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RL in Liverpool


Eddie
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39 minutes ago, The Daddy said:

Like I said. Saints have done nothing in Liverpool. 

You think fun days make an impact?

I'm trying to work out whether your just playing dumb & ignorant or you actually are if you think going into schools and holding rugby based fun days & holiday camps doesn't get kids across Liverpool interested in playing & watching RL ?

Most of these kids will be from football supporting families who's parents are unlikely to introduce them to RL.

I would have thought of all supporters a London fan would understand just how hard it is to get people interested in RL from areas that are dominated by other sports. Lets face it with over 8M people to aim for London's efforts have been pretty dismal over the years.

Its not just Liverpool kids either, going back to the 90's and pre-SL era RL barely got a mention in local press like the Liverpool Echo, now thanks to Saints media team there's Saints stories in most weeks during the season.

As i've said they'll never turn Liverpool into anything other than a football mad city, but generating interest in Saints & the sport of RL isn't from a lack of effort.

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On 27/10/2021 at 07:52, JM2010 said:

 Expansion should be concentrated on getting junior clubs set up. This would open up a new player pool which would then benefit the pro club. If enough junior clubs could be set up and established then (there can be) a professional club 

If this is the model that works then why don't we have RL clubs in every town and city across the United Kingdom. 

Soccer dwarfes Rugby Union which dwarfes rugby league and as such who would these people be that would be going round Liverpool to promote RL in the first place, and why would kids who want to play soccer, like their idols, in their tens of thousands convert to RL. Why would kids playing union in Liverpool all defect to League??

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3 minutes ago, steve oates said:

Why would kids playing union in Liverpool all defect to League??

There's not much union being played in Liverpool either - probably more union in St. Helens than Liverpool, if you exclude the universities. 

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4 hours ago, Saint Toppy said:

I'm trying to work out whether your just playing dumb & ignorant or you actually are if you think going into schools and holding rugby based fun days & holiday camps doesn't get kids across Liverpool interested in playing & watching RL ?

Most of these kids will be from football supporting families who's parents are unlikely to introduce them to RL.

I would have thought of all supporters a London fan would understand just how hard it is to get people interested in RL from areas that are dominated by other sports. Lets face it with over 8M people to aim for London's efforts have been pretty dismal over the years.

Its not just Liverpool kids either, going back to the 90's and pre-SL era RL barely got a mention in local press like the Liverpool Echo, now thanks to Saints media team there's Saints stories in most weeks during the season.

As i've said they'll never turn Liverpool into anything other than a football mad city, but generating interest in Saints & the sport of RL isn't from a lack of effort.

Do Saints have any schools programme in Liverpool? Tbh I've never seen much coverage if any of RL in the Echo 

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2 hours ago, steve oates said:

If this is the model that works then why don't we have RL clubs in every town and city across the United Kingdom. 

Soccer dwarfes Rugby Union which dwarfes rugby league and as such who would these people be that would be going round Liverpool to promote RL in the first place, and why would kids who want to play soccer, like their idols, in their tens of thousands convert to RL. Why would kids playing union in Liverpool all defect to League??

They don't have to ''all defect to League'' we don't even need them.

Having a successful sporting club (like Liverpool or Everton) in your home town, just doesn't make every child, want to play for them. That's just some glib (and erroneous) generalisation.

Why did I choose to play RL when I grew up in town with 10 (second class) and 1 first class rugby union clubs and an inbred culture for which RL was anathema and that actively and publicly ostracised RL players?

The reason is a simple one. I preferred playing rugby league, than all the possible alternatives. In order to play, I was willing to put in all the necessary effort, to recruit players, raise money for balls, kit, playing field hire and travel expenses, arrange fixtures (when our nearest opposition was 200 miles away) and ignore, defy, argue and fight with the suffocating RaRa despots, just to make it happen. 

There's no mystery in that is there? 

In any large group of the population there will be (at least) a small percentage, who would feel the way I do. How do I know? Because the game is great! Great fun to play and watch. 

