FORMER British Amateur Rugby League Association chairman Maurice Oldroyd has called for a reduction in the number of overseas players in the game.

The plea has come in the wake of Great Britain's third - and latest - Tri-Nations series failure.

Oldroyd, pictured, cites the 'over-dependence' of foreign stars not just in rugby league, but in football, rugby union and cricket as the primary reason for the nation's sporting failures.

"To achieve international success there must be changes," he said.

"I admit there is no cure-all solution, but the priority must be to control imports to an absolute minimum. Three per club seems to be the figure that is most frequently suggested."

Oldroyd challenged the top clubs to pioneer this initiative.

"The rugby league clubs can bring this about themselves if they can just grasp the nettle," continued the former chief of Huddersfield-based BARLA.

"Such action would surely accelerate the development of the many native young starlets, who under current conditions of short termism, are denied the opportunity to fulfil their true potential."

Oldroyd also pointed to the competitiveness of the Australian league and the State of Origin series in particular.

He said: "It's the elite versus the elite. In those games no quarter is asked or given and the Australian players are proud to play in the three games."

Oldroyd believes there is a need for match-ups in this country that will produce similar results.

He said: "We must try to replicate games of such intensity. However, that is easier said than done.

"We have tried Lancashire v Yorkshire. Demonstrably, it did not work then but perhaps it could now."

Oldroyd also admitted he did not have all the answers and called on younger, more innovative minds to come up with suitable ideas.

Most frighteningly of all, according to Oldroyd, are the number of players available to pick.

Twelve Super League teams produce a mere 120 eligible players, while Australia can pick 310 from their 15 clubs.

As Oldroyd says: "How are we ever going to beat them in the face of such odds?"