As you may be aware I have begun to dip my toe into the world of Rugby League, I am in fact taking RFL level 1.  Why the diversity? My son plays for London Skolars during the union closed season and I felt that an opportunity was going begging to broaden my coaching base.

The “ideal” physique for a league player is easy to describe, strong legs, balance and agility – pretty much Captain America. Whereas the union player is more diverse; think Jason Leonard to Jason Robinson with all shapes of Jason in between, but a little bit more Captain Sensible.

This is the very essence of the difference. League games consist of 13 individuals in attack but working as a loose collective in defence. Union requires 15 players to act as one with few moments of individuality. Why should this be? In my opinion it is due to the fact that League has binned the flankers or spoilers from the game and kept the intensity high with a rapid play of the ball.

This has a knock on effect on the community aspect of League. Fitter players will flourish, so where does that leave the also rans? League is predominantly played by young men as the attrition rate on lower limbs is very high, I have yet to encounter any 30 somethings still playing. A social team is far more likely within Union than League, as if you cannot run like the wind, then what else is there?

There is a lot to be learnt from League, handling is sharper and less prescribed, fitness is elevated and the tackle is a very different art. Urgency and precision in each play needs to be higher, as there are only 6 chances to score. All of the above can be absorbed into the Union game via correct adaption in our coaching techniques.

My preference? There are aspects of League that appeal highly to me, the adrenaline fuelled open field breaks, the no holds barred tackle, the sheer speed of the game and the fact the ball is in play to a much greater extent. 

However, I cannot envisage looking to relocate somewhere near the M62.

An interesting fact is that League has a larger youth player base in the south than the north.

This begs a further question – where would you fit in a League team?