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Wales RL World Cup 2013/General News

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Should the world fear Kear? blogger Joe Whiteley begins a new series of blogs on talented young players making their debut at a Rugby League World Cup. This week he speaks to Welsh flyer Elliot Kear.

Wales’ last appearance in a World Cup match was over 13 years ago, so you could excuse them for getting a little excited for this year’s tournament.

One player who is already counting down the days until Rugby League World Cup 2013 is Bradford and Wales fullback or winger Elliot Kear.

Kear, who has been an ever present for Bradford so far this season, made his international debut for Wales against England back in October 2009, as part of the team that went down 48-12 in Bridgend.

Since that day, he has established himself in the Wales squad, and following a successful spell at Crusaders, made the move to Odsal in 2012, where he has nailed down a regular spot in the Bulls line-up.

He played in both of Wales’ games during the Autumn International Series last year, but is the first to admit that it is this year’s World Cup which really gets his blood pumping.

“I’m really excited,” said the Cardiff born utility-back. “First of all I’m just hoping that I get chosen, but I’m really excited because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for some players.

“Everything has been building up towards this. Iestyn Harris (Wales Head Coach) has always said that we’re looking at the bigger picture and that we’re focusing on the World Cup. Hopefully we can put a strong team together.

“We had a lot of injuries last year, so we used the games to bring in a lot of the younger players and build our squad towards this year.

“We haven’t really set ourselves an actual goal yet. We just want to win our group and progress from there into the knock-out stages.”

And Kear is hoping the Welsh public come out in force to support their country. And the chance to play at the national stadium is one which he is really looking forward to.

“Playing at the Millennium Stadium will be a massive buzz,” said Kear. “I played there when I was younger and won in front of a big crowd. So to play again will be amazing, especially in front my home town.

“I haven’t been home recently to be honest, but everyone who I know knows that the World Cup is coming up! I know that they’re definitely going to the opener at the Miennium and I’ve seen a couple of adverts around there, so it’s being advertised well.”

But who should those unfamiliar with the Welsh squad keep an eye out for when the World Cup comes around – bar Mr Kear himself, of course!

“I think all the current Super League players in our squad at the moment will definitely put their hands up and throw in some good performances. We’ve been together for that long now that all the youngsters who have come through are now fully fledged.

“We’ve got the likes of Lloyd White, Gil Dudson and then you’ve got up and coming players like Rhodri Lloyd, so I’m just excited for it now, because I can’t wait.

“I think there’s been such a raise in awareness of Rugby League in Wales. It’s still going strong and you can tell by the way the Crusaders are playing in the National League now – they’re top of Championship One – so the future is looking bright.”

2013 has been one of the best for Kear, in terms of game time. But, despite the World Cup now just months, rather than years away, he insists his focus remains on finishing the season strongly with Bradford.

“I’m just trying to take every game as it comes really and give my all. I’ve played every game this season so far, so I’m really pleased with that because I haven’t really been able to string this many games together before.

“If I get picked for Wales then I’ll just try my hardest. Wherever Iestyn chooses to pick me, whether it is wing or full back I’ll just give my all, because you can’t leave anything on the field in a World Cup.”

Tickets are now on sale for RLWC2013, with 55% of tickets priced £20 or less. To make sure you will BE THERE buy now at or call the 24-hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.

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Have your photo taken with the World Cup On Sunday 28th July, at the match against Gateshead Thunder, we will have the Rugby League World Cup trophy on display.

You can have your photo taken with the World Cup trophy after you enter The Gnoll for the game. Bookings are essential for timing purposes.

Kick-off for Scorpions v Gateshead is 1pm but we have an under 13s match preceding that you'll also be able to watch.

Please state how many people you'd like in the photo. We advise groups where possible to fit as many people in as we can.


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WALES finished second in group B after comfortably disposing of Ireland and will face Australia in the semi final at Batley on Friday.


A brace of tries each from Tom Hughes and Joel Knight helped them secure an impressive win against the luckless Irish.


Wales head coach Clive Griffiths expressed his delight at his side’s performance. “We needed a reaction after the last game against England and it was the perfect way to come back,” he said. “This will give us more confidence ahead of the knockout game.”


Wales took the lead after three minutes, capitalising on a penalty, for Scott Amber to go over and convert.


Ireland’s response was impressive, with front-rowers Tom McSwiney and Sean Rennison both coming close but failure to complete sets proved to be their undoing.


And they were duly made to pay by when centre Knight darted to the posts, Amber goaling.


The Irish continued in vain to conjure a response and once again found their mistakes proving costly as the Welsh went the length of the field to score a third try when Hughes reacted quickest to a loose ball after an Irish player attempted an interception.


