Game Day: Save the Magpies
Pictured: Souths Logan fans out in force at Davies Park.
IT WILL be disastrous if the NRL allows the Canberra Raiders to sever ties with Souths Logan.
The NRL has to act fast and introduce salary cap concessions for an NRL club's locally developed juniors.
It is a beautifully logical answer.
Raiders' chief executive Don Furner has put together a proposal that will see clubs who develop juniors rewarded.
The basic premise is, if you have signed and developed a player as a teenager then a certain percentage of his salary will not be capped.
This will provide incentives for clubs who invest heavily in junior programs, like Canberra and the Broncos among others, to continue their programs.
Without the elite player development systems of Canberra, Brisbane, North Queensland and several other clubs, players will be underprepared for the NRL and may not reach their potential.
Souths Logan will struggle to reach the finals year in, year out, without the help of the Raiders.
Logan is the most fertile region in Australia for sporting talent.
League must own it, always.
The Raiders can't be blamed if they do pull out. It is a business decision and they have to balance their books.
The NRL can and will be blamed.
Encouraging a bottom up development system is the only option for rugby league.
Already, too many NRL clubs, especially ones in Sydney, are focusing on the top end and buying established players only.
CODY Walker has signed with South Sydney for next year and the year after. He will start the off-season behind Luke Keary in the five-eighth battle, but he could yet become a centre or lock at the Rabbitohs.
Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire has been chasing him hard for months now and has an enormous wrap on him.
Walker was a standout for the Titans in the Under 20 competition and it is bizarre they ever let him go.
ON THE Titans, why is Gold Coast league talent not filtering through to their Under 20 and NRL side?
The Queensland Under 18 team named this week did not feature a single Gold Coast Titans-contracted player.
It featured one teen from the Coast, Keegan Hipgrave.
But Hipgrave is signed to the Broncos.
Queensland's Under 20 State of Origin side did not feature a single Gold Coast Titan.
It did feature Sydney Roosters centre Brendan Elliott who was recruited from the Gold Coast.
The Titans are sitting on a rich league nursery and the pathway system will work far better if they are securing the region's best talent.
Talented teens should always be encouraged to represent the club based in their region.
It is one of our great benefits over AFL. Due to their draft, AFL clubs are filled with players who had nothing to do with the club growing up.
Fans want to cheer local heroes and NRL clubs must ensure they have that opportunity.
Game Day with Chris Garry is published every week in Rugby League News, the official programme of the Intrust Super Cup.