Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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World Cup Countdown: Australia

Australia-Flag

First published in Rugby League World, Issue 388 (August 2013) The Australian coach and captain keen to make amends for 2008 ahead of this year’s World Cup Tim Sheens and his captain Cameron Smith will both visit these shores for a second time in 2013 this autumn, and neither is preparing to return home empty-handed. Smith tasted success on these ... Read More »

World Cup Countdown: Tonga

Tonga

First published in Rugby League World, Issue 387 (July 2013) Tonga will have a host of big names stars in their squad for the World Cup later this year. Speak to any member of Tonga’s RLWC2013 squad and there’s one word that crops up in almost every conversation – ‘pride’. Perhaps it’s the strong sense of family, culture and tradition ... Read More »

World Cup Countdown: Samoa

Samoa

First published in Rugby League World, Issue 386 (June 2013) At first glance, being thrashed 36-4 by Pacific rivals Tonga in a game curtailed early because of a mass pitch invasion may not seem like the best preparation heading into RLWC2013. But, fortunately for Samoa, there’s a lot more to the story. The first ever mid-season Pacific test match, sandwiched ... Read More »

World Cup Countdown: Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

First published in Rugby League World, Issue 385 (May 2013) The Kumuls sprung a major surprise by drafting Australian legend Mighty Mal Meninga into their coaching set up ahead of the World Cup. There were two surprise faces in the crowd at Redfern Oval in February when a touring Papua New Guinea side faced South Sydney Rabbitohs in the annual ... Read More »

World Cup Countdown: Ireland

Ireland

First published in Rugby League World, Issue 385 (May 2013) If there is one nation for whom the World Cup promises so much, even in the face of what looks like a devastatingly difficult draw, then it is surely Ireland. In 2008, Ireland became everyone’s second favourite team as they surged to within 80 minutes of the semi-finals down under. ... Read More »

World Cup Countdown: Scotland

Scotland

First published in Rugby League World, Issue 383 (March 2013) Scotland head coach Steve McCormack has set his sights on qualification for the quarter finals of the World Cup, and believes that a commercially successful tournament can invigorate interest in the sport north of the border. The Bravehearts made their debut at the top table of international Rugby League in ... Read More »

World Cup Countdown: Italy

Italy

First published in Rugby League World, Issue 382 (Feb 2013) Italy head coach Carlo Napolitano will take his team to next year’s World Cup with the clear intention of upsetting the odds and lifting the trophy at Old Trafford. Former Salford City Reds player and BARLA under-18s tourist Carlo Napolitano was a part of the group of Italian Rugby League ... Read More »

World Cup Countdown: Fiji

Fiji

First published in Rugby League World, Issue 381 (Jan 2013) Of the five Pacific island nations competing at RLWC2013, Fiji offers the most fruitful production line of talented, homegrown players. NRL scouts visit the islands regularly, player pathways exist, and almost every season Australian commentators have another bright, young Fijian tongue-twister to get their heads around. Akuila Uate set RLWC2008 ... Read More »

World Cup Countdown: Cook Islands

Cook Islands

First published in Rugby League World, Issue 380 (Dec 2012) It’s not easy putting together a World Cup squad when the entire population of your country barely fills a small stadium. But the Cook Islands managed it in 2000 and, thirteen years later, they’re back to fly the flag for one of the world’s smallest nations at RLWC2013. Fortunately the ... Read More »