With point’s difference crucial to ensure qualification, Wales were unrelenting, Yannic Parker became their fourth try-scorer, gliding through before Hughes got his second try after the excellent James Gahan’s initial break.


Unfortunately for Ireland, John Beattie crashed over from short range, only for his effort to be ruled out for a forward pass in the build up.


To make matters worse, Wales got their sixth try four minutes from half-time when Simon Wright forced his way over from five metres after Ireland scrum-half Shane Kelly kicked out on the full.


They saved their best try of the half for the final play, the adventurous Amber racing onto his own chip and passing to Christiaan Roets to score, Amber kicking his fifth conversion to make it 38-0 at the interval.


Knight got his second try after Ireland’s right flank was carved open with ease once more but Carl De Chenu’s side finally got what their effort deserved in the 56th minute.


After a steady increase in pressure prop Rennison, Ireland’s brightest spark throughout, charged his way over to the delight of the Emerald fans but James Kelly could not add the two points.


Their joy was short lived as, two minutes later, Izaak Duffy barged over.


The game entered a lull, with both sides struggling to create further chances, Ireland hampered by injury to Kelly.


There was still time for Wales to add a final try, as Callum Wilkinson touched down to bring up the half century.

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North Wales Crusaders head coach Clive Griffiths was left ecstatic after his side’s comfortable victory over Rochdale Hornets. The top-of-the-table clash with the Hornets had the potential to spring the promotion window wide open – but Crusaders came up with their best performance of the campaign yet to ease to a 48-0 win.“I’m so proud of that performance it’s unreal”, Griffiths said. “We put it together today and if we continue like that then we’ll take some beating.“To nil a team of that standard speaks volumes of the work that the boys put in today over 80 minutes.“Everyone put their hand up and it was incredible to see some of the tries. Rob Massam scored five tries, which is a fantastic landmark, but the approach work before that just emphasises what team spirit is all about.“I’m obviously delighted, but we’ve got a situation here where we’ve got to keep our feet on the ground and keep playing like that. If we can replicate that in the six remaining games then we’ll be tough to beat.”The only disappointment following Sunday’s victory for Griffiths is that his side now have to wait three weeks before their next game, the Northern Rail Bowl final at The Shay, Halifax.“The downside now is that we haven’t got a game in three weeks before we play in the final”, he said.“We’ll try to put something in in terms of competitiveness, but we haven’t got a game now for three weeks, and if we didn’t have the Bowl final then we wouldn’t have a game for a month.“It’s ludicrous, but that’s the hand that we’ve been dealt and that’s what we’ve got to get on with.”And the ex-Wales coach is expecting to have a real headache when it comes to selecting his team for the final , after impressive performances from all of his squad against Rochdale.“The toughest job for me at the moment is picking 17 and having to leave 10 people out”, Griffiths said.“Andy Gorski didn’t play and we’ve put Banny (Stephen Bannister) in there – and he’s put in a great performance. Tommy [Johnson] had a week off last week and has been chomping at the bit, so he’s come up with another great performance.“We’ve got huge competition for places here and how I’m going to pick 17 for the final I really don’t know.” - See more at:

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We wait in vain.

Er, no you don't.

Actually yesterday saw the final bits of paperwork being signed off as far as I know.

The official launch of this news has been designated for September 24th.

Today I will check with the relevant people and see if there is any snippets I am permitted to mention in the meantime.

Thanks for your patience. It's taken over 10 months of incredible hard work to get to where we are with this.

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Er, no you don't.

Actually yesterday saw the final bits of paperwork being signed off as far as I know.

The official launch of this news has been designated for September 24th.

Today I will check with the relevant people and see if there is any snippets I am permitted to mention in the meantime.

Thanks for your patience. It's taken over 10 months of incredible hard work to get to where we are with this.

Thanks mate. Excited as ever.

May I ask if you're directly involved with WRL?

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Andy Powell signed in time for Oldham game 11/07/2013


South Wales Scorpions have confirmed that they have today signed the paperwork to bring Andy Powell to the Neath-based rugby league club on a dual registration basis.


The agreement, signed in time for this Sunday’s match at Oldham Roughyeds (kick-off 3pm) enables him to turn out for the Scorpions for the remainder of the season, subject to availability from his club Wigan Warriors.


Powell has played twice for Wigan this season, both times coming off the substitutes bench, but their coach Shaun Wane has said that he wants the 31-year old to have some more game-time under his belt.


He will go into a Scorpions side that know they will have to be at their best this Sunday away at the division's form side.


A win for the home side will put them at the top of the table and will knock North Wales Crusaders off for the first time this season, but Crusaders, without a game again this weekend, will have two games in hand.


