Quins and Crusaders can count themselves really lucky that they serve a wider purpose to the game. Crusaders could be a focal point for the excellent development work being done elsewhere and could in time help support a Welsh national side. If Wales win the Euro cup thing this year, then they could go into the 4 Nations with a fair few genuine Welsh players next year. Who knows where RL in Wales could be in 5 years time.
Quins serve 2 useful purposes. They could act as a focal point and catalyst for some essential junior development away from the heartlands and they give us a southern presence, however tenuous.
The only basis on which clubs should be "invited" in is if they can acquire their own TV deal or show that they can pay for themselves. We have enough on our hands supporting Wales and the Quins.
I have written this 1000 times, but the instant we have more than 14 clubs with decent facilities this ridiculous anti-sporting franchise system must go. I can see it serving a purpose to get clubs to get their act together, but once that has been achieved we must go back to p and r or risk losing once great clubs who could be great again!!!
Finally, I will raise a glass of bubbles when Widnes retain their deserved place at the top table next year. The criteria look perfectly designed for them.
I agree about Wakey and Castleford, they just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Which in essence sounds as ludicrous as it actually is.
They perform better than 3 current Super League sides but one looks likely to lose it's place purely because of geography and 'potential.'
Salford should count themselves extremely lucky, they have continually failed as a Super League club yet purely because of the promise of a new stadium in an RL struggling area they will lose out. Personally if it was up to me I would replace Salford and let them reapply when they actually have the new stadium if it such a certainty.
I don't think Toulouse can apply. Reading that statement it suggests to me that anybody currently in the Championship can only apply if they meet the above criteria. To give the RFL credit they cleared that up earlier in the year, they wouldn't risk the furore of including Toulouse after that.