Got a few things I want to get off my chest this week and the first topic may cause offence to a few of you.
For the last few months there has been plenty of talk about what direction the Super League is taking with talk of three potential new formats – including reducing the competition to 12 teams and possibly two leagues of 10.
I have my thoughts on what direction the sport should take but that is for another day – my main question this week is:
“What do Salford and London Broncos actually bring to Super League?”
If the RFL reduced the competition to 12 teams now, my vote would go for the City Reds and the Broncos to be demoted.
I know Salford have a brand spanking new stadium and we are trying to expand the sport down south, but if we are being honest with ourselves they do not add anything to the strength of the competition and their attendances are woefully low.
So far this season the Reds have been hammered 46-10 by Wakefield at home, 68-10 at Warrington, 46-6 at Wigan, 42-0 at home to the Warriors and 58-24 by Widnes. While the Broncos have been beaten 82-10 at home by the Wolves, 64-6 by Wigan and 34-6 by Huddersfield.
I know some of them defeats are by teams challenging for honours but no professional outfit should be having those kind of scores put on them week in week out. They are quickly becoming the laughing stock of Super League and actually making the competition weaker.
I know Salford owner Dr Marwan Koukash came in as a breath of fresh air with his millions but how is he going to attract top players to come and play in front of less than three thousand players just to get hammered every week – it just won’t happen. He would need a full squad of world beaters to turn Salford into a top four side, is he sure he has enough money to do that.
Now I know Salford and London fans will hate me for putting this, but surely they cannot be happy watching the rugby they are serving up at the moment. I may be wrong as I don’t see what goes on behind the scenes but if you believe the Reds and Broncos are an important part of Super League, please let me know as I may be missing something.
Now for something a bit less depressing – well for some of you anyway.
I think we all know that Sam Tomkins will be departing Super League in the not too distant future, but Wigan fans and staff should not be too downhearted about it because they have a right little gem ready to take his place.
Instead of looking in the NRL for Tomkins’ replacement, Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan does not have to look that far as he has a quality player in his under 19s.
That lad is youngster Lewis Tierney, who made his debut for the Warriors and scored a try in their win over Widnes Vikings recently.
He may be the son of Wigan great Jason Robinson, but this kid has plenty of talent and he will definitely make it without the influence of his father. Watching his debut against Widnes last week he only made one mistake when he fumbled a high ball. Apart from that he looked safe under the bombs and was not afraid to get stuck in and he was rewarded with a try.
If he is looked after properly then he will have a very long and lucrative career in rugby league and by the time Tomkins leaves he will be ready to make the step up and also Wigan will not need to waste an overseas spot and a bag full of money trying to replace him.
Another story that caught my eye this week was over in Australia and only because it was a nothing story that got a lot of English fans tearing their hair out.
South Sydney Rabbitohs star Sam Burgess hopes to have Australian residency by the end of the year and he has now revealed he would love to play State of Origin for New South Wales.
Some fans have questioned Burgess’ loyalty by saying that, but it doesn’t matter what he says the rules have been changed that he will never be able to play Origin so for me that makes it a nothing story.
In the past people born in different countries have been made eligible to play State of Origin but since then the NRL have tightened their guidelines. He can forget about ever playing for the Blues so everyone can relax he is still a Yorkshireman at heart.
Burgess saying he wants to play for NSW is like me saying I would love to play for Wigan – It would never be allowed and would make a mockery of the sport.
You might not ever be able to see Burgess run out in State in Origin but you can still catch him every week in the NRL and you can watch how he goes each week at Bettingpro.com.au.