Rugby League Luminaries Voice Concerns Over International Game Quality

Renowned Rugby League Figures Express Dismay over International Game’s State

In the aftermath of England’s recent victory over France, several of English rugby league’s most prominent names have voiced their concerns about the concerning state of the international game.

England’s triumph last weekend was overshadowed by a disappointing build-up and a palpable lack of public interest in the fixture. A number of key figures have since shared their perspectives, hoping the resulting outrage will spur a tangible change in the fortunes of international rugby league.

“Embarrassing” and “Disgraceful”

Among the most vocal critics was England’s record cap holder, prop James Graham. On his podcast, “The Bye Round,” Graham did not mince words, labeling the Test match as “embarrassing” and “disgraceful.”

“It was so, so embarrassing. For it to be like that, there’s no excuse,” Graham lamented. “I’ve not even watched any of the play because there’s no appeal to watch it.”

“Like an Academy Game”

Fellow England international Kevin Brown echoed Graham’s sentiments, likening the occasion to an “academy game” in an interview with The Mirror.

“It was like an academy game; there was no one there, no atmosphere and it wasn’t on TV,” Brown said. “I just felt really sorry for the lads who’ve never had an international experience for that to be their first taste. It should be amazing.”

Coaches’ Concerns

The mood of frustration was also reflected among Super League coaches. Hull KR’s Willie Peters admitted the game was “embarrassing” and suggested some coaches may now reconsider releasing players for such low-key fixtures, citing the risk of injury.

Other prominent figures, such as St Helens coach Paul Wellens and Wigan’s Matt Peet, expressed their disappointment that the players’ pinnacle experience failed to materialize in front of sizable crowds and television audiences.

As the debate continues, the hope is that the outpouring of concern from these rugby league luminaries will catalyze tangible improvements in the sport’s international landscape.

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