Opportunity knocks

Opportunity knocks

Phil Clarke says that is all well and good developing our youngsters but they need to play more.

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Comments (4)

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Geoff Newman says...

Steven Clarke is absolutely right, and in fact could have given many other examples: Joel Tomkins only got his chance because of the injury to O'Loughlin, similarly the likes of Goulding, Mossop & Flanagan. Others, like Farrell & Davies, have played well enough in the reserves (as both you and Barrie commented) to be given a few games, but it seems the senior players are "untouchable", no matter if their form dips. In addition to increasing the number of club-trained players, how about a minimum number of first-team games they must play?

Posted 18:17 2nd September 2009

Graham Smith says...

Very good article Phil. I agree with your points, however the number of 'homegrown' players who have been with the club for a minimum of 3 years is probably better off at 7 for now, and should be increased by 2 per year until it reaches 15. This means that clubs will be forced to develop players to the point of being able to play regular 1st team football, rather than keeping them on the sidelines as numbers 18-25, and using them just when someone gets an injury. It will also more than likely encourage more people in to the sport, as they are far more likely to be given an opportunity to make a career in Rugby League, which can only be good for the game as it will give us more talent to choose from.

Posted 11:57 14th August 2009

Steven Clarke says...

Hi Phil, Thoughtful piece as always. Although the issue of relegation has been scrapped, I do not believe that in the short term i.e. the first round of licenses, that British representation will increase dramatically. The reason for my thoughts is that the clubs either in or around the playoffs will not chance a reserve grade/ academy player when there is a steady, reliable NRL alternative. If we look as an example at Wigan. Mark Riddel is a steady player who will neither stand out or look out of place. Mike McIlorum is his equal at the very least and I would hazard that he is paid far less. British, quality, enthusiastic but inexperinenced and coaches won't take that chance every week, their job is on the line no matter what the new regime was meant to bring. If Tim Smith was fit, would Sam Tomkins been given as many games? What excitement we would have missed. Ainscough's start to the season was dashed by a coaching decision. However, if we look at the flip side. Ben Harrison given his chance, Vinny Anderson now sits on the bench unable to dislodge him from the team. I agree we need to reduce the overseas quota but only when it is coupled with brave coaching decisions will we see any real impact. We DO have the infrastructure to bring these lads through.

Posted 08:45 13th August 2009

Matt Summersgill says...

I compleatly agree with everything you have just said Phill. As a Rhinos fan i am very proud of what out team has achived & with the british players it has acheived it with, Altough I'm starting to get slightly disapointed with our reicent sighnings. I think Brian Mclennan is a fantasitc coach but i don't like the way he seams bringing in more overseas players!!! Buderus & Eastwood this season (although Eastwood never arrived he did sighn and as far as i am aware could be over next season) & Delaney for next. As you said in your piece Leeds & Saints lead the way with blooding young british players, yet it seams to me Leeds are sliding in times when we sould be cutting the number overseas players. Dont get me wrong I love the overseas players we already have Lauitiiti & Webb ect but i dont see why we need any more.

Posted 17:06 12th August 2009

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