Quality over quantity: How Sam Tomkins would reinvent rugby league

Sam Tomkins

Catalans star Sam Tomkins has backed calls to reduce the number of games in professional rugby league, to ensure greater quality and reduce injuries and concussions.

Global management company IMG are looking at ways to “reinvent” the sport, as it sets about holding discussions with all major stakeholders.

England captain Tomkins believes clubs need to relinquish control and act for the greater good of the sport rather than their own selfish needs, which he believes is holding rugby league back.

“Every club is in a completely different situation so everybody has slightly different agendas and different preferences on how things should go,” Tomkins told Love Rugby League. 

“Everyone does look after themselves and that comes out pretty selfish sometimes.

“I don’t think that will change. I don’t think there is anything we can do to change that. Everyone is going to look after number one. We just have to hope the people in charge make it fair and look at things with a real wide perspective,” he says.

READ: Huddersfield comments are a “terrible attitude”, says Sam Tomkins

Sam Tomkins: ‘Let’s go for quality over quantity’

The RFL’s realignment with Super League’s clubs after an ill-fated split prompted the move to bring in IMG as a neutral third-party to act in everyone’s best interests and attempt to drive the game forward. 

So how would Sam Tomkins reinvent rugby league?

“I think we have too many games at the moment. Let’s go for quality over quantity,” he says on this week’s Love Rugby League podcast.

“We ask too much of our players. Too many injuries and too many concussions come from a crazy amount of rugby to be played by each club.

“And think outside the box more with marketing and do things a bit different. Magic Weekend was really successful so more things along those lines. Think of things that haven’t been done before and try them. Let’s not be thinking old school like we are in the 90s, forget that. Look forward and predict what is going to be attractive.”

PODCAST: Sam Tomkins on what Catalans bring to Super League, neighbour Shaun Edwards & leading England at World Cup

FOLLOW: Keep up with all the latest on the Love Rugby League mobile app and podcast


  1. Maybe if the French started there own super league it would improve the French national side and give British super league less games and less travel

    • So you would drop one of the top teams to put second grade teams in. That would really improve the quality. Before doing that I would get rid of the clubs that never complied with the “Framing the Future” ie Cas, Wakey Bradford

  2. stop platers attacking the ball in the tackle less head knocks all games 6 day turn round hand on ball yellow card refs to tell crowd what penaltys are for at all games sallery cap breach you will be relegated sop ref giveing try no try instead tell him to ask tmo eny reason i can not award the try better coverage of off side onside from kicks and no such think as a flat pass you can tell by the hands if the balls gone forward

  3. Problem is that you would also need to attract talent into a tiny competition.

    If you can’t do that, them the quality of French Clubs drops.

    The travel shouldn’t be a big thing. NRL has a team in New Zealand which is further away. As is the distance between Cowboys and Storm.

  4. Interesting stuff from Sam who is probably more aware than most of the demands on players. With regard to the comments about the French teams ,if anyone really knows the history of the game then they should be aware of how much we owe to France for keeping the game alive during and after the 2nd World War ,please read ” The Forbidden Game” . No doubt Sam is aware of this being based in Perpignan.We owe a debt to all those who keep the game we love alive and accessable to all.

  5. Have they considered merging clubs in England to make the Comp stronger? I think to more European teams in the comp the better for growing the game eg the two French sides.

  6. just get rid of the repeat fixtures and magic weekend and its job done. mind you super league does not help itself by allowing clubs into it without the resource’s to really complete

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