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Participation in Wales


Eddie
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It’s been a very positive year for RL in Wales.

The growth has partly been because we were the first code to go back to ‘near’ normality, local RU clubs are only just having local 15-a-side games again as their season starts up after COVID. 
 

This has certainly helped league in Wales and the importance is now in maintaining this interest. Of note, WRL have always enjoyed good numbers at U13 and U15 age groups but have tailed off at U17s. This has now changed due to the emergence of the Salford partnered WRL academy and trust me when I say, there or one or two potential stars in that group. The U17s competition has been fantastic as there’s now that extra incentive. Cynon Valley vs Bridgend this weekend should be a cracker!

What’s next in terms of growth?

1) Maintain U10s, U13s, U15s, U17s for next year. 
 

2) Look to reestablish clubs in Newport and Carmarthen and help to consolidate the efforts in Llanelli and Swansea that have come from this year. 
 

3) Build on the reemergence of the North Wales league by adding a few more fixtures and potentially introducing one age group competition up there on a small basis such as 4/5 U15s games.  
 

4) Enter Cardiff Demons women into the Women’s Super League*
 

* 5) Bring the Raiders back East (this is my controversial one) rebrand them as Cardiff Demons and play League One rugby out of the Arms Park in Wales’ major city. The Raiders do a great job and own their own ground by 80% of the players travel >1 hour to matches and many >45 minutes to training. Cardiff would be much more central and would be in the midst of south Wales’ strongest amateur clubs in Torfaen and Valley Cougars. 

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5 minutes ago, Davo5 said:

All positive stuff,let’s hope any proposed restructuring doesn’t damage these great efforts 

Don’t worry, Rimmer said that everyone involved in the discussions has the best interest of all clubs at all levels at heart 😉 

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43 minutes ago, welshmagpie said:

It’s been a very positive year for RL in Wales.

The growth has partly been because we were the first code to go back to ‘near’ normality, local RU clubs are only just having local 15-a-side games again as their season starts up after COVID. 
 

This has certainly helped league in Wales and the importance is now in maintaining this interest. Of note, WRL have always enjoyed good numbers at U13 and U15 age groups but have tailed off at U17s. This has now changed due to the emergence of the Salford partnered WRL academy and trust me when I say, there or one or two potential stars in that group. The U17s competition has been fantastic as there’s now that extra incentive. Cynon Valley vs Bridgend this weekend should be a cracker!

What’s next in terms of growth?

1) Maintain U10s, U13s, U15s, U17s for next year. 
 

2) Look to reestablish clubs in Newport and Carmarthen and help to consolidate the efforts in Llanelli and Swansea that have come from this year. 
 

3) Build on the reemergence of the North Wales league by adding a few more fixtures and potentially introducing one age group competition up there on a small basis such as 4/5 U15s games.  
 

4) Enter Cardiff Demons women into the Women’s Super League*
 

* 5) Bring the Raiders back East (this is my controversial one) rebrand them as Cardiff Demons and play League One rugby out of the Arms Park in Wales’ major city. The Raiders do a great job and own their own ground by 80% of the players travel >1 hour to matches and many >45 minutes to training. Cardiff would be much more central and would be in the midst of south Wales’ strongest amateur clubs in Torfaen and Valley Cougars. 

Is the WRL academy also linked to the Raiders and Crusaders? 

Do the players that aren't picked up by Salford progress into the Raiders and Crusaders first team squads?

Are there any plans for either of the professional Welsh clubs to apply for Elite Academy status in the future on the back of the progress being made at grassroots level?

 

 

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1 hour ago, welshmagpie said:

It’s been a very positive year for RL in Wales.

The growth has partly been because we were the first code to go back to ‘near’ normality, local RU clubs are only just having local 15-a-side games again as their season starts up after COVID. 
 

This has certainly helped league in Wales and the importance is now in maintaining this interest. Of note, WRL have always enjoyed good numbers at U13 and U15 age groups but have tailed off at U17s. This has now changed due to the emergence of the Salford partnered WRL academy and trust me when I say, there or one or two potential stars in that group. The U17s competition has been fantastic as there’s now that extra incentive. Cynon Valley vs Bridgend this weekend should be a cracker!

What’s next in terms of growth?

1) Maintain U10s, U13s, U15s, U17s for next year. 
 

2) Look to reestablish clubs in Newport and Carmarthen and help to consolidate the efforts in Llanelli and Swansea that have come from this year. 
 

3) Build on the reemergence of the North Wales league by adding a few more fixtures and potentially introducing one age group competition up there on a small basis such as 4/5 U15s games.  
 

4) Enter Cardiff Demons women into the Women’s Super League*
 

* 5) Bring the Raiders back East (this is my controversial one) rebrand them as Cardiff Demons and play League One rugby out of the Arms Park in Wales’ major city. The Raiders do a great job and own their own ground by 80% of the players travel >1 hour to matches and many >45 minutes to training. Cardiff would be much more central and would be in the midst of south Wales’ strongest amateur clubs in Torfaen and Valley Cougars. 

