SO NOW we know exactly why Super League matches are around the England game.
Doesn't make it right, though.
Club bosses will say they need every penny they can get to make sure international players have somewhere to play.
However, to nick the title of a Shane Meadows film – this is England.
Anything, anything should be done to give Shaun Wane's men the best chance, especially in this year of all years.
How would the boost of promoting the club game on the back of international success balance out against losing one club fixture – one which because of the Government's delay must still be played before a limited crowd?
Like it or not, England v Combined Nations All Stars should be the only game this weekend.
And to all the detractors, stats have proved the concept works. It is what the national side needs, it is more intense.
Also, given the current circumstances, who else could England have played?
Short of flying Down Under, as happened in 2017 for the Samoa game or to Denver to take on New Zealand as they did in 2018, there just isn't the required standard of opposition up here.
Despite Australia being on the green list here, repeating the first is not possible at the other end.
Yes, the All Stars squad has not been helped by Covid-19 cases at clubs but that is not the fault of the Rugby Football League nor Super League, despite online claims that everything is their fault – I'm waiting for the day someone says it is raining because of the RFL. What is, though, is the fact there is a clash.
OK, the late finish last year meant a later start this year but that does not excuse scheduling a match on the same weekend as what is an important test for England.
When the prospect was even raised, someone in power should have uttered a simple two-letter word – no.
But we are in an era where if someone says today is Wednesday, someone from another camp may argue until they are blue in the face it is Thursday.
That has to stop. No offence to St Helens, Warrington or Wigan but the fortunes of the national side should mean more.
There is no doubting the links with and fantastic work in their communities and the efforts of those involved – this is something higher than them, though.
This is England. Everything else should back that up. No excuses.
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