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Raiders to chance arm against the Storm

Raiders to chance arm against the Storm | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it
Raiders skipper Terry Campese says the only way they'll beat the Storm at AAMI Park this Saturday will be by chancing their arm.
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James Hird and I had poolside 'talks', biochemist Shane Charter says

James Hird and I had poolside 'talks', biochemist Shane Charter says | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it

ESSENDON coach James Hird twice discussed peptides with biochemist Shane Charter by the pool of a Gold Coast hotel at the beginning of the club's supplements program, Charter has claimed.

 

Hird, Charter and sacked sports scientist Stephen Dank discussed a range of substances, including peptides, hormones and vitamins, at the Sheraton Mirage in Surfers Paradise in December 2011, he says.

 

The Bombers were staying at the hotel during their pre-season training camp.

 

Charter - a key witness in the anti-doping probe - and his family were also staying at the Sheraton.

 

Investigators from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority have been asking Essendon players about Charter's presence on the training camp.

 

It was during this pre-Christmas period that Essendon began injecting its players with substances.

 

A briefing document commissioned by player management company Elite Sports Properties tells Essendon players to expect questions from ASADA about the period prior to Christmas 2011.

 

Essendon has dismissed as a chance encounter Hird's recent dealings with "Dr Ageless" Charter, Hird's personal trainer in his playing days.


"Shane Charter was introduced to James Hird by friends to give dietary advice to him and a number of his friends during 2003 and in early 2004," a club spokesman said in February.

 

"James has had no contact or communication with Mr Charter since, except when he ran into him in 2011.

 

"The relationship was never more than that."

 

Essendon spokesman Justin Rodski last night said the club stood by this. Watson accuses ASADA of 'scare tactics'

 

Charter, who is assisting ASADA, claimed he had two poolside "discussions" with Hird on the Gold Coast over the course of a day after being invited to Queensland by Dank.

 

But he backed Essendon's version that it was a chance encounter, saying he believed Hird had not been expecting to meet him and had appeared unconvinced by Dank's pitch.

 

"Dank was telling him it was all WADA-approved and Hirdy was asking 'Where's Reidy?"' Charter claimed, referring to club doctor Bruce Reid.

"Dank's (point) was to push the fact that other clubs were going above and beyond standard supplement programs and Essendon needed to think more cutting edge."

 

Charter told the Herald Sun Hird had stressed that any supplement regime must meet anti-doping rules.

 

ASADA has been told Hird was tricked into attending the Gold Coast talks, sources said.

 

Charter has a text message from Dank saying "hexarelin 3mg" which Dank sent him during the week of the camp.

 

Dank has previously claimed he injected Hird with the peptide Hexarelin, banned for players but not coaches.

 

Hird has claimed he thought he was receiving amino acids.


The Herald Sun does not suggest Hird was injected during the camp.


The Gold Coast training camp finished just a week before Christmas Day.

- with Jon Ralph and  Michael Warner

Rugby League World Group's insight:

** RLWG Comment.... oh yeah.. by chance a convicted drug trafficker known to Hird and a now disgraced sports 'scientist' happened to be at the same hotel as Essendon.

And I suppose the conversation went something like

'hey James, why not inject your players with stuff?',

'oh that's a good idea. When can you start?'.

'Straight away, we have some stuff with us... we always carry stuff in case there's a chance encounter with a footy team on pre-season training'. 

Stand down Hird you plonker. You've been caught with your pants down.... oh wait, that doesn't mean you're guilty... look at Nick Riewoldt. He was caught in a hotel room with another man (men) after he'd just got up... sorry just got out of bed.  All innocent fun... especially as one of the men photographed it, had a schoolgirl around his home who allegedly stole the picture and published it. Yeah the same schoolgirl who made up stuff about Ricky Nixon (Riewoldt's manager at the time) being in her room at the hotel paid for by St Kilda (Riewoldt's club). Of course she doctored the video and photos to frame Nixon.

The same Ricky Nixon, who's involvement in player management saw him manage: 
Ben Cousins (addict)
Gary Ablett Sr. (addict who at 40 supplied his 19 year old female friend heroin in a hotel room where she was later found dead)
Wayne Carey (Drug User and philanderer with team-mates wife)
and others rumoured to be involved with drugs use. 
 


 

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No shadow on planet Cooper Cronk

No shadow on planet Cooper Cronk | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it

IT was the moment that sealed a series - and Queensland halfback Cooper Cronk hasn't spoken about it until now.

 

Cronk recalled for News Limited his match-winning field goal, 74 minutes into game three of the 2012 Origin series at Suncorp Stadium.

The series was locked 1-1, and scores were tied 20-20.

 

Enter Cronk.

 

"To be brutally honest I was in a state of grace at that particular moment. Within those few split seconds of time between actually receiving the ball and landing it at its intended destination, there was no noise in my head whatsoever," Cronk said.

 

"Every sinew in my body came together in one perfect whole. But those who have ever experienced that feeling, and it doesn't happen very often, will tell you it's in a whole other place of experience from the usual ego or vanity that drives my game. So I'm not afraid to own it for what it was.

 

"I didn't feel good or bad about myself afterwards. I began to realise when we are being completely free of our own expectation, the body extends into its natural form, without impediment. And things happen."

 

With the 2013 series to kick off on Wednesday night at ANZ Stadium,

Cronk's recollections are worth the wait.

 

Cooper Cronk looking relaxed in Maroons camp.

"It does make me feel a little bit exposed to talk about it, even now," Cronk said.

 

"But, yes, I was aware of time being against us, near the 70-minute mark. And, yes, I did mention to Cameron (Smith) when they scored to tie, that I was going to attempt a field goal. You'd have to ask him whether he thought it was madness or invention on my part.

 

"But the night before the game on that very same blade of grass I did the same kick multiple times, and the majority were successful.

 

"But I intentionally didn't count the ones that weren't, which is something of a breakthrough for me because there was a time when all I could focus on was getting each one perfect.

 

"And it felt strangely like I was doing something I had imagined in my head already, months if not years before. Which was a strange comfort of sorts."

Cronk also spoke of the ultimately career-defining experience of the Storm's 2010 salary cap scandal.

 

"Sometimes it takes a small fire in your village to realise that your personal character at that moment in time is made of hay," Cronk said.

"And I will be forever grateful for that career setback in 2010, and the damage to my pride, for the rest of my life because it led me, painfully at times, into the larger conversation of what really matters. And how could I structure a life worth having.

