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Percentage of RU converts in RL back in the day


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57 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Good call.  I would absolutely say Gibbs is valid as I meant GB eligible not necessarily if they played for GB.

With Gibbs at centre and Davies at full back the ex RU backline looks better but the RL developed team edges it for me.

Interesting to see if people feel differently if we go back a little earlier.

Before this we get into players I’ve never seen play and although legends of the game I would be putting them in on name only. 

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16 minutes ago, bobbruce said:

Before this we get into players I’ve never seen play and although legends of the game I would be putting them in on name only. 

Same here.  Maybe John Bentley would be an option on the wing in front of Devereux. So..

1. Davies

2. Bentley

3. Bateman

4. Gibbs

5. Offiah

Not a bad backline.

I would take Offiah as a wing (although both Robinson and Drummond were superb) and Davies as full back over the RL developed players you mentioned.

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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2 hours ago, bobbruce said:

Only players I’ve seen play

RL only

1/ Connolly 

2/ Robinson

3/ Newlove

4/ Hanley

5/ Drummond

RU only

1/ Tait

2/ Devereux

3/ Bateman

4/ Davies

5/ Offiah

 

I’d go with the RL only back line I started watching in the late 70s and it was more difficult than I thought to put together a RU only backline. Personally I’d drop Tait put Davies to fullback and pick Gibbs at centre but I don’t think he ever played for GB. 

Two cracking backlines those, and some great players from 80's through to the current day that you've had to leave out too

100% League 0% Union

Just because I don't know doesn't mean I don't understand

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1 hour ago, Dunbar said:

Good call.  I would absolutely say Gibbs is valid as I meant GB eligible not necessarily if they played for GB.

With Gibbs at centre and Davies at full back the ex RU backline looks better but the RL developed team edges it for me.

Interesting to see if people feel differently if we go back a little earlier.

Much that the RU back line is good, Hanley and Newlove at centre! As good as Gibbs and Bateman were, they would have been in Newlove and Hanley’s pockets all afternoon.

the only ones I would swap would be Davis for Conolly and Offiah for Drummond

Edited by Bostik Bailey
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6 hours ago, Mumby Magic said:

Most of Bradford's from my time didn't do much. Terry Holmes retired, Gerald Cordle was nicknamed teflon and Brett Iti had the potential but couldn't match it.

Darrell Shelford was a good player and we got Hugh Gumbs into the game who could have been great if he'd had joined at a younger age.

Neil Summers signed from Headingley and I believe David Cooper was signed from Union 

That again is quite a fair number of RU converts, would there have been as many as half a dozen at each club on average?

Edited by Big Picture
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6 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

That again is quite a fair number of RU converts, would there have been as many as half a dozen at each club on average?

Not at the same time. I'd say about 3. For years when I was a kid Wigan may have only had 1 or 2. I can't recall more than 4 at any one time and even that was the exception.

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21 hours ago, Jill Halfpenny fan said:

Myler would of played rugby league all through his primary school days.  Back then the Widnes schools produced some top teams and invariably did very well in the Wallace cup(Lancashire cup).

Pretty sure I read that Myler was introduced to Union at Fisher More, they didn't or more probably wouldn't play league. In Widnes senior schools Union seemed to have a monopoly on PE teachers also being Union players and the often used excuse was they couldn't get fixtures.  In Widnes, Warrington, St Heles, Wigan and Leigh that was ridiculous, they didn't want the game played.

Anyway on leaving school Myler went to the Wids from where Widnes signed him.

You could just as easily argue that Union pinched him from League.

I can confirm this having attended the school Fisher More turned into, only RU was played because of the make up of the PE department. They were very keen to encourage players into local Union teams in addition to the League teams they were already playing for.

I don't think this is the standard for classing someone as a Union convert.

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Just now, DI Keith Fowler said:

I can confirm this having attended the school Fisher More turned into, only RU was played because of the make up of the PE department. They were very keen to encourage players into local Union teams in addition to the League teams they were already playing for.

I don't think this is the standard for classing someone as a Union convert.

I think Shaun Edwards captained England Schools RU, so if we were he's almost a convert too. 

The only people I'd class would be people who either came from senior club union or had never played League before they turned pro. 

Bit before my time but the late 60s early 70s seems like one of the better recruiting times, David Watkins Maurice Richards and John Bevan from Wales, John Gray Mike Lampkowski David Jeanes from England, and probably a load more. 

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I actually don't think people outside heartland areas realise what a grip RU had at times, and still has, in schools even in places where RL was king. PE teachers really did use their positions to brainwash and force kids into playing RU. At other schools headmasters point blank refused to let RL be played.

