Rugby league is set for big change under IMG as they look to grow the sport.
Former Sky Sports commentator Mike ‘Stevo’ Stephenson has suggested as part of this Cumbrian teams should merge together to create a team such as Cumbria Cobras to create a hotbed for rugby league and a successful side thriving off the talent produced in that area.
“I can remember years and years ago saying ‘look how many great players have been produced in Cumbria’,” Stevo said on the Eddie and Stevo podcast.
“Now let’s say the Cumbria Cobras and Barrow, Workington and Whitehaven join. I know everybody will be saying ‘oh, he’s on it again’, but that’s the only way to get to the future.
“Can you imagine anyone who lives up in Cumbria going down to Wembley to see Cumbria Cobras or Cheetahs or whatever you’d call them.
“Everybody loves success, forget about the past. That’s what had to happen in Australia and that’s what they’ve done.”
However, Eddie Hemmings wasn’t convinced that this would yield the success Stevo thinks: “I understand that but just by merging clubs in Cumbria isn’t necessarily going to lead to the Holy Grail that you’re talking about.”
Mergers were of course suggested back in 1996 when Super League was formed.
It is interesting that these same debates are happening now.
Having seen comments from Stevo recently I believe he is right Cumbria is predominantly a rugby league county with 3 teams however its fair to say at this time not in a good place.However I do believe if we created one team , playing at either various locations, or somewhere central (Kendal or Penrith,both within an hours drive from the three stronghold areas) we could generate interest from the traditional areas, and other areas in Cumbria. Having attended many Cumbrian derbies over the years whilst the rivalry is fierce,it is good natured,I have also attended finals of the Lancashire Cup and the old John PlayerTrophy where Barrow were well supported by other Cumbrian teams supporters, as us from Barrow have followed the teams from the North of the county. As things stand I can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel for professional Cumbrian Rugby League,which is sad… Read more »