Danny McGuire has implored clubs to not give up on Reserve and Academy Rugby League after the competitions were scrapped for the rest of the season.
Hull KR’s head of recruitment is an advocate for the two systems and has been active in the club’s developments at that level during his time at the club.
Both competitions were cancelled as a result of COVID-19 and, though the eight-time Super League champion is understanding of that decision, he is adamant that they must return for the good of the game.
“I just hope we’re not short-sighted as a game and a competition to not hold off any longer than we need to,” McGuire said.
“We have to keep producing these players, both at our club and for the sport as a whole.
“It would be a real shame if we did. You’ve only got to look at the clubs who win Grand Finals and they’re littered with homegrown talent and match winners. They’ve all come through their Academy and it would be a shame for the sport if we didn’t invest and produce.
“As a game we have this bit of time off, but we have to jump back into it after that and as soon as we can.”
McGuire also believes the Robins will begin to rise up the Super League ranks in the years to come following their investment in youth.
“For us it’s our first cycle, we signed a couple to join the first team and promoted a few to the scholarship.
“We identified that we hadn’t been doing that. It’s a three or four-year plan.
“The proof shows that you reap the rewards in the long-term. The more homegrown players in your squad, the more success you’ll have and it helps your the identity. Players have a real connection to the club, I think that’s really key. Your homegrown players are more likely to show loyalty and stick around and you can have five or six players that spend their career there. That’s a way Rovers can be competitive and for a sustained period of time.”
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