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England Rugby League International Triple Header

England Rugby League International Triple Header England Women vs Wales Women | KO 6pm England vs Combined Nations All-Stars | KO 8.15pm England Wheelchair vs Wales Wheelchair | KO 12.30pm 25/26th June, 2021 | Halliwell Jones Stadium & Sheffield Institute of Sport

England Rugby League International Triple Header
England Women vs Wales Women | KO 6pm
England vs Combined Nations All-Stars | KO 8.15pm
England Wheelchair vs Wales Wheelchair | KO 12.30pm
25/26th June, 2021 | Halliwell Jones Stadium & Sheffield Institute of Sport

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Engand Women vs Wales Women // 6pm£3.50<br />

<strong>England</strong> vs Combined Nations All-Stars // 8.15pm<br />

Friday 25 June 2021 // Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington<br />

<strong>England</strong> Wheelchair vs Wales Wheelchair // 12.30pm<br />

Saturday 26 June 2021 // English Institute of Sport, Sheffield


DOES EXACTLY WHAT<br />

IT SAYS ON THE TIN


Engand Women vs Wales Women // 6pm £3.50<br />

<strong>England</strong> vs Combined Nations All-Stars // 8.15pm<br />

Friday 25 June 2021 // Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington<br />

<strong>England</strong> Wheelchair vs Wales Wheelchair // 12.30pm<br />

Saturday 26 June 2021 // English Institute of Sport, Sheffield<br />

#ENGLANDRL<br />

WELCOME<br />

from Simon Johnson<br />

Welcome to all those attending our three<br />

<strong>England</strong> fixtures this weekend, whether at<br />

Warrington or Sheffield – and also to those<br />

who have ordered the match programme to enhance<br />

their viewing from distance!<br />

It is wonderful to have our three <strong>England</strong> teams in<br />

action again, after such a long wait – since the autumn of<br />

2019, in the cases of the Women and Wheelchair teams,<br />

and the autumn of 2018 for our <strong>England</strong> Men, after the<br />

Great Britain tour took centre stage two years ago.<br />

Welcome also to the Women’s and Wheelchair teams<br />

of Wales, and to the Combined Nations All Stars.<br />

In the cases of all six teams involved this weekend, a<br />

huge amount of work has gone into selecting, preparing<br />

and assembling squads – these are such challenging<br />

times for all, in sport and beyond.<br />

Of course there was an added urgency to ensuring<br />

our <strong>England</strong> teams had mid-year competition in 2021,<br />

with the <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> World Cup looming increasingly<br />

large. Again, the global pandemic has thrown up<br />

difficulties that would have been unimaginable to Jon<br />

Dutton and his team when they were first planning such<br />

exciting and ambitions competitions.<br />

They have responded to those challenges with<br />

remarkable resilience and imagination, and we still<br />

have so much to anticipate, with Men’s, Women’s and<br />

Wheelchair <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> receiving unprecedented<br />

levels of terrestrial exposure through the BBC.<br />

The World Cup has already made a tangible impact<br />

on <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> clubs and communities through the<br />

inspirational CreatedBy Capital Grants Programme,<br />

delivering £10m of investment in facilities – thanks<br />

to the generous support of Government, which has<br />

continued in recent months.<br />

This weekend’s hosts, Warrington and Sheffield,<br />

have both benefited, with the superb development at<br />

Victoria Park – which hosted the Culture Secretary Oliver<br />

Dowden who even conducted the Betfred Challenge<br />

Cup draw – and the investment in a new Wheelchair<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> team in Sheffield.<br />

The lessons of the last two World Cups, in the<br />

Northern Hemisphere in 2013 and in Australia, New<br />

Zealand and Papua New Guinea in 2017, have been that<br />

<strong>International</strong> <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> offers such huge potential<br />

for our sport.<br />

That was why we were so determined to ensure that<br />

our <strong>England</strong> Men, Women and Wheelchair teams played<br />

on the same mid-summer weekend – the first chance to<br />

see their new World Cup kit, for supporters and partners<br />

alike, as well as providing essential squad time for the<br />

coaches and players.<br />

We welcome The National Lottery as new title<br />

partners for <strong>International</strong> <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> – their support<br />

of Women’s and Girls’ <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> has breathed<br />

essential life into the return of the game in 2021, to<br />

enable our players to stay on track for the immense<br />

challenges of their World Cup.<br />

We also welcome Sky Sports, as they make history by<br />

televising the National Lottery Mid-Season <strong>International</strong><br />

– further evidence of their outstanding support of<br />

Women’s <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong>, which began with live Grand<br />

Final coverage in 2019, and has continued this year<br />

with a weekly highlights package, made possible by<br />

the excellence of the pictures provided by InTouch<br />

Productions.<br />

The Wheelchair <strong>International</strong> will also received<br />

unprecedented exposure through live coverage on BBC<br />

Sport – a hint of what lies ahead this autumn, when<br />

we have a chance to create a new group of nationally<br />

recognisable <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> heroes.<br />

Please get behind our <strong>England</strong> teams, respect our<br />

opposition – and enjoy the return of representative<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong>.<br />

Simon<br />

SIMON JOHNSON<br />

Chair of the <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

Football <strong>League</strong><br />

Ru<br />

Qu<br />

Ro<br />

CH<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> Football <strong>League</strong><br />

Quay West, Trafford Wharf<br />

Road, Trafford Park,<br />

Manchester, M17 1HH<br />

Editor: Dave Swanton<br />

Photography: Simon Wilkinson<br />

Designed on behalf of the RFL by<br />

www.ignitionsportmedia.com<br />

#03


#ENGLANDRL<br />

WELCOME<br />

from Gareth Kear<br />

As Chief Executive of the Wales<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong>, I’m delighted to<br />

welcome those attending the<br />

Women’s and Wheelchair international<br />

fixtures this weekend.<br />

It has been a difficult year for all, but<br />

the return of international <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong><br />

is timely as we prepare for the World Cup<br />

later in 2021.<br />

World Cups have always been special<br />

to Wales, and our coach John Kear is<br />

leaving no stone unturned as he selects a<br />

squad of Players born and bred in Wales<br />

complimented with heritage players. We<br />

face some tough challenges as we prepare<br />

to play Cook Islands, Tonga, and PNG, we<br />

of course are hoping for wet, cold winter<br />

weather to help our quest.<br />

Today you will notice our women warming<br />

up in special ‘1 Team 1 Race’ T shirts to<br />

promote the charity that is raising money<br />

for a huge life and quarter size statue of<br />

Billy Boston, Gus Risman and Clive Sullivan<br />

that will stand proudly outside the Welsh<br />

Parliament building in Cardiff Bay formally<br />

known as Tiger bay and close to where<br />

all 3 grew up. The statue commemorates<br />

the players from Cardiff who faced<br />

discrimination and were forced to go ‘North’.<br />

Each of the T shirts worn today will be<br />

signed by players and auctioned off to help<br />

fund raising. Please go here to donate www.<br />

rugbycodebreakers.co.uk<br />

Our Women’s and Wheelchair teams<br />

reflect the full range of <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong><br />

development that is taking place in North<br />

and South Wales as we work to respect the<br />

code’s great Welsh history, and to produce<br />

more great Welsh <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> players, like<br />

Boston, Risman and Sullivan.<br />

I believe that international <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong><br />

is important for the growth of our game<br />

in the Nothern Hemisphere and a regular<br />

mid-season <strong>International</strong> window is key to<br />

this. It’s important that we have meaningful<br />

international competition in all forms of<br />

the game, and Wales <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> are<br />

determined to play a leading part in that.<br />

Warrington is a venue with so many<br />

strong ties to Wales through <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong>,<br />

so I know it is a venue our Women’s<br />

team will enjoy.<br />

It’s a huge step forward for us to play<br />

our first full international fixture with live<br />

coverage on Sky Sports, and likewise it<br />

will be wonderful exposure for our Wales<br />

Wheelchair team ranked third in the<br />

world to face <strong>England</strong> ranked second with<br />

coverage on the BBC.<br />

After the events of the last year, we’re all<br />

determined to enjoy this experience. I hope<br />

the same goes for everyone watching the<br />

games. Cymru am Byth!<br />

Gareth<br />

GARETH KEAR<br />

Chief Executive of the<br />

Wales <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong><br />

#05


#ENGLANDRL<br />

COMBINED NATIONS ALL STARS<br />

WEAR MOSE MASOE INSPIRED<br />

KIT TO RAISE FUNDS<br />

Kit partner OXEN has<br />

worked with former<br />

Samoan international<br />

Mose Masoe to design a unique<br />

and attractive jersey for the<br />

Combined Nations All Stars<br />

which incorporates all Masoe’s<br />

previous clubs, and even<br />

replicates his own tattoos<br />

across the shoulder and sleeve.<br />

Masoe suffered a careerending<br />

spinal injury while<br />

playing for Hull Kingston<br />

Rovers last year. £10 from<br />

every shirt sold will go direct to<br />

the Mose Masoe Foundation,<br />

the charity set up following<br />

his injury to support to his<br />

family. The foundation will<br />

also support other <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> players who suffer<br />

spinal injuries.<br />

OXEN CEO Lee Jenkinson<br />

says: “It’s been a real honour<br />

to work with Mose, Carissa and<br />

the wider team at the Mose<br />

Masoe Foundation in designing<br />

this year’s Combined Nations<br />

All Stars shirt.<br />

“Working closely with Mose<br />

in the initial design stages, we<br />

were able to get a feel for what<br />

he’d like to see on the shirt,<br />

and we are delighted with the<br />

final result.<br />

R Combined Nations All Stars’ Head Coach Tim Sheens alongside Mose Masoe<br />

“Incorporating subtle nods<br />

to each of Mose’s former clubs,<br />

including his junior teams<br />

Randwick Kingfishers and<br />

the Wellington Orcas, and<br />

the replication of Mose’s own<br />

tattoos, we hope the fans will<br />

get behind this and help raise<br />

funds for Mose’s foundation.”<br />

All Stars coach Tim Sheens<br />

adds: “I’d like to thank OXEN<br />

and Green Flag for supporting<br />

the All Stars and the Mose<br />

Masoe Foundation. The Exiles<br />

games that were played a<br />

decade or so ago showed the<br />

amount of overseas talent<br />

in the Super <strong>League</strong>, and by<br />

rebranding as Combined<br />

Nations All Stars, it’s expanded<br />

the players available from<br />

other countries who will be<br />

involved in the World Cup.<br />

“Although we know one of<br />

the main aims of the fixture is<br />

to help Shaun Wane and his<br />

<strong>England</strong> team by providing<br />

an intense quality match<br />

as part of their World Cup<br />

preparations, I’m pretty<br />

confident that when we get<br />

the group together we’ll be<br />

determined to beat them.”<br />

The Combined Nations All<br />

Stars shirt is available to buy<br />

now at eliteproports.co.uk<br />

#07


#ENGLANDRL<br />

WELCOME<br />

from Shaun Wane<br />

Good evening and<br />

welcome to the Halliwell<br />

Jones Stadium for this<br />

evening’s games.<br />

Firstly, I’d like to wish <strong>England</strong><br />

Women the very best for their<br />

game with Wales here tonight and<br />

the same to our Wheelchair side<br />

who also face Wales tomorrow<br />

in Sheffield.<br />

Personally, it feels as though<br />

I have been waiting fifty odd years<br />

for tonight and the opportunity to<br />

lead the team out, and to sing the<br />

national anthem loud and proud<br />

before the game.<br />

I have selected the best team<br />

available and I expect a tough<br />

match, with all players giving<br />

everything. I am looking for a big<br />

team performance tonight and am<br />

sure our opponents will be giving<br />

their all to make us fight for the full<br />

80 minutes. Every eligible player is<br />

well aware of the standards I set,<br />

and I am not afraid to drop players<br />

from the squad and bring in players<br />

who deserve to be there.<br />

Coaching against Tim Sheens<br />

is a personal honour for me. He is<br />

one of the best coaches ever. I am<br />

looking forward to working against<br />

him tonight, and giving my best<br />

to out-think him and manage the<br />

team to victory.<br />

I held off naming the starting<br />

team, bench and captain as long<br />

as possible as there are so many<br />

factors to take into account – not<br />

just the pandemic, but because<br />

of injuries and suspensions from<br />

last weekend’s games too. As<br />

everyone knows Covid has been a<br />

massive disruption to us, but it’s<br />

a worldwide issue and we should<br />

get things into perspective. People<br />

have been losing their lives and<br />

their loved ones.<br />

Behind the scenes I have<br />

assembled the best backroom<br />

team possible for tonight and the<br />

World Cup. All the off-field team<br />

are experts in their own field and<br />

as a unit I am satisfied that we<br />

can do well.<br />

It should be a great atmosphere<br />

tonight, not only because it’s part<br />

of the World Cup build up, but<br />

because fans have not been able<br />

to visit grounds for so long and will<br />

be looking forward to joining forces<br />

and cheering the players.<br />

Let’s make it a night<br />

to remember.<br />

Shau<br />

SHAUN WANE<br />

<strong>England</strong> Head Coach<br />

#08


#ENGLANDRL<br />

#09


#ENGLANDRL<br />

Head Coach<br />

Shaun Wane<br />

ENGLAND<br />

Wigan Warriors John Bateman ●<br />

Warrington Wolves Daryl Clark ●<br />

Warrington Wolves Mike Cooper ●<br />

Warrington Wolves Ben Currie ●<br />

Catalans Dragons Tom Davies ●<br />

Wigan Warriors Liam Farrell ●<br />

Leeds Rhinos Luke Gale ●<br />

Leeds Rhinos Ash Handley ●<br />

St Helens Morgan Knowles ●<br />

Wakefield Trinity Reece Lyne ●<br />

St Helens Jonny Lomax ●<br />

Castleford Tigers Paul McShane ●<br />

St Helens Tommy Makinson ●<br />

Leeds Rhinos Mikolaj Oledzki ●<br />

Warrington Wolves Joe Philbin ●<br />

Warrington Wolves Stefan Ratchford ●<br />

Catalans Dragons Sam Tomkins ●<br />

St Helens Alex Walmsley ●<br />

Wakefield Trinity Joe Westerman ●<br />

ENGLAND vs COMBINED NATIONS ALL-STARS<br />

FRIDAY 25 JUNE 2021<br />

HALLIWELL JONES STADIUM<br />

KICK-OFF 20:15<br />

#10


#ENGLANDRL<br />

COMBINED NATIONS ALL STARS<br />

● Jake Connor Hull FC<br />

● Kenny Edwards Huddersfield Giants<br />

● Jackson Hastings Wigan Warriors<br />

● Liam Kay Wakefield Trinity<br />

● Kruise Leeming Leeds Rhinos<br />

● Ricky Leutele Huddersfield Giants<br />

● Peter Mata’utia Castleford Tigers<br />

● Suaia Matagi Castleford Tigers<br />

● Jermaine McGillvary Huddersfield Giants<br />

● Junior Moors Featherstone Rovers<br />

● Pauli Pauli Salford Red Devils<br />

● Nathan Peats Leigh Centurions<br />

● Matt Prior Leeds Rhinos<br />

● Chris Satae Hull FC<br />

● Andre Savelio Hull FC<br />

● Aidan Sezer Huddersfield Giants<br />

● Ken Sio Salford Red Devils<br />

● Kelepi Tanginoa Wakefield Trinity<br />

● Luke Yates Huddersfield Giants<br />

Head Coach<br />

Tim Sheens<br />

MATCH OFFICIAL APPOINTMENTS<br />

REFEREE: JAMES CHILD // TOUCH JUDGES: CHRIS KENDALL, MARK CRAVEN<br />

RESERVE REFEREE: JOHN McMULLEN // RESERVE TOUCH JUDGE: DEAN BOWMER<br />

VIDEO REFEREE: BEN THALER // STANDBY OFFICIAL: ALAN BILLINGTON<br />

TIMEKEEPER: NICK HOPE // MATCH COMMISSIONER: KEITH LEYLAND<br />

#11


#ENGLANDRL<br />

Head Coach<br />

Craig Richards<br />

ENGLAND WOMEN<br />

St Helens Emily Rudge ●<br />

Leeds Rhinos Caitlin Beevers ●<br />

St Helens Chantelle Crowl ●<br />

St Helens Jodie Cunningham ●<br />

Castleford Tigers Hollie Dodd ●<br />

York City Knights Grace Field ●<br />

York City Knights Kelsey Gentles ●<br />

Leeds Rhinos Fran Goldthorp ●<br />

St Helens Amy Hardcastle ●<br />

Castleford Tigers Shona Hoyle ●<br />

St Helens Tara Jones ●<br />

Castleford Tigers Emma Lumley ●<br />

Wigan Warriors Vicky Molyneux ●<br />

St Helens Carrie Roberts ●<br />

Castleford Tigers Georgia Roche ●<br />

St Helens Beth Stott ●<br />

Castleford Tigers Tara Stanley ●<br />

St Helens Paige Travis ●<br />

Wigan Warriors Georgia Wilson ●<br />

ENGLAND WOMEN vs WALES WOMEN<br />

FRIDAY 25 JUNE 2021<br />

HALLIWELL JONES STADIUM // KICK-OFF 18:00<br />

#12


#ENGLANDRL<br />

WALES WOMEN<br />

● Kathryn Salter London Broncos<br />

● Jess McAuley British Army<br />

● Lowri Norkett Rhondda Outlaws / Cardiff Demons<br />

● Seren Gough-Walters Cardiff Blue Dragons / Cardiff Demons<br />

● Eleri Michael Bridgend Blue Bulls / Cardiff Demons<br />

● Amberly Ruck Cardiff Blue Dragons / Cardiff Demons<br />

● Shaunni Davies Rhondda Outlaws / Cardiff Demons<br />

● Lauren Aitken Cardiff Blue Dragons / Cardiff Demons<br />

● Ffion Lewis Rhondda Outlaws / Cardiff Demon<br />

● Sara Prosser Rhondda Outlaws / Cardiff Demons<br />

● Emily Hughes London Broncos<br />

● Charlie Mundy Cardiff Blue Dragons / Cardiff Demons<br />

● Rafiuke Taylor Cardiff Blue Dragons / Cardiff Demons<br />

● Carys Marsh Wigan Warriors<br />

● Keira McCosh Warrington Wolves<br />

● Danyelle Dinapoli Cardiff Blue Dragons / Cardiff Demons<br />

● Sara Jones Bridgend Blue Bulls / Cardiff Demons<br />

● Leanne Burnell Cardiff Blue Dragons / Cardiff Demons<br />

● Ffion Jones Bridgend Blue Bulls / Cardiff Demons<br />

Head Coach<br />

Thomas Brindle<br />

MATCH OFFICIAL APPOINTMENTS<br />

REFEREE: AARON MOORE // TOUCH JUDGES: PAUL MARKLOVE, GARETH JONES<br />

RESERVE REFEREE: JOHN McMULLEN // RESERVE TOUCH JUDGE: WARREN TURLEY<br />

TIMEKEEPER: PHIL SMITH // TECHNICAL DELEGATE: REMOND SAFI<br />

#13


#ENGLANDRL<br />

WOMEN’S RUGBY LEAGUE<br />

BLOOMING IN WALES<br />

Female <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong><br />

in Wales is the<br />

currently the biggest<br />

it has ever been. With four<br />

sides in South Wales and a<br />

North Wales Origin side being<br />

set up for autumn fixtures,<br />

we’ve never had so many<br />

women and girls playing <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> in Wales.<br />

Wales <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong><br />

experimented with the<br />

women’s game a couple of<br />

times over the 2010s. Friday<br />

30th July 2010 saw the first<br />

girls’ game in Wales where<br />

Ysgol Tre-Gib from Llandeilo<br />

beat Dyffryn Taf School from<br />

Whitland 24-8. After that, late<br />

2015 saw St Joseph’s High<br />

School of Wrexham beat Elfed<br />

High School from Buckley<br />

12-0. However nothing was<br />

continued at the time – largely<br />

due to funding.<br />

However female players<br />

have played alongside the men<br />

in Welsh <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong>. It was<br />

the Wales Wheelchair side that<br />

fielded the first Welsh female<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> international<br />

in Sarah-Anne Evans who<br />

played in the Celtic Cup against<br />

Scotland and Ireland on April<br />

30th 2016. The first female<br />

scorer for Wales was Claire<br />

Cranston, who grounded three<br />

tries for Wales in the 2017<br />

Wheelchair World Cup – one<br />

against Italy on July 25th, then<br />

two against Spain on July 27th<br />

where she was awarded player<br />

of the match.<br />

In 2019, the Llanelli Knights<br />

U12s “boys side” had a girl in<br />

their ranks who was a regular<br />

in the side and when clubs<br />

started U10s in 2021, other<br />

Welsh community clubs<br />

followed suit.<br />

The women’s game finally<br />

took off in the summer of 2019<br />

thanks to Cardiff Blue Dragons<br />

and Rhondda Outlaws who<br />

formed the first two openage<br />

clubs that finally played<br />

a match. Cardiff won both of<br />

the games, 52-10 at home on<br />

July 27th and 30-28 away a<br />

week later. The first Women’s<br />

Origin match then took place<br />

in Cardiff on August 25th 2019<br />

where East Wales beat West<br />

Wales 32-6.<br />

Following the initial<br />

domestic matches, two<br />

women’s international games<br />

were played in the autumn of<br />

2019 with the first head coach<br />

being Craig Taylor, who was<br />

also the coach of the Bradford<br />

Bulls women’s U19 side. Wales<br />

lost to Great Britain Teachers<br />

30-6 in Neath in their first<br />

outing, before historically beat<br />

<strong>England</strong> Lions 24-20 a couple<br />

of weeks’ later. Wales’ captain<br />

for those games, Rafiuke Taylor<br />

became Wales’ first female<br />

cross-code international<br />

and Ffion Lewis could follow<br />

her in this feat in tonight’s<br />

match. Incidentally, this would<br />

bring Wales’ total number of<br />

rugby “codebreakers” to 100<br />

exactly – all starting from Dai<br />

Tarw Jones in the world’s first<br />

#14


#ENGLANDRL<br />

CHWARAEWYR CYMRU - Y TYMOR HYD YMA<br />

Gan Siân Golden<br />

Mae timau merched a chadair olwyn Cymru wedi paratoi yn drylwyr<br />

ar gyfer yr ornest yn erbyn Lloegr y penwythnos hon, mewn<br />

sesiynau cenedlaethol a gemau cynghrair.<br />

Dewisir carfan Merched Cymru o’r rhai a gystadleuodd yn 2019<br />

ar ben llawer o chwaraewyr sydd yn newydd i’r gamp a gafodd eu<br />

cofrestru gyda chlwb newydd Diawliaid Caerdydd o fewn cynghrair<br />

Betfred Women’s Super <strong>League</strong> South, yn ogystal a’u clybiau<br />

cymunedol. Maent yn cynnwys chwaraewr rhyngwladol Undeb Rygbi<br />

Cymru, Ffion Lewis, a allai fod yn y ganfed chwaraewr yng Nghymru<br />

i chwarae undeb a chynghrair os y daw hi ar y cae heno. Gallai Eleri<br />

Michael ac Amberley Ruck fod yn dorwyr cod gwahanol iawn, gyda<br />

Michael wedi bod yn rhan o garfan Cymru ym mhel rwyd, a Ruck wedi<br />

bod yn rhan o dim cyffwrdd rhyngwladol Cymru.<br />

Tra fod rhan fwyaf o garfan Cymru wedi chwarae un neu ddau gem<br />

yn y gynghrair leol yn Ne Cymru, bydden nhw yn gallu cyfri ar ser<br />

profiadol Super <strong>League</strong> Carys Marsh o Wigan Warriors a Keira McCosh<br />

o Warrington Wolves.<br />

Mae McCosh wedi bod yn rhan o bob un o gemau rhyngwladol rygbi<br />

cynghrair Cymru hyd yn hyn, ond dyma fydd ei chap cyntaf erioed<br />

i Gymru. Chwaraeodd hi fel rhan o wrthwynebwyr Cymru yn 2019,<br />

Athrawon Prydain Fawr a wedyn Llewod Lloegr. Mae Marsh a McCosh<br />

wedi chwarae pum gem Super <strong>League</strong> y tymor hwn, y ddwy wedi<br />

sgorio un cais yr un.<br />

Yn ychwanegol i hyn, mae Jess McAuley wedi chwarae un gem<br />

yn unig ar gyfer Byddin Prydain eleni, gyda’u buddugoliaeth dros<br />

Broncos Llundain, lle y sgoriodd dau drosiad. Bydd yn gwynebu ei<br />

chyd-chwaraewr o’r fyddin Carrie Roberts heno.<br />

Mae pob un o dim cadair olwyn Cymru yn chwarewyr profiadol.<br />

Fe ddechreuodd tymor Wheelchair Super <strong>League</strong> y mis diwethaf a<br />

chwaraeodd hanner o dim Cymru ar gyfer Crusaders Gogledd Cymru.<br />

Nid ydynt wedi profi buddugoliaeth cyn belled y tymor yma, ond bydd<br />

eu hyder wedi cynyddu oherwydd i Gymru ennill yn ysgubol yn erbyn<br />

yr Alban ac Iwerddon yn y Cwpan Celtaidd bythefnos yn ôl.<br />

Mae Alan Caron, un o chwaraewyr cyntaf rygbi cadair olwyn<br />

Cymru, prif sgorwr Andrew Higgins a chapten newydd Cymru, Gary<br />

Preece, wedi bod yn chwarae i Hereford Harriers. Maent yn anelu am<br />

dyrchafiad o gynghrair y Bencampwriaeth, maent wedi dechreuad<br />

ardderchog gyda thair buddugoliaeth allan o dri, bob un yn erbyn<br />

timau Cymraeg - Crusaders Gogledd Cymru A, Teigrod Torfaen a<br />

Raiders Gorllewin Cymru,<br />

Yn olaf, ennill neu beidio y prynhawn yma, bydd un chwaraewr<br />

Cymru yn codi tlws yr wythnos nesaf pan fydd Argonauts Richard<br />

Carvers yn cwrdd a Leeds Rhinos’ Jodie-Anne Boyd-Ward yn rownd<br />

derfynol Nghwpan Sialans Betfred, ac fel heddiw, bydd yr ornest yn<br />

cael ei dangos yn fyw gan BBC Chwaraeon. Mae’r ddau chwaraewr<br />

wedi bod yn ddylanwadol yng ngemau cyntaf y tymor, sydd ond yn<br />

bedair wythnos oed.<br />

R Captain Rafiuke Taylor in<br />

action v GB Teachers<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> international<br />

between two countries in 1908,<br />

and along with way featuring<br />

players like Lewis Jones, Dai<br />

Watkins, Jonathan Davies<br />

and Gareth Thomas – good<br />

company indeed.<br />

The domestic game is set<br />

to take off in 2021. Rhondda<br />

Outlaws and Torfaen Tigers<br />

opened the new Welsh<br />

competition earlier this<br />

month whilst a new side in<br />

Betfred Super <strong>League</strong> South,<br />

Cardiff Demons, will kick off<br />

next month, playing matches<br />

against Golden Ferns, the<br />

female arm of the All Golds,<br />

and Cornish Rebels. It is hoped<br />

that this new side, named<br />

after one of Cardiff’s famous<br />

old clubs from a decade ago,<br />

will eventually play in the<br />

main Women’s Super <strong>League</strong><br />

competition, which will<br />

only help the international<br />

game in Wales and potential<br />

qualification for the 2025<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> World Cup.<br />

#15


#ENGLANDRL<br />

PROGRESS<br />

REPORT<br />

The NRL’s Bradley Walter brings us up-to-date with the <strong>England</strong><br />

hopefuls currently plying their trade ‘in a land down under’....<br />

Canberra second-rower<br />

Elliott Whitehead has<br />

emerged as a contender<br />

to become <strong>England</strong>’s next captain<br />

after taking over the role with the<br />

Raiders this season.<br />

Whitehead, who is one of four<br />

Englishman in Canberra following<br />

the release of star half-back<br />

George Williams on compassionate<br />

grounds, was handed the captaincy<br />

of the Raiders after hooker Josh<br />

Hodgson stood down from the<br />

skipper’s duties earlier this season.<br />

Hodgson, Whitehead, prop Ryan<br />

Sutton and rookie forward Harry<br />

Rushton are Canberra’s remaining<br />

English quartet, while the club<br />

also boast the services of Wales<br />

full-back Caleb Aekins and have<br />

expressed interest in Warrington<br />

half-back Gareth Widdop.<br />

The other English players in the<br />

NRL this season include South<br />

Sydney front-rower Tom Burgess,<br />

Canterbury Bulldogs prop Luke<br />

Thompson, Brisbane Broncos back<br />

Herbie Farnworth and the young<br />

Newcastle duo of Dom Young and<br />

Bailey Hodgson.<br />

ELLIOTT WHITEHEAD<br />

Canberra Raiders<br />

Consistently one of the best players<br />

for the Raiders, as well as <strong>England</strong>,<br />

Whitehead has not missed a game<br />

this season and he has taken the<br />

added responsibility of captaincy<br />

in his stride.<br />

While Canberra have won just<br />

five of their 13 matches, Whitehead<br />

has been in good form and<br />

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart had<br />

no hesitation in handing him the<br />

captaincy role after Josh Hodgson<br />

relinquished the role.<br />

JOSH HODGSON<br />

Canberra Raiders<br />

The <strong>England</strong> hooker has taken time<br />

to get back to his best after his 2020<br />

season was ended by a knee injury<br />

sustained in Canberra’s round nine<br />

clash with Melbourne.<br />

Hodgson has spent time at lock<br />

as well as hooker this season to<br />

enable Raiders coach Ricky Stuart<br />

to find a spot for back-up dummy<br />

half Tom Starling after he filled in so<br />

admirably last year. Despite injury<br />

and suspension set-backs that have<br />

#16


#ENGLANDRL<br />

limited him to nine appearances<br />

for the Green Machine this season,<br />

Hodgson has been responsible<br />

for more try assists (seven) than<br />

any other hooker in the NRL so far<br />

this season.<br />

RYAN SUTTON<br />

Canberra Raiders<br />

The former Wigan prop was an<br />

unheralded signing when he<br />

joined the Raiders in 2019 but<br />

Sutton has developed into one of<br />

the mainstays of a star-studded<br />

Canberra pack.<br />

Sutton enjoyed a breakout<br />

season in 2020 as he played<br />

increased minutes and won Ricky<br />

Stuart’s Coach’s Award for the<br />

Raiders. He has continued that<br />

form this season to be one of<br />

Canberra’s best forwards and is<br />

pushing hard for <strong>England</strong> selection<br />

at the end of season.<br />

TOM BURGESS<br />

South Sydney Rabbitohs<br />

The 29-year-old prop gets better<br />

with age and has been one of<br />

the most consistent members<br />

of the South Sydney pack this<br />

season under the coaching of<br />

Wayne Bennett.<br />

The last of the four Burgess<br />

brothers to play for Rabbitohs,<br />

Tom enjoyed arguably his best NRL<br />

season last term and has again<br />

been leading the way up front.<br />

Burgess has played all 14<br />

matches for the Rabbitohs this<br />

season and is averaging 137 metres<br />

running with the ball and 25<br />

tackles per game.<br />

LUKE THOMPSON<br />

Canterbury Bulldogs<br />

After arriving midway through<br />

last season and having to endure<br />

quarantine and the NRL’s strict<br />

biosecurity protocols, Thompson is<br />

understandably much more settled<br />

this season and has shown why he<br />

is regarded as one of the best props<br />

in the game.<br />

After serving a four-match<br />

suspension at the start of the<br />

season, the former St Helens frontrower<br />

has not missed a game for<br />

Canterbury and has played long<br />

minutes for a middle forward.<br />

Thompson has been carrying<br />

the ball for 149 metres per match<br />

and is averaging 35 tackles for the<br />

Bulldogs in his nine appearances<br />

so far this season.<br />

HERBIE FARNWORTH<br />

Brisbane Broncos<br />

The 21-year-old has been one of<br />

the shining lights for Brisbane in<br />

a disappointing season so far and<br />

has looked comfortable playing<br />

centre, wing or full-back.<br />

Farnworth is averaging 144<br />

metres running with the ball in his<br />

12 appearances this season and<br />

has scored a try as well as being<br />

responsible for three try assists.<br />

Farnworth established himself<br />

as an NRL regular last season<br />

and won Brisbane’s rookie of the<br />

year award as the Wigan product<br />

demonstrated that he wouldn’t be<br />

out of place in an <strong>England</strong> jersey for<br />

the World Cup.<br />

DOM YOUNG<br />

Newcastle Knights<br />

The 19-year-old has played three<br />

NRL appearances on the wing for<br />

Newcastle after joining the Knights<br />

from Huddersfield this season.<br />

Young scored his first NRL try in<br />

the round 14 match against South<br />

Sydney and looks to have a bright<br />

future in the NRL.<br />

#17


#ENGLANDRL<br />

NEW FACES AND NEW<br />

RUGBY LEAGUE ELITE<br />

WHEELCHAIRS<br />

<strong>England</strong> have named their<br />

10-man team for their<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong><br />

