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When you look back at the glory days of Wales in the 90s. You wonder  what went wrong and what if . South Wales club started in 96 on the back of 1995 in which Wales won the European cup beating both England and France . They then went on to reach the World cup semi finals .All was rosy . South Wales formed with view of being fast tracked into super league . But instead super league chose Gateshead . You have to question the reasoning behind super leagues  choice . Wales national side were getting good crowds .  Even when unfashionable Sheffield took there St Helens home game down there 6,700 people turned up to watch . Will Wales ever rise again ? The Crusaders flattered to deceive . West Wales are just flatlining at bottom of table although losing every week there results are better than last season . What might have been if when Cardiff and Swansea both applied for super league they would have been accepted .     If we are to have a strong European international scene we need to do more to help Wales. 

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What's been done to grow and develop the amateur game in Wales?

Is there a goal, to actually increase the number of clubs in Wales?

If so, what does the plan look like?

Or are we just hoping that what we've already got is enough to be going on with, so lets go for a new (Super) pro club?

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On 24/06/2019 at 14:58, superten said:

When you look back at the glory days of Wales in the 90s. You wonder  what went wrong and what if . South Wales club started in 96 on the back of 1995 in which Wales won the European cup beating both England and France . They then went on to reach the World cup semi finals .All was rosy . South Wales formed with view of being fast tracked into super league . But instead super league chose Gateshead . You have to question the reasoning behind super leagues  choice . Wales national side were getting good crowds .  Even when unfashionable Sheffield took there St Helens home game down there 6,700 people turned up to watch . Will Wales ever rise again ? The Crusaders flattered to deceive . West Wales are just flatlining at bottom of table although losing every week there results are better than last season . What might have been if when Cardiff and Swansea both applied for super league they would have been accepted .     If we are to have a strong European international scene we need to do more to help Wales. 

Remember those 1990s days and am sympathetic.

Watched game at Wrexham in 2016.Crowd sparse but enjoyed.

Believe finance was problem with Celtic Crusaders?

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Would love to see a team in the population bases of Cardiff or Swansea. Like many expansion projects, it needs a rich investor who doesn't mind chucking some money away.  West Wales and the Crusaders have a limitation on growth by being in small-ish towns. Crusaders are lucky to be close enough to the heartlands to get players in. West Wales are so isolated, we should all admire their efforts instead of criticising their performances.

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Short reply as I'm on a phone not a pc... If you want to search for north wales player pathway, it'll give you an idea of hiw development is going up here. Also, NWC under-13's are playing and beating teams from the north west so if we can keep the likes of those kids interested it's all positive

Would love to see the national team keep improving and there's s lot of youngsters in sl and ch teams that could be the international future 😀

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cru....Cru.....CRUSADERS!!!!!!

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Wales is a bit like London, we tried to do it cheap and cover too big an area

What we need to see is 2 or 3 L1 clubs, and 1 or 2 championship clubs feeding in to an SL club as its pyramid

I think there is tonnes of potential in Wales but we have never really nurtured it. Let's be honest a lot of the success we remember in Wales was RU players bought in. That's stopped now

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Wales a travelling just fine...development wise they are on a far stronger place today than they ever where in the 90s...you can thank Richard Lewis for disbanding GB a decade ago for that..

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OLDHAM RLFC

the 8TH most successful team in british RL

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In my mind for Wales there has to be a 3 pronged approach.

1. More internationals vs England - 1 a year should be essential imo swapping between the two.

2. Mor pathways into the pro game. Regan Grace is a fantastic example of what "Rugby" has to offer in Wales. If we're constantly going on about player pools than here would be a great place to start.

3. SL clubs to be given salary cap space for Welsh players. RU converts already get an exemption. If you could stack that so welsh RU converts could get a big dispensation to swap I think we'd see a fair few. As ever though it would have to be in conjunction with the above two points.

A Welsh team, with home grown talent across SL, plus a sprinkling of RU talent, playing regular big games against England, France, Aus and NZ would be fantastic.

Ps. The exact same could be applied to France, and with a bit of tweaking Scotland and Ireland.

