Thursday, January 29, 2015
Rugby League News


Welcome to a new Challenge Cup sponsor


The following article is a slightly modified version of the UpFront column in this week’s League Express. In its edition dated 5th January League Express broke the news of a new Challenge Cup sponsor. As has since been made clear, Ladbrokes will back the competition under a contract for the next three years, and we are delighted to welcome the company on board. Some people, ... Read More »

Opinion: International Rugby League wins again


Anyone watching the opening games of this year’s Four Nations tournament on television on Saturday couldn’t have failed to be impressed by the quality of the games and by the obvious enjoyment of most of the spectators in an almost full to capacity Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. To judge by what we saw in the first game, there must be ... Read More »

Opinion: We need to get out and sell the European Championship

This week's League Express has full reports of both European Championship matches.  Go to to download a copy.

Ireland’s shock victory over France in Dublin last week, coupled with a virtuoso performance by Danny Brough for Scotland against Wales in Workington, should have been enough to get everyone talking about the European Championship. But as the games were not televised nor widely reported by a media for which barely seven days ago Rugby League was the hottest topic ... Read More »

Opinion: Is all publicity good publicity?


If all publicity is good publicity, as some people claim, then the RFL should strike a special medal in honour of Wigan prop forward Ben Flower. When Flower belted St Helens halfback Lance Hohaia on Saturday, and then again as he lay semi-conscious on the floor, his action was immediately picked up by social media all over the world. A ... Read More »

Opinion: Super League attendance drop should cause concern


Only four Super League clubs were able to post increases on their regular season average attendance in 2014, as overall crowds took a tumble in Super League compared to last season, which was also a season in which almost all clubs registered a decline in attendances. After the completion of all 27 rounds of the regular season at the weekend, ... Read More »

Time to stop and think about Nines

9s RL is beginning to spread across the world.

  So how good did the Auckland Nines turn out to be? If unpredictability is a prerequisite of a tournament, we certainly got it as North Queensland Cowboys won their first ever bit of silverware, beating Brisbane Broncos in an all-Queensland final. If speed and skill is another important ingredient for a sporting contest, the weekend had it in spades, ... Read More »

Is peace breaking out?

It might go down in history as the ‘Langtree Park Agreement’, after the 14 Super League clubs finally backed the RFL’s plans to introduce the ‘two x 12s go into three eights’ league structure. A little bit like the Munich Agreement of 1938 some cynics might observe, but nevertheless the six Super League clubs, six of the biggest and most ... Read More »

The final chapter of a great World Cup

Has there ever been a more dramatic ending to an international game than the one we witnessed at Wembley? And has there ever been a more heartbreaking defeat for an England team? They say ‘if’ is a big word and that was certainly the case on Saturday; Ryan Hall’s intercept, Ben Westwood’s drive for the line. If only it was ... Read More »

Looking to the World Cup’s legacy

So now there are just four teams remaining in the World Cup. The line-up for the Wembley semi-finals has been decided and there are no major shocks, with the line-up the same as in the last World Cup in 2008. A different pair of finalists would be fine by us, and we are sure that the England players will be ... Read More »

Rugby League in mourning

The early death of a former Rugby League star will always evoke sadness among many people, but the passing of Steve Prescott MBE in the early hours of Saturday morning was tremendously sad news. Thousands of tributes have already been made in print, on air and online, and the one word which is common to almost all of them is ... Read More »