The Scorpions are determined to win to keep their play-off hunt on track, and do their Welsh rivals a favour at the same time, but coach Dave Clark knows that an increase in form is necessary following a home defeat to Gloucestershire All Golds last Sunday.


"Like every week we review the game and look at improvements," Clark said. "The boys came up with their own short term goals for the remaining five fixtures. We are still confident of making the play offs, we just need consistency in our game.


"We reviewed our options and realised that the opportunities we didn’t take last week either came from the wrong pass option or making errors in set plays.


"Defensively we were good, they scored jusr one try resulting of a set play AND we as a team defended the questions they asked in attack.


"This week at Oldham, we need to improve on our urgency to solve these actions."


Billy Sheen and Ben Moores are both available again after missing last week's match but Connor Farrer will miss the game due to injury. Phil Carleton is unavailable.


Wales World Cup hopeful David James is still out with a back injury but is progressing slowly and should be returning to training next week.


Oldham are reporting to have a “very similar side to last week” where they beat Oxford at Iffley Road but Liam Gilchrist has a calf injury and is a doubt.


They currently have two prop forwards on loan who are due to make their home debuts – Oldham born Nathan Mason from Huddersfield Giants, and Matthew Haggerty from arrow Raiders. Both made their club debuts off bench last week.


Oldham coach Steve Naylor said: “As long as we keep winning, we’ll put North Wales under pressure. We’re on the run-in now and wins are what matter more than

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Plenty going on at North Wales Crusaders BBQ


Crusaders will host a BBQ for friends and family at Queensway Stadium, Wrexham on Saturday 13 July (1pm-5.30pm). This is just one of a number of events in Crusaders’ events calendar for 2013 and there’s plenty of entertainment throughout the day to suit everyone. Sponsored by Bicks Chicks, there will a mini touch-rugby tournament, an inflatable bungee, sumo suits and a Gladiator duel to take part in on the day. There will also be alcoholic beverages available, such as Wrexham Lager and Kingstone Press Cider, who sponsor Championship One. Admission to the event is free, but it would be useful if supporters let us know that they’re attending in advance so we have an idea of numbers. You can do this by emailing or by dropping us a message on Facebook or Twitter.

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Young St George Illawarra back-rower Tyson Frizell is hoping the good start to his Dragons career will save him the airfare for this year's Rugby League World Cup.
Frizell represented Wales, where his father was born, in the 2011 Four Nations tournament and faced England then New Zealand at Wembley Stadium.
However, the cash-strapped Welsh Rugby League was only able to stump up part of his airfare, with the 21-year-old paying the rest.
And despite being out of pocket, Frizell said the experience was invaluable in his development and is hoping to play again for the other Dragons in October when the tournament begins.
"It would be an amazing experience to play in the World Cup," Frizell told AAP.
"It was awesome to play in the Four Nations as I'd only played two NRL games at the time.
"Coming up against some of the best players in the world and knowing I could cope was really great for my confidence."
"I played against New Zealand at Wembley but unfortunately got injured in the first half and missed the chance to play against Australia."
Wales coach Iestyn Harris has been in contact and Frizell said he would have no problem forking out again if the call comes.
"If I am lucky enough to be selected I would love to say yes," he said.
"When you are playing for the country where my old man and his family come from, paying the fare didn't worry me a bit.
"That sort of thing's not important.
"My dad's family were very proud, that's more important than money."
Frizell played in all five of the Dragons fixtures this season and got his name on the scoresheet with his maiden try for the joint-venture in Sunday's win over Newcastle.
The youngster only took up league three years ago after representing the Australian Schoolboys in rugby in the UK and Ireland in 2009.
He played at inside centre on the six-game tour alongside Wallabies and Queensland flanker Liam Gill and NSW Waratahs Tom Kingston and Matt Lucas.
But after being spotted by the Sharks he switched codes and after just two games in the NRL was invited to play for Wales in the 2011 Four Nations tournament.
Frizell's coach Steve Price has been encouraged by his progress since he joined from the Sharks and believes there's a lot more to come.
"He's really grown as a footy player over the last two games," Price said.
"He's starting to mix up his offence a bit now but he will get even better."

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Cardiff Spartans Rugby League assists RFL in 2013 World Cup

After efforts and groundwork undertaken by our ever present and reliable admin staff, The Cardiff Spartans are delighted to announce securing a once in a life time opportunity assisting in this year’s 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

This prestigious tournament is taking place in our own back yard, and will showcase the likes of the finest players the planet has to offer. This will be a relishing prospect for those taking part, and they are sure to savour the memories for many a year to come. The assisting party will consist of two teams operating with 10 ball boys per group, and will be chaperoned by two supervisors at the World Cup launch also from the Spartans.

