One point I would raise with you is the size of the "pool" you speak of. Again the WCJARL seems to have so few clubs/teams they double up in age groups (i.e. U16, U14, U12) and those leagues are still small with few fixtures. Has the actual numbers playing WCJARL shrunk over the years Derwent?
I think the absolute number of junior players may have shrunk, but the clubs who historically produced the best youngsters are still as strong as they were. Clubs like Kells, Wath Brow, Egremont, Hensingham, Seaton all still have good junior set-ups. Just as an aside, when people think of RL in West Cumbria they automatically think of Workington and Whitehaven but in terms of amateur clubs there is actually only 1 club in the Workington town boundary and 2 in the Whitehaven town boundary. The rest are in smaller towns and outlying villages. Maryport, which has no pro team and is less than half the size of Workington, has 3 amateur clubs in the town.
For all those giving Parky stick, and claiming their own club's area has more than he claims, just do your own count for all areas, define your criteria for inclusion, define your areas and why, and then publish the results.
Its easy to shout wrong, its also lazy, you want to prove him wrong then do the counts, publish your method and results.
Shouting wrong on a very selective part of his work using different criteria doesn't make you right, it just makes you look sulky because your side didn't come out as well as you expected.
You can't just publish numbers without looking at the drivers behind them though. I can't profess to know much about Widnes junior scene for example, but as I've said previously in the case of West Cumbria the raw talent is produced and this is backed up by the BARLA amateur international squads at the various age groups. So why don't all of these Young Cumbrians go on to the professional game ? One of the reasons will be that it is a lot to ask a 16/17 year old to move away from friends and family to join a SL club. Another is that the kids who do join clubs are paid minimum wage which is disgraceful. It's easy for a talented kid from M62 land to make the progression as they can live at home with mam and dad, not so easy for those from outside the area. So the actual figures that Parky has published don't necessarily reflect the talent pool or "junior production" in an area.
These things are never straightforward and there is a whole host of variables to take into account. While Parky says that West Cumbria has only got 4 "seasoned SL pro" players, this is not the real issue when talking about the area.
At amateur level, particularly the junior game, West Cumbria produces as many international players as the much larger areas of Yorkshire and Lancashire, and regularly beats them in the County Championship at all age groups. The talent pool is undoubtedly there.
Instead of what seems like a sneering "they only produce 4 players", a better discussion would be why do so few of the junior internationals, who are considered at least the equal of their peers in other areas, not progress to the pro game ? That's the problem in West Cumbria. The initial production of the raw talent is taking place, but somehow that doesn't translate into the professional game. I was looking at the BARLA U18 squad that the likes of Paul Sculthorpe played in ~20 years ago and of the 22 players only 4 didn't go on to play in SL - of that 4 players, 3 of them were West Cumbrians who settled for life at home and a bit of beer money for playing. So the issue is really not one of production, but one of progression.