<strong>International</strong> against Wales in<br />

Sheffield – when the players will be<br />

using new <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> Elite<br />

Wheelchairs manufactured by the<br />

sports wheelchair specialists RGK<br />

for the first time in competition as<br />

they continue preparations for this<br />

autumn’s World Cup.<br />

Adam Rigby of Leyland Warriors,<br />

Josh Butler of Leeds Rhinos<br />

and Rob Hawkins of the Halifax<br />

Panthers, the reigning Young<br />

Wheelchair <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> Player<br />

of the Year, are the three inclusions<br />

who were not involved in <strong>England</strong>’s<br />

successful tour of Australia<br />

in late 2019.<br />

Butler is one of four Rhinos<br />

players in the squad, alongside<br />

Nathan Collins, Tom Halliwell and<br />

James Simpson, and Hawkins is<br />

joined by his Panthers team-mate<br />

Wayne Boardman.<br />

The Kent-based Argonauts are<br />

represented by Joe Coyd and Lewis<br />

King, and the team is completed by<br />

Sebastien Bechara, who was born<br />

in Nottingham and now plays in<br />

France for the Catalans Dragons.<br />

Tom Coyd, the <strong>England</strong> Head<br />

Coach, said: “Our season and<br />

preparation is building nicely. The<br />

whole of the National Performance<br />

Squad put in a huge personal effort<br />

over the pandemic period and<br />

improved in every dimension. Since<br />

we came back to training together<br />

in March this year, we have made<br />

big improvements every time we<br />

get together at practice.<br />

“Team selection was a real<br />

challenge. Our game is evolving<br />

and we are testing ourselves,<br />

pushing the boundaries of how<br />

the game has been played and<br />

evolving the sport. Players have to<br />

be flexible and be able to fit into<br />

the playing style. Wales will give<br />

us a great challenge and enable<br />

us measure progress. Each player<br />

who has made selection is there<br />

on merit and will get a crack in an<br />

<strong>International</strong> Test Match.”<br />

The players in <strong>England</strong>’s<br />

squad were measured for their<br />

bespoke chairs by RGK during<br />

recent training camps, and Martin<br />

Coyd, the General Manager of<br />

<strong>England</strong> Wheelchair RL, is excited<br />

by the impact they may have on<br />

performance.<br />

<strong>England</strong> play their three<br />

group matches in the<br />

Wheelchair <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong><br />

World Cup at the Copper Box<br />

Arena in London’s Olympic<br />

Park, starting against<br />

Australia on November 11.<br />

The Final of the Wheelchair<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> World Cup is at<br />

Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena<br />

on Friday November 26.<br />

For details of tickets, see<br />

Official Tickets | <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> World Cup 2021<br />

(rlwc2021.com)<br />

#18


#ENGLANDRL<br />

R <strong>England</strong>’s Sebastien<br />

Bechara plies his domestic<br />

trade with Catalans Dragons<br />

“The build-up to the 2021<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> World Cup gives us<br />

a wonderful opportunity to test,<br />

push and improve everything we<br />

do in the game,” he said. “We have<br />

built the best possible Coaching<br />

and Support Team to give the<br />

players the opportunity to be at<br />

their best. Great coaching, analysis,<br />

medicine, nutrition, sports science,<br />

psychology and wellbeing are all<br />

playing a big role in incremental<br />

improvements across the board.<br />

“We have created partnerships<br />

with a fantastic group of sponsors<br />

which has enabled us to source a<br />

state of the art, made to measure,<br />

ergonomic Wheelchair for each<br />

player in the RLWC Team.<br />

“RGK make the best wheelchairs<br />

in the world and they have<br />

developed a <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> specific<br />

Chair. We believe that this will raise<br />

our levels even further and enable<br />

the players to feel the benefit of<br />

their hard work on and off the field.<br />

We are determined to be at our very<br />

best come November.”<br />

Dorian Benjamin, the Sales<br />

& Marketing Manager at RGK<br />

Wheelchairs, said: “Everyone at<br />

RGK is absolutely thrilled to be a<br />

part of <strong>England</strong>’s journey to the<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> World Cup.<br />

“Over the past year, we have<br />

developed a fantastic relationship<br />

with the whole national team<br />

plus management staff. As a<br />

company who is heavily involved<br />

with world class level sport, we<br />

are very privileged to supply the<br />

entire team with our <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong><br />

Elite Wheelchairs and cannot wait<br />

to support their journey to and<br />

beyond the World Cup.”<br />

The <strong>England</strong> squad used the<br />

chairs in a training session last<br />

weekend at the English Institute<br />

of Sport in Sheffield, the venue for<br />

this weekend’s international, and<br />

for several fixtures in the <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> World Cup.<br />

ENGLAND SQUAD<br />

Sebastien Bechara ....... Catalans Dragons<br />

Wayne Boardman .............Halifax Panthers<br />

Josh Butler ...................................Leeds Rhinos<br />

Nathan Collins ...........................Leeds Rhinos<br />

Joe Coyd ............................................. Argonauts<br />

Tom Halliwell ..............................Leeds Rhinos<br />

Rob Hawkins .........................Halifax Panthers<br />

Lewis King .......................................... Argonauts<br />

Adam Rigby ...........................Leyland Warriors<br />

James Simpson ........................Leeds Rhinos<br />

#19


#ENGLANDRL<br />

WALES WHEELCHAIR<br />

RUGBY LEAGUE<br />

The Wales Wheelchair side<br />

celebrates its tenth<br />

anniversary next year after<br />

being founded in 2012 for the<br />

RFL-organised ‘Four Nations’<br />

tournament.<br />

Due to their Welsh heritage and<br />

their experience in Wheelchair<br />

sports, two people - Herefordbased<br />

Alan Caron and Liverpoolbased<br />

Maurice Craig - were<br />

asked by the RFL to set a team<br />

up and coach them. Caron<br />

coached the side in the initial<br />

tournament, where Wales finished<br />

second, before Craig took over<br />

for the 2013 Wheelchair <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> World Cup.<br />

I can remember the call to the<br />

Wales <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> offices at the<br />

time as Alan introduced himself<br />

and asked us for kit.<br />

Wales’ first ever Wheelchair<br />

international was on Saturday<br />

7 July 2012 against Scotland<br />

where they won 20-6, a low score<br />

compared to today’s standards.<br />

They went onto face Ireland later<br />

that day and won 44-4. That set up<br />

a winner takes all match against<br />

<strong>England</strong> for the first ever Four<br />

Nations title where <strong>England</strong> won<br />

34-0. It was to be Wales’ first and<br />

only whitewash against them.<br />

Caron, who played in the first<br />

three games and is now Wales’ test<br />

cap record holder with 34, then<br />

start working on developing clubs,<br />

contacting organisations in North<br />

and South Wales. It was, at the<br />

time, just North Wales Crusaders’<br />

Bob Wilson took up the offer and<br />

the club’s first Wheelchair side was<br />

born for the 2013 season, leading<br />

up to the World Cup.<br />

And it was a successful World<br />

Cup tournament as Wales finished<br />

third, losing only to finalists<br />

<strong>England</strong> and France. They even<br />

beat Australia twice, once in<br />

the group stages and again in<br />

the third place play-offs - those<br />

remain Wales’ only victories<br />

against Australia in any form of full<br />

international <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong>.<br />

Maurice Craig’s departure at<br />

the end of the World Cup meant<br />

that Wales needed to rebuild.<br />

Alana Sargent, the head coach of<br />

Swindon St George’s Wheelchair<br />

side, took over as Wales head<br />

coach and made history as the<br />

first female head coach of a male<br />

Welsh international side. And at<br />

the time, it was a male side, the<br />

first female to play international<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> was under<br />

Sargent’s watch as Sarah-Anne<br />

Match Officials for the<br />

<strong>England</strong> Wheelchair vs<br />

Wales Wheelchair game<br />

at the English Institute<br />

of Sport, Sheffield<br />

Match Commissioner:<br />

Steve Abel<br />

Timekeeper and score<br />

board operatives:<br />

Helen Abel & Gemma Ball<br />

Lead referee:<br />

Matt Ball<br />

Referee:<br />

Ollie Cruickshank<br />

In-goals:<br />

David Butler<br />

Luck Redman<br />

Reserve Referee:<br />

Kim Abel<br />

#20


#ENGLANDRL<br />

R The Wales Wheelchair<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> squad<br />

during their recent<br />

triumph in the Celtic Cup<br />

WALES SQUAD<br />

Richard Carver<br />

Argonauts<br />

Alan Caron<br />

Hereford Harriers<br />

Andrew Higgins<br />

Hereford Harriers<br />

Gary Preece<br />

Hereford Harriers<br />

Jodie-Ann Boyd-Ward<br />

Leeds Rhinos<br />

Stephen Halsey<br />

North Wales Crusaders<br />

Harry Jones<br />

North Wales Crusaders<br />

Lucie Roberts<br />

North Wales Crusaders<br />

Scott Trigg-Turner<br />

North Wales Crusaders<br />

Gary Taylor<br />

North Wales Crusaders<br />

Mark Williams<br />

North Wales Crusaders<br />

Evans was given her debut in the<br />

2016 Celtic Cup.<br />

Wales won that tournament,<br />

which was to be the first of five<br />

successive Celtic Cup victories -<br />

an exhausting day-long annual<br />

tournament that sees the Welsh,<br />

Irish and Scots face each other<br />

once, all in the space of under<br />

seven hours. Wales still have a one<br />

hundred per cent record in the<br />

tournament - ten wins from ten -<br />

last retaining the trophy a fortnight<br />

ago after beating Ireland 96-16 and<br />

Scotland 102-18.<br />

Sargent stood down as Wales<br />

coach after that inaugural Celtic<br />

Cup victory and was replaced by<br />

her assistant, the Wrexham-based<br />

Stephen Jones, who was head<br />

coach of the Crusaders. He is now<br />

celebrating five years in the role<br />

having coach Wales in over half<br />

of the Wheelchair internationals<br />

they’ve played in - 20 out of 38, with<br />

the Welsh winning 12.<br />

The club game in Wales has<br />

also expanded recently. North<br />

Wales Crusaders have built from<br />

one to three sides, and there are<br />

now three sides in the south of<br />

Wales with West Wales Raiders<br />

and Torfaen Tigers competing<br />

in the RFL Wheelchair leagues.<br />

Cardiff Blue Dragons launched<br />

their Wheelchair side earlier this<br />

month and they will hope to enter<br />

the fray soon.<br />

But now the concentration is<br />

on the <strong>England</strong> match, only the<br />

second non-tournament game<br />

that Wales have ever played.<br />

Don’t ever call it a friendly though.<br />

Wales have never beaten <strong>England</strong><br />

in Wheelchair <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> but<br />

did give them a scare in 2019<br />

as we almost scuppered their<br />

preparations for their Australia tour.<br />

Today’s game will be a cracker as<br />

<strong>England</strong> vs Wales lights up Sheffield<br />

and the BBC. Mwynhewch!<br />

Ian Golden, Wales <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong><br />