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On 24/06/2019 at 14:58, superten said:

When you look back at the glory days of Wales in the 90s. You wonder  what went wrong and what if . South Wales club started in 96 on the back of 1995 in which Wales won the European cup beating both England and France . They then went on to reach the World cup semi finals .All was rosy . South Wales formed with view of being fast tracked into super league . But instead super league chose Gateshead . You have to question the reasoning behind super leagues  choice . Wales national side were getting good crowds .  Even when unfashionable Sheffield took there St Helens home game down there 6,700 people turned up to watch . Will Wales ever rise again ? The Crusaders flattered to deceive . West Wales are just flatlining at bottom of table although losing every week there results are better than last season . What might have been if when Cardiff and Swansea both applied for super league they would have been accepted .     If we are to have a strong European international scene we need to do more to help Wales. 

With the boom of football in Wales, their rugby union clubs are struggling let alone becoming a force again in league. Serious questions have to be asked as to why the sport of rugby league didn't capitalise on the success of Wales in the 90s and France before that or even with Ireland when Brian Carney was a big name. One of the big reasons for me is the lack of  proper annual competitions like the 6 nations and rugby championship and the lack of test windows, such as the June and November test windows. You simply can't expect professional leagues to grow the game, you need a proper international body.

Edited by Keith989
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There’s a great deal of rugby league enthusiasts in Wales and the two clubs in League 1 have some fantastic people doing amazing things. 

 

But look at the decline of North Wales Crusaders - a few years ago they had a top team and were getting 1000 people in for every home game. At present they’re lucky if they get 300 in. Like I say there’s some great people involved but I’m not sure what is achievable in the long term when a club doesn’t own their ground and has no access to income. That’s not a criticism of North Wales - any rugby league club that doesn’t own their own ground is in an extremely vulnerable position. 

 

Everyone knows that West Wales are trying their hearts out but the fact is they should be playing in the recently established Southern League. They would be a real force. 

 

As depressing as as it sounds I’d be absolutely astonished if either of these clubs were still playing in a few years. Neither club would be able to exist without the RFL funding, which looks set to be stopped in a year or two. It’s all very upsetting. 

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The problem is there has never been the money to establish a successful club in Wales. Celtic Crusaders had money, for as long as Samuels was interested anyway, and they did rather well with a number of good Welsh players coming through.

I have no doubt that Welsh clubs would be viable but it has just never been done properly with money for a sustained period. Much like RL expansion in most of the UK.

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2 minutes ago, Damien said:

The problem is there has never been the money to establish a successful club in Wales. Celtic Crusaders had money, for as long as Samuels was interested anyway, and they did rather well with a number of good Welsh players coming through.

I have no doubt that Welsh clubs would be viable but it has just never been done properly with money for a sustained period. Much like RL expansion in most of the UK.

People love to shout about how much of a failure Celtic were but in terms of bring through Welsh players they were a incredible success. Beyond what could reasonably be expected.

Even when they went pop the game should have stepped in to keep the going and that stream flowing

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2 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

People love to shout about how much of a failure Celtic were but in terms of bring through Welsh players they were a incredible success. Beyond what could reasonably be expected.

Even when they went pop the game should have stepped in to keep the going and that stream flowing

Indeed. The Welsh make natural Rugby League players and it's just a pity there has never really been the money there. The good thing is that large amounts of Welsh youngsters are still getting signed by Super League clubs.

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1 minute ago, Damien said:

Indeed. The Welsh make natural Rugby League players and it's just a pity there has never really been the money there. The good thing is that large amounts of Welsh youngsters are still getting signed by Super League clubs.

That's true, not sure we are making enough of it though. When you look at someone like grace you think how many of these are we missing. 

Some wont like it but I absolutely think the RFL/SL should be funding a north Wales and south Wales SL academy side. As the absolute minimum of what we are doing  (and as staunch expansionist I think we should he doing loads more)

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Funding is the biggest problem rugby league has in Wales. ThecWRL hasn't got a pot to p*ss in.

An example:

North Wales Crusaders run two Wheelchair Rugby League teams - one in Super League, one in the Championship. We have more registered players than anyone playing this season and have had the fastest growth of any Wheelchair Rugby League teams. But we cannot access Sport England funding and Wales doesn't have anything to replicate it. Look at how England have developed their Wheelchair Rugby League side- training at St George's Park, a tournament in France. Wales Wheelchair Rugby League payed their own way to play in the Wheelchair World Cup and have zero funding from WRL and Disability Sport Wales. We achieve great things with no money and volunteer staff.