"To that end I sought professional help and guidance late in 2010 and much of the change you see today is the result of that time in my life."

So balanced is the 29-year-old that the unrelenting fervour of excitement which surrounded his achievement that night in Brisbane has failed to penetrate his consciousness on any level - then or now.

 

Cronk believes that being out of tune with what everyone is saying around him can help limit expectations to only those who remain important: his coach, teammates and himself.

 

"I've made a conscious effort not to follow my own shadow. So I don't read the sports pages, or engage in social media in any capacity," he said.

 

"So if there's noise out there, and others tell me there is, I largely avoid it.

"It's no secret that when I'm settled in my daily routine and there's little noise in my head, a good game performance follows. Well perhaps not always but mostly."

 

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Women's World Cup 2013

Women's World Cup 2013 | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it
Amateur Rugby League

New Zealand's Kiwi Ferns will travel to England with confidence, having a stranglehold on the Women's Rugby League World Cup since its birth in 2000. They are the only team to lift the trophy, with three wins to their name.

They will however face stern opposition from hosts England and cross-Tasman rivals Australia. Competition will also come from Island Nations Samoa and Tonga, whilst Europe will also be pinning its hopes to France and Russia for success. 

The 2013 competition will be the largest to date and is certain to demonstrate that Women's Rugby League is just as exciting and intense as the male game. 

A mouth watering final is in store at Headingley Stadium on Sunday 14th July as part of the triple-header event. 

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Volunteer Opportunity

Volunteer Opportunity | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it
The FOWC are seeking 15 volunteers to act as team liaison officers

 

The Festival of Rugby League World Cups are currently looking for 15 volunteers to take on the role of Team Liaison Officer. The role will involve working with an allocated team or teams and ensuring that they meet all their competition requirements as well as ensuring a high quality experience throughout the competition.


The team liaison officers will be responsible for ensuring that participation in FOWC 2013 goes as smoothly as possible for every competing team. They will be responsible for resolving any issues that arise and serving as a key contact between individual teams and FOWC2013 management.


This will be a potentially challenging and varied role and no two days will be the same, but for successful candidates it will provide an excellent opportunity for a thoroughly rewarding and unforgettable experience and a chance to play a part in a team that might potentially be crowned world champions.


The Festival of World Cups is a series of five Rugby League world cups being held across England in support of the main Rugby League world cup this autumn. There will be competitions for Women, Students and Police taking place in Leeds, with the Wheelchair and Armed forces World Cups in Kent and Colchester respectively.


Any candidates interested in the role will need to be available to be accommodated in Leeds from 3rd July – 15th July 2013 and be available for volunteer training on Saturday 15th June 2013. These vacancies are for the Leeds based competitions only.


An ability to speak Russian or French would be considered advantageous, but not essential, for a number of the positions.


More information can be found in the attached documents or by contacting Danny McNeice on 07775 022800 or danny.mcneice@rfl.uk.com


To apply please send your CV and a covering letter to danny.mcneice@rfl.uk.com. Please note the closing date for applications is Monday 27th May

 

Team Liaison Officer Role Description

http://media.rladmin.co.uk/docs/Team Liaison Officer.pdf

 

Team Liaison Officer Required Dates

http://media.rladmin.co.uk/docs/Team Liaison Officer - dates.pdf

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USARL 9′s Press Conference

USARL 9′s Press Conference | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it

USA RUGBY LEAGUE TO KICK-OFF INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT AT VALLEY FORGE CASINO RESORT   KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (May 14, 2013) – Valley Forge Casino Resort and the USA Rugby League will host a press conference at 7 p.m., May 16 at the 

casino resort to detail the upcoming USA Rugby League International 9′s Tournament. YOUR COVERAGE IS INVITED.

 

In attendance will be a host of international rugby stars, including members and coaches of the two-time defending champions, New Zealand’s Police Fencibles.

 

Slated for Saturday, May 18 in Conshohocken, the tournament will feature nine teams from across the globe, including two teams from Australia, one from Jamaica and local favorites the Valley Forge Casino Philadelphia Fight and the Bucks County Sharks. The tournament will be played at A.A. Garthwaite Stadium, East 11th Avenue and Harry Street, Conshohocken. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. and the first game is at 10 a.m.

 

WHAT: USA Rugby League International Tournament Press Conference

WHERE: Valley Forge Casino Resort, 1160 First Ave., King of Prussia, PA

WHEN: 7 p.m., May 16

 

# # #

About Valley Forge Casino Resort

Valley Forge Casino Resort is the region’s only full-amenity gaming resort, featuring 600 slots, 50 table games, and 485 guest rooms and suites. In what will surely become some of the region’s finest restaurants, guests will find countless culinary delights, including the freshest steaks at Pacific Prime, a true Italian experience at Viviano, and tremendous Asian cuisine at Asianoodle. The Center Bar is the center attraction on the casino floor, and is located near Valley Forge’s micro-restaurants. The resort’s chic nightclub, 7, has set new standards for service and features the area’s hottest DJs. Business travelers and conference-goers will find everything they need, including 100,000 square feet of state-of-the-art exhibit, meeting, conference and banquet facilities. Overnight guests also can enjoy Valley Forge’s signature fitness center and spa.

 

 

Contact:

La Torre Communications for Valley Forge Casino Resort

• Kara Luzik, 717-810-6239 or kara@latorrecommunications.com

 

If you can’t make it to the press conference Thursday, we hope you will join us for what is shaping up to be a great day for Rugby League on Saturday.

 

GO THE USARL!!

 

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Gareth Hock charged by RFL

Gareth Hock charged by RFL | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it

England forward Gareth Hock could miss next months clash with the Exiles after being charged by the RFL.

 

Hock, who was given a five-match ban in 2008 for manhandling referee Ian Smith while playing for Wigan, is accused for making deliberate physical contact with referee George Stokes during Widnes Vikings' 36-0 win over Workington in Sunday's Tetley's Challenge Cup fifth round tie at Derwent Park.

 

The 29-year-old Hock, who also served a two-year ban for using cocaine in 2009, has been charged with a grade D offence, which carries a suspension of between three and five matches, and will face the Rugby Football League's disciplinary committee in Leeds on Tuesday.

Hock, who is on a season-long loan from Wigan and is due to join Parramatta for 2014, is currently in camp with the England elite training squad preparing for their match against the Exiles at Warrington on Friday, June 14.

 

Widnes have four Super League fixtures before the international, including a game against Wigan for which Hock cannot play due to a clause in his loan agreement.

