If preseason games are so dangerous, why does anyone bother having them? If you’re going to blow out a knee or an ankle (or even an eye-socket!?) it might as well be in a meaningful game.
Paul Wellens and Willie Talau (St. Helens), Keith Mason (Giants), Lee Briers (Wolves) and Jamie Peacock (Leeds); all for various reasons are likely to miss serious Super League action because of incidents in so-called friendly encounters.
Ok, I get that Messrs Talau and Mason will be MIA because of their own ill discipline but that’s still four of the twelve Super League clubs missing key people.
Do we really need these kind of ‘hit-outs’ at all? And is this the best way to bridge the gap between training and game-on action?
Does anyone remember the British Coal Nines? And before that the Wigan Sevens?
Waning fan interest apart the Wigan Sevens provided a gentle transition from training sessions to competitive action. Maybe their time has come again.
With clubs increasingly opting for warm weather training why not schedule a preseason sevens/nines tournament in – say – Perpignan.
It would help the Dragons kick start the season over there and provide a great winter weekend break for UK fans too.
The Catalans Nines would be a great hit with fans and establish a milestone starting point for each Super League season, launching it with something other than the media-whimper with which this season seems to set to open.