Gopperth: Scrap relegation
League should be 'ring fenced' insists Falcons star
By Simon Dilger. Last Updated: 17/05/11 10:31am
Goperth: Believes the Aviva Premiership should be more like the Super 15
Newcastle's talismanic fly-half Jimmy Gopperth has called for relegation from the Aviva Premiership to be scrapped.
Gopperth firmly believes that England's top tier should adopt a fixed 14-team format more akin to rugby league's Super League and the Southern Hemisphere's Super 15.
The Falcons narrowly escaped relegation this season, surviving only on points difference at the expense of Leeds.
Carnegie's only hope for survival now lies in the result of Worcester's Championship play-off final against Cornish Pirates.
But Gopperth insists that the top clubs should not face the worry of relegation, which he believes makes the game less competitive.
Speaking on the club's website, the 27-year-old Kiwi said that a move to 'ring fence' the league would make matches more exciting and urged RFU bosses to consider changing the format.
"I think the Premiership should be ring fenced and it will be better for rugby players in general and benefit English rugby as a whole," Gopperth said.
"I think the Premiership should be ring fenced and it will be better for rugby players in general and benefit English rugby as a whole... It is certainly an issue for the sports' governing body to consider... The change needs to come sooner rather than later."
Jimmy Gopperth Quotes of the week
"The standard of rugby would be much more exciting with side's playing with no fear in their game.
"It is certainly an issue for the sports' governing body to consider and I am all for the Aviva Premiership becoming a 14 team league like the Super 15 down under.
"Teams would then go all out to win games rather than taking a conservative approach. The change needs to come sooner rather than later."
Despite their lowly finish Gopperth if confident the Falcons cam compete with the major teams and is targeting a top half finish next season.
"I firmly believe that we can challenge the top teams and be a force to be reckoned with, he added.
"If we make Kingston Park a real fortress and make some big signings in the summer, I don't see why we can't achieve this."
The club is looking to further strengthen its squad following the recent signings of Gloucester scrum-half Jordi Pasqualin, Samoan Jamie Helleur, rugby league convert Rikki Sheriffe and Rotherham prop Dan Frazer.
Goppperth, who scored 230 points last season, has also been joined at the club by fellow Kiwis, Otago winger Ryan Shortland and back-row Richard Mayhew.