>I feel I must try & start a thread on this one - it seems un-discussed
>Wigan (and any other SL club) are totally wrong to let players play Union
In principle I would agree with you, its just like spending the old summer
off season down under getting knackered BUT there are (different) reasons
why it is happening.
>(1) The press make it sound like RL is losing its cream players (and we
>short as it is)
Well thats the press for you. BBC Ceefax is one of the worst. Ive lost
count of the number of times the headline has been that an RL player is
moving to union. Its only when you read the ceefax article you realise
its only for the off season. On a couple of occasions they have even
managed to forget to mention its only for the off season as well. However
this is just another example of the press doing us no favours.
>(2) It is bad preparation for RL
As was a stint down under.
>(3) Injuries may occur which can end careers or make players unavailable
>long enough to affect a SL
Same again, its no different than before. (Doesn't make it correct
>(4) Wigan have surprised/disappointed me the most - long the model of
>RL professionalism, I can't
>understand why their VERY BEST players are being allowed to do this....
>Mr Lindsay have done the same??
If the finances were as they are and ML was in charge I am sure he would
be forced to do the same.
>Or is Mr Robinson not of the same calibre??
Yes (i.e. hes not of the same calibre)
Now for what are, IMO, the reasons this is going on.
1. Money for the club.
In Wigans case they are under financial pressure and as the deals with
Tugger and Paul are sanctioned by the club I guess it helps the club out
When players wanted to go down under the club was not under financial
pressure and the Aussie RL clubs were not daft enough to pay a rental or
whatever the arrangement is.
I guess the RU clubs will be paying the players contracts for the duration
of the stint thus removing the financial burden from Wigan for the up
coming long SL off season.
There was no financial benefit to Wigan for their players to go down under
so they came out against the idea. They could afford to inist on a rest
for the players and I guess the money on offer to the players was not
enough to warrent a big bust up.
If there was no financial benefit now, then I guess the club would be
2. Money for the players
These guys are being offered silly money for a short term contract. Try
and stop em and:
a) It may be illegal as a restraint of trade.
b) They might just sod off altogether to a better paid job in RU
3. Impending Salary Cap
This relates to 2. If the cap stops you paying players as much as you
would like then RU (cap less) can complete for the players much more
easily. Therefore you let them go for a short term contract and hope they
I wonder if, as Wigan are probably not paying the players contracts while
they are playing RU, this is a sneaky way to reduce the wage bill to
conform to the salary cap?
IMO, I am sure Wigan would prefer their players to rest but given the
financial circumstances its the way it is.
However I reckon that after one season of this the players will themselves
see sense and want a rest. Couple this with the fact the silly money from
RU will dry up I think you will find players not as keen to double up.
Wigan RLFC - Simply the Best