4.5% of the population are between 12 and 16 years old. That means with a population of 496,000 there are about 22,320 kids in Liverpool between 12 and 16 years old.

Even at a meagre 1%, that's over 200 kids that would be interested in RL (and every year another 50 would enter as 12 year olds) if only someone took the trouble to introduce them to the sport and provide an opportunity for them to play.

Most of them have parents, some of which would be willing to organise the activity for them, just because that's what parents do. 

The good people of Newcastle, have acted consistent with this belief for over 40 years and the results of their efforts are there for all to see. So growing RL, can be done, we have a proven model to follow (Newcastle) all we need to do, is stop making excuses and get on with it. The results won't be immediate, it takes a long time, but the game can move in the right direction with sufficient commitment amongst people who love the game, in any part of the country.

It's finally happening (all be it slowly), in Canada, America, Jamaica, Scotland, Wales, Coventry, London, Bristol, Cornwall, Germany, Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Serbia, etc etc.

So it can happen in Liverpool.  

We do know for certain, that it can't be done by just plonking a semi-pro club in Kent, or Mansfield, or Nottingham, or Manchester or Cardiff, (or anywhere else for that matter) and just expecting to convert huge swathes of the population overnight. The pro' clubs are not going to do this for us, we (the amateur enthusiasts) have to make it happen like they are doing in all the places mentioned above. 

We've got to get stuck in. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Niels said:

I remember Huyton in the 1970s and 80s.

No one could have worked harder than Geoff Fletcher who kept the team going against all the odds.

There just wasn't the interest. As you say, it is a football city with 2 top sides. That's why the major rugby team is based in St Helens instead. 

Eh?

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4 hours ago, steve oates said:

If this is the model that works then why don't we have RL clubs in every town and city across the United Kingdom. 

Soccer dwarfes Rugby Union which dwarfes rugby league and as such who would these people be that would be going round Liverpool to promote RL in the first place, and why would kids who want to play soccer, like their idols, in their tens of thousands convert to RL. Why would kids playing union in Liverpool all defect to League??

As Tony Collins says in his podcast, a sport that gets in there first is a major factor for catching on in an area. While that is undoubtedly true, where I disagree with him is him not seeing the different appeal of each sport that also makes it catch on...fact is sports are different. Some are just more appealing than others. 

It’s not merely by chance that football and basketball are the two biggest team sports on the planet, or that tennis and golf are the two biggest individual sports. Regardless of where you are from or who you support, chances are you have access to playing both football and basketball, whether that’s in your own garden (football net), side of house/garage (basketball hoop), or the local playing field/court, or school, or sports club etc. The reason they are the most accessible to play is due to their gameplay. The inherent advantages being able to express yourself/manipulate the ball with it being round (execute tricks, flicks etc.), the satisfaction of shooting into a net, and then there’s finishing the game in one piece. I played basketball as a kid despite having never seen an actual game on tv until I was 17 (and that was the only time I watched it) so you don’t need to be brought in up a basketball (or football) household to play it. Very few who aren’t from the heartlands (or have no family connection) of a collision based sport will pick it up as such gameplay is an acquired taste. It’s footage of skills that predominantly go viral not hits, hence Messi, Federer, Jordan and co. are the megastars and millions try to emulate their plays. Ultimately any collision based sport will always play second fiddle to one that isn’t. It’s for this reason that the rugby codes need to revert back to a more open, attacking era as they are too geared towards the attritional stuff. A Rangi Chase type dominated game would see RL soar as that kind of expression is what is most appealing (if I had a rugby ball I’d have been practicing that move he pulled off). 

 

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8 hours ago, steve oates said:

If this is the model that works then why don't we have RL clubs in every town and city across the United Kingdom. 

Soccer dwarfes Rugby Union which dwarfes rugby league and as such who would these people be that would be going round Liverpool to promote RL in the first place, and why would kids who want to play soccer, like their idols, in their tens of thousands convert to RL. Why would kids playing union in Liverpool all defect to League??

