Walker to quit at RFL cash cut

Dave Hadfield in Auckland hears the fallout from GB's defeats

The key battles on the field in the Tri-series have been fought and lost, but there are equally important and closely related issues to be decided back in Britain this week. The Rugby Football League's top brass flew home to be confronted tomorrow by a proposal to cut £900,000 of development funding next year - money to pay for work that clearly needs to be stepped up on the evidence of Great Britain's performances in the southern hemisphere.

The key battles on the field in the Tri-series have been fought and lost, but there are equally important and closely related issues to be decided back in Britain this week. The Rugby Football League's top brass flew home to be confronted tomorrow by a proposal to cut £900,000 of development funding next year - money to pay for work that clearly needs to be stepped up on the evidence of Great Britain's performances in the southern hemisphere.

Heavy defeats by Australia and New Zealand have left Britain's Test team kicking their heels until an unwanted curtain-raiser against the New Zealand Maoris on Friday, before the Kangaroos and the Kiwis meet to settle the unofficial world championship.

If the Association of Premiership Clubs has its way, the groundwork that could one day take Britain back to the top table will not be done and the chairman of the RFL, Sir Rodney Walker, will resign in disgust. "I can't believe the short sightedness of some people in the game," Sir Rodney said before leaving Auckland yesterday. "My letter of resignation is written and, if they succeed in what they are trying to do, it will be handed in this week."

Sir Rodney and the RFL chief executive, Neil Tunnicliffe, will also face calls for wholesale redundancies at the league's headquarters at Red Hall on the outskirts of Leeds. "But if those staff go, the World Cup next year will not take place," Tunnicliffe warned. Tunnicliffe's measured response to the embarrassment of Britain's 26-4 defeat by New Zealand on Friday was to stress the importance of the long-term development work which includes elevating Wales, Ireland and Scotland into the World Cup.

That tournament will not be blighted by Great Britain's failure as a unit in the southern hemisphere this time, he insisted. "Everyone is going to go home and work their butts off," he said. "We'll have 12 months of hard work off the back of the lessons learned here."

The most obvious of those is that British rugby league, as it is now structured, does not produce enough players of the right calibre to compete with the best at international level. The usual excuses about players missing through injury, unwillingness or incompetent selection do not apply. Only Paul Newlove of Britain's best 13 failed to make the trip and he is always an uncertain proposition where overseas assignments are concerned. The fact is that Britain's best have been shown up as woefully inadequate at this level, although Andy Goodway could have perhaps mitigated the situation by playing Sean Long from the start in both games and using the interchange rule more sparingly.

The coach's own position is now precarious, to say the least. The likeliest scenario is that now, with GB not due to play for another two years, he will be made redundant. For the good of the game, it would be better if anyone contemplating reducing the development budget that recent events have shown to be so badly needed became redundant around the same time.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge face-off in the final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture