Tony Adams’ profile can boost rugby league, insists Stuart Pearce

Footballing legend and Warrington fan Stuart Pearce believes Tony Adams can make a difference in rugby league.

Former Arsenal and England captain Adams will become the 29th president of the Rugby Football League next summer.

Adams has been closely linked with rugby league for a number of years thanks to welfare programmes ran by Sporting Chance – the charity he founded in 2000.

Pearce is a big fan of rugby league and the Wolves and thinks Adams’ profile will give rugby league a much-needed boost.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ The Debate, Pearce said: “I watched about 20 Super League games home and away for Warrington last year, I go and watch Super League a lot – they need the profile.

“If Tony’s going to offer that profile and assistance and help, they’ll encompass him with open arms.

“What a sport. It’s incredible. If Tony can help the sport in any way, shape or form with his name, his profile and everything that he stands for, I think more the better for rugby league.

“I think the big thing is the insight he can offer, and profile as well – we’re talking about it now. When is the last time a football show talked about rugby league?”

Pearce has followed rugby league for a long time now, and he believes rugby league players deserve more recognition for what they put their bodies through.

He added: “Some of the games I watched, just this year alone – I was at the Grand Final and the Challenge Cup – have just blown me away.

“I go and watch a [football] game and commentate on a game on a Saturday and I see players diving, simulation, god knows what else.

“And then I go on a Sunday potentially to watch a Super League game and both sets of players, who have knocked the hell out of each other for 80 minutes, are embracing, they walk round the circumference of the pitch, sign autographs, take pictures with the supporters.

“There’s a real genuineness to what I see in front of me and I think: ‘Wow.’

“There are two sportsmen who deserve everything they get: rugby league players and jump jockeys. They’re the two for me who earn every penny they get.”

Sky Sports will show nearly 200 live games from all areas of rugby league in 2019, including Super League, Challenge Cup, Championship and NRL.