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To be honest, across the various squads mentioned, I would have expected the costs of salary, support, medical, travel etc. to exceed £9.6M a year for a competition the size of the NRL.

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

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9 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

To be honest, across the various squads mentioned, I would have expected the costs of salary, support, medical, travel etc. to exceed £9.6M a year for a competition the size of the NRL.

Its a great article

The take out from the article for me is junior development and getting as many youngsters as possible playing our game

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6 minutes ago, The Future is League said:

Its a great article

The take out from the article for me is junior development and getting as many youngsters as possible playing our game

Absolutely agree with that. I wasn't looking to be negative. 

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

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7 hours ago, The Future is League said:

Its a great article

The take out from the article for me is junior development and getting as many youngsters as possible playing our game

The problem is that in the UK RL is a small time regional game with almost all its pro clubs based in what Sean McGuire called "smallish economically disadvantaged towns.  How do you propose to get those youngsters interested in playing a game which offer players such limited prospects?

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3 hours ago, Big Picture said:

The problem is that in the UK RL is a small time regional game with almost all its pro clubs based in what Sean McGuire called "smallish economically disadvantaged towns. 

again-there-you-go-again.gif

Edited by M j M
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It's only £9.5m, not exactly a crazy amount of money.

The top SL clubs probably all in will be spending maybe £3m to £4m all-in on similar stuff. A lot less but not shockingly so.

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2 hours ago, M j M said:

It's only £9.5m, not exactly a crazy amount of money.

The top SL clubs probably all in will be spending maybe £3m to £4m all-in on similar stuff. A lot less but not shockingly so.

Indeed, this gives a sense of perspective and it seems quite surprising. I love the NRL and its obviously on a different level and there's lots to admire in that article but with everything considered I'd have expected the differential to be more. Throw in the more expensive cost of living in Australia too and housing costs etc and it narrows the difference in that money goes further here.

Obviously on top of this there is a lot more money in RL generally in Australia when it comes to marketing, development and even in lower league money.

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3 hours ago, M j M said:

It's only £9.5m, not exactly a crazy amount of money.

The top SL clubs probably all in will be spending maybe £3m to £4m all-in on similar stuff. A lot less but not shockingly so.

£7m on wages though is a huge difference. 

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5 hours ago, Damien said:

Indeed, this gives a sense of perspective and it seems quite surprising. I love the NRL and its obviously on a different level and there's lots to admire in that article but with everything considered I'd have expected the differential to be more. Throw in the more expensive cost of living in Australia too and housing costs etc and it narrows the difference in that money goes further here.

Obviously on top of this there is a lot more money in RL generally in Australia when it comes to marketing, development and even in lower league money.

Not sure what you base the more expensive cost of living in Australia on…..maybe if you compare Central Sydney with Keighley. But on a like for like comparison (eg Townsville v warrington, Wollongong v Hull…) I think you will find cost of living less down under.

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21 minutes ago, The Future is League said:

To quote Brian Fletcher the Penrith CEO from part of the article

" It proves the more money you put into development the more success LONG TERM YOU'LL HAVE"

British clubs please take note

Which is absolutely fantastic but the article also had this line which described the situation before the success came "The Panthers lost $50 million over a decade trying to sustain the club’s rugby league program."

"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 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Which is absolutely fantastic but the article also had this line which described the situation before the success came "The Panthers lost $50 million over a decade trying to sustain the club’s rugby league program."

" We've invested a lot of money over the years and fortunately we're getting repayments financially with a very successful football team"

If clubs in this country invested as much money in junior development as they do on has been's and never was players from the NRL we could challenge the Aussies at international level, but not all the while the clubs look for short term solutions instead of thinking long term

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21 minutes ago, Anita Bath said:

Not sure what you base the more expensive cost of living in Australia on…..maybe if you compare Central Sydney with Keighley. But on a like for like comparison (eg Townsville v warrington, Wollongong v Hull…) I think you will find cost of living less down under.

