Jon Wilkin’s damning statement on men’s rugby league as he tips wheelchair game to “explode”

The three Rugby League World Cups have come to a close.

On Friday night England backed up the PDRL success as the defeated France in a superb final 28-24.

Then yesterday Australia completed a double win as the women’s and men’s teams claimed final wins at Old Trafford over New Zealand and Samoa respectively.

Now that the tournament has concluded, there were questions over how each England team moves forward.

Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Peacock called for the women to go full time so they can compete with Australia and New Zealand as he spoke on BBC: “For the women, for the progression of the women it’s let’s get them full time. The women need to be full time if they want to compete against Australia and New Zealand.”

Building on this, his former Bradford Bulls teammate Robbie Hunter-Paul called for the men’s game to learn lessons from the women’s: “I think there is some lessons to learn from the women’s game to the men’s in the way it’s been deconstructed after the pandemic and improved the professionalism.

“I think we need to pull it apart and look at the development.”

Lastly former St Helens star Jon Wilkin said men’s rugby league had been stood still for five years and believed that the women’s and wheelchair games were in a better state in terms of progression.

He said on BBC: “Well, the women’s game has had a slight upslope at the minute, the Wheelchair is at the bottom of the hill and the men’s game has been at a plateau halfway up the hill for the last five years.

“We’re all on a journey up the mountain. The wheelchair game is about to explode, the men’s game has been stood still for too long and there’s a million reasons why but we got to this stage of the tournament we needed to get to for investment.”

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