I understand your thoughts on distance of travel for away teams but I am against another relocation.  Welsh Rugby League has gone from Bridgend, Neath, Maesteg and Merthyr.

Steboneath is an excellent little ground.

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1 hour ago, welshmagpie said:

It’s been a very positive year for RL in Wales.

The growth has partly been because we were the first code to go back to ‘near’ normality, local RU clubs are only just having local 15-a-side games again as their season starts up after COVID. 
 

This has certainly helped league in Wales and the importance is now in maintaining this interest. Of note, WRL have always enjoyed good numbers at U13 and U15 age groups but have tailed off at U17s. This has now changed due to the emergence of the Salford partnered WRL academy and trust me when I say, there or one or two potential stars in that group. The U17s competition has been fantastic as there’s now that extra incentive. Cynon Valley vs Bridgend this weekend should be a cracker!

What’s next in terms of growth?

1) Maintain U10s, U13s, U15s, U17s for next year. 
 

2) Look to reestablish clubs in Newport and Carmarthen and help to consolidate the efforts in Llanelli and Swansea that have come from this year. 
 

3) Build on the reemergence of the North Wales league by adding a few more fixtures and potentially introducing one age group competition up there on a small basis such as 4/5 U15s games.  
 

4) Enter Cardiff Demons women into the Women’s Super League*
 

* 5) Bring the Raiders back East (this is my controversial one) rebrand them as Cardiff Demons and play League One rugby out of the Arms Park in Wales’ major city. The Raiders do a great job and own their own ground by 80% of the players travel >1 hour to matches and many >45 minutes to training. Cardiff would be much more central and would be in the midst of south Wales’ strongest amateur clubs in Torfaen and Valley Cougars. 

Really interesting, thanks. 

On your last point, if Raiders did return east, do you think more players would "step up" from the community game to L1 level? ie is there lots of talent in the valleys that don't step up because they're put off by the travelling?

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5 hours ago, JM2010 said:

Is the WRL academy also linked to the Raiders and Crusaders? 

Do the players that aren't picked up by Salford progress into the Raiders and Crusaders first team squads?

Are there any plans for either of the professional Welsh clubs to apply for Elite Academy status in the future on the back of the progress being made at grassroots level?

 

 

No official link, no. But I suppose there’s a common sense link in that any lad who doesn’t quite make it but can still have a crack semi-professionally would naturally have the Raiders or Crusaders knocking on their door.

RL in Wales is tight knit, everybody knows everybody so it would only be right for WWR and NWC to be in the loop on the who’s who of the Welsh RL national academy. 

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4 hours ago, Toby Chopra said:

Really interesting, thanks. 

On your last point, if Raiders did return east, do you think more players would "step up" from the community game to L1 level? ie is there lots of talent in the valleys that don't step up because they're put off by the travelling?

Potentially, yes. There’s one community club who do not have good relations at all with the Raiders, so some of their players may be more inclined to step up in this case.

In their early days, West Wales Raiders were poorly run and poorly administered and rubbed many, many people up the wrong way. They’ve got better in recent years but still have some way to go in terms of their off-field presentation and conduct.

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5 hours ago, Toby Chopra said:

Really interesting, thanks. 

On your last point, if Raiders did return east, do you think more players would "step up" from the community game to L1 level? ie is there lots of talent in the valleys that don't step up because they're put off by the travelling?

That’s a big issue for RL AND RU. Unless the parents are able and willing it’s a big ask for say someone at the top of a valley like the Afan Valley for example or the Rhondda to make two round trips to Llanelli for training you are looking at minimum 60 mile round trip plus giving up the time.

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6 hours ago, welshmagpie said:

What’s next in terms of growth?

It`s a continued disappointment that development areas in the UK don`t see League Tag as a means to grow participation and interest in their community clubs. There are always bound to be more people willing and able to play Tag than Tackle. This ought to be a major advantage for RL over RU.

The shortened form, OzTag, was originally conceived as a way for RL players to maintain their fitness levels and ball skills in the Southern Hemisphere off-season. In Wales there could be a lot of RU players in their off-season, male and female, who might want to play. After playing League Tag or OzTag for a RL club, some of them may acquire an interest in Tackle RL and remain involved. And the higher numbers of participants would assist the club in securing public funding and sponsorships.

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46 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

It`s a continued disappointment that development areas in the UK don`t see League Tag as a means to grow participation and interest in their community clubs. There are always bound to be more people willing and able to play Tag than Tackle. This ought to be a major advantage for RL over RU.

The shortened form, OzTag, was originally conceived as a way for RL players to maintain their fitness levels and ball skills in the Southern Hemisphere off-season. In Wales there could be a lot of RU players in their off-season, male and female, who might want to play. After playing League Tag or OzTag for a RL club, some of them may acquire an interest in Tackle RL and remain involved. And the higher numbers of participants would assist the club in securing public funding and sponsorships.

