The player pool depth debate

Discussion in 'NRL Expansion' started by Perth Red, May 21, 2019.

  1. Perth Red

    Perth Red Immortal

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    So one of the arguments that comes up time and again against more clubs in the nrl is strength of the player pool and that more clubs would weaken existing clubs and make the competition less attractive. Fair argument, unsubstantiated fear mongering or total nonsense?


    High injury tolls at many NRL clubs this season may boost the argument for expansion of the Telstra Premiership, with 34 players having made their debut in the opening nine rounds.

    While those opposed to the Telstra Premiership expanding in 2023 claim there isn't enough talent for two new teams, Briton Nikora, Thomas Flegler, Corey Allan, Dylan Brown, Corey Waddell, Ryan Papenhuyzen and Bronson Xerri are among the future stars to have emerged in the past two months.

    In fact, the number of players blooded by clubs this season would make up two additional teams and more rookies are set to be given their chance in coming weeks due to injuries and representative duties.

    Leading recruitment managers believe there is enough talent to sustain 18 teams, with one saying: "Water finds its own level".

    Another told NRL.com that the size of the talent pool would increase once more players were exposed to the intensity of training and playing with a top squad.

    In other words, build it and they will come.

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/05/13/how-nrl-injury-toll-is-creating-players-for-expansion-teams/
     
  2. Perth Red

    Perth Red Immortal

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    Lazarus has his concerns. Is the talent pool “very thin”?

    However the Melbourne and Canberra legend also had one major caveat to the push for new NRL teams:

    “I’m all for expansion. I’d love to see 50 teams playing in the NRL. Or 36 like they do in the NFL, but unfortunately for me the issue is the talent pool isn’t big enough to go around.

    “We’ll see what we saw around the Super League era where we had 22 teams playing and we were getting lopsided results. An example is the Crushers. They had some good wins but they had a lot of really bad losses. Their crowds dwindled and they turned off them pretty quickly.

    “I think they have to be very careful not just handing out new franchises because as I say that talent pool is very thin and I don’t think people want to go to a game and see their team get lapped.”

    https://www.sportsradio.com.au/glenn-lazarus-backs-nrl-expansion-but-with-one-major-concern/
     
  3. titoelcolombiano

    titoelcolombiano Bench

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    Pathways are built for PNG and Fiji and the floodgates will start to open over the next decade, we can do more development work in NZ, Perth, Victoria and South Australia. Canberra have been successful in recruiting from the SL and we haven't even looked and union yet (although I don't think many would make it in the NRL).

    There is plenty of talent and that will increase in the coming years.
     
  4. MrE_Assassin

    MrE_Assassin Juniors

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    I can’t agree more. We are in a talent rich part of the world for this sport. PNG, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, NZ are great recruiting areas for talented Rugby players who might not crack the national team in Rugby.

    Then there is the ESL. I’m not necessarily advocating poaching all the talent from the English game, but rather that we would retain a lot of the decent NRL players who are forced to go to England as their only option to continue a RL career because they have been squeezed out by a younger (and cheaper) option. 2 new teams is 2 new salary caps that can be used to retain players in the NRL rather than lose them to overseas.

    Thirdly, there is the experience of having an NRL team at your doorstep for under developed markets such as WA and SA (and a lesser extent NZ) that would attract more juniors because there is a local/state based team to aspire to. NRL team engagement and coaching clinics for those grassroots players would also help them develop and gives the NRL a bigger talent scouting presence in the state to identify juniors with potential.
     
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  5. T-Boon

    T-Boon First Grade

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    That can be addressed through a proper salary cap.

    Also as someone pointed out elsewhere the biggest thing contributing to lap sided scores is the try scorer receiving the ball back from the kick off.
     
  6. Diesel

    Diesel Coach

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    I read somewhere there are more Kiwis (or people who lived in NZ) playing at NRL level this year than there are from NSW
     
  7. mongoose

    mongoose First Grade

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    The talent might be a bit thin for a few years after expansion but it will open up new pathways for more players to come through. I think there are some players in QLD and NSW cup that would flourish in the NRL with the right coaching.

    The other argument I have is that I don't think League is a game where "talent" is the best indicator of success either. Honestly, if you can catch and pass a ball, follow a game plan and work hard you can get a first grade spot. League is a great game but it's not like soccer or basketball where if you don't have fine tuned skills and ball control you won't make it.
     
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  8. siv

    siv Bench

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    Talent is there at U18s U20s

    ARL / NRL have been poor in forwards development for years and a lesser extent in backs

    All of stems back to when U23s was disbanded in 1995

    The best way to remedy player development is to bring back a U22s/U23s layer in the NRL professional pathways
     
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  9. Walter sobchak

    Walter sobchak Bench

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    Union schoolboy talent from NZ and Fiji is the way to go short-term until the Fijian NSW cup franchise starts to pay dividend and maybe a 2nd NZ franchise is added to the NRL In Christchurch.
     
