Both rugby league and rugby union are pushing the boat out to increase participation at a young age.
However, in doing so they could both be driving players away.
It is well documented that rugby union’s decision to lower tackle height to the waist making anything higher illegal has caused fury across the sport which has even bled into rugby league with people, including those in parliament, suggesting it could drive players to rugby league.
That said, rugby league also likes to shoot itself in the foot and in Australia parents are said to be furious over suggestions that tackles could be banned at under 7s and all games will be uncompetitive with no score kept record of until the age of 13.
Such has been the backlash to these rules, the introduction of them has been delayed.
‘All our clubs were strongly against it,’ Manly Juniors president Kim Hunter told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘There’s a lot of things that could come into it, but we felt because it was such a huge change to the game that would really disrupt our clubs and players that we just couldn’t support it.
‘People could easily join another district to play competitively.’
‘Kids know when they score a try, they know when they are playing well, and they know when they are making tackles,’ he said.
‘These are the underpinning foundations of what good performance is.’