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Pivotal year for grassroots Rugby League

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RFL Director of Participation David Gent is predicting that the Rugby League World Cup will leave a lasting legacy that will see more people playing Rugby League more often than ever before.

The 14-nation tournament kicks off in October at the end of the community game's second season as a predominantly summer-based sport and Gent expects the successes of 2012 to continue as grassroots Rugby League grows from strength to strength.

The RFL has recently concluded a comprehensive review of the historic 2012 season which included feedback from over 3,000 Rugby League players who

completed an online survey.

Preparations are now well underway for the second summer season with the completion of the sport's first ever fully integrated calendar which for 2013 covers all levels of the sport across the country from under-7s junior leagues through to the World Cup.

David Gent said: "2013 will be massive for the sport at grassroots level and we hope that the World Cup will inspire the next generation of Rugby League players.

"We've got the match completion figures from last season and despite 2012 being the wettest year ever in England, the number of matches that were completed overall is higher than in previous seasons. This bodes well for the sport's second March to November season, everyone has learnt a lot from the first campaign and we're confident that this season will see even more people playing Rugby League.

"During the off-season we have carried out a major review of the 2012 season and over 3,000 players completed the online survey. This has provided a wealth of feedback and suggestions.

"Having a fully integrated calendar across all levels of the sport for the first time ever will benefit the whole sport and ensure that there are more people playing more Rugby League, more often. The schedule covers men's, women's, wheelchair, youth and junior and masters Rugby League and includes all major events such as the Grand Final and Challenge Cup Final. This allows us to plan all cup competitions in an integrated manner and the aim is to ensure that competitions and key dates across all tiers of the sport don't clash."

For more information on how to get involved in Rugby League please visit the RFL's official website www.therfl.co.uk

Nick Boothroyd

Community PR Manager

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I hope he is right but the withdrawal of funding and development officers because of the reduction of the Sport England grants is already causing some contraction in the amateur game. Hopefully any positive fallout from the World Cup will counteract that trend.

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I think the problem is the RFL think they can have everything for less funding. Championship expansion with the creation of a new U20 grade and NCL expansion will affect the creation of the Conference South with withdrawn funding (you'll understand what I Leam by this later in the week but I won't break ranks) Likewise the established premier midlands and south are dead with of without Conference South affecting the tier down. The RFL think they can ever expand the regional divisions and create lots more merit league sides and run U18 without funding but they can't. Better to consolidate rather than cutting the pie too thin. The question is do RU off season leagues have a part to play in this or should they be phased out? For now local leagues with a 10 game season are a must though. IMO a viable Conference South is high priority but doesn't seem to be seen that way by the RFL (with the noble exception of David who runs our midlands league)

Other interesting factors are the NCL expansion and the new Cumbria league plus the effects of these on the weakened NW Men's League and the fall out of the demise of NL3/RLCN/NCL3 and whether it will help make Yorkshire Men's viable.

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I think the problem is the RFL think they can have everything for less funding. Championship expansion with the creation of a new U20 grade and NCL expansion will affect the creation of the Conference South with withdrawn funding (you'll understand what I Leam by this later in the week but I won't break ranks) Likewise the established premier midlands and south are dead with of without Conference South affecting the tier down. The RFL think they can ever expand the regional divisions and create lots more merit league sides and run U18 without funding but they can't. Better to consolidate rather than cutting the pie too thin. The question is do RU off season leagues have a part to play in this or should they be phased out? For now local leagues with a 10 game season are a must though. IMO a viable Conference South is high priority but doesn't seem to be seen that way by the RFL (with the noble exception of David who runs our midlands league)

Other interesting factors are the NCL expansion and the new Cumbria league plus the effects of these on the weakened NW Men's League and the fall out of the demise of NL3/RLCN/NCL3 and whether it will help make Yorkshire Men's viable.

Maybe it will be a case of what dosn't kill you makes you stronger and the withdrawal of funding, whilst a shame, is unavoidable and will cause the loss of the weaker entities and the stronger teams left will consolidate and become part of an overall stronger structure.

Of course, maybe not is also a credible scenario. It's a shame to lose what we have gained in all these areas. Money,money,money eh!.

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Yeah. There's some consolidation needed but to me it's a shame they couldn't link the Championship 1 and Conference South developments (ie reserve teams of the former in the latter). It is vital that Conference South works otherwise the pyramid down south is a drop from Championship 1 down to 10 game local leagues with nothing in between.

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Yeah. There's some consolidation needed but to me it's a shame they couldn't link the Championship 1 and Conference South developments (ie reserve teams of the former in the latter). It is vital that Conference South works otherwise the pyramid down south is a drop from Championship 1 down to 10 game local leagues with nothing in between.

Yes, I seew what you mean. Hemel, Skolars and Oxford might have reserves they need to keep happy and this would be as good idea for them to joint the other propective conference south teams to form a viable NCL level competition.

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Yeah shame the Championship U20 is competition though guess it may be cheaper for the clubs involved?

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Yeah. There's some consolidation needed but to me it's a shame they couldn't link the Championship 1 and Conference South developments (ie reserve teams of the former in the latter).