The Cardiff Spartans ARLFC are thrilled and excited at this opportunity to be able to assist the RFL by assembling a team of worthy operatives to assist in these two colossal games taking part at our very own Millennium Stadium, right here in the Cardiff City Centre.
Those boys selected for the occasion will have the opportunity to mix with the super stars of one of the greatest games on Earth, and the Spartans will work alongside the RFL to ensure the expectations of a reputable establishment with over 100 years of professionalism are met to a satisfying standard.

The opening ceremony matches consisting of Wales V Italy and England V Australia are without question, going to be very special games indeed. With the continued progression of Wales in recent years the people of Wales are in for a real mouth-watering treat.
As for the sleeping giant mighty England, things are looking increasingly special with a star studded squad about to take on the most successful team of all time, The Green & Gold army.

The Spartans Admin & Coaching Teams will be looking to enjoy the occasion in the form of Gold cooperate hospitality, and there are a few remaining tickets available for those who may want to join us to enjoy such a prestigious occasion. Please contact Sarah for the remaining opportunities but be quick as there are only so many people that can be allocated to a box.

Finally it is with great pleasure that we announce this opportunity and we are very much looking ahead to working with the RFL, ARL & WRL in what will be an historic event for Cardiff Spartans ARLFC


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Er, no you don't.

Actually yesterday saw the final bits of paperwork being signed off as far as I know.

The official launch of this news has been designated for September 24th.

Today I will check with the relevant people and see if there is any snippets I am permitted to mention in the meantime.

Thanks for your patience. It's taken over 10 months of incredible hard work to get to where we are with this.


Tom Jones to play for Wales in the World Cup? 

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Stand-off Andy Moulsdale says that he is looking forward to the prospect of leading North Wales Crusaders out on to the field as captain in their first ever final against London Skolars this weekend.

Crusaders secured their spot in the inaugural Northern Rail Bowl final after seeing off Rochdale Hornets, Oldham Roughyeds and Gateshead Thunder in their pool - and Moulsdale played a vital role.
"It's the first final for the club and I'm really looking forward to it", he said. "They're (London Skolars) in some good form and finals are always tough, so there's a combination of the two meaning that it'll be a really hard game.
"A couple of weeks off won't have done us any harm as we've played in the Challenge Cup and Northern Rail Cup this year, so I think we've only had one weekend break [before July].
"The weekend off will put us in good stead for the game - we'll be fresh and there's no excuses that way.
"We've had one hiccup at Hemel but, apart from that, we've done really well this year and we've earned our place in the final. Everyone is confident going into the final."
Although the 26-year-old fancied his side's chances in the Northern Rail Cup at the start of the season, he didn't expect such a rapid progress when he signed for North Wales ahead of their debut season in Championship One.
Moulsdale said, "I probably wasn't expecting us to be in this position and I'd be lieing if I said I thought we'd be competing in finals and going for the league when we first got together as a side.
"For how young the club is it's a great achievement to be involved in the final, and from Jamie [Thomas, Chief Executive] down to the players and the coaching staff it shows the hard work that everyone's put in."
As skipper of the side, the pressure will be on the Ryland Sharks product to deliver at The Shay Stadium, but Moulsdale believes it is a big team effort that is needed on the day, as has been the case so far this year.
"The lads are playing really well this year", he said. "It makes my job in my position a lot easier when you're playing in a good team.
"We deserve to have our spot in the final and we're all really looking forward to it."

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ENGLAND Lions ran in 10 tries to ruin Mike Grady’s debut as Wales Dragonhearts head coach in a one-sided opener to this season’s Home Nations tournament.


Tommy Harrison, Darren Woods, Francis King, Shaun Garrod, Nathan Larvin, Stephen King, Emmerson Newburn and Daryl Kay all touched down for the reigning champions to put the game beyond Wales in sweltering conditions at the Gnoll in Neath.


John Paul Brocklebank, who had already kicked five goals, scored the final two tries as the Dragonhearts understandably tired in the heat. The loose-forward converted both to finish with 22 points in impressive England’s 54-0 victory.


Wales were left to rue their poor discipline throughout the match as referee Darren Hayes repeatedly penalised them. This, combined with a plethora of handling errors, allowed England to monopolise possession from the outset.


Indeed, the Dragonhearts barely had their hands on the ball as the Lions raced into a 16-point lead in as many minutes. Harrison and Woods both grabbed tries in quick succession before a splendid passing move culminated in Francis King crossing unopposed.


The Dragonhearts’ inability to keep hold of the ball for any meaningful length of time had forced them onto the defensive during the first quarter, but they briefly threatened to mount a recovery after Neil Dallimore was the victim of a high tackle.