Lack of funding is why there aren't RL clubs across the United Kingdom. I'm not saying everyone would defect from Union and football en masse but if money was spent on development officers and setting clubs up etc there would be an increase in playing numbers at a junior level.

Newcastle Thunder have proved this

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30 minutes ago, JM2010 said:

Lack of funding is why there aren't RL clubs across the United Kingdom. I'm not saying everyone would defect from Union and football en masse but if money was spent on development officers and setting clubs up etc there would be an increase in playing numbers at a junior level.

Newcastle Thunder have proved this

We've got to get ''development'' on the agenda, of every local (amateur) league meeting.

The work of our administrators should fall into two categories - maintenance and forward movement.

All most do now, is maintain the status quo. It's not enough.

Some time, some effort must be made, in every area where the game exists, to work on growth.

Ask for volunteers to work as honorary development officers. Keep statistics and measure (and celebrate) growth each year.

No-one is sending development officers to the America's are they, or to Jamaica (Romeo's doing it all).

Are there any professional development officers in Germany, or the Netherlands, or Turkey, or the Balkans, or in Greece and Russia? So if there's no money available to fund development officers, how about doing it ourselves?  

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3 hours ago, ShropshireBull said:

It's not about defecting.  Millions of kids arent playing sport at all.  At young ages that you target it is non contact.  Schools provided the support is there would be happy to have an extra provision they dont pay for. 

That’s true. Anecdotal yes, but I regularly cycle a few miles my area and pass a number of housing estates and the silence is deafening. Those streets used to filled with noise with kids playing. 

In addition to being less active (from what I gather anyway), society is much more conscious about safety when it comes to playing sports, with much greater scrutiny on collision based sports. 

I’ve largely ditched RU as physically players now look like transformers (to steal another quote from Jonathan Liew), and no longer resemble humans (“80% neck”). The flair (and there wasn’t that much previously) has largely gone. It’s dominated by mammoth sized blokes colliding, and now there are court cases galore. It’s baffling that the physicality/danger has increased, just as society has become more safety conscious. And these are supposedly intelligent people running the game. Bonkers. I will hold on to my memories of Brian O’Driscoll (especially the early years before the size really took off) as it’s unlikely that form of RU will be seen again. The result of this transformation of RU is it has never had a lower profile than it does now, with not a solitary household name in the UK. Stars cannot emerge as physically it’s too stifling for attacking play. Each RUWC passes and not a single individual emerges, they can’t.

RL has an opportunity to fill this increasing void left by RU’s self inflicted demise by going back to playing a more open attacking game. There’s nothing as appealing in rugby than seeing a slick attacking sequence (dummies, long runs...a Rob Burrow in the grand final)...have plenty more of that, and less of the more attritional stuff, and RL will advertise itself and thrive.

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19 hours ago, The Daddy said:

Do Saints have any schools programme in Liverpool? 

The Saints Community Development Foundation covers the whole of the Liverpool City Region. Specifically for schools it covers 4 main areas;

Rugby camps, Development camps, Girls development camps and School development & coaching which motivates kids in PE & sport with a RL slant across primary & secondary schools (which aims to focus on the point Shropshire Bull raised about kids in general not playing sport).

So in answer to your question yes they do have a schools programme that covers Liverpool and for kids of all ages.

 

Edited by Saint Toppy
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St.Helens - The Home of Rugby Champions

Saints Men's team - Triple Champions & Double Winners ; Saints Women's team - Treble Winners ; Thatto Heath - National Conference Champions

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1 hour ago, DC77 said:

That’s true. Anecdotal yes, but I regularly cycle a few miles my area and pass a number of housing estates and the silence is deafening. Those streets used to filled with noise with kids playing. 

In addition to being less active (from what I gather anyway), society is much more conscious about safety when it comes to playing sports, with much greater scrutiny on collision based sports. 