I'm basing it on the many studies that say precisely that. Studies that are based on the UK as a whole and not just the considerably cheaper North of England where RL clubs are mainly based.

Your examples seem awfully selective considering the locations of most NRL clubs. Anyhow according to this Wollongong is 20% more expensive than Hull:

https://www.mylifeelsewhere.com/cost-of-living/kingston-upon-hull-c6943/wollongong-c4064

Townsville is 3% more expensive than Warrington:

https://www.mylifeelsewhere.com/cost-of-living/warrington-c6989/townsville-c4062

Of course we could instead do Sydney v Leeds where Sydney is just 29% more expensive or Wigan v Brisbane which is a mere 21% more expensive.

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9 minutes ago, EggFace said:

What happens when Australia becomes to hot to live then what happens to sporting culture....off to listen to the Smiths.

They will play in quarters and retain their casual racism 

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3 hours ago, Damien said:

I'm basing it on the many studies that say precisely that. Studies that are based on the UK as a whole and not just the considerably cheaper North of England where RL clubs are mainly based.

Your examples seem awfully selective considering the locations of most NRL clubs. Anyhow according to this Wollongong is 20% more expensive than Hull:

https://www.mylifeelsewhere.com/cost-of-living/kingston-upon-hull-c6943/wollongong-c4064

Townsville is 3% more expensive than Warrington:

https://www.mylifeelsewhere.com/cost-of-living/warrington-c6989/townsville-c4062

Of course we could instead do Sydney v Leeds where Sydney is just 29% more expensive or Wigan v Brisbane which is a mere 21% more expensive.

I’d love to know the methods used. Having lived in both during similar periods I’d say things like booze and eating out more expensive down under but fresh food is less and public transport much less in Oz.

oOf course it’s not only the unit price but the volumes so for many parts of Australia electricity and gas much less because of climate. Also many folks generate their own solar and sell the excess to the grid. I haven’t pAid an electric bill since installing solar 2 years ago and I have a $500 positive balance with the electricity company.

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5 hours ago, Anita Bath said:

Not sure what you base the more expensive cost of living in Australia on…..maybe if you compare Central Sydney with Keighley. But on a like for like comparison (eg Townsville v warrington, Wollongong v Hull…) I think you will find cost of living less down under.

I saw that and was surprised/sceptical as well. The only way I could explain it was the cost of housing. 

With record low interest rates and associated record low home loan interest rates we`ve had a housing boom over here the last few years, even with prices in regional areas almost doubling. And doubling from prices that were already strong. This has all been exacerbated by a lack of new stock in the housing market and up until the pandemic very high immigration rates.

Cost of housing can carry a heavy weighting in the make up of these type of studies.

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5 hours ago, The Future is League said:

" We've invested a lot of money over the years and fortunately we're getting repayments financially with a very successful football team"

If clubs in this country invested as much money in junior development as they do on has been's and never was players from the NRL we could challenge the Aussies at international level, but not all the while the clubs look for short term solutions instead of thinking long term

Saved this from a couple of years ago.

Panthers' vast, painstaking NRL pathway | The Canberra Times | Canberra, ACT

Just in case you can`t open it.

Somewhere inside Penrith's renowned NRL academy is a colour-coded magnet board with the progress of more than 100 pathways players on it.

At one point or another, it's held the names of 21 of Penrith's current 30-man NRL squad, including virtually every big-name player.

 

"It's something we look at every day after every training session," Penrith's elite player development manager Ben Harden tells AAP.

 

"Whether it is a Harold Matthews, SG Ball or Jersey Flegg session, some magnets are getting moved on a daily basis. Some not for months."

Harden is the man charged with overseeing Penrith's famed pathways program.

A gun young halfback himself earlier this century, his career was ended by four straight knee reconstructions.

Some at Penrith reckon if not for the injuries, he'd still be their No.7.