It did not last, though, as Paul Emmanuelli’s attacking kick was gathered by Kay, one of the England substitutes, midway through the half.


Shortly afterwards, the Lions added to their tally when skipper Garrod spotted a gap in the Welsh defence and ghosted his way through for an excellent solo try.


The stand-off was one of the game’s outstanding performers on the day as he controlled the action, with the help of his half-back partner, Chris Stephenson, and a dominant England pack.


Another try followed for full-back Larvin before Brocklebank’s third successful conversion from five attempts completed the first-half scoring.


Trailing 26-0 at the break, the Dragonhearts enjoyed their best spell straight after the restart and piled on the pressure in pursuit of their first points.


However, Martin Luckwell, Scott Britton, Alan Pope, Darryl Carter and John Sanigar were all repelled close to the line as England defended doggedly.


After surviving the Dragonhearts’ onslaught, the Lions were soon back on the attack and Stephen King ended any doubt about the final outcome with their sixth try 13 minutes into the second half.


Newburn, their elusive wing, was the next to benefit from his side’s superiority, and Luke Pennington’s superb offload, as he scampered clear on the right.


Further tries by Kay and Brocklebank ensured that England reached their half-century of points and began the defence of the Home Nations crown in ominous style.


It had been a harsh lesson for the Dragonhearts, but a disappointed Grady refused to be too critical of his players, who were still pressing on the Lions’ line when the final whistle blew.


We’ve only been together two sessions, so that told in the end,” the coach said. “England were a lot smarter than us. I think long-term we can do a job in forthcoming tournaments. All we can do is just keep moving forward.”


Grady admitted that the penalty count had been a major factor in the Dragonhearts’ heavy defeat. “Penalties were a big thing. You can’t defend back-to-back sets like that. Obviously, if you do, that’s what’s going to happen. You’re going to get score-lines like that.


We need to start controlling things around the ruck a lot more. Just iron those two things out and I’ve no doubt we’ll be competing in the next two games.


I thought the effort was there from every individual. It’s just the application that we lacked. They’ve trained well, they’ve put the effort in during the game; it’s just the smart things we need to brush up on.


I’ve just got to make sure they understand where they’ve gone wrong and understand the positives out of the game as well.”


England coach Ian Rooney said: “I thought it was a competitive game. The score-line probably looks a bit otherwise from the Welsh boys’ perspective, but I thought there was a lot of improvement from what I’d seen on the DVD of them last year and they should take great heart from that.


They’re clearly improving. Their clearly getting coaching now and they will improve because they’ve got some fantastic footballers down here.”


Of his own team’s display, Rooney added: “I thought we stuck to our task really solidly. I thought it was a good hit-out for us. We did well but there’s some improvement in us, undoubtedly.”


TEAMS. Wales: Ian Newbury, Dan Davies, Liam Watton, Kyle Scrivens, Lewis Stockton, Paul Emmanuelli, Jordan Sheridan, Neil Dallimore, Martin Luckwell, Scott Britton, Alan Pope, Gareth Davies, Gerwyn Price

Interchanges: (14) Michael Harrison, (19) Rhys Davies, (17) Darryl Carter, (24) John Sanigar


England: Nathan Larvin, Emmerson Newburn, Francis King, Stephen King, Darren Woods, Shaun Garrod, Chris Stephenson, Richard Huby, Tommy Harrison, Sean Emblem, Caldon Bravo, Luke Pennington, John Paul Brocklebank

Interchanges: (14) Kieron Maddox, (15) Lee Roberts, (16) Chris Siddons, (17) Daryl Kay

Tries: Harrison, Woods, Francis King, Garrod, Larwin, Stephen King, Newburn, Kay, Brocklebank (2)

Goals: Brocklebank (7)

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NORTH WALES CRUSADERS centre Christiaan Roets is keeping his fingers crossed that his injury problems are a thing of the past.

The Wales international had hoped to play every game this season having spent 2012 battling to overcome a persistent hamstring problem.
But Roets ended up sidelined for two months after a collision in the Challenge Cup defeat to Hull FC led to him rupturing his pectoral muscle.
Roets, 32, finally returned to action against Gloucestershire All Golds last weekend, and is remaining hopeful that he can enjoy an extended run in the side.
“Once again I am making a big return,” he said. “I’ve not been very lucky with injuries over the last two years but I am back and hopefully I can get some games in.
“It was a shame to get injured against Hull because I was enjoying that game and then to finish injured and facing a long time out was disappointing.
“Pre-season went well and I was hoping to play every game, but you can’t plan for injuries and they always happen when you feel fit and are playing regularly.
“I knew it meant between six and eight weeks out because of the nature of the injury and the fact that it was in an awkward place.”
Roets marked his return to action by helping Crusaders collect a 58-16 success against the All Golds.
More importantly for the South African-born ace was that he suffered no ill-effects during what was a physical encounter.
“I really enjoyed being back on the pitch,” he said. “It was quite physical in patches during the first-half. In the second-half we played very well and deserved to run out winners.
It was also good to suffer no pain where I have been injured. My core is fragile because playing is totally different to training, but I feel alright and hopefully I can be involved against Rochdale on Sunday.”

