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Martyn Sadler

League Express on Monday

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In Monday's edition of League Express we have a detailed interviews with Dave Smith, the CEO of the NRL, and with Barbara Slater, the Head of Sport at the BBC, both talking about the World Cup and the legacy that might flow from the tournament.

 

We also have an update on the London Broncos situation, including an interview with Sean Long about his possible coaching role with the Broncos. And we report on the first player who looks likely to be heading out of Bradford Bulls to another club, following their recent financial crisis.

 

We have news about every Super League, Championship and Championship One club, as well as a comprehensive review of all the Rugby League books that have been published during 2013 from a diverse range of publishers.

 

We also have a piece with Leeds star Stevie Ward, speaking about the new CD he's created from supporters' chants at Leeds, and we get an update on Stevie's injury situation.

 

We have a full preview of Warrington Wolves' 2014 season, with the chance to win a Warrington replica shirt, and we also have previews for Championship clubs Dewsbury and Barrow.

 

In Championship Focus Gareth Walker writes about the contrasting approaches of the two clubs promoted to the Championship for 2014, while Garry Schofield, in 'Pulling no Punches', backs the call of the legendary Andrew Johns for better coaching of halfbacks in the British game.

 

In 'Talking Grassroots' Phil Hodgson praises the RFL's alacrity in creating a World Cup legacy in the amateur game, and praises the club that won the Fair Play Award at the National Conference League dinner.

 

In this week's Mailbag one of our correspondents picks out what she thought was an outstanding example of sportsmanship in the World Cup Final that she believes hasn't been remarked on elsewhere.

 

In this week's 'Off the Field' feature we speak to former Leeds and now Wakefield star Paul McShane, who reveals what he is really scared of.

 

And in my column I write about what should be a logical alternative to the Exiles game in 2013 as well as casting my eye over the health of Rugby League generally.

 

Who said there would be nothing to write about once the World Cup came to an end?

 

For those who can't wait, Rugby League Express will be available online from about 11.00pm tonight via the Pocketmags website.

 

Although I say it myself, it should make for very good reading.

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Looking forward to reading this week's League Express.  But then again, Schofield aside, I look forward to reading League Express every week.  I likes my rugby league!

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Like to get the paper on a Monday , but find the Phil Hodgson page hard work not every week but most and the letters page needs replacing with more amateur / semi pro news.

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Looking forward to reading this week's League Express.  But then again, Schofield aside, I look forward to reading League Express every week.  I likes my rugby league!

when Schofield talks about players and the way the game is played I think he is excellent-he really knows his stuff.

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when Schofield talks about players and the way the game is played I think he is excellent-he really knows his stuff.

I think he lets the paper down myself.  I wouldn't waste paper on him (as a writer I mean; no idea what he's like as a person).

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I think he lets the paper down myself.  I wouldn't waste paper on him (as a writer I mean; no idea what he's like as a person).

what he's like as a person doesn't matter

 

some of the things he says about the governance of the game I find very annoying

 

but I do think he has good insights into how the game is played and the players that play it: that's just my feeling and I do enjoy reading what he has to say on this aspect of the game.

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League Express has just gone online.

 

You can subscribe at http://www.pocketmags.com/viewmagazine.aspx?titleid=1039&title=League+Express.

 

Happy reading.

well played

 

Myself I like the walk through the woods to Patel's of a Monday morning

then spragged out on the settee with a brew and a pile of toast and Ken Bruce

now that's living

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well played

 

Myself I like the walk through the woods to Patel's of a Monday morning

then spragged out on the settee with a brew and a pile of toast and Ken Bruce

now that's living

That sounds like my sort of Monday morning.

 

Maybe I'll come and join you.

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That sound like my sort of Monday morning.

 

Maybe I'll come and join you.

you are always welcome at our gaff you know that

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Just skimmed it so far but I like the cut of Dave Smith's jib. What would be fascinating would be to have some Aussie RL journo comment on the likelihood of his being allowed to do th things he mentions. Is he all powerful?

