Revitalizing Lancashire vs. Yorkshire State of Origin Games in Rugby League

Wigan Warriors Boss Calls for State of Origin-Style Games to Boost Northern Hemisphere Rugby League

Wigan Warriors head coach Matt Peet has urged rugby league authorities to revitalize the ‘Lancashire vs. Yorkshire’ State of Origin-style matches to aid the struggling representative game in the Northern Hemisphere.

Peet’s comments come after four of his Warriors players featured for Shaun Wane’s England side in their 40-8 victory over France in Toulouse last Saturday. Meanwhile, Tiaki Chan, who has spent time on loan at Hull FC, was named in the French squad.

“I would like to see Lancashire vs. Yorkshire revitalized and given another go. A stepping stone towards an England shirt would be great for more players, and I think you could get more coaches involved.”

However, the international fixture failed to capture the attention it deserved. The game was not broadcast on television, instead airing solely on Super League+, and clashed directly with a UEFA EURO 2024 match. Furthermore, just 4,500 spectators attended the contest at Toulouse’s Stade Ernest-Wallon, with more turning up to watch the subsequent Championship clash between Olympique and Featherstone Rovers.

Pathway for Players and Staff

Peet believes the return of the Lancashire vs. Yorkshire Origin-style games could be the solution to the Northern Hemisphere’s representative rugby league woes. He acknowledged the current commitment to games against France but suggested the Origin format could provide a pathway for more players and staff to experience representative rugby league.

“Our lads would want to play, and I’m sure some of our staff would be involved. That’s the other thing, it becomes a pathway not just for players, but for staff that are involved as well.”

Peet’s sentiments are echoed by those within the Wigan club, including England head coach Shaun Wane, who also holds a position as the Warriors’ Leadership & Management Director. “Everyone I speak to within our club shares that frustration,” Peet added.

Need for Representative Rugby League on the Biggest Stage

The Wigan boss concluded by emphasizing the need for representative rugby league to be showcased on the biggest stage possible, stating:

“We all want to see England or international rugby league or representative rugby league on the best stage it can be. How we get there, that’s for the administrators of the game – on both sides of the world – to work together and sort out.”

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