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Honor James

HETHERINGTON PREDICTS MASSIVE YEAR FOR RUGBY LEAGUE IN 2013

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Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington believes 2013 could be the biggest year for Rugby League since its formation in 1895.

Speaking at the conclusion of what has been a superb twelve months for his Rhinos side Hetherington expects next year to be an even better one for the entire sport. He said: “I think 2013 will be a landmark year for Rugby League and as we head into the New Year I believe there are six big things for Rugby League fans to be cheerful about:

  1. The best opening round of Super League fixtures with hard to predict results.
  2. Leeds Rhinos v Melbourne Storm in the World Club Challenge, which will be a classic best v best contest with three of the World’s best players in Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith all representing NRL Champions Melbourne Storm and arguably the World’s most successful coach in any sport, Craig Bellamy, looking to wrestle the World Club Challenge Trophy away from Leeds Rhinos.
  3. The Etihad Stadium will host a record 70,000 plus fans for the annual Magic Weekend fixtures.
  4. The new Academy U19s competition will easily be the best to date and full of unique talents ready to burst onto Super League.
  5. The best England team for over 20 years assembled by coach Steve McNamara and captained by Super League’s most successful captain Kevin Sinfield.
  6. The biggest and best Rugby League World Cup tournament to date."

For Rhinos fans in particular Hetherington feels there are also another four reasons to be excited about the upcoming season, he added: “The last year has been a remarkable one for Leeds Rhinos and has seen us compete in every major final, winning the World Club trophy and retaining our Super League title, but I think the team has the potential to go on and make 2013 even better. The four extra reasons for Rhinos fans to be cheerful are:

  1. Following the new £1 million pitch reconstruction the team will start the season playing on a bowling green, rather than a bog, with a hard and fast surface that will suit our style.
  2. In newcomers Mitch Achurch, Joel Moon and Joe Vickery we have a trio of terrific talents who add extra strike and quality to our team.
  3. In Brian McDermott we have a coach who ranks alongside any other in the World.
  4. The most exciting and talented squad in the club’s history who are all hungry for more success."

Leeds Rhinos memberships are currently on sale for the 2013 season along with tickets for all major Rugby League events in 2013. For more information on these call the Rhinos ticket office hotline on 0871 423 1315 (calls cost 10p per minute and mobile rates vary) or contact the RFL on 0844 856 1113.

Phil Daly

Media and PR Manager

Leeds Rhinos

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The continued success of Leeds Rhinos can only be good for the game. I hope they can beat Melbourne, We can use some good news.

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Although from Leeds and I wish the Rhinos well,I'd be happy to see success/financial gain spread around a little.So trying to be realistic,but with an eye on the crowds,I wouldn't mind an all Hull Challenge Cup Final and Catalans,perhaps playing Wigan in the Grand Final.

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I notice the "hard to predict" games in round 1 includes Salford vs Wigan.

The only thing about that fixture that is hard to predict is whether Salford will be able to field a team or not. :lol:

Should we manage that, I'll be there, regardless of the inevitable result. :D

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Doesn't take long for a negative post to come on a positive thread - truely unbelievable.

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Hetherington was singing to his readers, and he did a great job.

People will have alternate opinions on the new 19's comp, or the credentials of Steve Mc as a national coach, but he did a nice warm up press release when all that is out there at present is the financial state of many clubs.

We need the Leeds, Hulls and Wigans to be leading the way in talking the sport up, and we need policy to unify the ranks in what really could be a great RL year ahead

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Doesn't take long for a negative post to come on a positive thread - truely unbelievable.

I don't think you can be too hard on Tony, he was taking the mickey out of his own team's unfortunate predicament, and, as he added, he'll be there regardless. Top man.

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Doesn't take long for a negative post to come on a positive thread - truely unbelievable.

If you mean mine, it was self-deprecatory, not negative. It was also humorous, hence the smilies. Get a life.

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I would add the exciting expansion of the game below. CC1 will be challenging with three new clubs along the M4 corridor joining with the Welsh clubs north & south still in their infancy. Will be odd for the likes of Rochdale & Oldham to do the travelling rather than the likes of Skolars & Gateshead. If you factor in the likelihood of a Southern Conference below that including clubs such as Bristol, Nottingham, Northampton, St Albans et al playing a near full season for the first time and not forgetting Coventry entering the the new and expanded NCL 3. Somebody was saying the other day that whats happening in the south with both the three new semi professional set ups & the Southern Conference is the biggest thing to happen since the RL Summer Conference started up 17 years ago. One person who was very much there back then Lionel Hurst is behind the All Golds University club. Wish him in particular & all the others all strength next year with that.

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If you factor in the likely hood of a Southern Conference below that including clubs such as Bristol, Nottingham, Northampton, St Albans et al playing a near full season for the first time

Just want to point out that the 3 clubs I've higlighted played a full season in NCL 3 in 2012

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If you mean mine, it was self-deprecatory, not negative. It was also humorous, hence the smilies. Get a life.

I'm surprised anybody took it as anything other than a bit of light hearted black humour.

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Just want to point out that the 3 clubs I've higlighted played a full season in NCL 3 in 2012

Yeah I'd forgotten that. But wasn't that only a holding season for the likes of Bristol. That competition was going to be swallowed up by the NCL re-aligning to summer in 2012. Long term they need some thing bigger nearer to home dont they like a Southern Conference. With the CC1 sides you could have a dozen or so southern based clubs as a group playing at a higher level than ever before. Lets hope so. Skolars had a more than decent campaign last year with possibly more local lads on board than they've ever had. The potential of local derbys just down the road from New River Stadium just adds to the interest.

The now summer based NCL itself has expanded itself to include a 4th division giving them around fifty quality clubs while the barla run Cumbria competition has voted unanimously to stay with a march-october season and may be expanding to incorporate the Barrow league. They are looking at playing matches midweek during the warmer months too. Kells meanwhile will be become the third club to join the NCL. May be brighter times ahead up in the far NW.

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It is nice to see someone talking positive! :D - If they can't be positive at Leeds the game is really struggling.

I wish them the best in the Club Challenge and I predict a 10 point win for the Rhinos!

I am fed of talking negative news, but that is inevitable when my club is in dire straights - so I was heartened to see someone start to build up next season.

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I notice the "hard to predict" games in round 1 includes Salford vs Wigan.

The only thing about that fixture that is hard to predict is whether Salford will be able to field a team or not. :lol:

Should we manage that, I'll be there, regardless of the inevitable result. :D

:lol: :lol: :lol: - I had to laugh at that one myself.

Best wishes To you Tony.

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:lol: :lol: :lol: - I had to laugh at that one myself.

Best wishes To you Tony.

Best wishes to you, too, 41hound. I hope the whole game has a great 2013.

Maybe see you on the 6th?

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Rugby League needs its fans to support it through thick and thin. Not just the good times are here. With the help of the fans 2013 could be a massive positive for our game.

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Rugby League needs its fans to support it through thick and thin. Not just the good times are here. With the help of the fans 2013 could be a massive positive for our game.

Totally agree, for the first time in a long time(due to being skint) I'll be following st.helens home and away, as long as the matches are played at the weekend and I'll be dragging along a few casual league fans mates.

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More positive publicity needed like this - well done Leeds. Plenty of positives in our sport, always been issues and always will be, just needs balancing

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I agree with Pie Tries. If, by some miracle, England could win the World Cup or at least get to the final and take it to the wire,I really think it would put the game in the Public eye in great way and pave the way to better media coverage and an improved TV deal.

Good luck to the game in 2013 and a Happy new Year to all fans.

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