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Premiership provides entertainment but is struggling to boost attendances | Paul Rees

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The Premiership’s aim at the start of the decade was to rival English football’s second tier for gates. It is some way from that

Some years ago at Cardiff Arms Park, a man was considering a question from a young boy about the difference between the two codes of rugby. Eventually he replied: “It’s like comparing chess and draughts.”

Union resembled chess in its greater complexity and tactical variation. League was more like draughts with its desire to get on with play: fewer components meant the referee was involved less. As simplifications go it was not outrageous, although it reflected the disdain in which league was held in a part of the country where many players had received a one-way ticket to the north.

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