Well, one pro club (Sheffield) have already announced their intention to run a side in Conference South with Sheffield Hallam Uni, which will be a mix of Eagles reserves/academy lads and students. There may be other clubs in the league with tie-ups/partnerships with semi-pro clubs.

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I hope he is right but the withdrawal of funding and development officers because of the reduction of the Sport England grants is already causing some contraction in the amateur game. Hopefully any positive fallout from the World Cup will counteract that trend.

More speak and yarn from the Rimmer and Wood crew. I genuinely don't believe a word the RFL come out with. I'd like to know how the hell RL will continue to expand with no community coach's? Northampton itself has gone from potentially having a semi pro club to the ending of teaching rugby league in primary schools in a matter of months. The hierarchy of this sport take the p##s, I can handle bad news but been lied to is a different matter. I'm embarrassed for the sport right now whilst I believe Wood and Rimmer are stealing a living.

Just a few months ago a high level RFL employee told me that R/W were sick of clubs like Oldham and Rochdale continuously coming to HQ with cap in hand and therefore wanted to build semi pro community clubs outside the heartland and now X amount of staff have gone. Yes funding has been taken away but could they not plan for what they knew for over a year?

I mentioned the corporate packages (or lack of them) less than a year from the World Cup final was a missed opportunity which has still to be resolved whilst in comparison I've been offered corporate packages for the 2015 kick and clap cup and the lions tour in 5 bl##dy years time. If the powers that be not do their job properly do the right thing, quit and put a trained monkey in place of which you would not bet against doing a better job.

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More speak and yarn from the Rimmer and Wood crew. I genuinely don't believe a word the RFL come out with. I'd like to know how the hell RL will continue to expand with no community coach's? Northampton itself has gone from potentially having a semi pro club to the ending of teaching rugby league in primary schools in a matter of months. The hierarchy of this sport take the p##s, I can handle bad news but been lied to is a different matter. I'm embarrassed for the sport right now whilst I believe Wood and Rimmer are stealing a living.

Just a few months ago a high level RFL employee told me that R/W were sick of clubs like Oldham and Rochdale continuously coming to HQ with cap in hand and therefore wanted to build semi pro community clubs outside the heartland and now X amount of staff have gone. Yes funding has been taken away but could they not plan for what they knew for over a year?

I mentioned the corporate packages (or lack of them) less than a year from the World Cup final was a missed opportunity which has still to be resolved whilst in comparison I've been offered corporate packages for the 2015 kick and clap cup and the lions tour in 5 bl##dy years time. If the powers that be not do their job properly do the right thing, quit and put a trained monkey in place of which you would not bet against doing a better job.

Are you saying R/W are acting as judge, jury and executioner for the RFL?

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What frustrates me when i read stuff like this is that not once in the last 3 years has anyone fro our club or others in our area been contacted about said survey!!! Then all of a sudden , according to rfl , the vast majority of players voted for a switch!! Just cant see it

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It does remain to be seen if the Championship expansion is viable and if there's a fall back plan.

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i just hope the rfl embrace the winter game as part of there plan instead of trying to move everyone over to the summer :wacko: leagues

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What frustrates me when i read stuff like this is that not once in the last 3 years has anyone fro our club or others in our area been contacted about said survey!!! Then all of a sudden , according to rfl , the vast majority of players voted for a switch!! Just cant see it

Carlos we probably had between200 & 250 players signed on during the times we played in the RLC & Merit league, we have never had one person at our club asked any questions in any survey, I would bet that everyone of the players who have been involved with us are still being used in the RFL stats along with every kid in every class in every school where a development officer anywhere across the country spent half a dozen lessons.

I'd like to know if a player who plays for a university, BARLA club and in the Summer is classed as 1 or 3 players in the RFL survey?

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i just hope the rfl embrace the winter game as part of there plan instead of trying to move everyone over to the summer :wacko: leagues

You've no chance, for the ones in the know the RFL are moving onto their next phase in their attacks on BARLA, the latest is bypassing the district leagues and offering a certain committee to run the game at tier 4 in Yorkshire.

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It does remain to be seen if the Championship expansion is viable and if there's a fall back plan.

Not enough money in the game to fulfil the original RFL plans since the recession, those at the top have probably not noticed because their salary is ring fenced.

instead of withdrawing development they should IMO have consolidated the development and took the money from the top of the game and to achieve this if it meant lowering the criteria at the top so be it.

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If the World Cup does generate a huge surge in interest, with the WC tournament running in Oct/Nov the switch to summer means that any potential new players won't have junior teams to play for for several months... :ph34r:

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If the World Cup does generate a huge surge in interest, with the WC tournament running in Oct/Nov the switch to summer means that any potential new players won't have junior teams to play for for several months... :ph34r:

If it does then I would expect the amateur clubs to be pushing the game in their local communities and getting players in for training. Not really a big issue.

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If the World Cup does generate a huge surge in interest, with the WC tournament running in Oct/Nov the switch to summer means that any potential new players won't have junior teams to play for for several months... :ph34r:

If it also generates any decent profits, the RFL should plough some of the back into the amateur gamd and refund the development officers.

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