NRL Poised To Backflip On Decision To Scrap U20 Competition

 
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:05 am    Post subject: NRL Poised To Backflip On Decision To Scrap U20 Competition Reply with quote

http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/nrl-poised-to-backflip-on-decision-to-scrap-under-20s-competition-20160719-gq950o.html
NRL Poised To Backflip On Decision To Scrap Under 20s Competition
Adrian Proszenko
July 19 2016 - 8:10PM


The NRL is poised to backflip on a decision to scrap the under 20s competition in a move that will undo a year's worth of work on the game's pathway structure.

The governing body's former head of strategy, Shane Richardson, was tasked with producing a whole-of-game manifesto that included mapping out a course for participants from grassroots level to the Kangaroos.


Cup to survive: Robert Jennings of the Panthers is tackled during the 2015 under 20s Holden Cup grand final against Manly. Photo: Renee McKay

The ARLC had agreed in principle to approve a "Platinum League" as part of Richardson's plan to abolish the under 20s and carve up the second-tier competition into 11 NSW regions. Richardson returned to South Sydney before his proposal could be implemented and his grand plans have now been consigned to the scrapheap after a backlash from the majority of stakeholders.

The winding up of the Holden Cup was set to coincide with the end of the current broadcast deal in 2017. But negotiations are now under way to continue the under 20s in some form to ensure players aren't lost in the development void between SG Ball, the Intrust Super Cup and NRL competitions.

Fairfax Media understands the most likely outcome is for the 11 NSW-based NRL clubs to play against each other in an under 20s tournament that will also involved a New Zealand team. The change will allow significant cost savings as compared to the current national Holden Cup format, which costs about $3 million per season to stage when interstate travel and accommodation are factored in. It's expected the teams will still be branded along NRL lines, although it's likely fewer games will be televised as the focus shifts to boosting the profile of the Intrust Super Premiership.

The shift away from a national to a state-based under 20s competition will have little effect on the Queensland pathways structure, with the state's 20s teams likely to be partnered with their Queensland Cup affiliates.

Other aspects of Richardson' review – including the proposal for players not to engage a manager before 17 or to be registered with NRL clubs before 18 – are also likely to be shelved.

The NRL's new head of football, Brian Canavan, has been tasked with coming up with a viable pathways structure after starting the role last week. His first priority will be to liaise with key stakeholders, including the NSWRL and the clubs, to come up with an elite pathways model.

"It's a very big piece of work," Canavan said.

"What I'm doing is going backwards and consulting a little bit more with what Richo had presented. I'll be looking to contemporise the research, we have another year of data that we can access to advance the research he had already done.

"There was a lot sitting there that I was unaware of. We're running a series of stakeholder meetings now with everyone, including clubs, so I'm liaising with all of those now."

The NRL is in negotiations with its clubs over perpetual license agreements, while the upcoming collective bargaining negotiations for 2018 and beyond will also have some impact on the future competition structure.

"We can implement parts of the elite pathways review without the license agreement and the CBA being signed off, but it's better if you do it in its sequence," Canavan said.

There could be further changes to the structure of the second-tier competition, with Fiji pushing for entry to the Intrust Super Premiership from next year. NSWRL officials have been liaising with their Fijian counterparts for several months and have been impressed with the commitment to grow the game in the Pacific nation. The last stumbling block is ensuring they can be financially viable, which would likely require a bank guarantee.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:44 pm    Post subject: Re: NRL Poised To Backflip On Decision To Scrap U20 Competit Reply with quote

Serendipity wrote:
Fairfax Media understands the most likely outcome is for the 11 NSW-based NRL clubs to play against each other in an under 20s tournament that will also involved a New Zealand team. The change will allow significant cost savings as compared to the current national Holden Cup format, which costs about $3 million per season to stage when interstate travel and accommodation are factored in. It's expected the teams will still be branded along NRL lines, although it's likely fewer games will be televised as the focus shifts to boosting the profile of the Intrust Super Premiership.
Sounds like a more logical outcome.

I wonder if the Bears would push to enter a side, as we previously always had U20s teams in the Jersey Flegg which gave an opportunity to many great players, James Maloney is a great example.
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