In what has to be one of the most ridiculous things a current administrator has ever said, NRL Chief Operating Officer Jim Doyle has told the Sydney Morning Herald that he would like to see Rugby League 9’s turned into a hybrid game.
While speaking of the potential to expand Rugby League 9’s into a summer series, Doyle opened up about his dream of seeing Rugby League stars face off against Rugby Union players.
“When I was the CEO of the NZRL, one of the visions I had was to try and introduce sevens to league” said Doyle. Someone should have told him Rugby League sevens were played for about a decade and didn’t need “introduced”!
He went on to say “My thinking was that if ever we were going to have a challenge between the Kiwi’s and the All Blacks, you could only really do it in sevens. This concept of playing one half of Rugby Union and one half of Rugby League, you’d never get the All Blacks and the Kiwis to do that”.
Doyle later stated that “The concept of the nines keeps that alive”.
This person is the Chief Operating Officer of the National Rugby League. He is in one of the most important administrative roles the game has.
If Jim Doyle’s “vision” is to turn any form of Rugby League into a hybrid game, he should stand down immediately from the National Rugby League.
Can you imagine a former Australian administrator within the NZRU saying “My dream is a hybrid code”? How many minutes would it takes for them to be out the door?
The National Rugby League no longer just controls the main 16 team club competition. They run Rugby League across Australia. They are easily the post influential and most powerful Rugby League administration in the game world wide.
For the COO of the NRL to even be talking about taking this brand new Rugby League 9’s venture and changing it into a hybrid game is a disgrace.
When Jim Doyle was appointed to the National Rugby League I was shocked. When you look at the state of the NZRL and remember that it is the work of NRL clubs that helped develop the Rugby League talent in New Zealand, it made me think that the powers that be were running short of decent candidates.
What chance did the NZRL ever have with this bloke in charge. While Rugby League in New Zealand struggled along Jim Dolye had visions of a hybrid game running around in his head!
So now, before the Auckland 9’s have even kicked off, we have a high profile Rugby League administrator talking about changing it in the future so it is not a game of Rugby League at all. What a brilliant way to undermine the concept and turn everyone’s attention away from a great Rugby League event and onto Rugby Union.
I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that a Rugby League administrator should be putting all of their time and effort into, you know, Rugby League. Improve the game, make more money for the game, make Rugby League bigger and better.
But here we are with the Chief Operating Officer of the National Rugby League openly talking about turning a Rugby League game into a hybrid code. This guy is only a couple of steps away from being the NRL CEO!
Jim Doyle should resign. He would leave his post and allow someone to take over the COO role that is 100% committed to Rugby League.