Three-times NRL Grand Finalist Adrian Morley has issued a reality check to British rugby league and believes Super League has no chance of rivalling the Australian game.
Morley starred for Sydney Roosters between 2001-06 after leaving Leeds. He won the big prize in 2002 and finishing runner-up the following two seasons.
The England prop enjoyed great success on his return to Super League where he captained Warrington to three Challenge Cup wins.
But Morley feels it is unlikely we will ever see the passion for, or profile of the British game matching that of the sport Down Under.
“I can’t see the British game getting up there in the foreseeable future,” Morley told Love Rugby League.
“Even when Super League had money and they were bringing over current Kangaroos and State of Origin players like Trent Barrett, the standard still wasn’t as good as the NRL.
“Now the money is all in the NRL. The best British players are going over to the NRL now rather than the other way round, that is only going to weaken Super League unfortunately. So I can’t see us getting to the standard of them guys any time soon.”
Adrian Morley reflects on his time in the NRL
The imposing forward became just one of eight English players to have played in an NRL Grand Final. He says even he was stunned by the gulf between the northern and southern hemisphere competitions.
“I didn’t realise how big the sport was until we made the Grand Final and the whole place just went mad,” Morley recalls on this week’s Love Rugby League Podcast.
“Everywhere you went were red, white and blue flags of the Sydney Roosters. The build-up was something I wasn’t used to, it was new to me but I enjoyed it.
“The game itself had 80,000 at Sydney Stadium. There was a list of English players in the programme who had played in the Grand Final. There weren’t many on it so I knew I was joining an elite list.”