 

Hock is one of seven Super League players to face charges for offences arising out of the weekend's Challenge Cup ties.

Hull KR's Australian forward Cory Paterson has been charged with committing a grade D reckless strike on Wigan stand-off Blake Green in the 10th minute of Rovers' 46-14 home defeat by the Warriors.

Three players have been charged with punching offences during Huddersfield's televised 24-8 win over Leeds at the John Smith's Stadium on Saturday.

 

Huddersfield centre Joe Wardle, who was sent off after 61 minutes for throwing a series of punches at Carl Ablett, is facing a grade C offence while team-mate Leroy Cudjoe and Leeds stand-off Danny McGuire have both been charged with grade A offences after coming to blows early in the second half.

 

The Giants pair are eligible for early-guilty pleas while McGuire must face a disciplinary hearing.

 

London Broncos prop forward Antonio Kaufusi has been charged with a grade C reckless strike on Bradford back rower James Donaldson and Salford prop Jordan James is facing a grade B charge of making dangerous contact with Warrington full-back Brett Hodgson.

Kaufusi and James have until 11am on Tuesday to submit early-guilty pleas.

 

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Benji Marshall worth every cent, says Wests Tigers teammate Chris Lawrence

Benji Marshall worth every cent, says Wests Tigers teammate Chris Lawrence | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it

BENJI Marshall has lost his confidence, his Test captaincy and even the strength in his big toe, but the Wests Tigers playmaker still commands the utmost respect of his teammates.

Marshall, who will play his second game following a turf toe injury against Cronulla at Allianz Stadium on Friday, put his hand up this week and accepted much of the Tigers' woes this season.

It was a stunning admission from the club's highest-profile player, who is deep in negotiations with a view to signing a deal that would make the 28-year-old a Tiger for life.

Marshall is reportedly close to inking an upgrade of his current contract, which ends at the end of next season, which would keep him at the Tigers on a five-year deal worth $4 million.

The hefty price tag, and Marshall's indifferent form, led to some sections of the rugby league world questioning whether the former New Zealand skipper is still deserving of such a contract.

 

"He's worth every cent to us,'' Tigers centre Chris Lawrence said.

Marshall has been critical of his own form in 2013, but Lawrence said once he returns to the peak of his powers there won't be a person in the game who thinks he isn't worth the money.

 

"By his own admission he probably hasn't had the greatest 12 months,'' Lawrence said.

 

"But a lot of that is probably not just put on his shoulders but on the rest of the team as well.

 "As a team we haven't performed well in the last 12 months.

"At times he might have been trying to try too hard and forgetting what his role in the team is.

"I'm sure he'll get back to his best form and when he does a lot of people will change their minds and be saying he's worth every cent.''

Marshall's likely re-signing follows on from skipper Robbie Farah committing long-term to the club, an indication Lawrence believes the Tigers are well set for the rest of their careers.

"Having Robbie sign basically for the rest of his career was a massive boost for us, knowing he's going to retire a Tiger,'' he said.

"But having that stability within the halves is just as important.

"In any club you need to know and have long-term plans for your halves, so to have Benji potentially re-sign would be great for the club.''

 

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ALOTAU HOLDS AGM FOR AFFILIATION

ALOTAU HOLDS AGM FOR AFFILIATION | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it


Alotau Rugby League will be holding its AGM this Saturday, which will be attended by Southern Zone PNGRFL Director Gwaibo Mairi, PNGRFL Chairman Don Fox announced yesterday. 

Mairi will be in attendance to assist the League with the affiliation process to ensure all documentation is in order ahead of the PNGRFL AGM in Lae on the 31st May 2013.

Mairi said the response from existing and new leagues has been overwhelming, as they believe in the direction and the way the PNGRFL is now being managed and want to be a part of it.

Highlands PNGRFL Director Joe Tokam has also recently toured his region consulting and assisting his leagues in getting their documentation in order, while a meeting of the
Northern Zone leagues will be held by Director Russ Kaupa in Lae on Wednesday 8th
May to also ensure all Northern leagues have correct documentation in order.

Both Horta Boskey NGI Director and Gwaibo Mairi Southern Director have also been in constant contact with their various leagues on the affiliation process.

Fox said the response from leagues throughout the nation has been fantastic.

“We have had a great response and the PNGRFL directors in each region have been doing a marvellous job it getting out to their leagues and assisting them that their paperwork is in order to be able to attend the PNGRFL AGM in May,” Fox said. 

“There has been an enormous amount of work being done behind the scenes and we are confident that with our administration working professionally and our directors working tirelessly that we will have a very successful AGM that will take the game into what we believe is a very bright future without individual self interests and constant court battles.

“The feedback we have received from the Leagues nationally is that they believe we are on the right track and are being administered professionally which is why they want to affiliate to the PNGRFL. It’s a great sign for the recovery of the game and the PNGRFL.”

To date board meetings and regional consultation meetings have been held in Lae, Port
Moresby, Kokopo and Mt Hagen, where all leagues presidents were invited to attend.

The affiliation process and requirements were outlined and has been further addressed by PNGRFL Board members in ongoing consultation with Leagues in their regions.

Fox said it was important to hold the regional meetings to consult with leagues across the country.

“We undertook the enormous task of meeting with and consulting with the leagues across the nation as they are stakeholders in the game and its important they have a voice,” he said.

“Despite the short time frame and the huge job we have had we are following the court orders and have set our AGM for the 31st May. A first draft of a new constitution has been completed and distributed to all leagues. A second revised draft will go out this week. We have followed the due process of providing the revised constitution ahead of the AGM, where it will be presented for voting and adoption as per the court orders. The work has been constant and we have done everything possible in our short time to ensure the AGM will be held successfully and that immediate PNGRFL concerns and issues are addressed, so the board voted in at the AGM can continue the great work already started by the current board and administration.

“I would like to thank the current board of directors, the Minister for Sport and the Rugby
League Foundation who have all been magnificent in their efforts. It truly has been a very strong working relationship and augurs well for the future of rugby league with all bodies working together for the game and not personal self-interests. The Board members have represented their regions extremely well and the Leagues should be proud of their representatives in what they have achieved to date. I would like to point out and stress that ONLY Leagues who are properly affiliated will be able to attend the AGM. Those who haven’t will not be allowed to take part.”