I’ve largely ditched RU as physically players now look like transformers (to steal another quote from Jonathan Liew), and no longer resemble humans (“80% neck”). The flair (and there wasn’t that much previously) has largely gone. It’s dominated by mammoth sized blokes colliding, and now there are court cases galore. It’s baffling that the physicality/danger has increased, just as society has become more safety conscious. And these are supposedly intelligent people running the game. Bonkers. I will hold on to my memories of Brian O’Driscoll (especially the early years before the size really took off) as it’s unlikely that form of RU will be seen again. The result of this transformation of RU is it has never had a lower profile than it does now, with not a solitary household name in the UK. Stars cannot emerge as physically it’s too stifling for attacking play. Each RUWC passes and not a single individual emerges, they can’t.

RL has an opportunity to fill this increasing void left by RU’s self inflicted demise by going back to playing a more open attacking game. There’s nothing as appealing in rugby than seeing a slick attacking sequence (dummies, long runs...a Rob Burrow in the grand final)...have plenty more of that, and less of the more attritional stuff, and RL will advertise itself and thrive.

Largely the advent of cars. 50´s and stuff cars were not part of society at the same rate. If you turn your streets over to a metal box we can´t be surprised. Also, many state schools in urban areas have no playing fields and playing any sport bar basketball on concrete is not fun. So people like to pretend it´s cultural but that´s a way not to feel guilt for burying fields in buy to let flats and driving everywhere. 

On Union, that´s what happens when you mix professionalism with the availability of lots of ped´s. Plus globalisation of RU or any contact sport means players will be imported from countries where they are physical freaks (Ireland importing Kiwis to play for them) making it less likely kids who are not built like that will bother to play a sport they will never be good at. 

On the plus side for RL, if you can find a place with the right infrastructure and 3g pitch schools will be happy in most cases to have someone provided sport or activities they can´t, which is why a team at the MRA would be so good. You could have schools on their everyday and get roots in the ground. 

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2 hours ago, ShropshireBull said:

 

On Union, that´s what happens when you mix professionalism with the availability of lots of ped´s.

 

I am not for a second saying you are wrong.

But........ Is it not a bit risky on here alleging that a rival sport has a lot of drugs in it?

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17 hours ago, Mumby Magic said:

Has Tranmere been mentioned yet??? 🤔🤔🤔

I did get the ferry to Birkenhead where Tranmere play during a Beatles weekend in Liverpool. 

It seemed more upmarket that side of the river to be playing league 🙂 

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7 hours ago, Niels said:

I did get the ferry to Birkenhead where Tranmere play during a Beatles weekend in Liverpool. 

It seemed more upmarket that side of the river to be playing league 🙂 

Having lived and worked on both sides of the Mersey for nearly four decades  I can assure you that Birkenhead is not more upmarket mate. Parts of the Wirral are though and those parts have Rugby Union, football dominates everywhere else on the Wirral and Liverpool.

I follow RL as it is in the family, and I love it, we have taken friends and neighbours to watch Super League matches over the years, all say they love it but few stick with it.

We even set up a team 20 years ago, Wirral Vikings and played against a Birkenhead Side. It all petered out sadly, maybe because we didn’t really know how to run a club from scratch and no real help was out there. 

Anyway I digress, a group of us watch Saints from Wirral and Liverpool, I am sure others go and watch Warrington, Widnes and even Wigan.

There has always been a passing interest in these parts from some but truthfully, this is getting less and less over time.

Football absolutely dominates for those who like their sport in Liverpool but we are also competing with so much more nowadays. 
 

As for a pro club in Liverpool…no chance, concentrate elsewhere. Those that are interested have plenty of choice and some great clubs in touching distance.

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20 hours ago, ShropshireBull said:

Largely the advent of cars. 50´s and stuff cars were not part of society at the same rate. If you turn your streets over to a metal box we can´t be surprised. Also, many state schools in urban areas have no playing fields and playing any sport bar basketball on concrete is not fun. So people like to pretend it´s cultural but that´s a way not to feel guilt for burying fields in buy to let flats and driving everywhere. 

