Does Great Britain/England need to spread their net to become more competative

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Does Great Britain/England need to spread their net to become more competative Empty Does Great Britain/England need to spread their net to become more competative

Post by blackcanelion on Thu 14 Jun 2012, 9:07 am

Does the Great Britain/England, and the club game, need to entice players from union and/or rugby league to be competitive internationally? The UK hasn't been competitive with Australia for a while (that's not to say they haven't won the odd test match). Recent events in union and NZ rugby league got me thinking that there might be an opportunity to improve the team and the games standing.

Scotland Rugby Union is looking to set up a system whereby they attract talent to the nation and bring them into the team on the basis of nationality. NZ league has done the same thing with the likes of Nathan Fien. I wonder if there is an opportunity for England to do the sane. they effectively did this Rangi Chase. There is no reason why clubs couldn't be encouraged to attract young talent from the pacific etc, or from games like handball to the UK, on scholarships in association with good schools and feeder clubs (it's already happens in Australia in League and Union and to a limited extent with union in NZ). There must be plenty of Aussies with British heritage that could qualify as well.

The other option is looking at taking on union converts. I see that there have been a number of converts to union that have been successful, Maybe league should look at converting players. many people forget that for much of it's history the Great Britain has contained a sizeable collection of union converts (most prewar sides contained anywhere from 3-7 players). Even post war there was a sizeable contribution, although it's trailed off with time. A quick review of the RL hall of fame underlines the impact.

Whilst some would argue that the games are too different I'd disagree, it's a question of time and a positive environment. They say it took at least 3 years for Brad Thorne to effectively convert and a similar amount of time for SBW. I think it's a question of getting players young enough and providing the structure to understand the game. One look at NZ can see this in action. The likes of Benji Marshall and Simon Mannering are converts and the Warriors league club is one that is contacting young union players (with no league background) in their junior team (Konrad Hurrell having just graduated to the 1st grade team - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1CBCh68-Go&feature=related ) (Omar Slaimankhel must be chance as well) - http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/league/6867561/Aussie-NRL-clubs-on-hunt-for-top-NZ-rookie ).

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Post by George Hotel1895 on Fri 15 Jun 2012, 7:06 pm

I agree that the bigger the pool the better, and perhaps the best way to do that would be for certain clubs to get serious about junior development and stop bringing over has been and never was players from Australia and NZ.

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Post by blackcanelion on Sat 16 Jun 2012, 12:11 am

True. It's a complex issue. I'm familiar with NZ and Australia, but not so much UK. I have lived near Widnes and know people that have played up north. I wont pretend to understand the culture. My understanding is that it's pretty parochial. I think it's an issue league has to face if it is to grow (assuming that's what people want). The games got a lot potential, it always strikes me as odd how it hasn't managed to grow.

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Post by George Hotel1895 on Sat 16 Jun 2012, 8:32 am

The London Broncos are now developing a lot of talented juniors, i just hope that the club can keep going. The 2 Welsh semi pro sides will no doubt bring juniors through, and the new teams that will be in National 1 next season will also in time bring through juniors. As the Conference expands i'm sure that talent will be found there as well. I guess on a time scale we are probably talking about 8 to 10 years before we see the benefits of the Welsh sides and the new National 1 sides as regards a production line of Talented juniors.

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