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Rugby League is a better game to play and watch says Gavin Henson


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2 hours ago, Cumbrian Mackem said:

Not really as I remember Scott Gibbs openly saying that he preferred to play and watch league when he went back to union in 1996.

I think theres quite a few players out there who would enjoy League however feel the Money in Union is too good.

In League unless you are a top NRL player in the Halves, the wadges dont compare and it's a tough tough game to earn a living in. NRL is super competitive.

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Was looking at BBC sport earlier and Big Gav is in 3 of the top 5 RL stories. It's funny how a lot of people have said that they'd love to see more "names" in the sport - people who achieve wider

To be honest, I don’t think that Henson is in this for the money. I don’t think that he’s reliant on his ‘new employers’ to feather his nest. He seems quite genuine in his admiration of Rugby League.

He‘s got no reason to appease League fans.  Is it that hard to believe he genuinely means what he’s saying? 

14 minutes ago, Southerner80 said:

I think theres quite a few players out there who would enjoy League however feel the Money in Union is too good.

In League unless you are a top NRL player in the Halves, the wadges dont compare and it's a tough tough game to earn a living in. NRL is super competitive.

Not just the money but genuine international fixtures, tours and world cups.

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8 hours ago, Oxford said:

Rugby League is a better game to play and watch says Gavin Henson

" ....at the moment ..."

The small print is always the telling point, isn't it?

Er  

 

8 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

And you all fell for it!!

He also said he wished he'd done it sooner,   you snooze & you ....

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8 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

Exactly, big money. He's just towing the line.

And you all fell for it!!

I guess I just have too much faith in people But I suppose the promise of £100, a pie and a pint and all the ralgex you want will turn anyones head.

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58 minutes ago, dkw said:

I guess I just have too much faith in people But I suppose the promise of £100, a pie and a pint and all the ralgex you want will turn anyones head.

It's the only explanation. 

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Let's imagine for a minute that Gavin Henson us just saying this and doesn't mean it.

Does it matter? RL gets a few positive headlines out of it. 

If for some reason he was actually making it up, he doesn't exactly have a lot to gain. 

Many RL fans make the mistake of insisting everyone has to be insanely dedicated to the game and denounce all others, otherwise they are fakes. Ludicrous criteria.

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The view of Jonathan Davies:

GAVIN Henson can help rugby league finally crack Wales – even though he has crossed codes 12 years after he maybe should have.

For having him at West Wales Raiders can show kids there is an alternative to ‘dour’ rugby union, believes Jonathan Davies.

Dual-code rugby legend Jonathan Davies believes Gavin Henson's arrival at West Wales Raiders can spark new interest in rugby league
And team-mate Rangi Chase cannot wait to play alongside the man he used to pick on a computer game!

RU legend Henson will step out for the League One side against Widnes in the Challenge Cup on Sunday after a meeting with the owners about becoming an ambassador grew into him playing for them.

Davies - who starred in both codes and hails from Llanelli, where the Raiders play - believes seeing the pub owner in nearby St Brides Major in the 13-a-side game can spur others to make the jump.

He said: “It’s raising awareness that kids can go and try rugby league. If they don’t make the regional sides, they don’t want to play union.

“And the regional game is very dour. Internationals are great but below that, players look like they don’t enjoy it.

“If they don’t make the regional sides, they go to a semi-pro side, why not a semi-pro rugby league side? There’s a lot of talent at that level, so maybe league clubs should look at that area.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/14394146/jonathan-davies-says-gavin-hensons-code-switch-can-attract-players-from-dour-ru/

Edited by Damien
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5 hours ago, fighting irish said:

We've been up this road before Rocket.

Can't remember who kicked it off, or when but I referred to is as ''Middleweight league'' say with a 13 or 14 stone weight limit.

As you say, the lighter weights in boxing are far more lively affairs, faster and more skillful.

Middleweight Rugby League could be very entertaining to watch and I reckon draw in a lot of players who are just put off by the BiffGiants.

I think its worth a go. 

I think I recall you even mentioning it yourself once Irish, I wonder why the idea is such a non-starter. Do people think it is discriminatory, would discount too many people out of the game, too difficult to administer or would we just have the same play as we have now with just smaller players.

I wonder whether coaches have just decided the fastest way to get from point A to point B is a straight line, where point B is the opposite teams try line and A their current position and this is why we see so much one out or two off the ruck running.

I know some argue for the return of the 5 metre rule to encourage more creative play to break down defences, however would that just lead to more kicking as the easiest way to make ground, bit like union with its` 0 metre rule, ironically with union I find that the kicking, when they don`t kick it out, tends to break up defences and lead to more open field running and play, its about the only time I feel union has an advantage over League as a spectacle.

I think there is a lot in your second last paragraph, I got to a bit of local Group League and even at that level they generally are really big blokes right across the field, a second division with a player size cap might get a lot of smaller blokes who aren`t naturally halves or five-eights, hookers etc. were the smaller blokes traditionally play, into the game.

Any way as you say Irish, it would be interesting to see it experimented with.

 

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1 hour ago, Damien said:

The view of Jonathan Davies:

GAVIN Henson can help rugby league finally crack Wales – even though he has crossed codes 12 years after he maybe should have.

For having him at West Wales Raiders can show kids there is an alternative to ‘dour’ rugby union, believes Jonathan Davies.

Dual-code rugby legend Jonathan Davies believes Gavin Henson's arrival at West Wales Raiders can spark new interest in rugby league
And team-mate Rangi Chase cannot wait to play alongside the man he used to pick on a computer game!

RU legend Henson will step out for the League One side against Widnes in the Challenge Cup on Sunday after a meeting with the owners about becoming an ambassador grew into him playing for them.

