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Jun 18 2013 10:14 AM | League Express in Latest News
Rugby League: A Critical History 1980-2013 by Richard de la Rivière will be published in late June 2013 by League Publications Ltd. Reserve your copy now in the TotalRL.com Shop.
1980 was such a memorable year for Rugby League. It was the year that Hull KR and Hull FC met at Wembley, the year that Wigan were relegated, the year that professional rugby in London was re-born, the year that saw Steve Gearin score one of the great Grand Final tries and it was the year that Arthur Beetson and a couple of unheralded 20-year-olds called Wally Lewis and Mal Meninga launched State of Origin as their Queensland side, regarded by everybody else as no-hopers, stunned New South Wales.
Every year since, Rugby League’s players have continued to deliver, but under the surface the arguments continue to rage as Rugby League remains the most political of sports.
This book does much more than record the tries and the trophy gatherers.
It examines the key decisions that have been made along the way as the game, particularly in Britain, continues to search for its big breakthrough.
With a foreword by Garry Schofield OBE, the book examines the international scene from 1980, the domestic games in Britain and Australia as well as comprehensive histories of Australia's State of Origin and the highly coveted Golden Boot award.
The author has also compiled a list of the best 100 players from the last
33 years and there is a full statistical wrap up of all Great Britain and England internationals, all the major cup finals, award winners and world XIIIs.
Jun 17 2013 09:29 AM | League Express in Latest News
Whatever might be your views on the attractiveness of the mid-season fixture with the Exiles, an England Rugby League win is always welcome.
Fewer than 8,000 people found the game attractive enough to venture out on a wet Friday evening to see the game, and viewing figures for the live telecast will also be revealing.
As a spectator event, the Exiles games have proved a hard sell for Rugby League as the game is perceived by many supporters as having no 'meaning'. Despite the chance to see their representatives playing for the next to last time before going into the World Cup, many fans prefer to stay at home.
It's an attitude that doesn't seem to affect other sports, with for instance soccer international friendlies always well supported and even what appear as meaningless games to many, rugby union Barbarians matches, often drawing huge crowds.
We'd expect the Rugby Football League to be doing all it can to try and change the perception.
The spectator appeal of the Exiles game is really secondary.The fixture was designed to give the England team a mid-season test, with no other international opposition deemed up to the task.
On that front it would be hard to argue that the Exiles clash is not a success, and for England to emerge winners against a highly experienced and talented team is a positive sign.
Jun 18 2013 08:55 AM | League Express in Latest News
Cameron Phelps has signed a two-year contract extension until the end of the 2015 season with Widnes Vikings.
"Me and my family are very happy here," said Phelps. "This club is growing and we're building. They are the two things that are very evident and you can see them immediately. Last year, we were wooden-spooners and this year we're progressing and if all goes according to plan, we could finish in a top 8 berth.
"Denis has got some good structures in place and the club is very sound from top to bottom. The core is very strong and it's important that we continue to work hard.
"Despite only extending for 2 more years, I still think that I've got another few years ahead of me after this contract expires. In a best case scenario, I'd like nothing more than to still be playing as well as Jon Clarke is, when I get to his age! If I could do that, I'd consider myself blessed."
Jun 18 2013 08:46 AM | League Express in Latest News
Bradford Bulls forward Chev Walker has signed a new one year contract with the club with an option for a further year.
Commenting on the deal, Walker said, “Francis Cummins has shown faith in me and I’m more than willing to extend my time here. I feel at home at Bradford and am really enjoying my rugby.
“I started off really well this year but then, just after Easter, I started to get a few niggles. I’ve just had a clear-out of my knee but that’s fixed so now it’s time to crack on and find a bit of form again.”
Jun 17 2013 02:29 PM | League Express in Latest News
England Rugby League coach Steve McNamara will travel to Australia this week for a fact-finding mission where he will meet all of his international NRL based players.
McNamara will watch 10 matches during his 20-day trip. Next week he will take in four matches in the NRL, starting on Friday when he will watch England international James Graham play for Canterbury Bulldogs against Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium, Sydney. On Saturday he will be a guest at the Wests Tigers versus Canberra Raiders match. Sunday he will watch brothers Sam and George Burgess at Parramatta Stadium, when South Sydney Rabbitohs travel to Sydney's west to face Parramatta Eels. The following day he will take in the 'Monday Night Football' clash between Gold Coast Titans and Melbourne Storm at Skilled Park, where he will meet up with England star Gareth Widdop.
Jun 16 2013 04:08 PM | League Express in Latest News
South Yorkshire rivals Doncaster and Sheffield Eagles will meet in the semi-finals of the 2013 Northern Rail Cup after they were paired together in the semi final draw. The other tie sees Leigh Centurions host Batley Bulldogs.
One semi-final will be selected for live broadcast on Premier Sport on Thursday June 27 with the other semi-final to be played over the weekend of June 29-30.
Jun 17 2013 12:02 PM | League Express in Latest News
London Broncos have signed 28-year-old Australian half-back Jamie Soward until the end of the 2013 season. Soward joins the club having gained a release from St George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL and has signed for Penrith Panthers for the 2014 season.
Jun 16 2013 09:34 AM | League Express in Latest News
Super League Champions Leeds Rhinos are to be honoured by their home city by being given the prestigious Leeds Award.
The Headingley Carnegie club has been nominated for its active role in the local community as well as the on-field success which has seen them win five of the last six Grand Finals and also been crowned World Club Champions three times in the last eight years.
Jun 15 2013 09:11 AM | League Express in Latest News
The RFL has congratulated Richard Lewis after its former Chairman was made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Lewis, who left the RFL in April 2012 after 10 years to become Chief Executive of The All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon, was also Chairman of Sport England until April this year and receives his CBE in recognition of his services to sports administration.
Jun 15 2013 09:08 AM | League Express in Latest News
The sterling work done by RFL Equality and Diversity Manager Sarah Williams has been recognised by the awarding of an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Since her appointment in November 2007, Williams has helped Rugby League become the most proactive governing body in UK sport on issues such as race, sexuality, gender, disability, age and religion.