>..............................The advent (at last!) of a European
>competition is to be welcomed (although it was welcomed everwhere bar
>England originaly, oh what a ***y surprise), as is the Anglo-Welsh
>league... but the former is only a cup competition, while the other
>seems already doomed to being a reserves competition. Whatever the
>solutions are to be, administrators must also bear in mind that
>players, professional or not, are only human and are incapable
>generally of playing 60 games a year at the top level, whilst
>supporters and sponsors will soon tire of watching competitions that
>don't regularly feature the top names.
I agree with everything you say. Can I have your babies? Er, no, I
take that back. I've said for a long time now (hi Gerald!) that an
Anglo-Welsh league was needed to improve the standards of rugby in
both England and Wales. But I envisaged the A-W league being the
*** competition for the clubs, not, as you say, the kind of
glorified reserves competition it's turning out to be.
But it ought to be persevered with, because that's where the future
of club rugby in England and Wales lies, IMO. We're much too
parochial. It's a nonsense that clubs of the calibre of Cardiff,
Pontypridd, Leicester and Bath (for instance) don't play each other
regularly and in meaningful competitions. The European Cup is a
start, but it is only a cup competition.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, make the A-W league THE
club competition to be in, with promotion/relegation from the
feeder national leagues. Indeed, I'd go further and include the
top Scottish and Irish clubs/provinces too, to make a truly
national league. It's ironic that while in RL they are desperately
searching around for suitable regions/cities to expand the
Superleague into and failing to find them; we in RU already have
more than enough suitable clubs, in England, Wales, Scotland and
Ireland to create a more viable and lasting alternative. Why don't
we use them?