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what he's like as a person doesn't matter

 

some of the things he says about the governance of the game I find very annoying

 

but I do think he has good insights into how the game is played and the players that play it: that's just my feeling and I do enjoy reading what he has to say on this aspect of the game.

 

I always enjoy reading his column, and as you say, he does offer interesting insights on the actual game and the players. I might not agree with everything he says, but isn't that the point of an opinion column? I don't agree with everything Martyn Sadler writes in his column, and Phil Hodgson's column comes from one very specific viewpoint, but it's their opinion. For all the criticism of Schofield, I'm sure there are a lot of people who share similar views.

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My "issue" with Schofield is his need to compare his deeds favourably with every player running around today. He was a decent "poacher", but he wasn't a great in an era when there were genuine greats in GB. He was probably Leeds' best player, but that wasn't saying much. In his mind Ellery and Offiah were lucky to be playing with him. Either it's a self referential joke, or he's deluded.

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My "issue" with Schofield is his need to compare his deeds favourably with every player running around today. He was a decent "poacher", but he wasn't a great in an era when there were genuine greats in GB. He was probably Leeds' best player, but that wasn't saying much. In his mind Ellery and Offiah were lucky to be playing with him. Either it's a self referential joke, or he's deluded.

I think that's very unfair to Garry Schofield.

His record number of caps for GB, if nothing else, suggest what a great player he was.

My late colleague Raymond Fletcher used to remark that in his opinion Garry was the finest GB player in the modern era when playing against Australia, right from when he burst onto the international scene with that sensational try for GB in Brisbane in 1984.

In my experience all players who have achieved big things in the game are proud of what they have achieved, and are quite protective of their own reputation. In that sense Garry is just like every other former player. The difference is that he writes a weekly column and most retired players don't.

The truly frustrating thing about Garry is that all too often his opinions are proved to be correct.

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I must have missed his world class performances, aside from Melbourne in 92. Easily done in an age with less wall to wall coverage, and Wigan dominance.

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Letters page is always a delight. I use it as a reference point to assess how "care in the community" is coming along.

Phil Hodgson has now got to the stage where he has become a parody of himself. A bit like Stevo, Michael Calvin & Stephen Jones. The actual person can't be that daft, but there is now a public image to play up to, which results in tiresome old cliches trotted out time and time again.

Bless.

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This being the off season and now post world cup too it didn't take me as long as normal to read most of the paper while enjoying a cuppa.  Schofield didn't annoy me as much as usual, but that is possibly because he couldn't get on any of his hobby horses as the world cup was a resounding success (bar England's untimely exit).  Other than that it was a good read this week.  Not sure what to make of David Smith.  He seemed to sidestep the crucial issue of international development by focusing on the development of the Australian games in most of his responses.  Or so it appeared on first reading anyway!  Hopefully my impression was gained through carelessness and will not stand the second reading the piece will no doubt get over the coming week.

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In my experience all players who have achieved big things in the game are proud of what they have achieved, and are quite protective of their own reputation. In that sense Garry is just like every other former player. The difference is that he writes a weekly column and most retired players don't.

 

 

True that.

 

The letters page is anachronistic, tedious and irrelevant in the internet forum age.

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Not sure what to make of David Smith.  He seemed to sidestep the crucial issue of international development by focusing on the development of the Australian games in most of his responses.  

Really? did he say anything re international development apart from re Oz?

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I must have missed his world class performances, aside from Melbourne in 92. Easily done in an age with less wall to wall coverage, and Wigan dominance.

 

TBF if you watch most tests from the 1989/90 Kiwis tour, through the Ashes of 1990, 1992 - very few can argue he was pretty special. This was after he reinvented himself from a running centre in the early 1980s. His tries against Australia in 1984 and 1986 were also spectacular.

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Letters page is always a delight. I use it as a reference point to assess how "care in the community" is coming along.

