This article was written by Stephen Mortimer.
With the inaugural WNRL season about to become a reality, what can be done to ensure its international growth.
The RLWC showed that there is plenty of interest at a grassroots level, at a social media level, at a broadcast level and a corporate sponsorship level.
In just 7 short years, the World Cup is being held in Canada and the USA and it is imperative that the game grows enough in those 7 years to capture and maintain the interest of those countries. Both Canada and the USA have teams who successfully play internationally in Rugby Union and in July this year, the RWC Sevens is being played in San Francisco. So that indicates that the Rugby Union governing body have identified an untapped and potentially lucrative market.
If the RLIF do not jump into that opened market shortly after, the window of opportunity could be lost and the potential of a successful World Cup could also be lost.
The Canadian Rugby governing body spend a lot of time developing grassroots through open coaching clinics and have a huge headstart on League. But the mountain isn’t beyond reach. Many of the Canada Ravens players are crossovers from Union and will draw support to our code.
The Ravens have suggested an All Stars team in the new competition and that is a suggestion worthy of consideration and financial support from the NRL and the RLIF.