#21


#ENGLANDRL<br />

Freelance sports journalist Ross Heppenstall catches up with<br />

Catalans’ <strong>England</strong> winger Tom Davies, whose form across the channel<br />

has earned the Wiganer a call-up to Shaun Wane’s squad...<br />

Tom Davies took a leap of<br />

faith when he left Wigan<br />

Warriors for Catalans<br />

Dragons at the end of the<br />

2019 season.<br />

But it is proving the best move<br />

of his fledgling career and has<br />

propelled him into contention for a<br />

first senior <strong>England</strong> cap in tonight’s<br />

mid-season international against<br />

the Combined Nations All Stars.<br />

The Wigan-born winger, who<br />

has already represented the<br />

second-tier <strong>England</strong> Knights, has<br />

scored eight tries this season and<br />

is currently the second-highest<br />

metre-maker in Super <strong>League</strong>.<br />

Davies, 24, is loving life in<br />

the south of France with Steve<br />

McNamara’s side, saying: “I’m<br />

having a great time here. It’s been<br />

difficult getting to games during the<br />

pandemic, certainly in the second<br />

half of last season. But in terms of<br />

the culture and the environment<br />

in France I’ve really enjoyed it.<br />

It’s always good to broaden<br />

your horizons in different parts<br />

of the world.<br />

“I remember on my first night<br />

here and I got picked up by Channy<br />

(former player Alex Chan), who is<br />

our football manager. He said to<br />

me ‘if you can immerse yourself in<br />

the culture and lifestyle here, you’ll<br />

love it’. He said it was the ones<br />

who try and fight it are the ones<br />

who struggle.<br />

“He hit the nail on the head<br />

because it’s a massive difference<br />

compared to the usual Lancashire<br />

and Yorkshire thing. When you<br />

get out of that bubble and see<br />

something else, it opens your eyes<br />

to a new part of the world.<br />

“People here are so chilled and<br />

they say ‘tranquille, tranquille’<br />

so it’s a stress-free life. If you get<br />

into it, it is a better way of living.<br />

I absolutely love it.”<br />

Davies decided to leave Wigan at<br />

the end of 2019 following a seasonending<br />

ankle injury.<br />

At that point the Warriors spoilt<br />

for choice for wingers with Joe<br />

Burgess, Liam Marshall and Dom<br />

Manfredi all on their books.<br />

Wigan were happy to let Davies<br />

go – despite him signing a new fiveyear<br />

deal in April 2018 – although<br />

they told him that a return to the<br />

club in the future was not out of<br />

the question.<br />

“I made my name under Waney<br />

(Shaun Wane) and that really gave<br />

me a great foundation,” explains<br />

the loquacious Lancastrian.<br />

“Having come through the<br />

academy and into the first-team,<br />

that’s something I’ll always cherish.<br />

My great-grandad used to play for<br />

the club so to emulate him made<br />

me very happy.<br />

“I thought Catalans seemed like a<br />

good change for the betterment of<br />

my career. From speaking to Steve<br />

Mac, I thought Catalans would suit<br />

how he wanted me to play and take<br />

me to a different level.<br />

“It’s been the best decision I’ve<br />

ever made in my life to be honest.<br />

I wouldn’t change it for the world<br />

because this is the happiest I’ve<br />

ever been on and off the field.”<br />

When Shaun<br />

Wane phoned<br />

me to tell me<br />

I was in the<br />

squad, my<br />

first words<br />

were ‘I’m<br />

absolutely<br />

buzzing!’<br />

#22


#ENGLANDRL<br />

Davies made 62 appearances for<br />

the Cherry and Whites, crossing<br />

for 30 tries, and joined four ex-<br />

Wigan players at Catalans in Lewis<br />

Tierney, Micky McIlorum and Sam<br />

and Joel Tomkins.<br />

He played for <strong>England</strong> Knights<br />

during their tour of Papua<br />

New Guinea in 2018 but was<br />

promoted to the senior squad<br />

earlier this month.<br />

He adds: “I won’t lie, when Shaun<br />

Wane phoned me to tell me I was<br />

in the squad, my first words were<br />

‘I’m absolutely buzzing!’ I saw his<br />

name on my phone when it started<br />

ringing and my heart began beating<br />

before I even answered the call.<br />

“To then hear him say I was in his<br />

top squad was unbelievable and<br />

we had a chat about a few things<br />

during the call.<br />

“That’s been my biggest aim<br />

– getting in that senior <strong>England</strong><br />

squad and it’s made me realise<br />

I need to kick on now to the next<br />

level, especially with the World Cup<br />

at the end of the year.”<br />

Winning his first senior <strong>England</strong><br />

cap would be a good start.<br />

VIVE LA<br />

ENGLAND<br />

#23


#ENGLANDRL<br />

1970<br />

MYLER & WATSON<br />

TWO GREAT<br />

BRITS<br />

Alex<br />

Service turns the clocks back 51<br />

years to recall two greats of the game<br />

in Frank Myler and Cliff Watson...<br />

I remember it well:<br />

Saturday 16th May, 1970,<br />

the Championship final at<br />

Odsal Stadium, Bradford. In a<br />

pulsating game full of marvellous<br />

attacking rugby, my team, St<br />

Helens, had beaten Leeds 24-12.<br />

By full time we were all drenched<br />

after a thunderstorm, but it<br />

mattered not one jot. Saints, with<br />

a brace of tries from ‘emergency’<br />

winger Eric Prescott and further<br />

three pointers from veteran hooker<br />

Bill Sayer and dynamic centre John<br />

Walsh, were worthy champions.<br />

Skipper Cliff Watson lifted the<br />

trophy aloft, who had produced<br />

his usual dominant display in<br />

the front-row, with his powerful<br />

surges and relentless tackling. A<br />

drayman for Greenall Whitley, he<br />

was born in Stepney during the<br />

Blitz in 1941, with the bombedout<br />

family forced to move back<br />

to his father’s birthplace in the<br />

Midlands. He had been signed from<br />

Dudley Kingswinford RUFC after a<br />

national newspaper campaign by<br />

the St Helens club for ‘big, strong<br />

forwards’ to apply for a trial. They<br />

hit the jackpot! Cliff had, by 1970,<br />

won every major honour at club<br />

#24


#ENGLANDRL<br />

level. He was also a seasoned<br />

international footballer and a<br />

certainty for selection for the 1970<br />

tour to Australia.<br />

For the purists, however, the man<br />

who caught the eye was born and<br />

bred in Widnes. Frank Myler was a<br />

painter and decorator by trade who<br />

also had a bookmaking business.<br />

He was in the veteran stage of<br />

his career when he signed for the<br />

Saints from his hometown club, in<br />

a part exchange deal involving Ray<br />

French and Dave Markey.<br />

Frank was a superb all-round<br />

footballer, with the perfect mixture<br />

of toughness and silky skills<br />

that had been showcased at top<br />

level for over a decade. Initially<br />

a stand-off, he had been utilised<br />

by Saints in the centres, but at<br />

Odsal, he wore the No.6 jersey and<br />

was simply outstanding, winning<br />

the coveted Harry Sunderland<br />

trophy after a scintillating<br />

individual display.<br />

Ironically, the tour selectors<br />

nominated Frank as Captain for<br />

the forthcoming 1970 series Down<br />

Under, with Cliff as his deputy. The<br />

two ended up playing in all six test<br />

matches against Australia and New<br />

Zealand, with the experienced<br />

Myler playing in the centres,<br />

steadying the ship. Cliff would be<br />

an uncompromising figure in the<br />

all-important forward battles and<br />

never took a backward step.<br />

Yet the first test against Australia<br />

proved to be disappointing, with<br />

a 37-15 victory for the Green and<br />

Golds at Lang Park, Brisbane in<br />

front of over 40,000 baying fans on<br />

6th June. Watson scored one of his<br />

team’s three tries [hooker Flash<br />

Flanagan and debutant Duggie<br />

Laughton the other two], but it was<br />

not enough.<br />

It was do or die at the<br />

Sydney Cricket Ground two<br />

weeks later. Leeds centre<br />

Syd Hynes was sent off<br />

in the 56th minute, after<br />

an altercation with Artie<br />

Beetson. But this was to<br />

be a magnificent victory<br />

[28-7] against the odds<br />

by the Lions, typified by<br />

a two-try and seve-goal<br />

performance from Hull<br />

KR star Roger Millward at<br />

stand-off. It had been a<br />

rough, tough affair, but<br />

the British forwards stood up to<br />

everything thrown at them!<br />

The deciding test was at Sydney,<br />

in front of a crowd of over 60,000<br />

on 4th July. Great Britain produced<br />

a superb performance on the day.<br />

Artie Beetson was dismissed after<br />

a dubious tackle on Cliff Watson<br />

on the hour and Great Britain<br />

triumphed 21-17, scoring five tries<br />

to one. Australian full-back Allan<br />

McKean kicked seven goals to<br />

produce a somewhat flattering<br />

scoreline in the circumstances.<br />

The Lions went on to a 3-0<br />

success over New Zealand and lost<br />

just one and drew one of their 24<br />

matches overall, making the 1970<br />

squad the most successful ever<br />

to tour the Southern Hemisphere<br />

and, somewhat poignantly, the last<br />

to win the coveted Ashes. We will<br />

never forget the massive influence<br />

of Myler and Watson at the helm,<br />

two superb players from different<br />

geographical backgrounds. For<br />

club and country, they were<br />

truly peerless.<br />

QW Saints’ skipper Cliff Watson with<br />

the 1970 Championship trophy. Frank<br />

Myler is second from the left; Role<br />

reversal – Vice-Captain Cliff and Captain<br />

Frank return with the Ashes trophy<br />

FLASH<br />

BACK<br />

Prices in 1970<br />

Gallon of Petrol 6/8<br />

Pint of Beer 2/11<br />

20 Cigarettes 5/2<br />

Pint of Milk 1 shilling<br />

22” Colour TV £249<br />

Sun Newspaper 5d<br />

Average House Price<br />

£4,500<br />

Can of Coca Cola 11d<br />

Fish and Chips 4/6<br />

What Happened<br />

in 1970<br />

• Diana Ross left<br />

the Supremes<br />

• The Half Crown<br />

was no longer<br />

legal tender<br />

• The Beatles<br />

released Let it Be<br />

• Chelsea beat Leeds<br />

United in an FA<br />

Cup Final Replay<br />

• <strong>England</strong> lose to<br />

West Germany in the<br />

World Cup in Mexico<br />

• The Polaroid Camera<br />

was a must have<br />

#25


THE NATIONAL LOTTERY<br />

BECOME RFL OFFICIAL PARTNERS<br />

Congratulations to today’s finalists, and to all the<br />

Women’s and Girls’ teams who have resumed <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> activity in 2021, from The National Lottery<br />

