Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn who nearly got involved in rugby league in the past recently said on The Good, The Bad and The Rugby that rugby league is “absolutely bang in trouble.”
Speaking on this podcast Hearn explained what problem rugby league faces at the moment.
“Stars are the most important thing. We were close to doing something with rugby league a few years ago but it was all or nothing.
“They wanted us to come in and look at the Challenge Cup and a few different elements of the game and I said ‘no, we need to control the game’.
“It has to be built and the problem is that both codes aren’t delivering numbers. Away from the big international stuff and the Six Nations, stuff like that, the reality is that viewing figures are horrendous and the reason is because you don’t have any stars.
“The reason you don’t have any stars is one of two reasons, one because maybe there aren’t any characters or personalities around anymore or two, they’re not accessible.
“I would think that there has to be but also I’m a promoter of individuals really but to promote a sport essentially, you have to highlight those people and make them stars.
“I said to the rugby league guys ‘I couldn’t name you half a dozen players’ and actually even in rugby now. That’s frightening.
“I said to the rugby league guys ‘do you know when I think of rugby league I think of Ellery Hanley, maybe Jamie Peacock’ but that’s who I grew up with.