Why is it so bad that the international rugby competition beginning this weekend is called the Rugby World Cup - not the Rugby Union World Cup?
I've seen plenty comment, argument and upset over calls for a "missing word". Really?!
Does it really matter?
I mean, just because the Rugby League World Cup is so called, does that mean the other code has to mirror the naming convention? (When have they ever wanted to copy what the other code does anyway?!)
Is there the same hoo-har about Rugby League 9s and Rugby 7s?
I see the reasoning; I understand the argument; but, really, is it that bad?
So you’ll say: it’s disrespectful because it’s like they’re “not acknowledging that league exists” - because they’re not specifying...
Well, there’s rugby league, rugby union, rugby train station, rugby college… it doesn’t say Rugby League, so it’s not rugby league.
Ah, so you’ll say: but people might not know about rugby league if they don’t differentiate - and that’s knocking a nail in League...
Well if people/fans/spectators/viewers/listeners are ignorant enough to not know the difference between the two codes - then that’s a wider issue than purely the name of the competition. No?
Ah, so you’ll say: but people will think that the game they see is “rugby” and won’t know about RL - and that could have a negative impact on people paying attention to League.
But if the RWC2015 gets more profile and exposure and, let’s face it, terestrial TV and national radio coverage in the UK than the RLWC2013 then isn’t that a wider issue than purely the name of the competition. No?
And could it not raise the profile of oval ball football generally - and benefit some league clubs? Kids play “rugby” when they start learning the game (again, let’s face it, it’s rugby league initially when you’re young even when training at a union club) so anything that encourages them to pick up an oval ball is good, no?
As ever, since the split, it’s likely to be geography that determines any future impact. If a parent/fan/viewer/listener Googles “rugby club in [place name where they live]” I wonder what different results they’ll get if they put in: Sheffield, Leicester, Coventry or Oxford.
I’m reliably informed that RL had the chance to sue the RWC as Red Hall owned the name - but for financial reasons chose not to.
Maybe it was just common sense, like me they just didn’t see how - really - it matters that much.
Most of all, isn’t it too much effort to get pent up about it? Doesn’t it just make league fans the moaning, poor relation that union fans think they are? Shouldn’t they just be doing more to promote our game? The chip, it seems, is firmly on our own shoulder - we should know, we put it there!
Rugby League is our brand. Rugby League.
If the RWC2015 were calling their competition the "Alternative Rugby League World Cup" then I might have joined the argument. But they’re not.