When people criticise RL for its limited geography and even lack of infrastructure in its heartlands its impossible to ignore the fact that there are very good reasons that contributed to that which were beyond the games control. Even many RU clubs in the heartlands were formed off the back of ex grammer school pupils where RL lads had been forced to play RU. RL has never had that kind of network to fall back on and has had to fight for everything it has got.

Edited by Damien
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1 minute ago, Damien said:

I actually don't think people outside heartland areas realise what a grip RU had at times, and still has, in schools even in places where RL was king. PE teachers really did use their positions to brainwash and force kids into playing RU. At other schools headmasters point blank refused to let RL be played.

When people criticise RL for its limited geography and even lack of infrastructure in its heartlands its impossible to ignore the fact there are very good reasons for that. Even many RU clubs in the heartlands were formed off the back of ex grammer school pupils where RL lads had been forced to play RU.

Ironic 😉

Its true though. Take Wakefield, an undeniable heartland of RL. Ignoring the various pub teams that come and go, there's at least 4 junior/senior RL clubs in the city proper alone. There was two RU clubs (now just one after the final demise of Wakefield RUFC).

Can you take a wild guess which club has the best facilities, pitches, investment and local connections with the City's public schools?

(Amateur) Rugby League clubs do a hell of a lot of good work in very tough social conditions. Until very recently this hasn't been something we have used to our advantage in accessing funding etc.

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4 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Ironic 😉

Its true though. Take Wakefield, an undeniable heartland of RL. Ignoring the various pub teams that come and go, there's at least 4 junior/senior RL clubs in the city proper alone. There was two RU clubs (now just one after the final demise of Wakefield RUFC).

Can you take a wild guess which club has the best facilities, pitches, investment and local connections with the City's public schools?

(Amateur) Rugby League clubs do a hell of a lot of good work in very tough social conditions. Until very recently this hasn't been something we have used to our advantage in accessing funding etc.

Certainly in the 80s there was no RL played at the senior school I went to in St Helens. Despite most of the players in the school union team playing RL on weekends. 

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I'm pretty sure that it kicked off good style in Widnes with parents approaching the schools about their kids being made to play Union.

From memory I think Mick Naughton was involved and the Widnes Tigers was formed off the back of it.

Not sure what the impact on the school Union teams was but I doubt it was positive.

 

Just because you think everyone hates you doesn't mean they don't.

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When I went to High School and then Sixth Form College just outside Wigan from '81 to '88 there was only Rugby League played... both at the school and by all the Rugby playing kids outside of school.   And every day in the playground. 

Even the RU playing PE teacher had Rugby League played in the school. Maybe he knew the level of demand but I didn't give it a thought at the time.

Ironically this was in Orrell which had a leading top end Union club at the time.

"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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1 hour ago, bobbruce said:

Certainly in the 80s there was no RL played at the senior school I went to in St Helens. Despite most of the players in the school union team playing RL on weekends. 

Same in West Cumbria during the early 80's

Interesting observation made by my nephew a couple of years ago, everyone in his Rugby League team had played some union but not everyone in his union team had played any League. Thinking about it, it was exactly the same in the teams I played in - Conclusion: League players choose their game from a position of knowledge, union players choose their game from a position of ignorance.

100% League 0% Union

Just because I don't know doesn't mean I don't understand

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Very true. In Rochdale, Hornets own Graham Starkey, himself a RU convert, did much to promote League in his position as PE teacher at junior high/middle school level.  But kids then went on the high school and came up against ex grammer school teachers who refused to recognise League.

I loved playing league but as soon as I reached high school I was shunted to the wing because of my small size and never saw the ball in three years.

Starkey was a wonderful teacher and a great bloke.

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16 hours ago, Damien said:

I actually don't think people outside heartland areas realise what a grip RU had at times, and still has, in schools even in places where RL was king. PE teachers really did use their positions to brainwash and force kids into playing RU. At other schools headmasters point blank refused to let RL be played.

When people criticise RL for its limited geography and even lack of infrastructure in its heartlands its impossible to ignore the fact that there are very good reasons that contributed to that which were beyond the games control. Even many RU clubs in the heartlands were formed off the back of ex grammer school pupils where RL lads had been forced to play RU. RL has never had that kind of network to fall back on and has had to fight for everything it has got.

In my school (in the RL heartlands)in the 80s if you were picked for the first XV at the weekend you couldn’t play for your RL team that weekend( even if the matches were on different days) quite a few ended up in detention for it.

Add in the rampant homophobic comments from the sports teachers about anyone playing rugby league, and you get the picture.

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In the l notes of my recently unearthed FC v KR Cornwall programme it says that then there were 41 amateur RL teams in the city of Hull, not including schools and colleges. That's an impressive number even if it includes different age groups of the same club. Despite this there were several players on both sides signed from (mainly local) RU. This stream of talent seems to have disappeared completely. 

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