With the St George Illawarra Dragons announcing that their feeder team, the Illawarra Cutters, will be under their name and brand in 2017, it’s time for the rest of the NRL to follow suit.
With the NYC competition all but over in 2018, many fans are eager to see a national reserve grade competition.
Not only would we be able to see up-and-comers play in our team’s colours (barring a few teams who already do that), but it would be a better quality game of football, as opposed to the attack-oriented NYC.
Another upside is that there would be more recognisable players competing, and more players would have a chance to make the jump to the NRL.
Each NRL club could have a 40-man squad, 34 of which are over 20 years old, and six youngsters who can still play for a revised under-20s competition.
As a younger Rabbitohs fan I’ve never had the chance to see the reserves don red and green, and while it’s great to see the mighty North Sydney Bears get a run, I’d be more inclined to attend a game early to see a Rabbitohs side with some of my favourite players, or upcoming ones, show off their wares.
Considering the NYC teams are right before the NRL teams currently, the formatting wouldn’t need to be changed dramatically either.
The NSW and Queensland Cup would be able to compete against each other in their own individual competitions and feed into the National Reserve Rugby League.
As a devoted fan, I would definitely attend games earlier to witness a more developed footy game, as opposed to the current NYC games, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
If there’s one thing rugby league needs to bring back from the past it’s good ol’ reserve grade.