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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Barrow Raiders vow no u-turn on dual-registration

BARROW Raiders boss Darren Holt has insisted the club will not be performing a dramatic u-turn on their dual-registration stance.

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STICKING TO HIS GUNS Darren Holt BILL WATKINSON REF: 50044140B002

Barrow, Featherstone, Leigh, Sheffield and Halifax are the only sides in the division not in an agreement with a top-flight team.

In contrast, both Raiders’ opponents already this term – Hunslet and Doncaster – have fielded players from Leeds Rhinos and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats respectively.

There had been suggestions this week that Holt had met with the board to discuss changing their position and joining the likes of Whitehaven, Workington and York in partnership with one of the game’s big sides.

But, despite the increasing pattern of more and more Super League men coming into Championship sides, Holt is standing firm against the scheme and refuses to have Barrow involved.

“There has been no change in my position,” he said.

“We stand firm in our take on dual-registration.

“As the dual-registration is now, any club who has bought into that and is using it that way, will find themselves in a hole in the future, it’s as simple as that.

“If you go down this dual-registration route, you look at the likes of Keighley and York, they’ve gone down this route and has it improved their performances any?

“I know it’s early days, but no, it hasn’t.

“My take on it is, all these supporters of other clubs, and even supporters of Barrow, who are sitting there thinking ‘oh, I wish we had signed a dual-reg agreement so we could bring all these players in’, well these players you would be pulling in from these clubs are 19 or 20-year-old kids.

“It’s a fallacy. Certainly in my head anyway.

“Don’t get me wrong, if Wigan turned round and said I could have Sam Tomkins for a month, then what coach wouldn’t be open to the opportunity and the idea?

“If it is done properly, then if you have injuries one week, you can say you’re short a winger and then bring one in. If it’s done that way, it’s fine and that’s how dual-reg was last season, which benefited us when we had injuries.

“But the way it has been done this year, with clubs signing 13 or 14 players and doing what they are doing. I don’t know how to put it, it’s just not rugby.

“The supporters of clubs who haven’t had a good start to the season might be saying ‘oh we’ve missed a trick here, not going down the dual-reg route’, but what trick have we missed? Which players would we have had in to replace which players?

“It’s kind of pie in the sky for me.”

Holt suggested some clubs had already approached Barrow about taking players on because they were becoming unsettled with dual-registration signings taking their place in the squad.

He also said members of his own squad had told him if they found themselves in that situation they would consider walking away from the game.

“It’s going to come crashing down and it baffles me how people can’t see that coming,” he added.

While ruling out the prospect of dual-registration, Holt is willing to look at bringing in men on loan from Super League as and when the need arises.

That would be a similar arrangement to the one which saw Brad Brennan – now on the Barrow books permanently – and Ryan Duffy move to Craven Park from Warrington Wolves last season.

Holt sees that as the more sensible and sustainable way of bringing in new players to bolster the ranks, over and above what he sees as the random and dictatorial nature of dual-registration.

He said: “There are potentially other means if we needed to bolster our squad. The loan option for players is still there, which is why I don’t understand this entire dual-registration concept when there are still other avenues to go down.

“If you go down that route, then it wouldn’t have the same negative impact on your club’s running and everything else.

“There’s always the possibility that if people were required, we would approach other teams to bring players in on loan as and when required.

“Injuries and performance dictate things like that. Nothing has changed, it’s exactly as it was.”

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