Phil Hodgson has now got to the stage where he has become a parody of himself. A bit like Stevo, Michael Calvin & Stephen Jones. The actual person can't be that daft, but there is now a public image to play up to, which results in tiresome old cliches trotted out time and time again.

Bless.

Just catching up again on this thread.

 

Your comment about the letters page is a real hoot.

 

Our correspondents unfortunately can't all be as smart as you clearly are.

 

For example, the lead letter this week is from Michael O'Hare, who is on the editorial team at New Scientist magazine. "Care in the Community" indeed.

 

I don't know as much about our other correspondents, but they all make some interesting points, and I would cut down on the intellectual snobbery, if I were you.

 

Phil Hodgson is grounded in the genuine grass roots of the game, and his views tend to reflect that.

 

I'm sorry if you think that he is therefore a parody of himself (whatever you mean by that, and I must admit I'm not sure).

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The letters page is anachronistic, tedious and irrelevant in the internet forum age.

What is tedious and irrelevant is having to read through endless posts on a forum to get to the ones that genuinely have something to say, that is well expressed and not repetitive.

 

At least the contributions to our Mailbag page are edited to modify some of those characteristics, which are given free rein on a forum.

 

If you have a point to make, then of course you have the option of posting on a forum, but the impact of a letter in our Mailbag is far greater than many of the postings on the forum.

 

Having said that, the world has changed and we are giving some thought to how our Mailbag pages could be updated to reflect a wider range of views.

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What is tedious and irrelevant is having to read through endless posts on a forum to get to the ones that genuinely have something to say, that is well expressed and not repetitive.

 

At least the contributions to our Mailbag page are edited to modify some of those characteristics, which are given free rein on a forum.

 

If you have a point to make, then of course you have the option of posting on a forum, but the impact of a letter in our Mailbag is far greater than many of the postings on the forum.

 

Having said that, the world has changed and we are giving some thought to how our Mailbag pages could be updated to reflect a wider range of views.

 

Fair play, but it just doesn't read like that to me at all. There is (next to) nothing there you couldn't read on here in real time. The idea of "in reply to last week's letter by Mr. Frothy-mouth of Brighouse" with the necessary seven day delay on and without the original letter, followed by the self-same trite sarcasm is just the same as you get on every forum, regardless of 'editing'.

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What is tedious and irrelevant is having to read through endless posts on a forum to get to the ones that genuinely have something to say, that is well expressed and not repetitive.

 

At least the contributions to our Mailbag page are edited to modify some of those characteristics, which are given free rein on a forum.

 

If you have a point to make, then of course you have the option of posting on a forum, but the impact of a letter in our Mailbag is far greater than many of the postings on the forum.

 

Having said that, the world has changed and we are giving some thought to how our Mailbag pages could be updated to reflect a wider range of views.

I'd disagree on your top 3 paragraphs, that's very much a print journalism mindset that seems to not realise the impact of the modern internet.  The way this forum is set up means that a post will almost immediately be indexed by Google and the other search engines and be very high up the searches for those subjects.  Have a play with some of the main topics on the front page of this forum!  I have Google Alerts set up for some rugby league subjects and I get notifications almost immediately on some sensitive things that if I had to wait for print would either be late or irrelevant.  For example, I found out about Terry Newton's death through a post made on here that triggered an email from Google Alerts that I got on my phone, all long before any major media source had picked up the story and while I was not likely to be looking at the forum for hours.

 

Finally, if you want to look at it in the terms of "quality", surely this forum is more like a peer-reviewed journal than an editorially-reviewed magazine?  Put up an idiot argument on here and it'll get demolished in short order.  Put up an idiot letter to LE and it just needs to get through the editorial process.  On the other side, put up an excellent post here and it gets read and will still get reviews.  Put up an excellent letter to LE and it might not get published if there's not enough space or doesn't fit with the editorial drive of that issue.

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