Are we seeing international rugby league history slowly starting to advance before our eyes?
Take these three pieces of news over the past two weeks as evidence the foundations are moving, in case you missed it.
Firstly, Fiji was crowned world champions after beating Australia in the Defence Forces World Cup final. Let’s consider this for a moment.
They defeated the Australians, the defending champions, with a thumping 44-12 win. Even more significantly, the Fijians were a late inclusion to the tournament – they only came in after Serbia dropped out.
— FIJI NSW Cup Bid 🔵 (@FijiNSWCupBid) July 17, 2017
— FIJI NSW Cup Bid 🔵 (@FijiNSWCupBid) July 16, 2017
The news was widely reported in the big Fijian newspapers: Fiji Times, Fiji Village and Fiji One TV. Along with the pre-World Cup games in Suva later in the year, Fiji rugby league continues to build on an excellent year.
Here’s some more news to make your correspondent smile. France reached a World Cup final, for the first time since 1968 – and won! The French hosted the Wheelchair World Cup and scored a late try to pip England 38-34 in the decider.
— FFR XIII (@FFRXIII) July 28, 2017
They defeated Italy in the semi-final – again, how good to see European sides featuring – with Spain and Wales also playing.
Australia grabbed a podium spot with a 58-45 win in the third and fourth play-off against the Italians.
Lastly, some Anglo-Australian cooperation.
NRL.com has confirmed that two Super League sides will play pre-season games in Sydney next year.
Wigan and Hull FC will play two games in Australia, including their Round 2 Super League game to be at WIN Stadium in Wollongong on Saturday 10th February.
Hull FC and Wigan Warriors will create history in 2018 by playing the first ever Super League fixture outside… https://t.co/9zNeYdLARu
— NRL Gossip (@NRLGossip) July 26, 2017
The sides will also take on South Sydney and St George Illawarra respectively at ANZ Stadium in a double-header.
Before you say it sounds distinctly like the World Club Challenge, these are purely exhibition games, designed to give exposure to the Super League (always a positive step).
Fiji dancing, France triumphing, and Super League clubs coming to Australia. Now there’s some news to make any big-picture thinking rugby league fan smile.