 

But in many ways, the club has won out by having him in charge of the pathways system and working the

whiteboard instead.

Every magnet moved on Penrith's board has a flow-on effect.

At the top end, it tells the Panthers what superstars are coming through their ranks and when they'll need to make room for them.

Think the purchase of veteran James Maloney in 2018, buying the Panthers two years to bring Jarome Luai through.

Or James Tamou, let go at the end of last year with Spencer Leniu and Moses Leota ready to fill the hole.

"It's minimum three or four years (working ahead)," Harden said.

 
 

"While I am coaching the Jersey Flegg I am thinking 2023 or 2024 NRL salary cap. That is my job."

At the other end of the magnet board is the management of one of the biggest junior systems in rugby league.

A result of eight years of evolution that started with now GM of football Matt Cameron and Jim Jones, it has helped make Penrith a powerhouse.

Much spoken about, it's important to lay out how a system that has more than 300 youngsters in it creates an NRL squad of 30.

Around four weeks before Christmas every year in non-COVID times, 80 under-13s locals are brought through the Panthers' doors for training.

Each year they are taught the same basics by each coach's designated age group, with Jones' son Sam helping select the group of hopefuls.

 

Former Penrith second-rower Lee Hopkins oversees conditioning, while all coaches live by a simple mantra to get young players ready to enter the club's system.

Kids must learn their timetables before they do quadratic equations.

"It's a basic principles and awareness of the game being taught," Harden said.

"It's about you have to wear the shirt we give you. You have to ring if you're late.

"We start to plant that seed, we don't care how good you are. It's about how good of a person you are and what values you have."

A year later that group of 80 becomes 50, and by under-15s it is 40.

 

At the same time, similar programs are being run in the bush at satellite cities of Dubbo, Forbes and Bathurst under the likes of former Penrith lock Dave Elvy.

"We've stopped the lingo, that its 'out there'. We count that as part of our area," Harden said.

"They are just our western region program in the same way we have our Penrith development program."

By Harold Matthews Cup in under-17s, the two groups first mix.

Jones Jnr drives a mini bus to Bathurst each Friday, bringing players back to Penrith to train that night and play on Saturday.

For under-19s and under-21s more regional kids come into the system, as talented players make the move over east the mountains.

 

Not every player has followed the system from the start.

Luai was part of the first intake of under-14s, Nathan Cleary arrived in under-15s.

Brian To'o, Mitch Kenny and Stephen Crichton all missed out on Harold Matts selection, but quickly fast-tracked their way into SG Ball.

All the while, their progression remains tracked on the magnet board, as well as several whiteboards, spreadsheets and as Harden puts it: "IP between the ears."

"I am talking to Matt Cameron about problems we will have and in what positions," Harden said.

"And if I feel the players can do 90 per cent of his role at 25 per cent of the price, then that is my job (to point that out).

 

Their task has become harder too, with success boosting the price of players quicker than originally expected.

Viliame Kikau is the next example of that, off-contract next year and already set to attract high interest on bigger money after the club already lost Matt Burton.

Grand finalists last season, Penrith have gone quickly to managing a roster with several marquee players rather than one built on potential.

"As a player trickles out at $20, you might have to replace him with a $10 player," Cameron said.

"Or we might have four of those $5 players, and we have to work out which one we turn into the $10 player.

"That's the beauty of being a development club, we should have five in every position

 

"It's then which three you carry into a first-grade squad and which one you turn into a pro-baller."

In retention and recruitment meetings, Harden not only identifies who those players are, but the young stars that space will need to be made for in years to come.

And in turn, what actions must be taken now to allow it.

"It's all about trust. The trust that I pick them, Jimmy gets them (contracted)," Harden said.

"I help coach them, Hoppo (Lee Hopkins) gets them fitter, faster and stronger. Sammy helps look after them.

"Everyone has their cog in the wheel."

 

 

 

 

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