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Everything posted by bowes

  1. No because you'd still struggle to get 17 players from the Irish league to enter even between all the clubs. Still seems a bad idea to me
  2. Actually seems like these French groups are a pre qualifier and there will be 24 teams in the NRC, 20 English plus South Wales and 3 French. Toulouse, the French champions and the winners of the French NRC qualifier tournament. Seems like fixture congestion for the French team but if they can get over it it should be alright. There's been talk of Irish and Scottish clubs but that is clearly going to come to nothing
  3. I suppose pub teams were the equivalent (a lot harder to enter them in winter leagues nowadays due to there not being leagues down to about division 8 or 9 anymore). I do think you raise a valid point though and I think merit leagues for new clubs are a very good thing rather than chucking clubs that can't fulfil weekly fixtures into the main leagues like they used to (actually the early days of the RLC you had to play friendlies like we did in our first season; the throw anyone in started with NL3 and the RLC Premier divisions leaving gaps needing filling). I think when the season is in summer we should aim for the established non-heartland clubs to play a full season when possible, but still retain shorter seasons and merit leagues for getting RU players and new players into the game, and also for the social element and reserve teams. The RLC was originally as much to save rugby league outside the heartlands as to grow it and it has certainly done that and got us back to about the same numbers in full adult leagues, but actually more when you take merit leagues and juniors into account there's a lot more players (outside of places like Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Gloucestershire than used to have a lot of winter clubs), only you have to factor in the RU reliance. Long term I think the RLC will become redundant and each region will have its own league structure as part of the pyramid on a par with the BARLA leagues. With merit leagues as the lower divisions of this structure and some short season leagues as an alternative. Is much of this to do with SL, not really, some of the growth in London and Wales is, but not as much as people would make out. Hard work from volunteers, regional development officers and community coaches has done more (Sport England money largely). I think the contrast between the large number of players in London and the appalling crowds at Harlequins shows it's not just SL supporters going along to play. But yes SL has done a lot for the top level and if done properly franchising will increase the top level quality (i.e. select clubs according to quality as opposed to either just keeping the same clubs in or rigging criteria to put in unsuitable expansion clubs 3-6 years before they're ready). I think the new direction of the community game will be a big benefit to the sport in the same way BARLA saved the amateur game and introduced it to non-heartland areas (3 amateur teams in London were the only non-heartland teams in the whole of the UK in 1973 when BARLA was formed!) and the RLC saved it outside the heartlands. In fact in 1973 Wigan, St Helens, Widnes, Leigh, Bradford, Heavy Woollen, South Yorkshire etc. didn't have a league for their clubs to play in at all. Some played in other district leagues (Wigan St Patrick's in Warrington League comes to mind), but the game really was dying before the forced mergers of leagues
  4. Not true really, the game expanded by far the most in the BARLA boom at its pinnacle in the 80s with huge increases in numbers of amateur clubs both in and outside the heartlands, the game really was in a bad state in 1973, just unfortunately this boom was already significantly in decline by the time SL started. About 20 years ago there were 5 RL clubs in Gloucestershire playing the same season as RU, unimaginable now. What has improved in the last 10 years is juniors outside the heartlands. The flipside of the coin is that this is little to do with SL and more a combination of better communications and the ability to use RU players in the offseason rather than having to find committed RL players (in some cases these are one and the same players of course, but in somewhere like Ireland, Scotland or the deep South West that is less the case). In fact the non-heartland juniors will have grown up on 8 months RU and 3 months RL unless we change this and the current set up will be continued Of course the answer to this thread is SL has improved the top division and done less for clubs in lower divisions. The sooner we have a sensible Championship setup the better and hopefully bringing the game into one season will allow that. Drop the unsuitable clubs from the pro leagues to a more realistic level and go for one Championship division
  5. That's the plan, though the NCL and the reserve teams of NCL clubs it's got to be certain will switch by 2012 and BARLA plan to move across, though maybe more slowly. Juniors will also be early to switch. There's enough clubs in Yorkshire or Lancashire that if some want to stay winter it won't wreck the pyramid, a split in Hull or Cumberland may be more of an issue (though I expect the desire to play summer will be high in Cumberland for obvious weather reasons)
  6. http://www.com1site.com/FFRXIII/actualites.php?a=256 The format doesn't seem certain but seems to have 2 groups of 5 and the winners playing off for a NRC spot (in knock out?) Not sure what the Lezignan already in means. The Welsh club coming in I presume means the Scorpions, not sure why Ireland's suggested as Irish and Welsh domestic clubs are RU off season clubs and couldn't play at that time of year and would get thrashed, would far rather see clubs like Bramley in than them. irish clubs hardly ever even turned up for one off Challenge Cup matches. Seems a good idea for French Elite clubs in to me as long as they have their own groups for travel cost reasons. Would be terrible if they tried to include Irish domestic clubs though. Also they only get 20 domestic games (18 home and away plus 2 extra fixtures) plus Cup so the extra 4 guaranteed is good. Also in the news there Montpellier are moving up to expand the league to 10 teams with struggling St Gaudens linking up with Toulouse as their reserves (think playing matches at both)
  7. Think it just applies to the stadia that are used in the world cup, which is more of an issue in Australia than here as they have fewer big stadia that several clubs share over there. The only issue I can think is if they give a world cup match to somewhere like Hull but I doubt they would
  8. There's very few players from Workington to poach, Maryport's the real hotbed in their area
  9. What I don't get about the Under 18s is it's about 10 games but they're set to overlap with the National Youth League. Either it should be a full season OR it should be a short season with players going back to their clubs, giving players a choice between just 10 games or messing about their club by playing just the first half of the season really isn't on
  10. Catalans run theirs in French Academy and Crusaders run theirs in the National Youth League
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