Stop “scary” Championship signings and let teams fish in the same pond

Championship signings

Championship clubs should not be allowed to make a “pointless” number of overseas signings and should have the same recruitment rules as Super League.  

That’s the view of the current Coach of the Year Craig Lingard. His Batley side recently stunned promotion chasing Featherstone by winning at Post Office Road on Sunday.

Lingard admits teams like the Bulldogs are unable to compete with the “scary” signings made by Rovers and Leigh. He believes the current system is both pointless and dangerous, with promoted sides then having to start again under new rules in Super League.

”It is scary, a completely different world, a completely different environment,” Lingard told Love Rugby League.

“We only have a certain sized fishing rod and a certain sized pond that we can fish in. You look at the oceans that Featherstone and Leigh can fish in compared to us and it’s scary. Money helps but it’s all about recruiting the right people. At the minute Leigh seem to have got that right.”

Speaking exclusively on this week’s Love Rugby League podcast, Lingard explains the problems teams outside of Super League are facing financially, and with uncertainty over a future change in league structure.

Championship clubs shouldn’t be allowed so many overseas players

“I’m still of the opinion that in the Championship we shouldn’t be allowed so many overseas players compared to Super League,” he says.

“It should be the same across the board. It’s pointless recruiting overseas players and then having to start again and release half a dozen of them. The structure of the game should be the same from top to bottom.

“I’ve no idea why it’s like that. People say Leigh could move into Super League now and they would probably be a mid-table team. But they wouldn’t as half a dozen of the players wouldn’t be there. And because it goes to the last game of the season, you can’t plan on bringing people in based on the fact that you will be in Super League because you might not be. 

“It’s a difficult situation. I understand why clubs do it because you want to get out of the Championship into Super League and you are better being in there I suppose and then planning for that following season.”

LINKTREE: Love Rugby League website, podcast, app & Fantasy RL

PODCASTCraig Lingard on Championship recruitment rules, Batley & two divisions of 14?


  1. Perfectly true, money DOES talk, and if you have a chairman who is willing to buy into Super league, the other part time teams don’t have a chance. Totally unfair. Leigh have tried it once and came straight back down,

  2. craig is right.also feth and leigh are stupid.wasting money on average overseas player.then exoect the brits to do all the hard stuff for wonder feth are struggling in the hard yards. not a happy camp. im a feth fan.

  3. I think you have it the wrong way round Craig, The promoted side should have as many overseas players as the wan tin the first year, then reduced year on year. This will over come the disadvantage of only having a month or two to recruit= compared to the rest of SL.

    • Totally agree.Yes I am a Leigh fan.Some of our overseas players(4 i think)do not count on the overseas quota,and we could only need to release 2 or 3 for next season.

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