– official partners of the <strong>Rugby</strong> Football <strong>League</strong> and<br />

of Women’s and Girls’ <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong>.<br />

The partnership is further evidence of The National<br />

Lottery’s commitment to helping sports, and<br />

specifically women’s sport, through the effects of<br />

the pandemic – which curtailed all Women’s and Girls’<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> for most of 2020. Already in 2021 we<br />

have seen new teams and new players, young and old<br />

– and more media coverage than ever.<br />

The partnership will see The National Lottery<br />

support the men’s and women’s game, including<br />

becoming title partner for the <strong>England</strong> Women<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> Mid-Season <strong>International</strong> versus<br />

Wales on Friday 25th June, Halliwell Jones Stadium,<br />

Warrington, KO 6pm.<br />

Ralph Rimmer, CEO the <strong>Rugby</strong> Football <strong>League</strong>,<br />

said: “As we have returned to sporting normality in<br />

2021, nothing has been more pleasing than the reemergence<br />

of the Women’s and Girls’ game – bigger<br />

and better than ever before.<br />

“This has been a huge achievement, and it would<br />

not have been possible without the support of The<br />

National Lottery.<br />

“Our vibrant domestic competitions are up<br />

and running, and we have <strong>England</strong>’s first home<br />

international for eight years to relish later this month,<br />

as the preparations continue for <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> World<br />

Cup 2021.<br />

“Our thanks to The National Lottery who share our<br />

vision and understand that <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> changes<br />

the lives of the girls and women involved.”<br />

Nigel Railton, Chief Executive of National Lottery<br />

operator Camelot, said: “Every day, The National<br />

Lottery and its players make a huge difference to<br />

communities across the UK – and have been doing<br />

so since 1994. Supporting sports has always been<br />

part of the mission of The National Lottery and<br />

this inventive partnership will undoubtedly make a<br />

difference.”<br />

The money for these initiatives is coming from a<br />

National Lottery promotional fund. It is not being<br />

funded by money allocated for National Lottery Good<br />

Causes or by Camelot.


#ENGLANDRL<br />

JAMES ROBY KICKS OFF MOSE MASOE’S<br />

‘WALK AND TALK’ CHALLENGE<br />

Saints captain James<br />

Roby will kick off the<br />

Mose Masoe ‘Walk<br />

and Talk’ challenge on<br />

Thursday as he joins the<br />

Warrington Wolves captain in<br />

signing a ball which has<br />

travelled to captains around<br />

the globe before it is returned<br />

to the former Saints Grand<br />

Final winner’s hands in July.<br />

The ball initially travelled<br />

from Hull to Auckland, and<br />

following a period in isolation<br />

has been passed to Melbourne,<br />

Canberra, Sydney, Newcastle,<br />

Gold Coast Brisbane and<br />

Townsville, collecting NRL<br />

signatures before being flown<br />

back to the UK.<br />

It will start the second stage<br />

of its journey to collect the<br />

signatures of all Super <strong>League</strong><br />

captains, beginning at Saints’<br />

Totally Wicked Stadium on<br />

Thursday where it will be<br />

signed by both captains before<br />

the game against Warrington.<br />

The ball will then head<br />

to Wigan on the same night<br />

before being walked to Leigh<br />

and then Salford. It will then<br />

head to Huddersfield on the<br />

19th, reaching Leeds and<br />

Wakefield on the 20 June.<br />

It will reach Castleford on<br />

the 21 June and Hull the day<br />

after, before being stored safely<br />

away and handed to back to<br />

Mose on July 1 ahead of the<br />

Robins facing Hull FC in the<br />

Hull derby.<br />

The ball will eventually be<br />

auctioned off as the ‘ultimate<br />

piece of modern-day <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> memorabilia.’ Fans<br />

will be able donate to support<br />

the ball on its journey and<br />

importantly show their support<br />

for Mose and his family, whose<br />

lives were forever changed<br />

when he suffered a C4/C5<br />

incomplete spinal cord injury<br />

last January which led to him<br />

being diagnosed tetraplegic.<br />

The aim between now and<br />

July 1, when Mose will carry<br />

the ball out in front of the Hull<br />

College Craven Park crowd, is<br />

to secure 24,353 donations –<br />

one for each<br />

mile the ball<br />

will have<br />

travelled<br />

to return<br />

it into his<br />

hands.<br />

#27


#ENGLANDRL<br />

MEMORY LANE<br />

Graham Morris reminisces about past international encounters<br />

involving combined nationality sides in Warrington...<br />

The mouth watering prospect of the<br />

Combined Nations All Stars taking on<br />

<strong>England</strong> invokes thoughts of two other<br />

very talented cosmopolitan teams previously<br />

hosted in Warrington, namely the Other<br />

Nationalities and the Exiles.<br />

The Other Nationalities side made a big<br />

impression on <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> pundits in the<br />

years from 1949 until 1955 when they competed<br />

in the annual four-nation <strong>International</strong><br />

Championship alongside <strong>England</strong>, France and<br />

Wales. Selected from players based in <strong>England</strong>,<br />

they were initially introduced to bolster the<br />

number of teams taking part in the tournament<br />

but quickly became its greatest attraction.<br />

Clad in distinctive emerald green jerseys, they<br />

boasted some of world rugby’s outstanding<br />

performers with the likes of Brian Bevan and<br />

Lionel Cooper on the wings and Harry Bath,<br />

Arthur Clues and Dave Valentine in the forwards.<br />

During April 1953 the Other Nationalities side<br />

visited Warrington’s former Wilderspool home to<br />

take on Wales in the final match of that season’s<br />

competition. With <strong>England</strong> and France already<br />

vanquished, victory would ensure possession of<br />

the Jean Galia Memorial Cup for the first time.<br />

Having beaten Wales in their three previous<br />

encounters, the odds were in their favour.<br />

What was not in their favour, though, was an<br />

evening of pouring rain on a treacherous looking<br />

pitch which threatened to nullify their potent<br />

attacking machine.<br />

The quality of rugby on show, however,<br />

proved to be of the highest order, with Other<br />

Nationalities ahead 13-7 at the interval, thanks<br />

to tries from Neville Black, Valentine and Clues.<br />

Success looked assured when Cooper’s try,<br />

R Huddersfield’s Lionel Cooper captined an ‘Other<br />

Nationalities’ side against Wales at Wilderpool back in 1953<br />

Wednesday, 15th April 1953<br />

at Wilderspool Stadium, Warrington<br />

OTHER NATIONALITIES 16<br />

WALES 18<br />

Other Nationalities: Joe Phillips (Bradford Northern);<br />

Brian Bevan (Warrington), Trevor Allan (Leigh), Pat Devery<br />

(Huddersfield), Lionel Cooper (Huddersfield, captain); Cec<br />

Mountford (Wigan), Neville Black (Keighley); John Daly<br />

(Featherstone Rovers), Wally Ellean (Rochdale Hornets),<br />

Johnny Mudge (Workington Town), Harry Bath (Warrington),<br />

Arthur Clues (Leeds), Dave Valentine (Huddersfield).<br />

Tries: Black, Valentine, Clues, Cooper. Goals: Bath 2.<br />

Wales: Jack Evans (Hunslet); Dai Bevan (Wigan), Les Williams<br />

(Hunslet), Norman Harris (Rochdale Hornets), Terry Cook<br />

(Halifax); Dickie Williams (Leeds), Billy Banks (Huddersfield);<br />

Mike Condon (Halifax), Tommy Harris (Hull), Elwyn Gwyther<br />

(Leeds), George Parsons (St Helens), Charlie Winslade<br />

(Oldham), Granville James (Hunslet).<br />

Tries: Parsons, L. Williams, T. Harris, N. Harris. Goals: Evans 3.<br />

Referee: Alf Hill (Dewsbury) Attendance: 8,449.<br />

#28


#ENGLANDRL<br />

QR <strong>England</strong> captain Kevin SInfield<br />

holds the trophy after the 2013<br />

victory over the ‘Exiles’; Gareth<br />

Ellis eludes Joel Moon’s grasp<br />

shortly after the restart, stretched the lead to<br />

nine points but, in an inspired finish, Wales<br />

stormed back with three touchdowns to gain<br />

a memorable 18-16 win. Despite the narrow<br />

reverse, Other Nationalities still received their<br />

prize thanks to a vastly superior scoring record<br />

over <strong>England</strong> and Wales, both having also<br />

won two out of three. It meant that Cooper, as<br />

captain, was the proud recipient of the trophy<br />

from Madame Galia after the match.<br />

The Other Nationalities concept was revived<br />

in 2011 when the newly constituted Exiles<br />

opposed <strong>England</strong> in the first of four encounters,<br />

the last of which took place at the Halliwell<br />

Jones Stadium in 2013. On a wet and windy<br />

evening a closely fought opening quarter gave<br />

little indication of what was to come before<br />

half-time. A 20th minute try from <strong>England</strong> centre<br />

Zak Hardaker – collecting the ball after a probing<br />

grubber kick from Sam Tomkins – paved the way<br />

for three further tries from colleagues James<br />

Roby, Leroy Cudjoe and Sam Tomkins. With<br />

skipper Kevin Sinfield converting all four efforts<br />

the hosts built an impressive 24-0 interval lead.<br />

To their credit, the Exiles came back strongly<br />

with tries from Mickey Paea and Joel Monaghan<br />

before Cudjoe’s second effort – two minutes<br />

from time – put the icing on <strong>England</strong>’s cake for a<br />

comfortable 30-10 victory.<br />

So, who will win in Warrington today? Will the<br />

Combined Nations get the victory that eluded<br />

the Other Nationalities and the Exiles? Whatever<br />

the outcome, today’s aptly named All Stars<br />

team look more than capable of continuing the<br />

wonderful legacy created by their predecessors.<br />

Friday 14th June 2013<br />

at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington<br />

EXILES 10<br />

ENGLAND 30<br />

Exiles: Brett Hodgson (Warrington Wolves, captain); Joel<br />

Monaghan (Warrington Wolves), Steve Menzies (Catalans<br />

Dragons), Joel Moon (Leeds Rhinos), Pat Richards (Wigan<br />

Warriors); Travis Burns (Hull Kingston Rovers), Michael Dobson<br />

(Hull Kingston Rovers); Tony Puletua (St Helens), Heath<br />

L’Estrange (Bradford Bulls), Kylie Leuluai (Leeds Rhinos), Trent<br />

Waterhouse (Warrington Wolves), Iosia Soliola (St Helens),<br />

Harrison Hansen (Wigan Warriors). Substitutes: Lance Hohaia<br />

(St Helens), Chris Bailey (London Broncos), Mickey Paea (Hull<br />

Kingston Rovers), Zeb Taia (Catalans Dragons).<br />

Tries: Paea, Monaghan. Goal: Richards.<br />

<strong>England</strong>: Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors); Josh Charnley<br />

