Working for the Australian Dollar

From the Pacific peso to parity with the greenback and now beyond: the Australian dollar goes not so much from strength to strength but from historic new high to historic new high.

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RL teams in the UK can no longer afford to sign top Australian stars and transfer traffic now predominantly heads towards the NRL where GB stars, if they're good enough, can earn good money. James Graham, the Burgess brothers and others now play in Australia and demonstrate this. Ryan  Hoffman, Brett Finch etc have returned from Wigan to Australia, Leeds have signed two unknowns and Warrington haven't signed anybody at all. 

Nobody can doubt that top international Australian and NZ stars enhance our competition but on too many occasions our SL clubs have employed far too many ordinary players (and coaches) from down under. For too long our young players have been denied opportunities as a result and too many talented players have become disillusioned  

The current strength of the Australian dollar may help save our game 

Hopefully in the future our clubs will be forced to develop their own young players and will have to give them the chance to play because imports are too expensive. I am convinced that a significant number of Championship players could play in SL if given the opportunity. Look at Chris Hill

All SL teams should follow the example set by the top clubs. Wigan, Warrington and St Helens develop their own players from within and even have a surplus. All SL clubs should look to the Championship for new recruits rather than overseas. This used to happen and they might even find another Zac Hardaker. 

Competition for places would increase and teams would become more evenly matched. Just like the not so distant past, results would be less predictable with local players playing for local teams and fewer mercenaries. Crowds would increase as each local hero came forward and some currently struggling clubs might even be revived especially if promotion was a possibility. Our player pool would increase and our chances at international level would improve dramatically.

The excessive influx of Antipodeans has plagued RL in the UK since about 1980. 

Maybe it's no coincidence that our problems at international level started then.     


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