Number of Leagues currently affiliated or in the process of finalizing affiliation:
Southern Zone – 16
Islands Zone - 17
Northern Zone – 10
Highlands Zone - 19

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Widnes expect tough battle at Workington Town

Widnes expect tough battle at Workington Town | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it

Widnes captain Jon Clark is warning his team-mates that the Vikings cannot take anything for granted when they play Workington Town in the fifth round of the Tetley's Challenge Cup at Derwent Park on Sunday (3.00pm).

The Super League club were taken to the wire by fourth round opponents Doncaster before eventually winning 42-28 and Clark says that Widnes cannot afford to get drawn into another battle against Championship opposition.

"I don't think there's any room for anyone in the squad to get complacent," said Clark. "We had a scare last time out against Doncaster and we know Workington will be throwing everything they have at us so we cannot take them lightly.

"They're a decent side and we're going up to their home patch in front of their fans and we know it's not going to be an easy day.

"We know if we let them into the game then their fans will get behind them and we could be in for a tough day. We need to go there and play with confidence and play with focus and if we do that then we should come away with a good win and get ourselves in the hat for the next round."

With just two victories away from home so far in Super League, Widnes have struggled to find their form outside of the Stobart Stadium but Clark says that won't come into the equation on Sunday as the Cup is an entirely different proposition.

"Our league form has been up and down all season but that doesn't count in the Cup," he said. "We know that we're only three or four wins away from a chance to play at Wembley.

"Three good games and you could be in the Cup final and that's the way we need to approach this game. I think we have a squad capable of putting together the performances on the day and who knows how far we could go? We've got a great blend of experience and some very level-headed young players in the squad who are full of enthusiasm for the game. We need to play our hearts out and treat this game like a cup final because from this stage onwards, the pressure just gets hotter and hotter."

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Turner extends Saints stay

Turner extends Saints stay | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it
St Helens have given centre Jordan Turner a new contract which will keep him at Langtree Park until the end of 2016.

 

The 23-year-old former Salford City Reds player, who joined Saints on a two-year deal from Hull FC in the winter, is one of only three ever-presents so far.

St Helens coach Nathan Brown said: "Jordan has done well since he came to Saints and is continuing to improve and adapt to how we play.

"He is versatile too and has impressed us with his attitude both on and off the field."

Saints have also given a new contract to 18-year-old centre or winger Mark Percival, who made his Super League debut against Leeds in March and has appeared in their last seven matches.

Percival, who is one of seven academy players to make their debuts this season, is contracted until the end of 2015.

"Mark is a young home-grown player who has come into the team and done well," Brown said.

"We're pleased with how well he has adapted to the first team and now he needs to continue to work hard and keep his feet on the ground."

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It's now or never in the Cup, says Presley

It's now or never in the Cup, says Presley | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it

York City Knights half-back Jonny Presley insists the
Championship club are primed and ready to face their biggest test
of the year...

York City Knights half-back Jonny Presley insists the Championship club are primed and ready to face their biggest test of the year when they play Catalan Dragons in a Tetley’s Challenge Cup fifth round tie on Sunday (3.00pm).

 

The match pits the Championship club against Super League opposition for the first time in two years and Presley is confident York will rise to the challenge of booking their place in the quarter-finals of Rugby League’s oldest and most prestigious competition.

 

York have already beaten French opposition this year with a 30-28 victory over Toulouse in the fourth round setting up the trip to Perpignan and Catalan Dragons will hold no fear for the City Knights.

 

“These are the kind of matches every player wants to be involved in, especially the English boys,” said Presley. “Playing in the Challenge Cup takes me back to my childhood watching the games on Grandstand and listening to Ray French.

 

“To play and be involved in games such as these in such a prestigious competition is really special. We’ve all dreamt of playing at Wembley and you never know what can happen in the Challenge Cup.

 

“It’s exciting to get an opportunity to play against Super League opposition and test yourself against the best. If we were to win it would certainly be one of the highlights of my career.

 

“Cup shocks do happen, you only have to look back to last year when Featherstone beat Castleford, but everyone at the club realises the size of the task.

 

“It helps that Catalans are on TV a lot so we know how they play and who to watch out for but it’s important to concentrate on ourselves and our performance, both collectively and individually. If we can get that right, I’m sure we will do York and the fans proud.

 

“The boys are looking forward to it, it gives us the opportunity to spend a couple of days together which will only strengthen the great team spirit we have.”

 

Presley rejoined York at the start of the year having spent 2012 playing Down Under with Fremantle Roosters, where he was named half-back of the Year in the Western Australian league.

 

“I really think playing in Australia for a season has benefited me and made me a better player,” said Presley. “The Kingston Press Championship is a tough competition and the standards are always improving which means as a player you need to keep improving too.

 

“We all know there’s a big difference between Super League and the Championships but we’re certainly not fazed by that, especially with what’s at stake.

 

“You always think ‘what if’ and it would be incredible to reach the quarter-finals but for now we are just concentrating on going over to France doing the best we can and enjoying the experience.”

 

Tickets for the 2013 Tetley’s Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 24 are now on sale from just £21. Visitwww.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or call 0844 856 1113 for full details.

 

For further information on this season’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup, please visitwww.thechallengecup.com, www.facebook.com/TetleysChallengeCup or follow @TetleysChCup.

 

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Salford fine for rule breach

Salford fine for rule breach | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it

Salford have been fined £10,000 for fielding 14 players during their recent Super League win over Castleford.

The City Reds were tonight found guilty of breaching Rugby Football League rules when they appeared in front of an RFL operational rules tribunal in Leeds.

 

Salford were charged after Castleford pointed out that three plays took place while the Reds had an extra man on the pitch after making a substitution three minutes from the end their home match against the Tigers.

Prop forward Darrell Griffin, who was due to be substituted by the Reds, stayed on the field and made a tackle near his own line before going to the bench.

 

Salford held on for a 34-30 win in coach Brian Noble's first match that temporarily lifted them off the foot of the table.

 

The Tigers lodged a formal complaint and, after a three-hour hearing and deliberation, Salford were deemed to be in breach of three operational rules.

 

Salford faced the risk of being docked competition points but a precedent was set in 2006, when St Helens were charged with misconduct after a similar incident against Hull and subsequently fined £100.

 

In Australia in 2009 Canterbury Bulldogs forfeited winning points against Penrith for fielding 14 players during their 28-26 victory.

 

Salford are currently bottom of Super League, although only on points difference, with three wins from their first 14 matches.

 

In a statement, Salford said: "The Reds have 14 days to pay the fine or launch an appeal.

"No further comment will be issued at this time."

