Keith Senior says Super League will lose more talent to NRL


Keith Senior has urged Steve McNamara to pick three Burgess brothers for England’s World Cup squad – and has warned Super League fans to brace themselves for the loss of more talent over the coming years.

Former Leeds and Great Britain centre Senior has recently returned from a two-week trip to Australia.

And he believes George Burgess is now ready for an international call-up along with older brothers Sam and Luke, who is currently out injured.

Senior said: “It’s a little bit early for Tom, but you’d expect to see the three other Burgesses in the World Cup squad. I think there’s a very good chance all three could play.”

Senior watched South Sydney’s clash with champions Melbourne during his visit, a match in which George Burgess, Sam Burgess and Gareth Widdop all excelled.

“George has lost a bit of weight and become a lot more ripped with the intense training he’s been doing. All that has been good for his agility, and when he’s got the ball he’s causing some real damage.

“That’s what they like in the NRL – their props aren’t flash, they’re there to cause some damage.”

But on the day Wigan confirmed the departure of Lee Mossop and Gareth Hock to the NRL, Senior believes it will become the new norm for English players to head Down Under.

“They’re raising their salary cap, and finance is always a big issue, but you’ve also to look at the quality of life. You get treated like footballers and the weather is great.

“There’s a good chance you can make some decent money and it’s a massive challenge to test yourself out there. Why wouldn’t you try it?

“Going to the NRL is not going to do any players any harm. Look at Tom Burgess – he turned down some big contracts over here to test himself in Australia, and if it doesn’t work he can still come back and get a good deal.”

Senior has called on the RFL to find ways to make Super League more attractive.

He said: “It’s down to the RFL to find a way to keep players here. They’ve got a lot of hard work to do to make things more appealing, and building international fixtures is a key part of that.”

And he has joined the growing number of voices calling for a reduction in the number of Super League teams.

He said: “It would help if they reduced the amount of teams in Super League, because the divide between top and bottom is too big. We don’t have the necessary number of quality players over here, and that’s not something to be solved overnight. It will take time.”

Keith Senior will be co-hosting ‘Mad Monday’, a two-hour rugby league show, every Monday from 7pm on Yorkshire Radio.


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