The Big Debate


The proposal to switch the bulk of amateur rugby league to a summer (March-November) season appears to be a case of the RFL trying to fix something that ain’t broke.

Summer rugby for amateurs has been around for a long time but, apart from those ’development’ clubs in non-traditional areas that are made up largely of RU players in their close season, there hasn’t been exactly a rush to take part. Here in Barrow, where there are eight winter clubs most with two Open Age teams, there have been two attempts to launch summer teams - the Shipbuilders and the Vikings. Neither lasted a full season.

For whose benefit is the proposed change? In 15 years, Tameside Borough only once had to call off a game because of a player shortage. They switched to summer - became Manchester Knights in the original National League Three. They died within four years (through lack of players ready to commit to summer rugby). And isn’t it a fact that almost 20 per cent (nine of the 43 fixtures) in last weekend’s summer regional leagues were called off for one reason or another. Without proof I doubt if it was because of frozen or waterlogged pitches. It is more likely to have been a player-shortage. Other things to do in good weather?

So please RFL, let those who want summer rugby enjoy it for what it is, a social afternoon in the sun, and leave the rest to the people who think that tradition really does count for something.

Peter Wilson RL Journalist

Where next?

BARLA GB U21's On Parade SOURCE:

Match centre

Latest photos

New build update and grass cut 16/10/15
64 photos
BOCM Cup Final 2012/2013
9 photos
BOCM Cup Final 2012/2013
BOCM Cup Final 2011/2012
6 photos
BOCM Cup Final 2011/2012

Hull & District Open Age Rugby League newsletter

Keep up-to-date with our exclusive email newsletters.