Five Crazy Ideas That Might Benefit Super League

I’ve written so many article about the changed that need to be made within the game of Rugby League in Great Britain. If you want to read them, go looking through the site archives.

What if you started to think outside the box though? What if you stopped thinking about the basics, and went after idea that were a little bit….out there….

So I’m throwing out some crazy ideas that I think might lead to an improvement in Super League over time.

Pretty much all of them would be met with horrifying gasps by some people. A lot of you will read them and think “No chance” or “Why would we even want to do that”.

Has that ever stopped me in the past???

A Super League Import Draft
Imports have shown they are willing to fly across the world to play in Super League. They are not locked in to playing for any one team, just who ever makes the best offer. So why not use this to have imports enter a draft where clubs select imports in reverse order to how they finished on the Super League ladder.

Imagine the Crusaders selecting Danny Buderus with the first pick in the draft. They can negotiate with him to play for them, or do a deal with another clubs for some of their junior players and trade him to a club in exchange for more playing talent.

They might be able to negotiate a trade for money. You could actually see an instance where a lower table club could build a good young squad based solely on their ability to trade imports for junior players.

Talent Redistribution Via A Points Cap
It is very obvious that the salary cap is not working in any capacity at all in Super League. The rich clubs buy their position on the ladder and you just have to look at the few years that have won Super League over the last 10 years to see, there is no level of talent redistribution at all.

So why not bring in a points system that can’t be fixed. That would mean players would receive a points ratings based on certain career achievements and milestones. Take into account discounts on this system for long serving players and juniors. I think this would go a long way to redistributing talent across Super League.

It would make rich clubs spend more on junior development and forge teams with British players rather than imports. On top of this, if they needed an import they could trade some of their junior players for them.

At the end of the day, there is money spent on junior players, and the talent is being spread around more evenly. What a club pays its players is up to them, but the points system means they can not go over a points cap, and there is no way around that.

Sending Junior Players To Australia To Be Developed
Every year, hundreds, if not thousands of youngsters from New Zealand and the Pacific Islanders head to Australia to play Rugby League and gain an Education. It is a system that has proven to work very well, you just have to look at how many within the New Zealand test side were developed in Australia to see that.

We can see with Gareth Widdop, who moved to Melbourne as a youngster and was developed in the Australian system, that English players are much better off being part of an Australian junior development system. Widdop is the best English player in the game.

So what if the RFL offered a number of scholarships every year to elite junior players. It would take a lot of planning and work with the NRL and schools known for having these scholarships in place in Australia, but it would probably turn out some very good results.

It would be a big move for any British youngster, but the ones that wanted to have that opportunity would get a lot out of it.

Spending The Pre Season In Australia
Imagine if every year Super League clubs headed to Australia to spend a month training with NRL clubs.

Players and coaches would gain a lot from being part of an elite, professional environment and Super League teams could play pre season games against NRL clubs, which would also be of benefit.

It would also break down a lot of the “Us vs Them” mindsets that are within the British game and hopefully see some people head back to Great Britain with an open mind about the game and willing to take on board fresh ideas.

Regular Season Games In Australia
Super League would love to get their hooks into some of the NRL’s next billion dollar TV contract. So why don’t they offer content that the NRL could sell on on their behalf?

Imagine a Sunday afternoon double header where Wigan play St Helens before the Brisbane Broncos play the Canterbury Bulldogs, all at Suncorp Stadium? The Leeds Rhinos could play Hull FC before the kickoff to a Souths Sydney Rabbitohs vs St George/Illawarra Dragons game.

It would give Super League clubs more exposure and could lead to greater TV funds flowing over to Great Britain.

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