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NORTH WALES CRUSADERS chief executive Jamie Thomas has thrown his support behind the Rugby Football League’s restructuring proposal.

Super League clubs have agreed in principle to reduce the number of teams from 14 and re-instate automatic promotion and relegation from 2015, but are yet to decide which of three options to back.
There has been little support so far for plans for two divisions of 10 clubs and the Super League players association, 1eagu3, published the findings of a poll in which their members voted overwhelmingly for two divisions of 12.
The players largely dismissed the complex third option of splitting two divisions of 12 into three of eight a third of the way through the season, but amendments to that plan were received more favourably by the Super League clubs at a presentation in Salford last week.
Under the revised plan, clubs would play 23 matches from home-and-away fixtures and the Magic Weekend before the split and then play just seven more games in a three-division format to determine the make-up of the two divisions for the following season.
The exact structure is yet to be resolved with certain issues, such as central funding, play-off format and the impact on the Challenge Cup, causing problems, but Thomas is pleased that plans to move the game forward are underway and feels that a change of structure would benefit the entire system - and more importantly benefit the Crusaders.
He said: “First and foremost the restructuring proposals are most positive because what is there at the moment clearly doesn’t work.
“Whether the plan is for two divisions of 12 with two up and two down, or two divisions of 12 with a split into three eights, it would provide more excitement for people watching rugby at The Racecourse.
“It would mean more matches against teams of a similar size and structure and make for a more competitive division. In the next 12 or 24 months we could be competing against the likes of London Broncos, Castleford, Featherstone and Leigh.
“It is good to see people embracing the fact that change is needed, we want to see more competitive rugby at The Racecourse and the change would bring that.”
RFL chief executive Nigel Wood says he is delighted with the positive dialogue that is taking place as part of the league's policy review.
“I am encouraged and excited by the way in which the clubs are taking this opportunity to engage in positive and proper debate as we look to restructure the professional game from the 2015 season,” Wood said.
“The Super League clubs engaged in a full and open debate at Monday's meeting when there was an acceptance that change of some kind needs to occur.
“There was also a widespread recognition that sustaining 14 clubs is proving challenging in the current economic climate.
“The RFL's policy review is intended is to provide an independent evaluation of the various alternatives that are available to the professional game so that the competitive structure from 2015 is as commercially compelling as possible.
“For that to happen, there needs to be some degree of jeopardy and an acknowledgement that on-field performance is the key determinant of which league a team plays in.
“I am confident the sport as a whole, through proper debate, will deliver a very exciting future for rugby league.”

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North Wales Crusaders chief executive Jamie Thomas has spoken about his pride in the club’s achievements so far in its short history. Thomas has always had big ambitions for club since its formation in late 2011 – but even he has been a little bit stunned by how swiftly things have moved on.“It’s bordering on ridiculous how far we’ve managed to come in such a short space of time”, he said.“I’m incredibly proud of how far we’ve got in such a short space of time and I think it comes down to the absolute commitment of everyone involved in trying to make the club work.“Everyone has over delivered from how hard Clive works, the effort that the boys put in, the staff, the volunteers and the fans.“They’ve gone way beyond my expectations and the success that we’re achieving now is testiment to that hard work.“As we sit here now we haven’t won anything. It’s all to play for but to even have got ourselves in this position, where we can shoot for these honours, is a remarkable achievement in itself.“I never envisaged we’d be in a cup final and gunning for a league title within our first 18 months.”Crusaders supporters have been vital in getting the club off the ground, and will continue to be the main driving force in the future, but Thomas also believes that the club have dropped lucky with the group out on the field.“In my eyes greatest credit needs to go to Clive Griffiths” he continued. “He undoubtedly is one of the biggest pain in the asses I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.“But that comes from the standards and absolute determination to succeed, and Clive’s refusal to accept anything below 100-per-cent effort has been one of the core principals that we’ve built the club on.“We’ve also been fortunate to have pulled together an incredible crop of players last year – mainly from the amateur ranks – and we’ve been able to add a little bit of extra experience to that, which has helped us to step up tot he next level.”And although Thomas would love to see the players lift some silverware come Saturday afternoon, he is looking at the bigger picture beyond the final.“We’ve got a massive six weeks ahead of us”, he explained. “But it’s a period that everyone at the club is focused on.“Saturday’s a big game but every game after that is also a big game for us.“In my eyes I don’t think it’s essential to win every fixture because we’ve given ourselves a small amount of breathing space with our performances so far, so the pressure is definitely on the chasing pack as if they slip up just once, they’ll probably have to be resigned to the play-offs.“But we’re taking nothing for granted and I know that Clive will prepare the boys as stediously as he has done all season.“With the restructural review of the leagues going forward we want to give ourselves the best opportunities – and I firmly believe gaining promotion this year would build on the fantastic momentum that we’ve already achieved.“It will provide us with a brilliant platform to build on for the future. It genuinely is really exciting times for us right now.” - See more at:

