Obviously depth is vital in any sporting code across the world, but there’s a particular emphasis on it in English rugby league.
As seen with us at the Raiders there is some high quality
players in the Super League.
Understandably though, we often judge the competition based on rosters, and with the amount of juniors in Australia, NZ and the Pacific Islands it is hard to get the same numbers of quality players through to the top level.
The recruitment of Peter Mulholland at Canberra has been
extremely calculated and deliberate when looking at the English players.
The common theme has been tough and skilful, a pretty decent combination for any rugby league player, but having it in the abundance that they have is rare.
The ability to enjoy a beer (especially Elliott Whitehead)
is a bonus. The English forwards have always been this way, not all have been
as successful, but uncompromising is one word you learn quickly when lining up
English backs haven’t had the same consistent success as
their big and burly forward counterparts, some have been outstanding but the
general rule has been that the success just hasn’t been there.
In recent years the influx of Polynesians into the game has
created a plethora of athletic, strong, fast and powerful players down under as
the role of the winger has changed too.
It is the perfect combination for outside backs in both rugby
union and rugby league.
Recruiters will look across both codes for this type of player and Super League clubs have also hand picked this prototype, just look at Lesley Vainikolo and the success he amongst many have had once leaving the Australian shores.