(Wigan Warriors), Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield Giants), Zak<br />

Hardaker (Leeds Rhinos), Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos); Kevin<br />

Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos, captain), Richie Myler (Warrington<br />

Wolves); Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves), James Roby (St<br />

Helens), Lee Mossop (Wigan Warriors), Liam Farrell (Wigan<br />

Warriors), Gareth Ellis (Hull FC), Jamie Jones-Buchanan (Leeds<br />

Rhinos). Substitutes: Rangi Chase (Castleford Tigers), Eorl<br />

Crabtree (Huddersfield Giants), Ben Westwood (Warrington<br />

Wolves), Brett Ferres (Huddersfield Giants).<br />

Tries: Cudjoe 2, Hardaker, Roby, Tomkins. Goals: Sinfield<br />

4, Charnley.<br />

Referee: Richard Silverwood Attendance: 7,926.<br />

#29


Proud to be official technology partner<br />

of <strong>England</strong> <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong>.


#ENGLANDRL<br />

THE<br />

GREAT<br />

BEV<br />

Gary Slater shines a light on a star<br />

of past ‘Other Nationalities’ sides...<br />

The Combined Nations All Stars is a<br />

new name for <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> fans to<br />

conjure with but it’s not a new idea.<br />

The Exiles took on <strong>England</strong> four times from<br />

2011 to 2013 with teams packed with stars from<br />

Australia, New Zealand and beyond – winning<br />

twice and losing twice – but even that wasn’t a<br />

new concept.<br />

It all began in 1904 with Other Nationalities,<br />

a boring name for a team that during its heyday<br />

from 1949 to 1955 could occasionally claim to be<br />

the best in the world.<br />

Others wore green shirts and signalled<br />

a green light for entertainment. If only the<br />

international game’s founding fathers had come<br />

up with a more inspiring name for their side.<br />

The Others’ heyday coincided with the<br />

greatest days of <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong>’s most prolific<br />

tryscorer, the wizard of Aus, the incomparable<br />

Brian Bevan. He who scored a world record 796<br />

tries in 688 appearances.<br />

The Great Bev played 16 times for Other<br />

Nationalities, scoring 26 tries, an amazing strike<br />

rate for international sport. What’s more, facing<br />

<strong>England</strong> seemed to bring the best out of him.<br />

His Others debut came against <strong>England</strong> at<br />

Workington’s Borough Park on a warm Monday<br />

evening, September 19, 1949. Bevan scored two<br />

tries, Others won 13-7 in front of 17,576.<br />

Robert Gate, in his ground-breaking book<br />

The Great Bev, the <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> career of Brian<br />

Bevan, reports that many of the crowd were<br />

miners who had just finished shifts lasting more<br />

than 12 hours.<br />

The next time Bevan faced <strong>England</strong> he went<br />

one better with a hat-trick of tries as Others won<br />

35-10 at Wigan’s Central Park on Wednesday,<br />

April 11, 1951. Despite the fact that seven of the<br />

<strong>England</strong> team played for Wigan, the attendance<br />

was a somewhat disappointing 16,860. Bevan’s<br />

best try came after he intercepted a stray pass<br />

and raced 100 yards to the line. As usual, no one<br />

could catch him.<br />

Still Bevan was not finished with <strong>England</strong> and<br />

when he faced them at Huddersfield’s Fartown<br />

on Saturday, October 18, 1952 he scorched in for<br />

four tries in a 31-12 thrashing for the home side.<br />

In front of an attendance of 20,459, Bevan’s<br />

haul equalled the record number of tries scored<br />

in an international match at that time.<br />

Bevan’s last two appearances for the Greens<br />

came in September and October 1955 and he<br />

signed off in style with two victories.<br />

First, he scored two tries as Others thrashed<br />

<strong>England</strong> – again – at Central Park by 33-16. Then<br />

he had to be content with a solo score as Others<br />

dispatched France 32-19 at Leigh’s Hilton Park to<br />

be crowned European champions for the second<br />

time.<br />

For those last two appearances, Bevan found<br />

himself upstaged somewhat by Wigan’s 21-yearold<br />

Welsh winger Billy Boston, who scored<br />

five tries in the two games on his way to an<br />

astronomical career tally of 571.<br />

However tough it gets for <strong>England</strong> tonight at<br />

least they can take some comfort from the fact<br />

that the Combined Nations All Stars do not have<br />

a Bevan and a Boston in their ranks.<br />

#31


#ENGLANDRL<br />

The complex world of<br />

international statistics<br />

Neil Ormston, organiser of the <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> Record Keepers’ Club, brings some<br />

clarity to the stats when it comes to clashes against ‘Other Nationalities’ sides...<br />

Today’s international<br />

match is <strong>England</strong>’s<br />

first run-out in over<br />

two years. Only, it’s not really an<br />

international. Yet the first ever<br />

recognised international <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> match back in 1904 was<br />

played between <strong>England</strong> and a<br />

team of non-English players<br />

from the domestic league, who<br />

played as “Other Nationalities”.<br />

Confused? Welcome to the<br />

world of international <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> record keeping!<br />

The ever changing landscape<br />

of the global game, a constant<br />

flitting between <strong>England</strong> and<br />

Great Britain and no accepted<br />

definitions of what constitutes<br />

a Test Match means even the<br />

most studious statistician can<br />

soon be tied up in knots.<br />

After the breakaway from<br />

the <strong>Rugby</strong> Football Union<br />

(RFU), the new Northern<br />

Union found itself isolated,<br />

and without the scope for<br />

international matches. To<br />

overcome this problem, the<br />

Northern Union elected to<br />

choose a team composed of<br />

non-English players to oppose<br />

R The Other Nationalities line up before a Full <strong>International</strong> against Wigan, 1954<br />

the Englishmen, in what was<br />

widely regarded at the time as a<br />

bona fide international match.<br />

Sporadic games for the Other<br />

Nationalities side followed, as<br />

they provided opposition to<br />

<strong>England</strong> when international<br />

competition was limited, until<br />

in 1949 they were added to<br />

the European Championship<br />

alongside <strong>England</strong>, France and<br />

Wales. All such games have<br />

historically been recognised as<br />

genuine international contests.<br />

From a global perspective<br />

there has been a longstanding<br />

difference in the classification<br />

of games: for the Australians<br />

and New Zealanders, they<br />

simply had Test matches, and<br />

representative games. When a<br />

touring side played Great Britain<br />

(under whatever its name was<br />

at the time) it was a Test match;<br />

when they played Warrington,<br />

Lancashire or <strong>England</strong>, it was<br />

simply a tour match, and a<br />

form of representative football,<br />

similar to an interstate game.<br />

However, in the northern<br />

hemisphere, the concurrent<br />

#32


#ENGLANDRL<br />

operation of both <strong>England</strong><br />

and Great Britain led to a three<br />

tiered system: Britain played<br />

Test matches (against Australia,<br />

New Zealand and later<br />

France), whilst <strong>England</strong> played<br />

international matches against<br />

Wales & Other Nationalities, but<br />

confusingly at times Australia,<br />

New Zealand and France, with<br />

other representative matches,<br />

such as county games, also<br />

being played.<br />

By the time of the 1995 World<br />

Cup, and the parallel Emerging<br />

Nations World Cup, the set-up<br />

was starting to creak, and the<br />

lack of definitions or a robust<br />

system was causing problems.<br />

The subsequent explosion<br />

of the international game<br />

coincided with the winding up<br />

of the original <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong><br />

Record Keepers’ Club (RKC)<br />

which since the 1970s had<br />

created detailed records of<br />

all these international games.<br />

It created a perfect storm<br />

of confusion that has not<br />

cleared since.<br />

But 2021 should see clarity<br />

at last. <strong>International</strong> <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> (IRL), the game’s global<br />

governing body, has formed<br />

a History and Heritage Group<br />

(H&HG) which the re-formed<br />

RKC has been a part of, to agree<br />

a list of Recognised Senior<br />

<strong>International</strong> Matches. This is a<br />

defined term, covering games<br />

played between the teams of<br />

National Governing Bodies,<br />

and the H&HG has reviewed<br />

over 2,000 matches against<br />

set criteria to judge whether<br />

these matches meet the<br />

R Cook Islands, the 1995 Emerging Nations World Cup winner: games in the<br />

tournament are not considered first class matches for the teams and players involved<br />

standard of being a Recognised<br />

<strong>International</strong>. As Combined<br />

Nations All Stars is not the<br />

national team of any governing<br />

body, it does not meet the<br />

criteria; Other Nationalities<br />

however, because of its historic<br />

importance and the convention<br />

of the time, is given special<br />

dispensation and recognised as<br />

an international side.<br />

IRL had an objective to cast<br />

the net wide, and recognise<br />

as many international games<br />

as possible. Some games<br />

that will appear on the IRL<br />

list are at a level comparable<br />

to amateur contests in the<br />

more established nations, and<br />

there has been a convention<br />

in <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> statistics<br />

to exclude such games (like<br />

the aforementioned 1995<br />

Emerging Nations World Cup)<br />

from the first class career<br />

records of players. The RKC<br />

will continue this convention,<br />

by splitting the IRL list into<br />

Full <strong>International</strong>s (those<br />

played by a Full Member of the<br />

international governing body<br />

at the time, or in a tournament<br />

involving a Full Member) and<br />

Other <strong>International</strong>s (all other<br />

games on the IRL list). This<br />

creates a specified standard for<br />

statisticians to follow.<br />

The final hurdle is to agree a<br />

globally accepted definition of<br />

Test matches, recognising the<br />

pinnacle of the international<br />

game. That might be a step<br />

too far, but discussions are<br />

currently on-going between<br />

global statisticians to try and<br />

reach a consensus.<br />

The RKC depends entirely on<br />

the support and contributions<br />

of members of the <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> community. For more<br />