 

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Changes to Scotland “A” squad

Changes to Scotland “A” squad | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it

Chad McGlame formerly of Hull FC joins Scotland “A”

 

Scotland play Ireland at Falkirk on 10 August, in Wales on 24 August and holders England in Cumbria on 15 September.

 

 Scotland A squad 2013:

1. Nick Broere - Edinburgh Eagles

2. Dan Retter - Aberdeen Warriors

3. Stuart Gray - Aberdeen Warriors   (sponsored by Ingram Homes)

4. Craig Borthwick - Edinburgh Eagles

5. James Bird - Edinburgh Eagles (sponsored by Dayz R Ltd, HSQE Consultant)

6. Ross Bryan - Ayrshire Storm

7. Louis Senter - Easterhouse Panthers

8. Gene Munro – Ayrshire Storm

9. Gareth Walker - Edinburgh Eagles

10. Colin Jarvis - Edinburgh Eagles

11. Tom Murray - Edinburgh Eagles

12. Paddy Coupar - Edinburgh Eagles

13. Dave Simm – Ayrshire Storm

14. Chad McGlame - Easterhouse Panthers

15. Ray Festorazzi - Ayrshire Storm- (Sponsored by Hyspec Engineering)

16. Aaron Robertson - Aberdeen Warriors

17. Dan Barber - Edinburgh Eagles

18. Callum Cockburn – Gateshead Thunder

19. Callum Boyle – Huddersfield University

20. Derek McNeil - Easterhouse Panthers

21. Lepani Soro - Easterhouse Panthers

22. Mike Stewart – University of Gloucestershire All Golds

23. Jordan Rice – University of Gloucestershire All Golds

24. Jack Stearman – Gateshead Thunder

 

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GB Pioneers to head to Morocco

GB Pioneers to head to Morocco | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it

The Great Britain Pioneers are set to continue their development
of Rugby League when they head to Morocco in June this year. This will be the first time the Pioneers have ventured outside of Europe since hey were formed in 2005.

 

The Squad is assembled from players within Student Rugby League and travels to new up and coming countries to help in them develop, to help pioneer the way forward for them. The Pioneers made their inaugural tour in 2005 to Estonia and have had successful development tours to the Czech Republic, Latvia, Ukraine, Norway, Kazakhstan, Greece and Poland. Each country has gone on to develop and play rugby league domestically and internationally at varying degrees all thanks to the work and help of the Pioneers.

 

This year is the ninth GB Pioneers tour with 20 Student Rugby League representatives selected from 14 different universities from across all four home nations.

 

Squad members are ambassadors for their University, country and their sport.  Selection criteria considers not only their ability to play the game to a very high standard but players must have a proven track record in undertaking Rugby League development activity.

 

The GB Pioneers aim to provide the Moroccan players with the basic knowledge and skills to introduce, develop and sustain Rugby League in Morocco.

 

GB Pioneers Team Manager Keith Sandhu said “It is an exciting prospect for the GB Pioneers to go over to North Africa and work the Moroccans already playing Rugby League as well as introducing it  to the local community, the games will be a great way to showcase top level rugby league.
 

Steve Curtis, GB Pioneers Tour Manager added “All the players and staff are excited about the tour this year, heading outside of Europe in a World Cup year is a fantastic opportunity for all involved to help spread the Rugby League word. It is a sport we all love and are very enthusiastic about, I hope we can give the Moroccans the tools to grow the sport and build their own foundations”

 

The GB Pioneers are part of the representative programme within the Rugby Football League’s (RFL) Student Rugby League offer, Kate Hebden Education Services Manager at the RFL Said

 

''Student Rugby League is proud to have the Great Britain Pioneers within their programme of representative teams, throughout their history the Pioneers have toured across Europe providing the opportunity for students to develop themselves as well as the game of Rugby League. The 2013 tour to Morocco offers another exciting opportunity for players within the student game to experience a new culture and pass on their knowledge of the game.''

 

The Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) has also been important in getting this tour up and running. Correspondence, meetings and help from the RLEF have been important in getting everything into motion. Danny Kazandjian General manager at the RLEF commented

 

“The RLEF has long considered Morocco an important country, with its ties to France and standing in the MENA region, and it’s our belief that given the right structure it can grow to be a formidable rugby league nation. The Federation Marocaine de Rugby League (FMRL) is a relatively new organisation, having achieved recognition in 2012, but they have been very proactive in organising this tour, with matches set for the capital, Rabat, as well as in Casablanca and Berrechid. I thank the GB Pioneers for their ground-breaking visit and hope it can pave the way for the Moroccans to establish a club championship.”

 

The upcoming tour  has created some excitement and seen as an opportunity to grow the game in Morocco, Mustapha Jedoual, FMRL president said: “2013 is a decisive stage in the life of the FMRL, which has witnessed sustained growth and a constant rise in the number of participants. When we welcome the GB Pioneers it will mark a major international event for our young federation.

 

We say to them: “Welcome to Morocco, and I congratulate all on the good relations that prevail between our Moroccan federation and the Great Britain Student Pioneers team”.

 

Keep up to date with the tour please visit www.GBpioneers.co.uk of follow the GB Pioneers on Twitter @GBPioneers


GB Pioneer Squad:

1. Billy Griffiths 2.Owen Henderson 3.Jonathan Morris 4. Alex Mills-Baker 5. George Bryant 6. Josh Dixon 7. Rich squires 8. Ed Karawieckwicz  9. Daniel Bedford  10. Dave Lewis 11. Sam king 12. Harry Kaufman 13. Richard Kirk 14. Finn Turley 15. Joe Warrick 16. Maddhav Kolthari  17. Mike butcher 18. Charlie Stockhill 19. George Smith 20. Stef Archer 

 

GB Pioneers Tour Dates:

Thursday 20th June to Sunday 30th June 2013
 

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Canterbury Bulldogs star Krisnan Inu facing 2-3 weeks for ugly tackle:

Canterbury Bulldogs star Krisnan Inu facing 2-3 weeks for ugly tackle: | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it
Rugby League World Group's insight:

BULLDOGS star Krisnan Inu has been hit with a Grade 2 dangerous conduct charge for his twisting tackle on James McManus and is facing 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.

McManus said it felt like Inu "tried to turn me into a scorpion" in the diabolical leg twist at Hunter Stadium yesterday.

Willie Mason labelled it "a foul act" and Inu learned today that he faces another lengthy suspension after his first game back from a five-match ban.

