Peter V’landys has hinted at a return for the national under-20’s competition to help fix competitive balance in the NRL.
ARLC boss Peter V’landys has hinted at a return for the national under-20’s competition as a solution to help fix competitive balance in the NRL.
“There’s no doubt the under-20s and participation is a massive factor and we are going to correct it,” he said in the Sydney Morning Herald.
“We want under-20s and reserve grade coming back as a precursor in front of the game.
“The clubs that are successful are the ones that have maintained the best roster and the ones that have the best participation programs. It’s no coincidence that while our participation is down we are having this problem.”
“Our game made a decision several years ago to get rid of the national under-20s competition,” Gould said 100% Footy on Monday night.
“At that time we warned all that this could potentially happen to the game. That if teams walked away from development and developing younger fellas to come into their roster, if we didn’t have that competitive national under-20s competition, which was the envy of every other sport in Australia, that we would see this.
“Now I didn’t think the decline would come so quickly, but those clubs that have continued on some sort of development programs are the ones that are still surviving today. And those that have completely walked away from it, are finding themselves in a real hole and can’t get out of it by just recruiting.”
The issue of blowouts has become a serious one in the NRL in recent weeks, with the average margin of victory ballooning out to numbers not seen in 15 years, and with only three teams coming from losing positions at half-time to win; and on all three of those occasions, the team that surrendered the lead suffered at least three injuries.
Injured St George Illawarra captain Ben Hunt was the first high-profile player to hit out at the NRL for going “too far” with its recent rule changes, which he believes is the main factor behind the growing number of injuries this year.
The NYC ran from 2008 to 2017, before state-based competitions for young players in NSW and Queensland returned. The travel costs for entire extra squads were said to be one of the main reasons the competition was scrapped.
“There were a few CEOs at the time who thought they could save money by abandoning the under-20s,” Gould said.
“These people had no idea on developing talent, they had no idea what makes it tick, they had no idea where our game came from.”
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