The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - OPINION -

I had given up in de­spair that I thought I would ever read again a rugby league ar­ti­cle that would be in­tel­li­gent, cor­rect and solve the prob­lems as­so­ci­ated with the game.

Then along comes Mark Gasnier (“Change bench sys­tem or suf­fer”, 13/5), a babe in the woods jour­nal­ist com­pared to the ones I have been forced to read over the past 20 years.

He wishes to take the game back, into the fu­ture and for the sake of the fu­ture. Fewer or no re­place­ments — try that with the big, non-league play­ers we cur­rently have run­ning around. A place for small play­ers, a place for nat­u­ral foot­ballers, a place to re­turn to open rugby league.

His anal­y­sis of all that is wrong in rugby league is spot on. He is vir­tu­ally de­scrib­ing rugby league as it was be­fore many self-cen­tred coaches and of­fi­cials have tried to de­stroy it. The trou­ble is, from my ob­ser­va­tions, any in­tel­li­gent sug­ges­tions to those in charge are swiftly swept un­der the car­pet. Mr Gasnier would not be out of place run­ning the whole show. RICHIE BLANCH


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