Globalisation of RU or any contact sport means players will be imported from countries where they are physical freaks (Ireland importing Kiwis to play for them) making it less likely kids who are not built like that will bother to play a sport they will never be good at. 

On the plus side for RL, if you can find a place with the right infrastructure and 3g pitch schools will be happy in most cases to have someone provided sport or activities they can´t, which is why a team at the MRA would be so good. You could have schools on their everyday and get roots in the ground. 

playing any sport bar basketball on concrete is not fun“

Eh?

Street football is played on concrete...Wayne Rooney is one such product. It was easily the surface I played football on most on growing up (home and at school).

Besides those two, another popular sport on concrete is rounders (baseball) although it doesn’t have the same mass appeal in terms of gameplay. Swinging a bat is fun, but you are still somewhat limited in what you can do in comparison to having a ball at your feet or in your hands.

 

On the drop in outdoor activity, it’s much more recent than the advent of cars. It’s over the last couple of decades that the change has been ramped up, sparked by the use of hand held gadgets. 

The change in physique in RU I wouldn’t put down to Pacific Islanders (although they do play a role). Clive Woodward’s England basically won the RUWC playing 10 man rugby (mammoth pack, and the boot of Wilkinson). France have always had better back players, but when you can bypass back players to win they become redundant. France were getting crushed by bigger teams, as were Wales, so in order to compete with the like of England they have had to join them, beef up, become attritional, and unwatchable. The transformation can be summed up in one change in the France midfield, from Phillippe Sella, 12-13 stone of skill, to Bastereaud, 18 stone of brute force. Unlike France and Wales the Aussies to their credit still try to play a more attacking game which, to their cost in the now war of attrition dominated game of RU, has made them far less competitive. 

Wayne Bennett made England more competitive, and far less watchable. Shaun Wane did similar with Wigan. There’s a lot of cross pollination between the two codes (RL defensive coaches flooding both), and with players getting bigger, faster, stronger, it makes it more difficult for the same attacking play as before. This has contrasted with both basketball and football where attacking play has actually got easier and as a result you see records get broken (in the case of football, Messi breaking Pele’s scoring record for a club, Ronaldo breaking the international goalscoring record, Salah breaking the single season Premier League goalscoring record etc.)...records aided by better playing surfaces than the past, more protection from referees than than the past, laws like the back pass rule being removed so the gk cant just pick the ball up, and whereas in the rugby codes players have got bigger (making the obstacle bigger) the main change to footballers is they are quicker/more athletic, meaning they are at it  for the full 90 minutes, and also have longer careers. In basketball you see similar advances that aid attacking players with records being broken by Steph Curry, Lebron James etc. A Jonah Lomu, the last RU superstar, scoring four tries at will vs England would never happen today, he’d run into James Haskell and co., fuelled by whey protein shakes, and get shut down. The prolific try scoring of Offiah, that couldn’t happen today, nor the runs of Hanley through the middle of the field. Those same gaping holes in defence aren’t there. It’s more regimented, structured, tighter, bigger obstacles, the wrestle, slower PTB, just much harder for individuals to shine. Ultimately it’s the on field product that is the best advertiser for a game. Get that right, and allow attacking individuals to stand out and become known (or even a household name) in the process, and you will attract new viewers.

Edited by DC77
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22 hours ago, Liverpool Rover said:

As someone who has lived in Liverpool for 20 years I can say that it is a non starter. There is zero interest in rugby or any other team sport that isn’t football and that will never change.

I don’t agree with this. Most people who follow sport don’t only follow one sport.

Football is my main sport, just as most others have a main sport, but you rarely restrict yourself to just one.

As much as I appreciated the sublime skill of a Zidane, there’s an enjoyable contrast with a Lomu rampaging through an opposition defence bowling them over like skittles. 

16 hours ago, Henson Park Old Firm said:

If the Liverpool was ever to have a rugby league club they would need a marquee player like Mohamed Salah.

“The Liverpool”...always loved how some Europeans referred to the club in this way (mainly Italians if I’m not mistaken).

