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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Barrow Raiders chairman ponders end to dual-reg opposition

RAIDERS chairman David Sharpe has hinted the club might be ready to perform a u-turn on their dual-registration opposition.

Barrow are one of only five Championship clubs not to have entered into an agreement with a Super League side which would see top-flight players appearing for them on a regular basis.

But, while Featherstone, Halifax, Sheffield and Leigh all sit in the top five of the division after five games, coach Darren Holt and his men are rock-bottom and without a win. The club were due to make a decision on whether or not to back a the Championship’s so-called ‘Gang of Four’ in their DR opposition last week.

But they have held off on a final call, with Sharpe suggesting that, while no talks have been held with Super League clubs on dual-reg agreements, the programme was no longer being completely ruled out.

“The decision is imminent, but we’ve got to look at the whole structure and everything,” said the Craven Park chief.

“We’ve got to look at both sides of the coin regarding dual-reg. I don’t think anyone is in favour of the idea in the long-term. The general feeling for the club, the supporters and the board is that last year’s system worked perfectly well.

“The problem now is, you’re coming up against teams who suddenly have these players of a higher level, Super League players.

“We can’t bury our heads in the sand. In the end, you’ve got to do what is right for the club and you’ve got to be competitive.”

Barrow have so far played four teams this season utilising the DR system – only Featherstone did not.

Hunslet have brought in a succession of Leeds Rhinos first-team and squad players over the past month, while Doncaster and Workington have a steadier feed of regular players and Batley fielded no Huddersfield men for their trip to Craven Park.

Even if Barrow were to enter into a dual-registration agreement, they would still be able to comply with the Gang of Four’s proposals.

They state:

l Clubs will not select any dual-registered player aged 23 or over on August 31, 2012.

l They will not select any dual-registered player among the top-20 paid members of his Super League squad.

l They will not field more than four dual-registered players in any match.

l They will not field any dual-registered player in the play-offs who has played less than 50 per cent of their Championship fixtures.

The main criticism has been caused by experienced Super League players such as Ade Gardner and Chris Bridge featuring and on the constant rotation of men at certain clubs.

This has widely been seen as going against the principle of offering regular rugby to enable the development of younger players.

Sharpe spoke specifically about this issue when he said: “We have built a team based on playing Championship rugby and we thought we had a team which would be competitive and be able to hopefully get mid-table position, even with an outside chance of the play-offs. It was all about consolidation.

“Now you are playing teams who have four or five of these guys in and you are playing people on a different level.

“It’s like you have in amateur sport – in any sport – where you would get to a semi-final and suddenly these three guys would appear who had never played for them all year. You used to call them ringers.

“It feels as though teams are calling in ringers. But the system is there and we are not going to be stupid about it and we have to look at the best way forward for the club.”

l The club have confirmed that Maurice Evans, who stood to be a director at their AGM in January, was not elected on to the board.

A result had been expected to be announced on the night of the meeting, but issues over debenture numbers meant it has not been revealed until now.

l A Mother’s Day prize draw will take place at Sunday’s match between Barrow and Dewsbury.

All children who bring their mother to the game will be entered into the draw to win match-day hospitality for four during the 2013 season, including a pre-match meal at Chequers hotel, admission to the game, pre and post-match hospitality and the chance to choose the man-of-the-match.

Entry forms will be available on arrival at the ground. Both mother and child must be in attendance to qualify. The draw will take place at half-time.

Have your say

The Raiders aren't a bad team, we have some new players and it takes them a few games to get to know how each other player. Holty wanted to independent this season, but last season the teams weren't as hard as this season and if you are with a super league club sometime they can send no-one and you'll have to put in some injured players in. I think it is a good idea to be dual-registered with a super league club but on the other hand it is good to be on your own, so the other teams know you're not just winning teams because you have super league players in the team!

Posted by Aimee Lowther on 11 March 2013 at 11:54

so now the`ve realized there team is rubbish now they want duel registration two-faced hope they don`t get it

Posted by paul on 9 March 2013 at 21:59

View all 4 comments on this article

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