I don't normally go in for self pity and always prefer people who count their blessings. However, I do admit to feeling sad when I see Wigan born, product of the Wigan Academy and ex-Wigan player Chris Ashton pursuing a successful RU career. It's a free country and I don't blame him for following the money but things could've been handled so much better.
Wigan have a long tradition of ex-international players becoming coaches at the club and I fully expected Shaun Edwards and Andy Farrell to follow. It's a free country but it makes me feel extremely sad when I read about their coaching exploits in RU.
RL has traditionally been integrated into local communities and many prominant players have followed fathers (e.g. Shaun Edwards) and other family members into the game. It is particularly galling to watch Owen Farrell (son of Andy) playing RU successfully when he should be playing for Wigan. Watch out for George Ford (son of ex-Wigan player Mike) who will be another RU star before long
There has been much speculation about Kyle Easmond signing for Bath RU and if he goes he will be sorely missed but RL clubs cannot spend money they don't have. The salary cap was introduced to level out playing standards and reduce the chances of clubs going bankrupt with some success. SL 2010 was the most evenly contested competition for many years and we must perservere. Maybe some allowance could be made under the salary cap for home grown, club developed, international players e.g. Chris Ashton and Kyle Eastmond.
At club level, RL competes reasonably well with comparable sports such as RU and Cricket but at International level it loses out in terms of profile, media attention and revenue. This blog has consistantly argued that RL should prioritise International competition if it wants to prosper