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England woe shows Super League must stop fighting for ‘scraps’, says Lee Radford

LEE Radford believes England’s World Cup anguish is a sign Super League needs to sort itself out and stop accepting ‘scraps.’

Questions are being asked after the Lions’ semi-final failure to Samoa when it looked like they could go all the way.

Stephen Crichton’s drop goal sent Samoa through to the World Cup final over England

One of the main ones is boosting the quality of club competition on this side of the world – too many games, not enough income, not enough pathways for talent to develop are just some of the issues.

IMG has proposed cutting the top flight to 22 matches a season, with the aim of growing clubs off the field to eventually boost it to 14.

And Castleford boss Radford, who has assisted the Pacific islanders to their first ever final, believes something needs to be done to bring it closer to the NRL.

He said: “Even now, there’s a stand off financially down under as players want more. We’re scrapping for scraps, literally.

“In that respect, it’s depressing as a British rugby league fan and with my involvement in the game, it’s depressing when you hear this.

“One thing that’s been an eye opener after speaking to some of the players and the coaching staff is the growth of the game in the NRL.

“We make a pound go far, we make the best of bad situations but it’s down to our popularity as a sport, we’re not as popular as we should be.

“Watch the two World Cup semi-finals and compare them to some of the rugby union games you watch, it bewilders me that we don’t get the support we should.

“I really hope the IMG plan helps build the game here. Any assistance we get will be much appreciated. The sport needs a boost in some way, shape or form, that’s a fact.”

Radford was back at Castleford on Monday

Radford may have a World Cup final against Australia to prepare players for but that did not stop him being at his day job as Castleford returned for pre-season on Monday.

And Tigers players can expect the same treatment as Samoa’s stars as he added: “It was pretty surreal but I wanted to show my face, first impressions are important.

“One thing I am is authentic, so I think how I am at Castleford is how I’ve been here. I coach Castleford’s players the same way as Samoa’s, definitely.”

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