As many of you know I have always been against the high number of imports in Super League. I have fought with countless people over the effects of imports on the British game….and now that fight is about to end.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Super League is no longer a British competition.
The RFL and its clubs have made a commitment to bring in as many imports as they can into Super League. There are now close to 100 former NRL players in Super League and that number just keeps growing every year.
With the governing body and clubs committing to a future reliant on imports, Super League fans are also committed to the process of buying players from overseas and they defend the practice.
If thats what people want, thats fine.
It does however mean that the future of the British game is now in a dire position.
Super League is now a northern hemisphere based competition that is completely reliant on southern hemisphere talent. Its to the point where if a couple of clubs in Super Leaguebring through one players each that is young and may have a decent future in the game, people celebrate the supposed success of the British player development system.
I think the fact that in 2007 the Great Britain Rugby League team will feature a Samoan import says it all really. The RFL has made it bed, and now it has to lie in it.
So now that Super League has committed to this path of being a League made up with imports, what does that mean for the future of Super League?
For starters, it makes it much easier to expand the competition as there is no shortage of talent in the southern hemisphere to buy and fill new rosters up with.
The use of imports also is cheaper for Super League clubs as they don’t need to spend money on player development in Great Britain.
Super League fans should start to get use to the shrinking number of British players in their clubs lineup. We’ve already seen some teams name an entire starting side full of important players and this move will become more and more common as imports completely take over Super League lineups.
One of the positive things to come from this is that the level of player in Super League will hopefully be raised as the better trained, more skillful players for the southern hemisphere will lift standards in Super League.
Super League has become an option, not just for retired or over prices NRL players, but also fringe first graders who would find themselves pushed out of the professional game in Australia and New Zealand.
So from now on, you will not see me argue about the number of imports in Super League. The British game has made its decision and the fans support it.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
Aug 01, 2020 0