IAN Cosens had a dream. A dream to create a league where second team players could compete for points, a dream where a win meant a win and a dream where a league table showed just how good or bad a team was.

That dream is the North West Pennines Second XV Association.

Gone are the days when second XV players had to play second fiddle to their illustrious first team counterparts -- turn up and play and just think about the drinks in the bar later.

Now in its second year, Cosens' concept is thriving and everyone is benefiting -- most notable his own club Rossendale.

"Players now have something to play for, " said Cosens who has served Rossendale in many different roles in his 25 years at the Marl Pits club. "There is now more structure to second XV rugby."

"I came up with the idea about three years ago and put it forward to Lancashire and they said go with it. All of the local clubs were interested and everyone seems to be benefiting."

Rossendale are currently top of the table in a season where the Association received funding from the top cats at Twickenham.

"I would love to see Rossendale win this league although I have to say my intention of setting up this league was not for that purpose.

"The feedback I have had has been great. We are feeling the benefits at Rossendale in both the first team and second team.

"Other clubs are telling me the same as well."

Cosens, a second row forward in his heyday but now a self confessed member of the 'coffin dodgers', captained Rossendale during the 1980s, was the club's first Director of Rugby, helped with the junior set-up and is currently vice chairman.

"The club owes me nothing," said Cosens. "It has given me a lot of pleasure over the years and the club has given me a lot more than I have given the club."

Rochdale won the inaugural title last year but Rossendale -- under the guidance of inspirational captain Paul Lee -- are on course to win it this year.

"We are now getting second team players training every week which never used to happen before. That can only be good for the club because we now have players who are genuinely good enough to go up in to the first team.

"Paul has been superb and the second team has real gelled together this season."

Cosens hopes to take his dream a step forward by integrating the three of four second XV leagues across Lancashire.

He added: "We have to walk before we can run. But with the number of players slacking off in recent years, we have to do all we can to improve junior rugby. Our current league has 11 teams but I would like to see 15 next season and take it from there."

And if that is was Cosens wants, then that is what he will get because he has a habit of making his dreams come true.