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  10. titoelcolombiano

    titoelcolombiano Bench

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    This is the structure I would like to see in NZ:

    - Strong domestic comp: semi-pro off the back of the Auckland RL (this is in the process of being built right now)
    - NZ3 in the second teir (NSW/QLD Cup or National Second Division)
    - Auckland Warriors and NZ2 in the NRL
     
  11. Billythekid

    Billythekid First Grade

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    It’s seriously bizarre reading these arguments about lack of talent whilst we neglect these huge areas of potential new talent. PNG alone has the potential to produce a wave of new players just like NZ does.

    If anything expansion is a great way to open up the talent pools and give more players a chance.

    It’s a BS argument anyway. The teams struggling in the NRL right now have far less to do with having enough talent and far more to do with overpaying nuffies. A lot of NRL clubs are run as a boys club. We have coaches in positions who don’t know what the hell they’re doing and retention and recruitment at some clubs feels like a couple of monkeys playing chess.

    There are plenty of good players out there, some clubs just don’t seem to know how to get that talent into their 1st grade.
     
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  12. MrE_Assassin

    MrE_Assassin Juniors

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    On the reverse side, there are some average to below average players who just need the right coach to bring their potential out. I'm sure there are plenty of upcoming players in Canterbury Cup/ISC that are on the fringe of breaking into the NRL but just need the right kind of mentoring to bring out their potential.

    A prime example of this (but in reverse) is Ash Taylor. Debuted at the Broncos and everyone was saying he was going to be something special. Under Wayne Bennett, I'm sure he would have been.... but he took up a huge deal at the Titans under a coach (or coaches) who don't know how to play him or tap into his potential. You look at the great coaches at the moment like your Bellamys, Bennetts, and robinsons.... those guys have a knack for developing good players. The talent pool is deep, it just takes the right people to bring the talent to the surface.
     
  13. juro

    juro Bench

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    All you need to do is look at what would happen if we shrunk the comp. Let's say we dropped from 16 to 10 teams. In the short-term, games would be at a fantastic skill level.

    All the best players would be in very high demand, boosting their salaries, but the lower level players would have to play reserves, move overseas or change careers. It would be tougher for young players to enter the comp, because the skill level is too high. Athletes would consider other avenues, walking away from rugby league.

    The next generation of athletes would struggle to keep up with the current standards, and we would all complain that the game was not as good as it used to be. We would find ourselves back at our current level or possibly worse.

    Of course, expanding will have the opposite impact. We just need to expand at a reasonable pace (not 4 teams in 1 year!) and the athletes will see the possibility and fill the void. It is simple logic!
     
  14. MugaB

    MugaB Juniors

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    More teams means more players the talent and quality will filter through
    My picks for expansion should be Christchurch, Perth, South Qld, and PNG
     
  15. titoelcolombiano

    titoelcolombiano Bench

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    This is a good point

    PNG population: 8 million - RL is the national sport which means most of the best athletes will play the game

    NZL population: 5 million (just under) - RL is 3rd maybe 4th

    Yes, it is very safe to say that with the domestic setup in PNG and pathways through to the QLD Cup nothing less should be expected of PNG than a NZL sized presence in the NRL within a decade. The only thing stopping that will be Visa situations.
     
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  16. Walter sobchak

    Walter sobchak Bench

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    I agree with you except for PNG. It’s never going to happen in our lifetime.
     
  17. Walter sobchak

    Walter sobchak Bench

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    The current population of PNG is nearing 9 million and rapidly growing all the time. Just less than 20 years ago the population was just over 5 million so by 2030 you’d expect the population of PNG to be well over 10 million.

    The only problem is that something like less than 20% of the population live in urban areas.
     
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  18. MugaB

    MugaB Juniors

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    Speak for yourself buddy
    "IM GONNA LIVE FOREVER"
    yeah the player security factor is certainly holding PNG back, but its a country, and thats valuable, 1992 Nz was not ideal for the comp to stretch to
    But now 25 years of warriors says different, id say give it a go, if the lower grades are working in the QCup regards to safety and travel, NRL will be able to improve on it... you would hope
     
  19. Walter sobchak

    Walter sobchak Bench

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    So many better options before I’d even consider a PNG franchise.
     
  20. Timbo

    Timbo Moderator Staff Member

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    The difference with NZ is that Auckland is a reasonably nice place to live. Hotels in Port Moresby have iron security doors on the rooms violent crime is so high.

    You would never convince a non Papua New Guinean to sign for a side based there, and a good chunk of the best talent from there would seek to leave too.

    A PNG franchise is not viable until PNG stops being a third world country.
     
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