League Express Mailbag – Monday 3rd January

Letters in League Express 20/12/21, from both Bill Paget and Graham Greenwood, commented on “unfair treatment of Dane Chisholm by the RFL”. Bill Paget mentioned “evidence” and Graham Greenwood “one word against another”.
Do they not realise that evidence is only required in Criminal cases? This was a Civil hearing and Civil cases are decided on probability. After hearing or reading verbal or written statements, the case is decided on who the civil court believes is probably telling the truth.
If the police had got involved and the matter had been referred to the Magistrates Court, things would have been different.
People really should do a bit of research before committing themselves to print.
Jim Agnew, Cumbria 


Once again, RFL and Super League rules are at odds with each other, this time regarding overseas players.
If non-Federation players signed on by a Super League club exceed seven, this will not be sanctioned – as stipulated in the RFL’s rules. But teams below Super League (i.e., teams controlled by the RFL) do not have that restriction, so in theory could have a complete team of non-UK players, which is a nonsense.
Leigh have decided, to date, to sign eight overseas players.
I always thought that the rules of Rugby League (in Great Britain at least) would be straightforward, and likewise the rules to stop conflicts of interest. It appears this is not so.
How many other sports would have such a mix of conflicting rules? Only Rugby League!
Ian Haskey, Castleford


Scrums are coming back next season. Why? Has anyone missed them in the last eighteen months?
Rugby League got rid of scrums and line-outs, so why bring scrums back now? Casual observers watching Rugby League played with scrums would probably assume they were watching Rugby Union. Or possibly, in their minds, ‘Rugby’).
If I were a Channel 4 viewer who had never watched Rugby League, watching it now (but played with scrums) what, to me, would be the difference? The posts are identical, the line markings very similar.
Why not copy the NFL, introduce line markings every five metres and use coloured line markings (I’m sure it would help referees and touch judges), and, if there was no company here to do the lines, bring one over from North America.
Terminology too can play a part. Rugby League is a tough sport, it does not need to copy Rugby Union using terms like ‘bash’em’, ‘smash’em’ and ‘it’s war’ – terms quite prevalent in the Union sporting print media.
We also need to educate some commentators. When Rugby League players are tackled, they hit ‘the ground’, not ‘the floor’. I stand on the floor when I am in my house; in the garden I stand on the ground. Let Rugby Union commentators with probable public-school educations say floor.
Let’s be different again. Let’s think outside the box (cube, square or whatever). It happened with Bradford Bulls in the early days of Super League, but we’ve reverted to type: come to the game, watch the game, go home.
Let’s make the game an event again
John Wheeler, Sandbach
Editor’s note: The RFL has now confirmed that it will delay the return of scrums until later in the season.


I have followed professional Rugby League for seventy-six years, from Workington Town’s first ever game a fifteen-year-old.
We had many exciting and successful times and many disappointing times. But in recent years, watching both teams engage five tackles and a kick for eighty minutes has been the most boring.
Gus Risman introduced fast, open Rugby League at Workington, with loads of spectator-pleasing tries being scored. I am wishing that we could go back to that style of play and, hopefully, encourage the crowds to return.
Arnie Ainsworth, Workington


As a retired newsagent, who has provided both a ‘home news delivery’ and ‘shop save’ services in my local town for over twenty-eighty years, I was disappointed by the decision of Rugby League World magazine to be available by subscription only from January 2022.
Being in a rural area, I sold a lot of farming and countryside titles, and I remember stocking half a dozen copies of ‘The Field’, one Christmas. It was a glossy, monthly magazine with a high cover price. On offering this December issue to my regular customers, however, each one declined, saying they were now getting it on subscription.
This drive by publishers toward subscriptions has been going on for many years now. It is attractive, as a guaranteed ‘sale with no waste’ (unsold copies) is great for cash flow, but I do think Rugby League World will lose sales by being unavailable in the shops.
Their network and allocation systems are already well established with newspaper wholesalers, who distribute the League Express, so to add their monthly title, Rugby League World, should be relatively straight forward with little extra cost.
It is a shame that in relaunching your magazine, Rugby League World, you have decided to be less than adventurous in trying to reach readers.
Michael Brown, Stokesley