Jonty- Excellent posts
You are spot on with how RL is perceived in your area and a successful local team is key. As you can guess I'm from the heartlands but have lived all over the Uk and recently worked near Iffley Road at Garsington so applaud Oxford's efforts.
The key to youth teams is success of a local outfit. As you can see from my Avatar I support youth rugby and in Warrington there has always been a base but I've noticed over the past few years a new vigour that builds on the Wolves success (or failure at OT). Even so the teams that our youth teams have to beat are the Wigan and St Helens* ones that treat the whole game seriously from U7's onwards. I can't speak for t'other side of the Pennines but i'll bet it's the same near Leeds. Kids look to their heroes, so we need strong representation away from the M62. The Bronco situation makes me sad and I wish the Skolars well, but we need concerted youth effort in these areas (and Oxford) . Welcome Toulouse! If the kids are interested then the parents follow.
I love this game and every little thing that raises the profile is welcomed (Emirates sponsorship! Doctor Who-kash! We're heading in the right direction) Shout from the roof tops just how good the RLWC is. It will give us a temporary boost but the grass roots need to spread and this comes from youth development with parental support.
Let's all get out and shout about the legacy- I said to a Scottish former amateur RU player at work today that I needed to get back to watch Scot-USA. His reply- "I didn't know we had an RL team. Where do they play at home in Scotland? and wait for it ........................is the RL pitch the same size as an RU pitch!" We have a long way to go.
Edit * Waterhead from Oldham are pretty good too- Sinfield, McDermott, Harris- say no more!
Edited by wirecab, 07 November 2013 - 11:17 PM.