Let’s keep rugby codes separate

Could rugby league and rugby union ever merge to form one sport?

Thursday, 13th February 2014, 11:30 am
Wigan Warriors kicked off the new Super League season

Some people might think so, but Mr Pendle feels it will never happen.

Aficionados of league - of which the new Super League season kicked off last with Wigan Warriors taking on Huddersfield Giants, with the other 12 teams starting out this weekend - such as Mr P. and union would never allow it to come about in the first place.

And in any case, there are far too many rule differentials to sort out before any amalgamation of the two codes could come even close to happening.

For starters, the number of players in a team - would it be 15, as in union, or 13, as in league?

What about the different scoring systems - five or four points for a try, three points or one for a drop goal, three points or two for a penalty?

Would we see rucks and mauls or the six-tackle rule to decide possession?

How many players would be allowed on the bench in a game, and how many of these could be used?

How would the farces which pass for scrums in both games be sorted out satisfactorily?

How would play be restarted after a ball was kicked into touch - by a line out (as in union), scrum (as in league) or some other method?

These are just some of the obstacles that would have to be overcome, and it is surely therefore better to leave the two sports apart than force them to merge into one that could prove disastrous for both codes.