It wasn’t just from another country, it was from another century.
Of cloth-capped flat beer-swilling coal-miners and weavers who you couldn’t understand.
And who liked putting ferrets down each other’s trousers – Rugby League.
It was only played in the north of England and in Australia.
And maybe New Zealand but only by those who weren’t good enough to be All Blacks.
But then someone had the bright idea of spreading the word to London and setting up a team there.
And then changing the season to Spring-Autumn.
In fairness they were one of the first sports to tap into regular screening of matches.
And the dulcet tones of Eddie Waring waxing lyrical about ‘up and unders’ could be heard every Saturday from our living room.
So there you have it, Rugby League has always led while others followed.
From the days they broke away from rugby union and demanded players get paid to the dawn of transatlantic sport.
Now American Football has been dipping their toe in the UK for decades with the odd game held in London.
Rugby League www.rugby-league.com though has dunked itself right in with the admission of super franchise Toronto Wolfpack.
I predict that this will be a hugely successful union, sorry marriage.
Toronto has a recent history of launching teams who have gone on to take home the silver.
Both with the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team and last year’s NBA champions the Toronto Raptors.
One of the arguments used against trans-atlantic sport is the distance.
But it’s only seven hours from England-Toronto.
And whisper it around the north of England but their 15-a-side union cousins in Europe assimilated the South African club sides.
And London-Cape Town is 11-and-a-half hours.
No transatlantic sport is the next big thing… long-haul travel is pitched at an accessible price now for you and me.
And we’ll love checking out Canada (and New York) which is being slated to jump on the bandwagon.
A PS here and a shout-out to Irish Gaelic Games www.gaa.ie who have been crossing the pond for years.
North Americans love their sports as much as we do.
Sometimes they’re the same sports, sometimes they’re different.
I always make a point in my travels of checking out where people play and pray.