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North Wales Crusaders second rower Toby Adamson feels that Crusaders fans can play a vital role in the Bowl final against London Skolars. The 23-year-old joined Crusaders during the 2012 campaign, after quitting Super League side Salford City Reds to complete a law degree, and Saturday will be his first final appearance.“The fans are the 18th man”, he said. “Hopefully they’ll make sure they’re really loud, as we all know they will be, and that will help us.“It’s the first final that Crusaders have been in and it should be awesome. It will be a big day for both the players and the fans.“It’s televised and there’ll be a massive crowd, so I’ll probably be a bit nervous on the day, but as long as you use them in the right way then nerves can be good.”Adamson is also fully aware of the threat that Skolars pose and isn’t looking into previous encounters between the sides. He said: “We’ve played them in the Northern Rail Cup already, but it’ll be a completely different team to what we played before form wise.“It’ll be really tough and we can’t take anything for granted. If we focus on us then we’ll do the job.”And the Leigh East product is pleased with the club’s progress so far in 2013 – with the final appearance highlighting that progress.“When I joined I didn’t really expect in the second year for us to be in a final and pushing for promotion to the Championship”, Adamson said.“I knew that the club were ambitious but I didn’t expect us to really be in this position. But it’s a credit to the club for what we’ve achieved both on and off the field.“I’m really happy on a personal level too. I had a back injury at the start of the year, which kept me out for three or four weeks, but I’ve managed to get some good form since then.” - See more at:

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Thursday will mark 100 days exactly until the Opening Ceremony under the roof at the Millennium Stadium on October 26, an event already tipped to be “the greatest show Rugby League has ever seen”.

The pageantry is followed by two epic RLWC2013 encounters that are certain to ensure a memorable start to the year’s biggest global sporting event.

England tangle with arch-enemies Australia in a match that always means more than just competition points, while co-hosts Wales square-off against European rivals Italy.

Following their poor showing at last year’s Olympics, their defeat to the Lions down under, and their current struggles against England in the Ashes, Tim Sheens’ men will be desperate to claim a scalp for Australia against “the mother country”.

It promises to be an unforgettable day of sporting entertainment for all the family and you can be there for as little as £20 for adults and £10 for children.

It’s a small price to pay to witness world class sport, and to be a part of only the eighth major World Cup to take place on British soil.

To celebrate the passing of this monumental milestone in our countdown to RLWC2013, we are giving away a signed England rugby shirt and a signed Australia rugby shirt, both fully autographed by the squads of players.

To be in with a chance of winning, find and ‘Like’ Rugby League World Cup 2013 on Facebook, ‘Tag’ yourself in the image of the shirt you’d most like to get your hands on, 'Share' the image or leave a comment.

The competition closes on August 21 – 100 days before the Rugby League World Cup 2013 Final at Old Trafford on November 30.

Don’t miss your chance to win one of these exclusive signed rugby shirts, and make sure you BE THERE at RLWC2013.

Tickets are now on sale, with 55% of tickets priced £20 or less.

Buy now at or call the 24-hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.

For competition terms and conditions please visit the Fanzone on

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100 days to go Today!
Thursday July 18 marks 100 days to go to the kick-off of Rugby League World Cup 2013 and organisers are predicting a hectic final phase, with even stronger ticket sales as interest continues to build in both hemispheres.


In 100 days, on October 26, hosts England play Australia, in the opening game. A cauldron-like atmosphere is guaranteed under the closed roof of the Millennium Stadium, one of the best places to watch live sport in the world.


The game will follow the official Opening Ceremony which is billed as ‘the greatest show that Rugby League has ever seen’. Following that, co-hosts Wales will take on a much-fancied Italian side.


Around 40% of the tournament’s ticket target has already been achieved, which organisers are taking as a huge boost as they look forward to welcoming all 14 teams in October.


