Rugby league needs its own Soccer AM

THERE was a time when rugby league had Boots N All, one of the most popular weekly magazine programme focusing on the Super League, Championship, League One and the amateur game.

Hosted by Eddie Hemmings, the programme would be on Sky Sports and ran from 1996 until 2015. Hemmings was usually joined by two studio guests which usually included: Paul Cullen, Phil Clarke, Terry O’Connor, Barrie McDermott, John Kear, Tony Rea, Jon Wells and Brian Carney. Bill Arthur, Rod Studd and Angela Powers also provided featured reports.

Back came the podcast ‘Sin Bin’ in 2022 where various representatives of match officials took to the floor along with host Rod Studd to discuss the big refereeing decisions of the past few rounds.

However, though podcasts on rugby league continue to come and go, there has been no dedicated program on TV that comes close to Boots N All.

That show usually featured a round up of the week’s headlines with a discussion then on said headlines.

Highlights from a Championship match and previews of the week’s upcoming television matches were also included as interviews with players, coaches and high-ranking officials were broadcasted.

Of course, there is the Super League Show which has been running throughout the summer game, but it feels like there is a massive gap for a rugby league programme that is light-hearted as well as informative.

There is the Super League’s Out Of Your League podcast which is a lot more relaxed, but that is usually a one-off interview with a player or a coach.

But, with IMG – the leading modern-day sports marketing company – at the helm, there is a gap for something new and vibrant.

There was Rugby AM for a number of years which had Alex Simmons at the helm and the likes of Wayne Godwin as a brilliant co-host, but that was the last rugby league show dedicated to doing something a bit different.

There could be funny tasks pitting two stars against each other like the football equivalent of Soccer AM or challenges that take presenters, players and coaches out of their comfort zone.

Features on Soccer AM such as Skill Skool – where two players compete to show off the best skills – The Third Eye – where mishaps that haven’t been seen at first glance are shown from the week’s broadcasts – and The Crossbar Challenge – which sees players try and hit the crossbar from the halfway line – are all great fun and get the viewer laughing, as well as those involved.

Let’s think of entertainment and the value of it!