of the field which has sold out in seven weeks which is quite unique. Other codes, as great as they are, they can’t offer it. “

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