You can't have a better competition without a larger player base to choose from.How many players are we missing out on because they have never even heard of Rugby League.
I don't think that's true. What seems to matter is getting really good coaching into athletically able kids.
The evidence suggests that you could pick 200 ten year old lads at random
, give them fifteen years of the highest quality coaching in the right environment and you could then pick a 17, just from that group of 200, and they would run the Kangaroos over with ease.
What appears to matter is the quality of coaching and experience, far more so than the quantity of kids playing the game.
Read Bounce by Matthew Syed. It has a great opening chapter on how Silverdale Road in Reading came to have a table tennis player who won three national junior titles, another player (his brother) who became England #1, Commonwealth Gold medalist twice and Olympian three times, another, unrelated, player who won Commonwealth Gold and UK Championships, and five other (unrelated) players who represented England or were English champions.
For a period in the 1980s, this one street produced more outstanding table tennis players than the rest of the nation combined.
It's a fascinating story. Well worth looking into.