On an afternoon when Mason stormed back into NSW State of Origin contention with a powerhouse performance in Newcastle's crushing 44-8 victory over the Bulldogs, the giant prop was also at the centre of an ugly on-field blow up after he mistakenly thought Ben Barba twisted the leg of McManus.

Mason later apologised to Barba but not for his blow up over a tackle he said "is not part of the sport".

"I just thought it was a foul act," Mason told Triple M last night.

"Imagine if Jimmy did his knee or something like that.

"I said to (Barba) you wouldn't like it done to you.

"If someone did that to one of his players you'd hate it, I said, because his leg was around his head.

"He could do a medial or an ACL or something like that."

McManus was reluctant to comment on what should happen but said he wouldn't be surprised if the Bulldogs' centre found himself in strife with the NRL's match review committee today.

He said he was glad Mason came to his defence.

"It is always good when your teammate has your back like that," he said. "I was on my haunches and a little bit sore."

At the time of the incident in the 57th minute Mason was ropable with Barba and also had angry words with James Graham.

Barba said he was taken aback at Mason's reaction because he knew he was not responsible.

"He was coming at me for something I didn't do," Barba said.

"He apologised after the game. I just had a case to not back down.

"It was a bit of a mismatch but I wasn't going to stand down for something I didn't do."

But aside from sticking up for his teammate, Mason also showed exactly why NSW will now almost certainly take him into the Origin series opener on June 5.

The Daily Telegraph understands even before the game Laurie Daley was keen on finding room for Mason in his squad - and the Blues coach would have went to bed last night with an even clearer indication of what direction he was heading in.

The Inu incident came at a crucial time in the match with Newcastle leading 24-8 at that point.

From the ensuing penalty Kurt Gidley kicked the Knights to a 26-8 lead - and minutes later Mason was involved in another heated confrontation with Graham at the other end of the field when Mason got the ball and charged straight at the tough Englishman.

Soon after Mason capped off a memorable afternoon with another barnstorming charge he backed up with a lovely round-the-corner off-load to set up a try for Joey Leilua that sealed the big win.

Mason last played Origin in 2008 but was also a member of the winning NSW team in 2005.

Part of the reason Daley wants him in the squad is because Mason knows what it is like to win at Origin level - and his confidence and attitude is contagious.

It was only this time last year Mason returned to Australia and was flat out finding a club willing to throw him an NRL lifeline.

But what he did in those few explosive minutes yesterday showed exactly why Daley has his eyes on him.

Asked if he was now ready to make an Origin return, the 33-year-old was typically confident.

"I don't think Origin has changed since I left," he said.

"It is all about playing hard and tough and that is what I do week in, week out.

"Obviously if they do pick me I will do a job for them."

Asked if he had spoken to Daley, Mason said, jokingly: "I haven't spoken to Laurie. Does anyone have his number. Can you text me?"

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Wheelchair

Wheelchair | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it
Amateur Rugby League
Rugby League World Group's insight:

The highly anticipated 2013 Wheelchair Rugby League will be contested by six teams; holders England, Australia, France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and is sure to be a success.

England, as hosts, will be hoping for a repeat of their 44-12 victory over Australia, although France (the birth place of the game) will be hoping to captalise on their victory over England in August 2012.

Hosted by the excellent Medway Park, which has previously hosted a sold out England v France Test Match, all the teams will also utilise the facilities at the centre for training and rehabilitation as well as the main arena which will come alive for all of the fixtures.

The Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup Final takes place on Saturday 13th July and is certainly not one to be missed!

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The Festival of World Cups

The Festival of World Cups | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it
Amateur Rugby League

 

The Festival of World Cups was a series of Rugby League World Cups first held in Australia during 2008. 

The Festival was being staged in Australia during 2008 to coincide with their Centenary of Rugby League celebrations. The centrepiece of the Festival was the men's 2008 Rugby League World Cup. In addition to this tournament, there were also World Cups being held for Student, Police, Women, Armed Forces and Wheelchair teams.

With the Men's World Cup due to be staged in England & Wales in Autumn 2013, the Festival of World Cups returns and will take place in July 2013, with all five competitions taking place.  

THE VISION

The vision is to run successful and sustainable World Cup Festivals which further enhances the international prestige of Rugby League.

 


THE  OBJECTIVES

Hosting the Rugby League World Cup Festivals in the UK in 2013 will have significant strategic benefit to the Rugby League International Federation:

Build on Rugby League World Cup Festivals in 2008 to further raise the profile of international rugby league.Creating sustainable festivals to benefit the RLIF’s and RLEF’s development of the game worldwide.Establish the Rugby League World Cup Festivals as events which are played in the same year as the Senior World Cup.Creating sustainable development of the Community GamePromote the celebration of the “family” of rugby league and its heritageEncourage participation in the festival in countries who may not automatically enter a World Cup.


Domestically the RFL’s strategic objectives in securing the Rugby League World Cup Festivals for the UK are as follows:

Increase the profile of the sport in the UKIncrease participation in the sport in the UKProvide reward and recognition for the players participating in the Community Game.Deliver social and community benefit through core and associated activitiesLeave a legacy for the sport in the UK 

http://www.rlfowc2013.com

 

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Smith slams RFL decision

Smith slams RFL decision | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it

Warrington coach Tony Smith has slammed the RFL for allowing Salford to keep the points after having 14 players on the pitch.

 

The City Reds were this week fined £10,000 by an RFL tribunal after being found guilty of breaking the rules but were allowed to keep the points gained from their 34-30 victory.

 

"I absolutely think that they should have had the points taken off them," said Smith. "I would hate to have lost that game because our opponents had an extra man out there.

 

"I just think it sends out a poor message, that if you are prepared to pay for it then you can get away with it.

 

"There are rules there and we all have to stand by them but there seems to be a snub of the rules at the moment."

 

Salford were defending their line with 14 men after prop Darrell Griffin stayed on for three more plays after being "substituted" and Smith, who argued that a repeat offence in future could cost a club its place in Super League, believes the RFL missed an opportunity to set the right precedent.

 

"It would have sent a message to all of us that it is up to us to do things right," he said. "It is really worrying.

 

"It is all our responsibility at the clubs to make sure we are sticking to the rules, especially with the extreme consequences that can happen.

 

"When they are talking about promotion and relegation coming back in, how would you like to be a relegated Castleford at the end of the season when they may well have scored a try if Salford had 13 men on the field?

"You may think we are going to extremes there but we are not. Ask the players what it is like to have one player put a foot out of position, what effect that can have on your own line.

