Barrie McDermott calls for War of the Roses return

Josh McAllister

Barrie McDermott has called for a return for War of the Roses.

England are set to play a 2020 mid-season test in the southern hemisphere, with the Rugby Football League confident that they will organise one for the weekend of June 20-21 next year.

There have been calls for a return of the Exiles, with the Super League attracting some of the sport’s biggest names, including Toronto’s capture of Sonny Bill Williams. However, RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer has said that the Exiles will not be coming back next season.

McDermott, who made over 350 career appearances, wants to see a return of Yorkshire v Lancashire matches.

McDermott was also involved in the Lancashire set up and captained them to glory in 2002 over rivals Yorkshire, and he has called for a return that includes Cumbria, too.

He told Sky Sports: “If you look back at the games in the early 2000s, the rivalry is there anyway – and I’d include Cumbria in that.

“The War of the Roses is the one we look at and, being a proud Lancastrian who made my name in Yorkshire, the rivalry was always there for me and it is there throughout the game.

“If you put Cumbria into the equation, you’ve got three counties and could have a meaningful, next-level series.

“It’s all about getting the players used to playing at a high intensity and a required standard of performance that is more than a normal club match, and the more exposure players get to that, the better.”

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