Kangaroos give back to Manchester

It is fair to say the Australian Rugby League World Cup side has not had the best of times at its Manchester base.

On the first night of their tour, promising prop Josh Papalii had £200 stolen off him at a cash machine, while last week Billy Slater was struck by a local when he returned to a nightclub to fetch his coat.

These off-field issues have done nothing to sully the Kangaroos’ opinion of the city, though. Indeed, four of the side’s big names visited a Manchester school to coach and inspire students, some of whom had never played Rugby League before.

Children from five schools spent an afternoon with Sam Thaiday, Jarryd Hayne, Cory Parker and Daly Cherry-Evans as a precursor for the Mancunians Cup – a new junior tournament with a final next spring.

Mancunians Chairman, Stefan Hopewell said: “It was an excellent afternoon of Rugby League. I’m delighted to have seen so many players from a number of different schools play competitive Rugby League for the first time and it’s great to see them being coached by some of the world’s best rugby players.

“We’re very grateful for the Kangaroos for giving up their spare time to come to coach the students today who have been inspired by their visit.”