Lewis Marshall meets the England football team
Your countdown to the 2013 awards ceremony
Ian Botham and Mike Atherton on Ben Stokes, Shane Watson and Alastair Cook's captaincy.
Relive ten memorable incidents from the season just gone and vote for your favourite in our poll.
Ahead of the ceremony, we profile the contenders and focus on athlete Christine Ohuruogu.
Martin Brundle explains the dilemmas organisers face in putting together the F1 calendar.
Follow the latest from the written press with the best gossip and speculation from the papers.
The Easter fixture programme usually ignites the debate about whether two matches in four days is good for the game.Back to story
Phil, after Brian McDermott's recent comments that Catalan get awarded more penalties than any other team, I was wondering if all your stats confirm this? He has obviously looked into it him self, and if so why do you think this is?
Posted 10:54 5th April 2013
Why don't all teams chip in and buy a plane. Each week it will either take english teams to france or Catalans to England. Cost will be down bacause no one will be making a profit from the trips plus delays would be minimised because it would be a private flight. To offset the costs the teams could also sell seats to fans which means away support would also increase putting money back into the clubs. As for the Easter weekend I don't think it need changing it's two matches in a season that don't make that much of difference come September. The issue will arise if SKY start asking for Monday night matches again as this could end up with Easter weekend type fixtures (matches only 5 days apart) happening 3 or 4 times in a season for some clubs.
Posted 14:21 4th April 2013
I don't know were phil is coming from with this point. In the NRL the melbourne storm travel 800km to sydney, 1500km to brisbane and 2000km to townsville. All big journeys and they beat everyone in the NRL.
Posted 13:48 4th April 2013
If you do that then you're completely undermining the regular season. In a few years when Catalan grow and start to develop good youngsters this may but possible but for now they'd get beaten heavily most weeks, it wouldn't be giving fans value for money. Although I get where you are coming from.
Posted 15:28 3rd April 2013
I think this highlights the fundamental problem - too many places for play-offs. Top 8 means that a team in bottom half and a team at mid-point make the play-offs. This means for the top teams that they can cruise in some games. Just like being suggested here for Catalan. Fewer places like only the top 4 for the play-offs or at worst top 5. Then each is important to put out strongest team available. Also what respect to fans if teams only focus on half the games as suggested for Catalan. Does that mean when they play away we fans get heavily reduced prices. Same applies to any team that can decide not to take a game as seriously as possible. It short changes the fans and I think I would consider a lot of games. If coaches become too choosy, then I'll be even more choosy where my hard earned cash goes.
Posted 15:08 3rd April 2013
Thank you Phil for stating what i said at the end of last season." you only need a perfect month to win the big prize" What a lousy way to become champions of anything. We dont have the strength to have a top 8, most of the time 8th place has lost the same amount of games as they have won. If this play off rubbish is here to stay then revert back to the original form were the top 2 actually DO have an advantage. I dont expect this to get published as Sky dont seem to like negativity on what THEY decide should be but i hope you read this and honestley tell me that you believe being good for a month warrants a team to be Champions of anything and no i dont care what they do in Australia
Posted 14:44 3rd April 2013
I would rather see all teams play with a full strength team in each game, if the travelling is such an issue for Catalans would it not be better that they play their games in the UK batches of 3 rather than each week, then they can take a first team squad to UK based games without the issue of travel fatigue
Posted 13:34 3rd April 2013
The easter weekend fixtures have always been a staple in this ever changing sport. Even before the super league existed (yes sky, there was rugby league before the american style super league was forced upon everyone!!) It has always been a weekend to look forward to. I understand why it is a pain for players and coaches but it has happened for a very long time so shouldn't everyone be used to it by now and not complain year after year? With regards to the dreaded trip to Catalan, why? Why do we even need a french team in. It is just a pain, stupidly expensive for away fans and teams to get to. Why can't France have their own league and develop the sport there. Surely this isn't developing the game of rugby league. How much would each club have saved last year if they hadn't had to travel to France, likewise how much would Catalan save without their constant trips to the UK. This money could be better spent on developing their team and keeping them financially stable in France.
Posted 13:30 3rd April 2013