 

"To have an extra man on the line for three plays when your opponents are attacking the line, that is a godsend."

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Smith predicts mayhem

Smith predicts mayhem | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it

Former England boss Tony Smith is predicting mayhem if clubs give the go-ahead for plans for a radical shake-up of rugby league.

 

The Warrington head coach fears clubs will put themselves in danger of bankruptcy in attempts to avoid relegation under proposals for a two-tier Super League of 12 clubs from 2015.

The plan, in which the leagues would split into three divisions of eight before reverting to two leagues the following year, is one of three ideas currently being discussed by clubs as part of a consultation process being carried out by Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood.

Clubs appear ready to ditch the current licensing system in favour of a return of automatic promotion and relegation from the end of next season which Smith, who performed the role of technical director for the RFL during his time as national coach from 2006-09, believes will result in more short-term decision-making and less emphasis on youth development.

Smith pointed out that Salford's new millionaire owner Marwan Koukash has gone on record to say that he intends to deliberately flout the salary cap in 2014 in order to provide the funds for Brian Noble to make the City Reds competitive.

"How good a decision is going to be made when you are desperate to stay in the division that you are in?" Smith asked following his side's 52-6 Tetley's Challenge Cup fifth-round win over Salford.

"We have already got people saying that they are prepared to break the rules to win, what about breaking the rules to survive and stay in the competition?

"It is going to be mayhem. Do you know how much money is going to be spent on development?"

Smith slammed the RFL for failing to dock Salford points for having 14 players on the field for a time during their recent 34-30 win over Castleford and criticised Super League clubs for their decision to scrap the reserve-grade competition this season.

"I am over the innovative tag for rugby league," he said. "What about being stable, strong, consistent?

"We are in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the great depression and yet now is the time we are choosing to judge our current systems!

"We have been producing some really good young players, so much so that the Australians are coming here to take them.

"We are starting to produce some half-backs, outside backs, types of players that we have not produced for years and yet we change the system again.

"We take away that production system, take away the responsibility for clubs to produce those players and we go to a system that is 'popular' by all accounts.

"To just throw the whole system out the window is a knee-jerk reaction.

"Instead of asking 'what are we doing well, what is working for us?' we say 'let's change the whole thing again' or 'I'll give you A, B or C to choose from as I don't know what is going to work'."

The Australian-born Smith, who took out British citizenship during his time as England coach, questions whether the game's administrators are capable of providing the correct leadership at a difficult time for the sport.

"We need some direction at the moment," he said. "We need to come up with some proper answers and with what is good and what is not, what is working already and what does not work, rather than go too radically one way or the other.

"If a leader asks me which one of three directions that I want to go in, I am starting to doubt that he can get us out of there.

"It is like going to the doctor and him saying to you 'I'm not sure, ask the other patients what is wrong with you'. You just don't do it.

"We need somebody to give us some answers to some of the issues we have got. I'm concerned. We are at a fascinating time for our sport and how we go about things is going to be huge."

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Bank backs Imuty Cowboys - PNG

Bank backs Imuty Cowboys - PNG | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it
Rugby League World Group's insight:

The National, Thursday 9th May 2013

THE National Development Bank has stepped in to sponsor the Imuty Cowboys in the Rigo Rugby Football League competition.
Recently NDB acting chief executive officer Moses Liu, through his officer Steven Vaga, presented a set of uniforms to Cowboys president Lalai Vali and players at the Kwikila Rugby League oval.
Vaga said its marketing and sales, products and services reached out to customers and sports was another way forward and a special tool of awareness.
Vali was impressed with the sponsorship and gave the bank naming rights, with the team now called the NDB Imuty Cowboys.

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K120,000 boost for Mioks | The National

K120,000 boost for Mioks | The National | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it

By PHILIP KEPSON
THE Enga Mioks received a morale boosting K120,000 from Wabag MP Robert Ganim to prepare for Sunday’s clash with the Goroka Lahanis in Wabag.
Ganim presented a cheque for the amount to Mioks chairman Anton Wangai on Monday.
The money was part of K200,000 distributed to three sports organisations.
The other two recipients were the Enga Soccer Association and Wabag Rugby League, which recei­ved K30,000 and K50,000 each.
“Among other reasons, this donation is for the Mioks to beat the Goroka Lahanis,” Ganim said.
He said he was disappointed with the two losses the Mioks had suffered at the hands of the Port Moresby Stop n Shop Vipers and Lae Snax Tigers, but that should not deter the team being positive. 
He said all players and coaches must know discipline was integral to becoming  champions. “Discipline is the way to go. You can come up with all the skills and tactics you may think of in sports but if your team does not have a defined discipline code of practice, you shall be bound to tragedy,” he said.

Source: The National, Thursday 9th May 2013

 

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Stags and Moulton College to launch Rugby League Academy

Stags and Moulton College to launch Rugby League Academy | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it
Moulton College, in partnership with Hemel Stags, are set to launch a Rugby League
Academy. One the 29th May they will host an Open Evening.

 

The students in the Academy can do any course that the college offers but most students do a course in Sports Development, Coaching and Fitness over 2 years to gain a BTEQ Level 3 Extended Diploma which is equivalent to 3 A levels. Students who want to do another course can have a look at potential courses at http://www.moulton.ac.uk/our-courses. 

 

This exciting development for the college and Hemel Stags is set to build a pathway for students to play professional Rugby League at Hemel Stags and have the opportunity to trial for London Broncos. Stags products Kieran Dixon and Dan Sarginson are set to attend the Open Evening to talk to prospective students about being a professional rugby league player but also how continuing education is important to an athlete's development.

Tom Williams, Community Manager commented, 'The development of the Academy has come from our partnership with the University of Northampton and it is incredibly important to our plan to develop strong pathways to our professional squad. We need to draw interested players from all over the area to the college to take part in the Academy to have the chance of developing their skills to make it in the professional or semi-professional game.'

 

He went on to say, 'The educational Academy model is perfect for a young person as it concentrates on their education and gives them a chance to see if they could make it in professional sport. It provides a holistic environment that will ensure that all students have a pathway in their lives when they have completed their course.'

 

Lee Howarth, Director of Sport at Moulton College said, ‘we are very excited about the potential for a Rugby League Academy in partnership with Hemel Stags as this adds to our sports academy provision that has produced professional footballers, professional rugby union players and international basketball players, rugby players and golfers amongst others over the last 10 years. Students can study for a qualification and train as part of the academy during their college timetable allowing them to take their sporting career as far as they can without neglecting their education.’

