November 2021 n Volume 11 Issue 11
n On the anniversary of his 25 years in charge of Leeds alongside Paul Caddick, Gary Hetherington, of the game’s six-strong Strategic Review Group, spoke of: “a common purpose now to do something collectively because our sport could be in jeopardy if we don’t.
“All the Super League clubs voted to create this change and a whole series of recommendations to move the game forward. It’s a big piece of work. Performancewise, our game has never punched anywhere near its weight in commercial or marketing terms.”
The SRG is talking to a number of parties interested in investing in the game and a £100m offer could be made as soon as next month, but any change in structure to the top level – briefed as a move to two ‘Super League’ divisions of ten – has been put back until the end of the 2023 season, just in time for the next broadcast negotiations.
That most Super League and Championship clubs had already recruited with its institution at the end of 2022 in mind – and spent accordingly – is balanced by their need for more economic certainty.
The only change is to be at League 1 level therefore. And while Coventry’s’ rebrand as Midlands Hurricanes – chasing wider regional appeal and to incorporate new investment – has been welcomed widely, reaction has not been so positive to Cornwall emerging from the ashes of Ottawa, who pulled out without ever taking the field.
This latest brainchild of Eric Perez was reported as ‘a daring raid’ into an area ripe for the sport, although the infrastructure to underpin it is yet to be evidenced.
Using the same rhetoric as in announcing the original Toronto Wolfpack and Ottawa projects, Perez said: “I have three goals – one is to walk out at Old Trafford for the Super League Grand Final, the second is to build up rugby league across Cornwall and the
Don’t look back: England’s Reece Lyne is tackled by Romain Navarrete and Anthony Marion of France SWpix.com
Game of jeopardy n email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org n third is to have Cornish players playing for England. We’re going to build this sustainably over time. We want to enrich the tapestry of English rugby league. I personally would like to be in Super League within seven to 10 years.”
The location announcement came as a shock to most other
League 1 clubs, though it is backed by the RFL. The only other known party involved is New Zealandbased director Colin Groves.
The new professional side does have the support and backing of the only league community side in the county, Cornish Rebels.
“Our ethos is ‘Cornish first’,” Perez went on, “so we want to have Cornish talent, and not just a smattering of players. We want the bulk of our side to be Cornish, to give those players the opportunity to play professional rugby league.
“Once you can handle an oval ball, you're pretty much there,” is his take on the possibility of union players adapting to the sport.
He also claimed: “This will be a landmark day where rugby league truly went national,” conveniently ignoring all the other attempts on the south west, such as Plymouth in the days of the Northern Union and it being 60 years on from Hull FC playing Hull KR in Cornwall.
n This issue we examine the future for the sport in North America with the Aces pulling out of Canada.
However, it seems the NRL would like to fill the void, as Manly and South Sydney are revisiting plans to face each other in an NRL fixture in the US as early as 2023.
The Sydney Morning Herald said the idea was well advanced before Covid-19 scuppered it. “However, with international travel set to resume for the vaccinated, the clubs have expressed renewed interest in facing off in a potentially lucrative new market.”
Café des Treizistes 19 Mike Rylances deep dives France
Trevor Baxter’s monthly profile Five Drives & A Kick 7 Ralph Rimmer speaks, Thatto win big and Lebanon’s Grand Final The Reality Is... 13 Brian Noble MBE shares his thoughts on England and more Louie the Lip 15 It’s Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook Match of the Month 16 Steve Brady is in Perpignan... Irvine’s Indigestion 18 ...while our Chris put the telly on teamsheet
Wilko’s Wisdom 23 Our man evaluates the Tests Championship Chat 24 Phil Caplan visits Featherstone Part-time Broncos 26 Will London fly in Wimbledon? The American dream 28 Ottowa out – and Cornwall in! Priim and Proper 30 England too strong for France Quick on the draw 34 Jamaica and Scotland share spoils
Taking charge 36 Robert Hicks has a new role Ireland’s big bow 38 Wales beaten in Women’s Test Footy20 40 George Clarke on the Dolphins Taking it to Turkey 42 Euros reach a thrilling climax Latham’s Loft 44 The star of Broughton Rangers League on TV 49 RSW tunes in and turns on Any Other Business 50 Martin Kelner places his bet
Knights don armour 32 Anderson’s youngsters impress