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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 October 2006, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Fielden urges overseas player cap
Stuart Fielden
Fielden will line up for GB against New Zealand on 28 October
Great Britain and Wigan prop Stuart Fielden has claimed English rugby league is being harmed by the influx of Australian and New Zealand players.

"When an Aussie or Kiwi comes to England it's either for the pound against the dollar or because they can't get an NRL club," he said.

"If it was an even playing field, I don't think too many would be coming to England. Do you?

"We must look at decreasing the number of imports allowed to play in England."

Fielden, whose four-year deal with Wigan means he is unlikely to play in Australia's NRL, told Sydney's Sun-Herald: "It's the chicken and the egg theory.

You want quality players who earn their salaries - blokes who come over to do the job

Stuart Fielden

"I definitely agree there are too many foreigners in the English game, but if you took them all out there wouldn't be enough quality players to fill the holes - at the moment."

Fielden noted that the result of English reliance on overseas imports could be seen in the Tri-Nations.

"Australia has a massive player base to choose from," he said.

"We have a very good squad of top players, but if we suffer injuries it suddenly becomes different.

"The Kiwis suffer from it a bit, as well, but they have a broad base of player talent."

Fielden's comments come as National Rugby League veterans Trent Barrett, Phil Bailey, Glenn Morrison and Scott Hill are set to head to Britain to finish their careers.

But he admitted that foreign signings can also have a positive effect.

"You want quality players who earn their salaries," he said. "Blokes who come over to do the job.

"Trent Barrett will have a great impact on the game back home in much the same way as (former Australian Test captain) Andrew Johns did when he played for Warrington last year."

Great Britain open their Tri-Nations campaign against New Zealand on 28 October.

SEE ALSO
GB coaches trim Tri-Nations squad
22 Oct 06 |  International
Australia 20-15 New Zealand
21 Oct 06 |  International
New Zealand 18-30 Australia
14 Oct 06 |  International


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