It’s a busy weekend for rugby league with the two-day ‘Summer Bash’ and the pioneering clash this afternoon between Catalan Dragons and Wigan at the Nou Camp, the home of Barcelona Football club.

Barrow are in action at the ‘Bash’ tomorrow (kick-off 1pm) against the much-improved Sheffield Eagles. Although they finished below the Raiders last season, they have transformed themselves into a competitive team, sitting in fourth place at the moment with eight victories from 12 games.

Director of Rugby Mark Aston went on a pre -season recruitment drive and successfully brought in some key signings, such as half-back Anthony Thackeray, who is one of the Championship’s top try scorers.

At Craven Park a couple of months ago, we were very competitive and unlucky to lose with Sheffield stealing victory 24-22 with the last action of the game with a controversial penalty taken ten meters closer to the sticks than where the ‘infringement’ took place.

Forwards Joel Farrell and James Glover and winger Ben Blackmore who is built like a forward were impressive and they must be confronted tomorrow.

We played the Eagles at last year’s ‘Bash,’ losing 38-22 thanks to a Cory Aston hat-trick, but he now plays for Castleford so that’s good news

This a tough fixture with the added pressure of been televised. Both teams want to impress and have had a fortnight to prepare and hopefully Barrow will be able to field an almost full-strength team for once. Every point gained will count in our survival quest so lets all hope that all the hard work is rewarded, and Barrow can commence the climb up the Championship table.

The Blackpool Bash is a good innovation by the RFL, but I do question whether it needs to be over two days with the second day last year only attracting an attendance of 3,928 for four matches

Increasing the Championship to 14 teams makes it impossible to arrange on a single day, but perhaps Toronto should play Toulouse next week at the Anfield Super League weekend just as they did last year.

You could then squeeze six games in one day if you start about 11am and finish about 10pm, enabling a better attendance, creating a much better atmosphere and visual experience for the TV viewers. Watching rugby league on TV in empty stadiums is not a good advert for the game.

But let’s finish on a positive and congratulate the RFL and the president of the Catalan Dragons for taking their game against Wigan to Barcelona and play in the famous Nou Camp stadium.

The strategy is to expand the interest in rugby league in that part of the world and a crowd of 30,000-plus is expected. Should be worth a watch.