Radford backs summer switch

Super League star Lee Radford is urging National Conference League clubs to back plans for a switch to a March to November playing season.

The Hull FC forward, who coaches National Conference League Premier Division club East Hull, feels summer rugby will raise standards across the competition, make player recruitment easier and attract more supporters to matches.

“It’s got to happen, it’s natural progression,” said Radford. “The standard of Rugby League has dropped with the poor conditions and the number of supporters at games has also dropped. The standard of games will improve no end playing in the summer.

“We played Simms Cross in the National Cup a few weeks ago on a shocking day and the standard of the game reflected these conditions. This was through no fault of the players who were playing in the middle of winter with a mud-covered ball.

“From our club’s point of view the attendances will increase in the summer which will benefit us and from a players and coaches point of view no one wants to play or coach in bad conditions just as no one wants to be standing on the touchline in the freezing cold.

“More supporters at a game will also have an effect on raising the standard and intensity of the game. There will be a better standard of Rugby and the skill level will increase with the better weather which will result in a better brand of rugby to play in, coach and take part in.

“It’s no secret that for a player a left to right pass is much easier in drier weather and we’ll see much better control in the summer.

“I support 100 per cent switching the season to summer and we’ll be voting at the NCL meeting on Monday on the issue.

“There are one or two clubs that might have an issue as they share facilities with cricket teams but it’s nothing that can’t be ironed out by working with the RFL or local councils.”

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