Come on U.P. write to the WRL and encourage them to take up your suggestion?

I went last Wednesday night to watch the brand new (this season) Aberavon Fighting Irish RL club, U17's take on Cardiff.

It was a great match, fast paced, highly skilled, fiercely contested in front of a (300 ish) very enthusiastic and supportive crowd.

It was a great night, long may it continue.

I hope they can go on to consolidate, adding age groups, women and other sections as they grow.

I'll take your message to the club management committee, about League Tag, next time I go. 

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25 minutes ago, fighting irish said:

I hope they can go on to consolidate, adding age groups, women and other sections as they grow.

I`ve posted details about Cardiff Demons in the women`s section, but it`s worth repeating them here since I suspect a lot of members never go across there -

Their 4 results in the Western Conference were 88-6, 24-0 (Covid default), 96-0, 106-0. So clearly they haven`t yet faced a real test. 

It`s semi-finals this Saturday. Army v Golden Ferns and Cardiff Demons v London Broncos. Both games livestreamed on Twitch.

Fascinating to see how the Demons go against a team from the manifestly stronger Eastern Conference. And in the other game, I think we should all get the prayer mat out for the Ferns.

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13 hours ago, welshmagpie said:

 5) Bring the Raiders back East (this is my controversial one) rebrand them as Cardiff Demons and play League One rugby out of the Arms Park in Wales’ major city. The Raiders do a great job and own their own ground by 80% of the players travel >1 hour to matches and many >45 minutes to training. Cardiff would be much more central and would be in the midst of south Wales’ strongest amateur clubs in Torfaen and Valley Cougars. 

It never ceases to puzzle (and frustrate) me that this has never been attempted.

We've had all these tiny towns over the years; Bridgend, Caerphilly, Llanelli etc. but never had a go in Cardiff. I believe that is the place with real potential. I feel like there is not real future there in Llanelli. I think being a mid-table League One team is the (absolute) best possible scenario for them, I cannot see them ever progressing beyond that.

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55 minutes ago, langpark said:

It never ceases to puzzle (and frustrate) me that this has never been attempted.

We've had all these tiny towns over the years; Bridgend, Caerphilly, Llanelli etc. but never had a go in Cardiff. I believe that is the place with real potential. I feel like there is not real future there in Llanelli. I think being a mid-table League One team is the (absolute) best possible scenario for them, I cannot see them ever progressing beyond that.

Ultimately an owner in Llanelli is putting the money in. I can't see them moving any time soon. Assuming they survive the restructure they'll be staying where they are

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11 hours ago, langpark said:

It never ceases to puzzle (and frustrate) me that this has never been attempted.

We've had all these tiny towns over the years; Bridgend, Caerphilly, Llanelli etc. but never had a go in Cardiff. I believe that is the place with real potential. I feel like there is not real future there in Llanelli. I think being a mid-table League One team is the (absolute) best possible scenario for them, I cannot see them ever progressing beyond that.

We took a Scorpions game to the Arms Park in Cardiff in 2014. It was by far the highest attendance and a great match day experience for the fans. Lots of people who were genuine RL fans who lived Cardiff but due to age, transport availability etc couldn’t or wouldn’t travel outside. I particularly remember one lovely old man and his daughter who I spoke to on the day who said exactly that. On costs grounds though it was big - no beer or food takings, and hire of the stadium for the day was well over a grand which was huge for the club at the time as it was on its knees financially. If there were established SL Level Welsh players in sufficient quantity, Cardiff would be a goer. Long term it wouldn’t survive just now playing at Champ 1 level IMO.

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Just now, Pen-Y-Bont Crusader said:

We took a Scorpions game to the Arms Park in Cardiff in 2014.

What grounds are there in Cardiff itself that would be appropriate for rugby league at the level it's likely to be.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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13 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

What grounds are there in Cardiff itself that would be appropriate for rugby league at the level it's likely to be.

At the time (2013/14) we looked at the various options - Leckwith Athletics stadium or Glamorgan Wanderers RU were the only ones except for the Arms Park. Other than that there really isn’t any. If the money was there the Arms Park is the far and away best choice, but as I say it’s money down the drain unless you can pull in 2k crowds every game to balance what you lose elsewhere. 

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4 minutes ago, Pen-Y-Bont Crusader said:

At the time (2013/14) we looked at the various options - Leckwith Athletics stadium or Glamorgan Wanderers RU were the only ones except for the Arms Park. Other than that there really isn’t any. If the money was there the Arms Park is the far and away best choice, but as I say it’s money down the drain unless you can pull in 2k crowds every game to balance what you lose elsewhere. 

Would Barry be close enough? There is Jenner Park which is a 6k capacity ground there

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