And just on Salah, he recently became the fastest Liverpool player to score 100 top flight goals, surpassing Roger Hunt from the 1960s. Could a Wigan player break the record (or get anywhere close) of a much more recent player (Offiah) for 100 tries for Wigan? Point is the platform that was afforded to Hunt is afforded to Salah, the same doesn’t apply to the like of a Makinson.

Look at the St Helens scoring records, all from years ago:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Helens_R.F.C.#Player_records

Its the equivalent to those East German records that still stand in athletics.

You shouldn’t be making the game harder, and that’s ultimately the major issue for both rugby codes.

Edited by DC77
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47 minutes ago, DC77 said:

playing any sport bar basketball on concrete is not fun“

Eh?

Street football is played on concrete...Wayne Rooney is one such product. It was easily the surface I played football on most on growing up (home and at school).

Besides those two, another popular sport on concrete is rounders (baseball) although it doesn’t have the same mass appeal in terms of gameplay. Swinging a bat is fun, but you are still somewhat limited in what you can do in comparison to having a ball at your feet or in your hands.

 

On the drop in outdoor activity, it’s much more recent than the advent of cars. It’s over the last couple of decades that the change has been ramped up, sparked by the use of hand held gadgets. 

The change in physique in RU I wouldn’t put down to Pacific Islanders (although they do play a role). Clive Woodward’s England basically won the RUWC playing 10 man rugby (mammoth pack, and the boot of Wilkinson). France have always had better back players, but when you can bypass back players to win they become redundant. France were getting crushed by bigger teams, as were Wales, so in order to compete with the like of England they have had to join them, beef up, become attritional, and unwatchable. The transformation can be summed up in one change in the France midfield, from Phillippe Sella, 12-13 stone of skill, to Bastereaud, 18 stone of brute force. Unlike France and Wales the Aussies to their credit still try to play a more attacking game which, to their cost in the now war of attrition dominated game of RU, has made them far less competitive. 

Wayne Bennett made England more competitive, and far less watchable. Shaun Wane did similar with Wigan. There’s a lot of cross pollination between the two codes (RL defensive coaches flooding both), and with players getting bigger, faster, stronger, it makes it more difficult for the same attacking play as before. This has contrasted with both basketball and football where attacking play has actually got easier and as a result you see records get broken (in the case of football, Messi breaking Pele’s scoring record for a club, Ronaldo breaking the international goalscoring record, Salah breaking the single season Premier League goalscoring record etc.)...records aided by better playing surfaces than the past, more protection from referees than than the past, laws like the back pass rule being removed so the gk cant just pick the ball up, and whereas in the rugby codes players have got bigger (making the obstacle bigger) the main change to footballers is they are quicker/more athletic, meaning they are at it  for the full 90 minutes, and also have longer careers. In basketball you see similar advances that aid attacking players with records being broken by Steph Curry, Lebron James etc. A Jonah Lomu, the last RU superstar, scoring four tries at will vs England would never happen today, he’d run into James Haskell and co., fuelled by whey protein shakes, and get shut down. The prolific try scoring of Offiah, that couldn’t happen today, nor the runs of Hanley through the middle of the field. Those same gaping holes in defence aren’t there. It’s more regimented, structured, tighter, bigger obstacles, the wrestle, slower PTB, just much harder for individuals to shine. Ultimately it’s the on field product that is the best advertiser for a game. Get that right, and allow attacking individuals to stand out and become known (or even a household name) in the process, and you will attract new viewers.

We are talking about mass participation.  Theres plenty of studies showing increased car use lowers areas of play.  As I said,  people of a certain generation like to blame gadgets or culture instead of the real culprits,  themselves. 

On getting big, didnt say PI were the only prob but as the codes globalised it is inevitable that ethnic groups more predisposed will be picked up. That clearly will be a problem for participation in Aus down the line. 

Not sure what the solution is although a few could be: junior RL by weight not age, reducing subs in the game and at the radical level,  having weight caps. 

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