Davies - who starred in both codes and hails from Llanelli, where the Raiders play - believes seeing the pub owner in nearby St Brides Major in the 13-a-side game can spur others to make the jump.

He said: “It’s raising awareness that kids can go and try rugby league. If they don’t make the regional sides, they don’t want to play union.

“And the regional game is very dour. Internationals are great but below that, players look like they don’t enjoy it.

“If they don’t make the regional sides, they go to a semi-pro side, why not a semi-pro rugby league side? There’s a lot of talent at that level, so maybe league clubs should look at that area.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/14394146/jonathan-davies-says-gavin-hensons-code-switch-can-attract-players-from-dour-ru/

"RU legend", really? 😂 

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Was looking at BBC sport earlier and Big Gav is in 3 of the top 5 RL stories.

It's funny how a lot of people have said that they'd love to see more "names" in the sport - people who achieve wider recognition outside of the regular fanbase. You've now got someone who's brought interest to a bottom-of-the-table League 1 side, and yet some people are upset because... increased interest in the sport is a bad thing? Gavin Henson is not the right sort of person for rugby league traditionalists? I don't get it. When was the last time you saw BBC Sport writing about League 1 sides? It even got mentioned at half-time in the Wales vs France Six Nations game!

I for one hope that Henson goes well and that his half-back pairing with Chase brings some success for West Wales. Even if Henson doesn't end up being a great league player, he's played at the highest level in union and that level of professionalism will help the other West Wales lads. Since becoming West Wales Raiders, they've won 1 league game out of 48...

I sometimes wonder if people actually like this sport and want it to do well. I honestly can't see how anyone could see someone high profile saying something positive about the sport and think "well that's bad news."

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4 hours ago, Keith989 said:

"RU legend", really? 😂 

Depends what you man by legend, apart from a couple of Ex junior RL players in the England squad he's just about the only RU player from any nation I can name currently capable of pulling on a shirt.

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Gavin Henson's debut also got a mention at the end of the Wales v France game last night on BBC1. It was Inverdale as well - his teeth would have been well-gritted.  The pundit (Wales centre, Jonathan Davies?) said he'll have a tough time aged 39 as Rugby League is a more attritional game

Good publicity on prime time BBC1, perhaps a few more from Wales will now watch the game today

How can anyone complain at that?

 

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39 minutes ago, Hopping Mad said:

I disagree with JD. His “great” RU internationals are as dour as the regional game.

Big crowds, big stadiums and a good atmosphere help greatly with perception. As does the hype. The actual games are as dour but everything else helps greatly with perception.

I think Football and the Premier League is also a great example of that too. Without the big crowds and great atmospheres its like watching a completely different game and a different standard.

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9 minutes ago, Damien said:

Big crowds, big stadiums and a good atmosphere help greatly with perception. As does the hype. The actual games are as dour but everything else helps greatly with perception.

I think Football and the Premier League is also a great example of that too. Without the big crowds and great atmospheres its like watching a completely different game and a different standard.

I agree.

I've probably told this story on here before but, in this context, it bears repeating. When ex-Wales RU cap Rob Ackerman played for Whitehaven (back in the 80s), he took a couple of his new team-mates, local Cumbrian lads, to a Wales RU game at the Arms Park, Cardiff. One of them later told me that, in the pub the evening before the match, everybody impressed on them how much they'd enjoy the atmosphere. Nobody, he said, talked about the actual game. Sure enough, said Rob's team-mate, the atmosphere was fantastic. But the quality of the rugby was terrible.

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2 hours ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

In fairness I think there is one person who is upset, everyone else is rightly enjoying the news

That's true but the problem is, I'd say the people who make many important decisions about the game share that mindset. Most RL fans are probably quite easy going and actually want the game to spread and prosper.

But I think many of the decision makers have an 'where were you in 1975?' attitude and think outsiders can't properly be RL fans.

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Just listened to him on the Dave Woods RL podcast on BBC Sounds.  I think I'll turn it on on all my devices so the BBC trafficmasters will se how popular the podcast is.

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Four legs good - two legs bad

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Just now, JohnM said:

Just listened to him on the Dave Woods RL podcast on BBC Sounds.  I think I'll turn it on on all my devices - currently 6 -  so the BBC trafficmasters will se how popular the podcast is.

 

Four legs good - two legs bad

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On 20/03/2021 at 10:49, The Rocket said:

There was hopes that the introduction of the new six-again rules would bring the little blokes into the game and I know it is early days but I`ve starting to get a feeling that while we might start to see a couple of faster smaller blokes in key positions the game is still going to be dominated by bigger players, they might be a bit more mobile and aerobically fit so they can stat out there longer but still mostly big blokes.

I saw an article(which I wanted to post but couldn`t find) on the Warriors and Knights forwards and bench players this weekend and they were a bunch of giants on both sides. It seems there is probably just too much value in big blokes that can make yardage for coaches to give them up.

I wonder if the only way we are going to get back to the type of game you`re talking about is to either put a cap on player size or the number of players above a certain size.

I was thinking about the analogy with boxing where the lighter weight divisions are generally much more lively affairs with a lot more punches thrown compared to the heavier divisions where they can be a bit more like slug-fests. Perhaps this is were League has come to, we need to get back to those `lighter divisions` to get back to that lively attacking play you talk about. They have `weigh-ins` in boxing perhaps we need to have something similar in League. 

 

Liking your suggestion regarding size restriction (though how that would be enforced I’d imagine would be an issue). 

 

On 20/03/2021 at 13:02, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

He's saying union is boring compared to league.... On a Six nations weekend 

It's delightful 

He’s saying what I (and many others like Jerry Guscott) have been saying for ages... the timing could have been better though as the six nations games this weekend were uncharacteristically good (not as eye catching as the past, but still a huge step up from the normal drudgery).

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