Pre-season is now firmly in the rear-view mirror for Super League with Round One two days away.
But in the NRL, World Club Challenge aside, it is still ongoing as teams compete for the $100,000 cash prize in the NRL’s Pre-Season Tournament.
However, Leeds Rhinos boss Rohan Smith doesn’t think such a tournament would function over in the UK.
Speaking to the press today, Smith explained his thoughts behind this:
“I haven’t given that much thought. I think if you watch the NRL pre-season games over the years, I don’t know what the viewing rates have been or the attendances but with clubs using 26, 28 players in a game they’re just using those games to service those players and get them suitable game time.
“If the NRL have made a competition of it, the teams haven’t been trying to win because a lot of the games I’ve watched a lot of the top players, front line players have not finished the game and when the game has been on the line they’ve not gone out there.
“So I think they’re just using it as a practice as a conditioning hit out and being competitive with whoever is on the field.
“Some teams have fielded their top 10 players some didn’t field any of their top 15 players so I think pre-season games are a case by case and team by team situation so I don’t know if a competition would facilitate that.
“Different clubs have different needs in this country, testimonial games, pre-existing relations with a dual reg club and all that type of stuff so I don’t think a blanket rule is the way to go.”