RLWC2013 Tournament General Manager, Sally Bolton said: “The 100 days to go milestone brings us another significant step closer to delivering the best Rugby League World Cup the game has ever seen.


“We kick off at the Millennium Stadium with arguably the best fixture in international Rugby League. England against Australia always brings out the passion of both sets of fans and in the Millennium Stadium; under the closed roof, the atmosphere will be electric.


“With 40% of our tickets gone, we know there is huge interest in both that fantastic opener and the tournament as a whole. Data shows that a significant number of our sales are to new fans, which is terrific.”


To mark the 100 day milestone RLWC2013 has also enlisted the help of Rugby League players, personalities and celebrity fans to help hide 100 specially-branded RLWC2013 balls.


Those hiding the balls will then use clues about where their ball is hidden including the hashtag #findourballs. Lucky finders will win tickets to Wales v Cook Islands on Sunday 10th November. We will let you know when we start our competition, this will be 100 days before this game!


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North Wales Crusaders will take part in their first final when they face Championship One rivals London Skolars in the Northern Rail Bowl final on Saturday.

This time last year Crusaders had recorded just five victories after a tough start to the campaign, but this term they currently sit top of the league as well as having eased their way through the group stage to get to the final.

Head coach Clive Griffiths believes his side have what it takes to lift their first piece of silverware, but he is also conscious of the threat that Skolars will pose.

“They’ve got some good players”, he said. “We’ve had a look at where their threats lie in training and we’ll be focusing on them on Saturday.

“We need to nulify the threats that they pose down the middle and on the edges.

“We’ll see what happens at the weekend but, either way, it’s great for both clubs. They’re a little older than us as a club, but it’s still a great achievement for both clubs to get to the final.”

And the ex-Wales coach praised his side on getting to their current position, as he has done all season.

“I’m really pleased with the lads”, Griffiths said. “I didn’t expect us to be in this position when I joined he club and I think we’ve probably over achieved; everyone’s seen that.

“It’s a cup tie and anything could happen, but I’m just delighted for our spectators as they’ll get to enjoy a big day out like this.

“We’ve still got a chance of getting promotion so it’s going to be a really exciting few months after the final as well.”

Crusaders added a wealth of experience to their squad over the off-season, with ex-Great Britain and Harry Sutherland Trophy winner Stuart Reardon as well as the likes of Ryan MacDonald and Gary Middlehurst making the switch to Wrexham, and although Griffiths believes that their experience could be crucial, it is a collective effort that he feels is needed.

“We’ve got some experience in the side”, he said. “Hopefully the likes of Stuart Reardon and Christiaan Roets can repeat some of the things that they’ve done in the past in the big games to help us in the final on Saturday.

“You can look at it that individuals can help but, collectively, though, we’re a great side and we know that if we put it together like we did against Rochdale then we’ve got a good chance of winning.

“It’s going to be a great day out for everyone.”

Griffiths’ only doubt ahead of Saturday is second rower Toby Adamson, who picked up an ankle injury in the victory over Rochdale Hornets and will be assessed in training.


Skolars’ Danger Man – Dylan Skee

One of the most enticing battles out on the field in Saturday’s final will be Dylan Skee’s with Crusaders’ Jamie Dallimore; they are arguably the two most dangerous scrum-halves in Championship One, with both offering a strong kicking game and quick turn of pace.

Skee is now in his third year with the London club and has been vital to the side since joining from Whitehaven. The Australian has already collected a number of accolades already this season, such as Premier Sports’ Player of the Week award, and is the one to watch in the final.


Form Guide – London Skolars (WWWWLW)

London Skolars enter the final as one of Championship One’s in form sides, winning five out of their last six encounters in the league.

However, the London club had a relatively poor start to the season by their standards and have been playing catch up since then.


Fan Information

Stadium Address: The Shay Stadium, Shaw Hill, Halifax, West Yorkshire. HX1 2YS.

Tickets are still available through the club at £20 for adults and £10 for concessions; call 08432 896 407 or pop into the office to purchase yours.

There is also space still available on the third Crusaders Supporters Club coach. Coaches leave from The Turf at 11am and can be booked – £13 for members and £15 for non-members – by popping into the Glyndwr Sports Centre. Please note that the coaches will be stopping for both finals.

We have been informed by the RFL that due to the hot weather plastic water bottles can be taken into the stadium. These must be without a lid and can be refilled free of charge from the amenity stands. Water is also available for purchase at £1.50.

However, only food for babies or people with a medical condition can be taken into the stadium. It is suggested that medical documentation is taken for stewards.


For those not travelling via bus, there’s a multi-storey car park to the north of the stadium with 400 reserved parking spaces at £3.

- See more at:

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