Rugby League: Lindsay's attack on talent drain

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The Independent Online
MAURICE LINDSAY, the chief executive of the Rugby League, hopes to thrash out an agreement with his Australian counterpart over the number of overseas players allowed in Australia's Winfield Cup competition in an effort to stop leading Australian clubs 'plundering' top British players.

Lindsay said he hoped to get the Australian Board to set a limit of two or three imports per club. 'I am concerned about the loss of our key players to Australia,' he said. 'With four new clubs about to enter their main competition, scouts have been openly coming over to England and securing our best players.'

Wigan, the world club champions, have been hardest hit with Andy Platt, Denis Betts and New Zealanders Dean Bell and Frano Botica all agreeing to join former the new Auckland Warriors side run by their former coach, John Monie.

Lindsay said he had contacted Ken Arthurson, of the Australian Rugby League, and received a sympathetic reply. He added: 'I need a really positive response though, to protect the assets of our game. We must act on behalf of all our clubs to safeguard our future.'

Lindsay was supported by the Wigan chairman, Jack Robinson, who warned that unless the flow of talent was stemmed, the British game could suffer a return to an impoverished state. He said: 'We've got to look after own own interests, because we don't want a second-rate competition, and we should be pressing for a worldwide quota restriction of two overseas players.'