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  1. I remember my first ever game. Putting on the jerseys, and they had that logo on them. It really felt like "proper" Rugby League. I remember seeing the logo and getting a real buzz. It really was a good identifier for the game as a whole.
  2. Howie - this might interest you as well. In fact you might even be playing?
  3. I definitely remember the team was still going in the 90s. A group of the Kiwis (3 or 4?) used to play RL in the winter in London, then go out to Montreal in the summer and play union for the same club that I did.
  4. I disagree with Tex's post. The NCL train and often play on public parks, train at night, often with volunteer coaches. They have limited S&C input, limited medical/rehab support, very little analysis. In short, they lack most of the pillars of a performance environment. If you want to create any sort of pathway in a sport, it is important to try to expose developing players to these pillars where possible. I admit that a semi-pro Championship club is also far from the ideal 'high performance environment', but it is a big improvement on what players will get playing for an amateur team, who don't even have their own ground sometimes.
  5. I had a read of your blog Ray, and it is good to see an active RL blog like that. I will keep checking it. FWIW, I didn't like any of your ideas to 'improve' the game. Just my opinion of course, but I thought they would all detract from the sport rather than improve it.
  6. Catalans reserves play in the French 'Elite 1' championship
  7. i think North Wales, Halifax (and Keighley??) all already run reserve teams. N wales probably don't pay their players, but they play in one of the NW leagues for sure. Halifax definitely ran a community-funded reserve team (It is one of the reasons that the club gave for staying part-time) and i think Keighley were playing reserve games too last season (?) Edit: Gazza77 has posted above to say that Featherstone are running a reserve team already as well. If these clubs are already managing to run teams, then pulling the plug on them seems very backward thinking.
  8. An alternative could be that they play among themselves, but then enter a Cup competition with the 'proper' Super League reserves teams. The Cup could (for example) start in groups of 4 allowing 3 games minimum. Super League sides would only be 'contaminated' by having to play maximum 1 match against a part-time club. The SL reserve comp could have its matches/schedule tweaked slightly to accomodate this 'Reserve Cup'. The minnows could then be patronisingly waved off to play among themselves, and the rfl could pat itself on the back and congratulate everyone for 'doing the right thing'. if 5 small clubs - Halifax, Keighley, Whitehaven, Thunder and N Wales Scousers (who i am pretty sure run a team already?) were to enter, that could mean 8 league matches, + 3 cup (minimum) = 11 games. The league could also have a 1v2 'grand final' if it wished. 11/12 matches would be plenty, as the clubs would (i imagine) operate a tiny reserve squad, and include trialists and non-selected first teamers on a regular basis. (as well as academy kids in the case of thunder for example). Just an idea like. (and i do agree with you that investment in facilities is also a priority that should be addressed).
  9. i think this is exactly it. I rememebr the same thing, and my reaction to reading the news was the same as yours. It is truly ridiculous reasoning though.... as Halifax and Keighley reserves probably aspire to play at Wigan etc, and for them it is the biggest game of their season, and probably has real development value. It offers players a 'carrot' to getting involved and committing to halifax reserves rather than just playing amateur level. Wigan (or Saints, Wire, whoever....) could literally play their kids in that game if they felt it was a bit 'beneath' their professional players.
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