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  1. With the Top 14 RU now dominated by overseas players, there have never been has many young French players in both codes who can't break through. However, they have to be paid what they are worth. I heard that the disparity between Calatans' French contingent and the overseas players is alarming. It is little wonder the trickle has moved to UK. The Dragons think they have a captive market to pay poor wages to local players.
  2. An interesting point was made by Michael Carter in a recent radio interview where he said that the 8s cost Wakefield a huge sum last year because of the uncertainty over scheduling (and when they had home games). He also seemed to hint that in the 8s that Sky had complete autonomy to switch any game to a Thursday. Carter also said the he had spoken to Hudgell at HKR and he said they basically have no plans if they don't bounce back through the 8s this year. Just how many of the SL club chairman are unhappy with the status quo (and their bottom line) will ultimately decide it.
  3. Not a thread debating the system just whether the game will stick, twist or abandon it completely for 2018. There is a review of the 2x12 (3x8s) split system planned for 2017 and I suppose Rugby League, and its clubs, has a history of radically dumping something just as quickly as they radically bring something in. So the questions is one of: Will the 2x12 (3x8s) still be here in its current format in 2018? Will it still be here with a format tweak? Will it be dumped completely for a new/old system?
  4. England winning the World Cup would be massive. It is live on the BBC and gives our sport every opportunity of a lift. For me it would also have to come with knocking Australia off in that first game too so the momentum can build. Toronto being a massive success would also raise the profile media wise.
  5. Don't know about social media but Wood should be getting his backside out of Red Hall more and fronting up to the media over these big issues. Whenever something happens in the NRL (good or bad - and there is a lot of bad) Todd Greenberg is there fronting up and making a statement to cameras. Wood gets away with slipping out a press release about Bradford without even accredited quotes. He got away with slipping out a statement over the Denny Solomona issue. It feels like he is not up for the fight of carrying the mantle. The salary goes with the target and you should be the voice of the game.
  6. Great Bulls debate live now on Radio Yorkshire facebook page. Rod Studd, Michael Carter, Phil Caplan etc.
  7. The winner of the darts last night took home £350k for two weeks work. That sum has increased sevenfold in the last decade. That is more than any SL player earns in a year. Regardless of what you think of Hearn he has made millionaires out of the top 20 players in the sport. I would suspect in RL terms that players like Sean Long and Andy Farrell may have been earning the same in the mid-2000s as many of our top SL players do today. Stagnation just makes a sport ripe for cherry picking from all corners.
  8. That is because it is not simply a case of swapping Nigel Wood (and Rimmer) for Gary Hetherington or Eamonn McManus. That is the mistake we have made over and over again. It is so depressing to see job adverts drawn up with such insular narrowness that you can only choose from a handful of candidates regardless. Wood and Rimmer were failed club CEOs - where is there wider sports market proven track records? They brought Barwick in but he only does a couple of days a month no wonder he can't make an impact. When Lewis was appointed from outside the game it took RL in the UK to get itself into a pretty devastating state with the 2000 RLWC and a second round reduction in Sky funding. The game does need a progressive body headed by a progressive individual that can take the game forward. If Wood is on a reported £250k then it won't take much more than that to get a pretty decent hitter from outside.
  9. Remember he was the main person trying to promote and preserve the wonderful archives and historical artifacts of our great game when very few were giving a stuff about it.
  10. Great post. And I agree with you there on many things. My point is that every empty seat and hospitality box and missed sponsorship on those flagship club and international events is causing cloth cutting lower down the scale. That may be club reserve sides or cutting £70 from Wales RL or not running a proper women's competition. The failings and mediocrity of the 2016 4N competition was a kick in the guts for those fans who were buoyed at Wembley and Old Trafford in 2013. It is like watching Arkwright planning to open another Open All Hours shop in a few years time while Tesco Expresses are appearing all around him by the month.
  11. For all those people defending Magic can you tell me what you anticipate the Day 2 Sunday crowd to be this year with Catalans v Hudds, Salford v Leigh and Leeds v Cas (5.30pm kick-off) and a modest marketing budget? Day 1 was also down 2016 compared with 2015. People think I am getting snotty about the wrong area. But this event mirrors exactly what is happening with the Challenge Cup and Internationals. An organisation which is happy with mediocrity. The cuts to funding, appalling treatment of the women's game, reserves, academies, amateur are all by-products of this state of make good and mend. As is the ridiculous fixture calendar.
  12. This is exactly where we should be focussing our improvement and criticisms. We need to find another 20,000 neutrals for the Challenge Cup final and another 30k fans for Magic. Magic climaxes with virtually no-one in the stadium. Do we have anyone with the skill set to pull this off? I hope Draper stays and sticks it out and makes some changes but he may ride quickly into the sunset once he witnesses the small minded approach to the game. One of my biggest concerns is the pile it high sell it cheap mentality that is blighting the game. The expectation of fans is now "where is there a discount code" and not "I want to be there regardless".
  13. My point is that they were presented with a half open door here in 2007 and failed spectacularly to turn this into a showpiece event that is a must see - and not another bargain basement offering. Any sport with vision would have built and refined the concept over a period of a decade to create a must see experience that would have grown significantly over a period of 10 years. Looking at the fixtures for Day 2 this year and the fact Day 1 in 2016 was down on 2015, this year may plateau again. I think it sums up perfectly the RFL and why some people are divided here. It completely fails to capitalise on starts it makes (Magic, RLWC/International, WCS, Exiles) and these things fail to grow or end up disappointingly "okay". This could be a strap line for the game in the UK - RL disappointingly okay.
  14. Or we might talk about taking flagship games like Wigan v Saints or Leeds v Castleford to bigger event stadiums and backing ourselves to promote it and sell it out based on the quality of the product. We don't need to cheapen the product by piling it high to provide value for money. It comes across like an 80s revival concert. I think a double header at Newcastle on one Saturday could easily match or exceed a Day 1 magic crowd. It focusses the event instead of seeing it dribble to a conclusion with hardly anyone watching in the stands.
  15. Let's get real. If Aviva Premiership clubs ran a Magic Weekend (and they may do in future) they could probably fill Wembley over 2 days. And it wouldn't take them 10 years to achieve it either. Sadly it will never grow with the typical RL club fan mindset of watch my club and then sod off. Or not even bother going and sit at home and watch my club and then switch over. Our pile it high sell it cheap mindset is not helping to create demand.