Castleford chief’s “radical” plan to revolutionise rugby league

Castleford want Super League to copy cricket’s The Hundred and Formula One’s Sprint by introducing a new shortened form of the game for 2022.

Tigers managing director Mark Grattan has tabled a proposal for a new competition to replace the reserves called Lightning Rugby, which would consist of eight-man teams playing matches in short spells.

The competition is designed to introduce a faster, more exciting version of the game in a bid to halt the decline in attendances in Super League.

“We need to do something radical to get the fans back,” said Grattan, who has gauged interest from all sectors of the game and whose proposal is set to be discussed by clubs at Friday’s meeting called to determine the future of the game.

Scoring would consist of a point for a try, with no goals, and at least four players would have to be under the age of 21.

If the plan wins support, Grattan wants the winners of each match to receive an extra point which would be added to the Super League table in an effort to encourage clubs to take the competition seriously.

He argues the competition would allows clubs to open their doors more often, thereby increasing revenue streams, and give season-ticket holders more value for money.

Meanwhile, Castleford have signed winger Bureta Faraimo from Hull on a two-year deal from next season.

The 31-year-old has scored 40 tries in 80 appearances for Hull during his three-year spell with Hull. Faraimo has won four caps for the USA and has represented the nation in two World Cups.

Faraimo will play out the rest of this season with Hull before linking up with the Tigers in 2022.

Faraimo said: “I am really excited. I’m looking forward to working with Lee Radford again and we’ll hopefully win some silverware together.

“I’ve had some good times with Hull FC over the last three years and I will be trying my best to get some silverware with them before I leave.

“The crowd at Castleford is always good and they are right on top of you. Even as an opposition player it’s impressive and I can’t wait to be there with the crowd on my side the next two years.

“I’ll play wherever I am needed and whatever is best for the team to be successful. I’m looking forward to playing well, enjoying my time at the club, and making some new friends.”


  1. Here’s a message for you Mr Gratton , to get fans into the grounds to watch the games , how about YOU improving your ground to the standards that you were meant to do as part of the criteria to be in super league in the first place . Unlike the photo of your shithole of a ground shown in the picture at the start of this article. Then you might get the supporters back

  2. At least an idea with some innovation right or not unlike Rimmer and his cronies hiding away with nothing new resignations required immediately or it turns into an amateur game completely in the uk

  3. Castleford & Wakefield seem to think their grounds are places of historical significance rather like Stonehenge, they seem so reluctant to modernise them at all. Do they have flush toilets yet?

    • At least the shit hole at Castleford is our shit hole we don’t have to go cap in Hand to football teams to ask please can we play on your field,and have the risk of football saying you can’t play on are pitch any more. Snobs like Alex don’t know what a real rugby ground looks like

  4. Why not just do Super League 9s? Same format as Super League with the matches played day before or a few minutes before super league matches with squad or youth players. One point for super league table per win to integrate it into the league. Addional content for sky. Maybe its on sky one or sky sports mix.. .

    • I doubt Sky would be interested, their coverage is not extensive, they don’t use clips of League in their advertising, the value of the TV contract dropped significantly, people are priced out of attending, there are other competing demands on their disposable income, plus the way the sport is run is a complete farce. No other sport changes the rules mid season as often as League does. We’re coming out of the pandemic, people are still nervous about large crowds. Goingback to Sky they have the rights to Championship games, but where are they? Featherstone v Toulouse the other week would have been worth seeing, put iton the free Sky Mix channel, draw people in that way.

  5. Rugby League, like any sport, or organisation is going no-where without a brand. Winning brands are introduced to eliminate competition. Brands are composed of letters, words. The letter to compete with NFL, NBA is the letter ‘N’ to make NRL. The brand is already a brand winner: National Rugby League. Make it a world brand winning title. At ITV, in an acclaimed report, I introduced the marketing mix: Sponsorship and Presentation. ITV took on Sponsorship and Sky took on presentation to put it leagues ahead of the competition. The world ‘nines’ are being advocated for the Olympic Games. Instead of rubbishing the idea of a ‘lightning league’ see it as the most fantastic proposal to come out in generations! Imagine ‘Lightning’ played by 18-23 year-olds in Australian Rules football gear. Get a sponsor to back the idea and get the program into the program schedule ‘slots’. Women’s soccer and cricket, along with Basketball and American football as ideas to fill program slots as a substitute for repeats are no, no’s. What is needed is ‘lightning’ to catch the eye of the sporting population – along with a brand winning title!

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