Rugby League World Cup 2013: wonders of a weird and wacky festival
With the majority of players based in England or Australia, the 14th World Cup is easy to mock but it's full of compelling tales off the field and spectacular rugby on it.
Italy are effectively playing as amateurs, on a weekly allowance of £200. They are doing it for love, not money.
Gene played in two games, a 28-28 draw against Tonga ... fell in love with a local lass – Jo, a rugby league-loving teacher who insisted on travelling to Gene's home village before they married – and has joined the club's coaching staff. Every year, he heads home to do some coaching, but also to distribute some of his relative wealth – several villages have electricity thanks to him and indirectly, therefore, to the rugby league World Cup.
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