 

To find out more information please email enquiries@moulton.ac.uk or for a free call back text ENGAGE1 to 88020.

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Ellis excited by the lure of the Challenge Cup

Ellis excited by the lure of the Challenge Cup | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it

Hull FC captain Gareth Ellis is primed and ready to hit the Wembley trail when he makes his long-overdue Tetley’s Challenge Cup ‘debut’ against his former club Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Friday night (8.00).

 

Ellis tasted Super League action for the first time this year in Hull FC’s 48-12 victory over London last week and having come through the match in good health, is relishing the cut and thrust of a Challenge Cup fifth round tie.

 

The England international was sidelined by a foot injury sustained in the warm up on the opening day of the season, leading to a frustrating few months out for a player who joined Hull FC at the end of 2012 after a successful four-year stint in the NRL with Wests Tigers.

 

“It was great to be playing again and fantastic to get the reception I did from the passionate Hull FC fans,” said Ellis.

 

“I’ve been lucky with injury throughout my career and that made the last few months all the more frustrating. Thankfully that period is behind me now and I’m looking to kick on.

 

“The Challenge Cup is unique and it’s going to be a special match for me on Friday. When I was considering all my options in Sydney, the chance to play in a Challenge Cup final at Wembley was something that helped sway my decision to come back to England.

 

“I was lucky enough to play at Wembley with England in the Four Nations in 2011 and it’s an incredible venue. To lead out Hull FC in August would be an amazing experience but that’s not something that anyone here is talking about right now.

 

“There’s a lot of rugby to be played between now and then and we know we are going to have to be at the top of our game against a Wakefield team which is in good form at the moment.”

 

Wakefield will head for the KC Stadium buoyed by an impressive 30-12 defeat of Catalan Dragons on Sunday and Ellis is acutely aware how much an extended Cup run will mean to his old club.

 

“I started my career at Wakefield and know from experience that the Challenge Cup will be a massive target for everyone at the club,” said Ellis, who spent five years at Belle Vue before joining Leeds Rhinos in 2005.

 

“They’re a very well drilled team and we know they will come to the KC in determined mood with a strong following. It would be great to see as many Hull FC there as possible to join us on what we hope will be a very special journey.”

 

Tickets for the 2013 Tetley’s Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 24 are now on sale from just £21. Visitwww.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or call 0844 856 1113 for full details.

 

For further information on this season’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup, please visitwww.thechallengecup.com, www.facebook.com/TetleysChallengeCup or follow @TetleysChCup.

 

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Fozzard takes up Wakefield post

Fozzard takes up Wakefield post | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it

Former St Helens forward Nick Fozzard has been appointed Wakefield Trinity Wildcats' new business development manager.

 

Wakefield-born Fozzard, who enjoyed a successful playing career with Leeds Rhinos, Huddersfield Giants, Saints, Warrington Wolves and Hull KR, spent 12 months as commercial manager at Super League neighbours Castleford Tigers until resigning earlier this year.

"I'm from Wakefield so to work for my home-town club is a big thing for me and I want to make a real success of the opportunity," he said.

"The club has made some real strides off the pitch in the last couple of years and that's a really solid foundation for us to build on."

Meanwhile, full-back Richard Mathers is set to return from injury for the Wildcats' Tetley's Challenge Cup fifth-round tie at Hull FC on Friday.

Mathers has been out for a month with an ankle injury and a ruptured testicle but has been named in coach Richard Agar's 19-man squad.

Hull will be without back-row forward Joe Westerman, who suffered a hand injury in last Friday's win over London Broncos.

Former Wakefield favourite Gareth Ellis will lead the Black and Whites on his first Challenge Cup appearance for five years.

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Wales Rugby League - COUGARS 'A' WIN MCRORIE NINES

Wales Rugby League - COUGARS 'A' WIN MCRORIE NINES | RLWorldGroup | Scoop.it

By Gary Baker at Glan-Yr-Afon Park, Blackwood

 

VALLEY COUGARS retained the Scorr McRorie Nines on a sunlight afternoon at Blackwood RFC's Glan-Yr- Afon Park on Sunday.

 

The Cougars fielded two teams in the tournament, with the sides meeting in the semi-final of a tournament that everyone present said was an overwhelming success thanks to the work of Wales Rugby League National Development Manager Mark Jones.

 

Six teams entered the competition which saw Borderer Boars and Cardiff Spartans enter the South Wales Conference for the first time. The South Wales Scorpions also entered an Under-20 side who reached the final to play the Cougars A side, while Newport Titans reached the semi-finals as well.

 

Cougars A ace Matthew Powell was crowned the Player of the Tournament after a great all-round effort throughout the day which culminated in two tries in the 22-10 final victory over a gallant Scorpions side.

 

Straight from the kick-off of the first match of the group games, there was plenty of excitement. The Cougars A side came from behind to beat the Titans 18-14 as the clock ran out on the Newport side when they were in with a chance of victory.

 

The Scorpions did well to beat the Cougars B side 16-12 before the Cougars A side grabbed the first semi-final place as they were taken to the wire by a brilliant effort from Cardiff Spartans, playing their first game in the Conference family, by 18-12.

 

The Boars and Titans fought out a thrilling 22-22 draw which saw the lead change hands three times in the 15 minutes match before the Scorpions side dominated the Spartans in the final group game to win 32-4.

 

So the first semi-final saw an all-Cougars clash with the A team running in seven tries and seven conversions against one from their B side colleagues for a 42-4 victory. And the Scorpions youngsters won 24-0 against the Titans to progress to the final.

 

The Boars scored four times against the Spartans in their consolation clash to win 20-4 before the final where the Cougars A side had more strength than their younger counterparts for a 22-10 triumph.

 

It was the first time that the McRorie Nines had been held in three years and, it was said, one of the best of recent memory.

 

Results

 

Group A. Valley Cougars A 18 Newport Titans 14; Borderer Boars 12 Valley Cougars A 30; Borderer Boars 22 Newport Titans 22

 

Group B: Valley Cougars 12 South Wales Scorpions Under-20s 16; Cardiff Spartans 12 Valley Cougars B 18; South Wales Scorpions Under-20s 32 Cardiff Spartans 4

 

Semi-finals: Valley Cougars A 42 Valley Cougars B 4; Newport Titans 0 South Wales Scorpions Under-20s 24

 

Consolation match. Cardiff Spartans 4 Borderer Boars 20

 

Final:  Vallley Cougars A 22 South Wales Scorpions Under-20s 10

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