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The Parksider

Member Since 06 Oct 2004
Offline Last Active Today, 01:14 PM

Topics I've Started

Toulouse news

27 January 2015 - 09:25 AM

Recently Blake Solly hinted at something happening, and now Sylvain Houles hints at a call from the RFL to enter the championship in 2015.


I'd guess the usual moans about "what happened last time" will come up ignoring Toulouse were part time and many of their best players could not travel. Houles has noted that the team is mostly full time already. All Aussies? Dunno, looks like a mixture just like HKR.


He states the full time club are currently developing the ground and the business plan will be sustainable. What's not to like?


I'd suspect for Toulouse the barrier of not being able to spend the same as the SL clubs Houles and his chairman will want to replace, and for Championship clubs the imposition of a club being parachuted into the middle division if we are to take Sylvain literally.


And I think we should, can't see most CC1 clubs being able to afford or handle trips to Toulouse to be cannon fodder.

Where our pro's come from?

13 December 2014 - 08:59 AM

This year there's 74 imports from down under. In terms of where the British players come from who are established in the first teams squads and can be counted as senior players now and feature regularly, there's a list below. It's not an exact science, There's a few who come from RU, we have a few French here, a few who started late in life but in terms of the main way players come to our game they tend to be born in an RL area, learn playing for a local junior club, get picked up by a pro club, and are honed into SL professionals. Here's the 2015 numbers and places they started out:


25 from the Wigan area

24 from the "Calder" area Cas, Ponte, Wakey, Fev, Normanton

17 from the Leeds area

15 from the Hull area

14 from the St.Helens area

13 from the "bradhuddersfax" area

8 from the London area

7 from the Oldham area

6 from the Warrington area

5 from Wales

4 from Salford area

4 from west Cumbria

3 from the Dewsbury area

2 from the Widnes area

1 from the Barrow area


There are a few difficulties when clubs are so close to each other picking up where they played amateur. A couple of possible Leigh lads who made it are listed as born in Wigan and is Golborne Wigan or Leigh? and a few Hunslet lads are down as Leeds born so there's no point being "exact" about boundaries as no town is an island with a moat around it.  I'm sure if Hunslet were SL top dogs we'd get all the north Leeds lads.


Of course lads home towns may have Amateur clubs but only semi-pro Championship so players may play local then move a short way (sometimes a long way) to an SL club for their career. Braddhuddersfax may be a good example where whoever is top dog, will pick up the best local kids.


The eyebrow raising stats? London's growing contribution that may get knocked back like Wales. The strength of Oldham JARL despite the senior clubs massive fall from grace. How far Widnes have fallen as a town that raises quality RL players, nothing from south yorkshire after many years of their presence in the game, pick your own eyebrow raiser.


The overall impression is although the game was free to become a national one and they play it all over England and did so in south Wales, the playing strength of the game remains Humberside, west Yorkshire and over the hill to Oldham, then across to West Lancashire.


Unlike soccer and RU our junior ARL roots are limited and we fight for the same kids, most of whom are a car drive from anything from two to half a dozen SL clubs.


Anyway there you go, I enjoyed doing that. If you disagree with the stats please do your own fully before moaning to me. 

Super eight or relegate?

23 November 2014 - 08:15 AM

In a parallell forum predictions for next years SL all seem to go Wigan, Wire and Saints in no particular order then Les Catalans hampered from winning it by away form.


Down at the bottom Wakefield are repeatedly put there as a given.


Between that though Widnes are cited as another relegation threatened club despite an eight finish to the point of maybe joint bottom with Wakey.


HKR are down for a better finish by some as they have a "better team this year", but as with all clubs it's generally their fans who say their team will be better this year, and I'm not sure "all clubs have strengthened" Same at Cas where top players have gone their fans say the replacements will make them better, outside the bluster everyone has them dropping out of the eight some saying Powell's coaching has been "worked out"


Leeds are split between old heads been too good not to finish super eight, and old men will finally have their (hard) time, Nobody is sure about Hull, 4th. for some bottom for others.


Salford "strongest squad for years" is countered by a "collection of individuals", Fartown are spoken of in terms of it's all down to how Brough goes.


I personally dunno about all this but would be interested to hear how you think the teams will go apart from your own as nobody seemingly wants to admit that losing players and replacing them with others can sometimes end up with a worse squad especially in these days of player shortages.

Leeds in transition Leigh in trepidation

03 November 2014 - 02:36 PM

Bailey gone, Achurch may join Clarkson at Widnes, Hall can name his price and says he likes the idea, whilst the "outs" start to rack up the possible "In's" include a raid on Leigh for Prop Barlow and Scrum Half Brierley. Big club to keep ambitious small club down?.

France should be in four nations

03 November 2014 - 09:13 AM

Two very positive threads about Wales RL sponsorship and Scotland RL's 4 Nations place being a boost for development in those countries.


That's great and fair enough, as is one of our knowledgable posters on the developing game getting chased off the Scotland thread for mentioning that there's hardly any game in Scotland or Wales to develop!


But the concern is for me the wasted opportunity to use that fourth place to develop a country that has a growing junior game, has a significant senior game and has a Superleague side, and many people - some with money - looking to seriously develop France RL.


Now Catalans clearly cannot shoulder the burden of providing a national side any more than any one M62 club could deliver an English national side. But the RFL have blocked Toulouse for 18 years now yet we have a go at Aussies for not caring about International RL.


Yeh this may be a thread about same old same old lack of English support for France, but as we get as many posts on how well Welsh, Irish and Scots RL is doing, then it's worth looking beyond the "positivity" at the reality and the worry that if Scotland get three crushing defeats against their powerful counterparts will that really turn the Scots on to RL?


We've always looked jealously at the RU's six nations but we are having a wonderfully credible four nations down under, I fear that the negative approach to France may downgrade the return next year which I think is perhaps the major promotional tournament for RL in Europe and should not be used to pretend they play RL in Scotland, because the RFL tie Frances hands to develop professionally.