Connect with us


Rugby league clubs told to court new talent – by looking in basketball



RUGBY league should have hoop dreams after being guilty of overlooking what is under its nose – top talent.

And the unlikely world of the basketball court is where the 13-a-side code should look for players.

The sport may be strong in the north of England but the number of London-produced England players is a sign of stars lurking all over the country.

Throw in the fact that Liverpool’s James Graham and Kallum Watkins, who was brought up in the shadow of Old Trafford, are exceptions to the grassroots rule and it exposes gaping holes.

Now sights are set on making the sport more appealing, with youth basketball a target area.


“It’s definitely an elephant in the room,” said Salford’s Stuart Wilkinson, who has brought up six Welsh starlets he believes would be at top clubs if they hailed from the north west.

“And we talk all the time about talent transfer, one of the best donor sports there is in terms of research across the globe is basketball.

“There are loads of Afro-Caribbean kids playing basketball in Manchester.


“We’re going to look at kids playing other sports, donor sports, like basketball and ways of attracting them into rugby league.

“The athletes are there, they’re just choosing to play other sports. We’ve got to look at ways of becoming more appealing so they can shift over at 16 or 17-years-old.”

Most read in Rugby League

Widening the search for talent may mean players like Manchester's Kallum Watkins do not go unnoticed

Source: The Sun


Follow us on Google News to get the latest Updates