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Wales' glory days were mostly due to rugby union converts. Has there ever been a flourishing club scene there or a production line of worldclass players? 

Edited by eal

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29 minutes ago, gogledd said:

Funding is the biggest problem rugby league has in Wales. ThecWRL hasn't got a pot to p*ss in.

An example:

North Wales Crusaders run two Wheelchair Rugby League teams - one in Super League, one in the Championship. We have more registered players than anyone playing this season and have had the fastest growth of any Wheelchair Rugby League teams. But we cannot access Sport England funding and Wales doesn't have anything to replicate it. Look at how England have developed their Wheelchair Rugby League side- training at St George's Park, a tournament in France. Wales Wheelchair Rugby League payed their own way to play in the Wheelchair World Cup and have zero funding from WRL and Disability Sport Wales. We achieve great things with no money and volunteer staff.

What the hell are you talking about?

Sport Wales...the Welsh equivalent of sport England have funded WRL since 2008

https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3A0593e0d7-f129-47a7-b243-ed2a675ed64b

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OLDHAM RLFC

the 8TH most successful team in british RL

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6 minutes ago, eal said:

Wales' glory days were mostly due to rugby union converts. Has there ever been a flourishing club scene there or a production line of worldclass players? 

Hardly "glory days" anyway, were they?

Like you say, mostly Welsh RU converts and English players.

As soon as the converts from RU stopped, Wales were dead.

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That being said, I do like the efforts Wales are putting in to develop homegrown players. Wales and France deserve many more accolades than the fake Scottish team.

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13 hours ago, fighting irish said:

What's been done to grow and develop the amateur game in Wales?

Is there a goal, to actually increase the number of clubs in Wales?

If so, what does the plan look like?

Or are we just hoping that what we've already got is enough to be going on with, so lets go for a new (Super) pro club?

https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3A0593e0d7-f129-47a7-b243-ed2a675ed64b  

 

This looks pretty positive, U16s beatin England's U16s, 900 boys playing and 23 players signed to SL academies. If you put them together with the likes of Grace, Flower, Williams and Kear and a few heritage players that might pop up - in a few years Wales could be v competitive 

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5 hours ago, eal said:

Wales' glory days were mostly due to rugby union converts. Has there ever been a flourishing club scene there or a production line of worldclass players? 

When Celtic Crusaders did have money a fair number of Welsh Super League standard players did come through and currently a decent number if Welsh youngsters get signed by Super League clubs every year.

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8 hours ago, BallPlayingProp said:

https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3A0593e0d7-f129-47a7-b243-ed2a675ed64b  

 

This looks pretty positive, U16s beatin England's U16s, 900 boys playing and 23 players signed to SL academies. If you put them together with the likes of Grace, Flower, Williams and Kear and a few heritage players that might pop up - in a few years Wales could be v competitive 

It sounds great doesn't it?

All concerned should be congratulated.

I was just wondering whether there is a goal to add say ''one new club a season'', or ''introduce the game to schools in a new town each season'', or if the growth is just happening naturally now that a certain ''critical mass'' has been achieved? 

Are the organisations goals (hopes) published or are they non-specific?

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Going back as said above the major change was Union becoming honest and admitting they were paying. Before that Wales had a great team and remember well a sell out World Cup semi final v England at Old Trafford

As hostilities between the codes are less these days and we are not bleeding the Union team dry there should be potential for a league club to exist side by side with a Union region especially given that the seasons do not fully overlap.

We should not be trying to base clubs in smaller valley towns. From a marketing point of view SL should be capable of having a viable club in the capital Cardiff. Capital city, great weekend trip, draw players from Wales and the South West etc etc 

Needs an Argyle with deep pockets to come along and fund it as a proper long term project

 

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I think we need to be very careful describing any era as the glory days of Wales Rugby League.

Some fantastic players from Wales have played our sport over the years... all time greats among them.  But remember they left Wales to be rewarded (openly) for their talents and often left friends, family and sometimes whole communities behind to do it. Very brave decisions. 

Rugby League has always been on the right side of the great ethical divide, from our reasons to leave the Union and our honesty in paying our players but we have to remember that none of these great athletes would have come to League if it were not for the money.

Now that there is an open pathway, we have to build League from the grassroots in Wales... but let's all remember that this is the same as people saying you have to build Union from the grass roots in Wigan, St Helens and Hull.

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