information, including how to<br />

join, visit the RKC website at<br />

www.rugbyleaguerecords.<br />

com, or contact me<br />

directly via e-mail at neil.<br />

ormston@gmail.com.<br />

#33


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#ENGLANDRL<br />

JACKSON HASTINGS NAMED<br />

AS COMBINED NATIONS<br />

ALL-STARS CO-CAPTAIN<br />

Jackson Hastings has been named<br />

co-captain for the Combined Nations<br />

All Stars to face <strong>England</strong>.<br />

Although born in Australia, the Wigan<br />

Warriors half-back qualifies for Shaun<br />

Wane’s side through his English<br />

grandmother and represented Great<br />

Britain under former national team<br />

boss Wayne Bennett on their 2019<br />

Southern Hemisphere tour.<br />

Speaking as the Combined Nations<br />

kit designed in conjunction with Mose<br />

Masoe was launched, the 25-yearold<br />

cannot wait to represent<br />

the team at the Halliwell<br />

Jones Stadium.<br />

“It’s a great honour to be able<br />

to represent my heritage, to<br />

play in front of Shaun Wane and<br />

to support Mose,” Hastings,<br />

who could yet feature in<br />

Wane’s <strong>England</strong> squad for the<br />

end-of-year <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong><br />

World Cup, said.<br />

“The All-Stars is a great<br />

concept, there are so<br />

many great players from<br />

overseas playing in the<br />

Super <strong>League</strong> and I’m<br />

honoured to be named<br />

co-captain.”<br />

The All-Stars is a revival of the Exiles concept<br />

which saw <strong>England</strong> face a team of players<br />

from the Southern Hemisphere who<br />

were based in Super <strong>League</strong>, but has<br />

been expanded to include players<br />

from other Northern Hemisphere<br />

nations too.<br />

Head Coach Tim Sheens said,<br />

“The Exiles games that were played<br />

a decade or so ago showed the<br />

amount of overseas talent<br />

in the Super <strong>League</strong>,<br />

and by rebranding as<br />

Combined Nations All<br />

Stars, it’s expanded<br />

the players available<br />

from other<br />

countries who will<br />

be involved in<br />

the World Cup,”<br />

Sheens said.<br />

“Although we<br />

know one of the<br />

main aims of the<br />

fixture is to help<br />

Shaun Wane and<br />

his <strong>England</strong> team by<br />

providing an intense<br />

quality match as<br />

part of their World Cup<br />

preparations.<br />

#35


ENERGY<br />

for<br />

SPORT<br />

NATURAL<br />

CAFFEINE<br />

ZERO SUGAR<br />

HYDRATION


#ENGLANDRL<br />

RFL PAYS TRIBUTE TO THOSE<br />

RECOGNISED IN THE QUEEN’S<br />

BIRTHDAY HONOURS<br />

The <strong>Rugby</strong> Football<br />

<strong>League</strong> pays tribute to<br />

all those recognised<br />

in the Queen’s Birthday<br />

Honours for 2021, including:<br />

Rimla Akhtar, Non-<br />

Executive Director of the<br />

RFL who is awarded the OBE<br />

for services to Equality and<br />

Diversity in Sport;<br />

Stephen Ball, the General<br />

Manager of the <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> Benevolent Fund,<br />

who is awarded the MBE<br />

for his services to <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> Charities;<br />

Martin Blondel, the General<br />

Manager of the Steve Prescott<br />

Foundation, who is awarded<br />

the MBE for services to the<br />

community in St Helens,<br />

particularly during Covid-19;<br />

Kevin Sinfield, the Leeds<br />

Rhinos Director of <strong>Rugby</strong>, who<br />

is awarded the OBE for services<br />

to <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> Football and<br />

Charitable Fundraising;<br />

Nigel Wood, the Chairman of<br />

Bradford Bulls, who is awarded<br />

the OBE for services to <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> Football.<br />

Simon Johnson, the RFL<br />

Chair, said: “I am honoured to<br />

welcome these five awards on<br />

behalf of the RFL and the sport.<br />

“Stephen Ball has been<br />

recognised as one of the<br />

unsung heroes of <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> for decades, having<br />

served a number of clubs in<br />

R Kevin Sinfield has been awarded an OBE for services to<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> Football and Charitable Fundraising<br />

a variety of roles before the<br />

outstanding work he has done<br />

for the Benevolent Fund.<br />

“Kevin Sinfield was already<br />

established as a legend of<br />

the game through his playing<br />

performances for Leeds<br />

Rhinos, <strong>England</strong> and Great<br />

Britain, before his inspirational<br />

efforts in support of his former<br />

team-mate and close friend<br />

Rob Burrow MBE last winter.<br />

“Nigel Wood was a member<br />

of the RFL Board for 18 years,<br />

and steered the sport as<br />

Chief Executive for a decade<br />

including the successful<br />

staging of the 2013 World Cup<br />

and the foundation of the<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> Benevolent<br />

Fund, before becoming Chair of<br />

the <strong>International</strong> Federation.<br />

“My colleague Rimla Akhtar<br />

has been an invaluable<br />

addition to our Board since she<br />

was elected a Non-Executive<br />

Director in 2019, and in the<br />

last year has taken another<br />

key role as Chair of our new<br />

Inclusion Board – in addition<br />

to her work in other sports, as<br />

a true trailblazer for Equality<br />

and Diversity.<br />

“Like Rimla, Martin Blondel<br />

has not been recognised<br />

specifically for his work in<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong>. But like Stephen<br />

Ball, he has worked tirelessly<br />

and selflessly to help <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> people who encounter<br />

tough times, initially through<br />

the Steve Prescott Foundation<br />

and never more importantly<br />

than during the challenges of<br />

2020-21, when <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong>’s<br />

social value in towns such<br />

as St Helens shone through<br />

so brightly.”<br />

#37


#ENGLANDRL<br />

INTERNATIONAL GAME<br />

CONTINUES TO BUILD<br />

Editor of Forty20<br />

magazine Phil<br />

Caplan plots<br />

the upward<br />

trajectory of the<br />

international<br />

game...<br />

S Former Olympic sprinter<br />

Patricia Taea in action in<br />

the Cook Islands’ women’s<br />

domestic Grand Final<br />

One of the founding<br />

principles behind Forty20<br />

Magazine was to promote<br />

and celebrate <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong><br />

wherever it is played.<br />

Our initial pledge to readers,<br />

and still as true today, was we<br />

value every <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> club or<br />

nation, whatever their geography<br />

or playing standard - from Barrow<br />

to Brighton, Bradford to Belgrade,<br />

Perpignan to Parramatta to<br />

Papua New Guinea.<br />

Throughout the ten years we’ve<br />

been publishing, we’ve seen the<br />

footprint of the sport continue to<br />

extend, especially in Africa and<br />

the Pacific, and brought uplifting<br />

stories highlighting the work of<br />

some incredible volunteers to<br />

get the sport up and running in<br />

seemingly the most unlikely of<br />

places and often in the face of<br />

numerous obstacles.<br />

Included in the latest issue is<br />

the story of the rise of the sport<br />

in Balkan region, building on<br />

the foundation laid in former<br />

Yugoslavia almost 70 years ago<br />

when it seemed as though a<br />

strong Eastern European toehold<br />

was being gained, their delegates<br />

invited to the 1954 World Cup in<br />

France, six years after the formation<br />

of the <strong>International</strong> Board.<br />

The first Test match anywhere<br />

in 2021 saw Bosnia & Herzegovina<br />

men make their representative<br />

debut, hosting Serbia in Vitez.<br />

And there has also been recent<br />

groundwork done to see the sport<br />

established in Belarus, Slovakia<br />

– with the latest 9s tournament<br />

just completed in Bratislava,<br />

Montenegro and Albania.<br />

Further afield, the first Nicaragua<br />

9s competition has come to<br />

successful conclusion with<br />

Mercenarios the winners.<br />

#38


#ENGLANDRL<br />

The opening men’s international<br />

in the southern hemisphere this<br />

year saw Philippines Tamaraws<br />

defeat Brasil Caracaras 40-8 in<br />

the inaugural Magellan Trophy in<br />

Sydney, whilst the Brasilain women<br />

- the Amazonas - who will make<br />

their debut in the 2021 World Cup<br />

(and become the first nation from<br />

South America to qualify) have<br />

announced a unique link up with<br />

the London City Lionesses soccer<br />

club and sponsorship deals with<br />

Minas Coffee and noted apparel<br />

manufacturers Hummel.<br />

The women’s game is also in the<br />

vanguard in Nigeria and Ghana,<br />

and the first women’s champions<br />

have been crowned in the Cook<br />

Islands ahead of their 2021RLWC<br />

participation, with a try by former<br />

Olympic sprinter Patricia Taea 15<br />

minutes into extra time securing<br />

Titikaveka Bulldogs the crown.<br />

Ireland, which is expanding its<br />

men’s league to two divisions,<br />

is also set to launch a women’s<br />

competition.<br />

Wheelchair <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> is also<br />

back after its enforced hibernation,<br />

with Wales retaining the Celtic<br />

Cup after convincing wins over<br />

Scotland and Ireland at the Oriam<br />

Performance Sport Centre at<br />

Heriott-Watt University, Edinburgh.<br />

The Welsh made history, with<br />

father and son Jamie and Jason<br />

Reynolds playing alongside each<br />

other whilst Ireland’s win over the<br />

hosts in the opening clash showed<br />

how fast they are progressing.<br />

Spain and the USA have named<br />

provisional squads and begun<br />

training for their Wheelchair World<br />

Cup campaigns.<br />

In PDRL, classification has<br />

been agreed by the international<br />

governing body for the World<br />

Cup tournament scheduled for<br />

Warrington in November.<br />

New Zealand’s PDRL side have<br />

held a training camp in readiness,<br />

whilst in Australia City defeated<br />

Country in a trial match.<br />

Those pins in the map<br />

are spreading.<br />

R Mercenarios are<br />

triumphant in the inaugural<br />

Nicaragua 9s tournament<br />

S Advertising Balkan <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> back in 1956<br />

#39


#ENGLANDRL<br />

1904<br />

THE BIRTH OF ‘OTHER<br />

NATIONALITIES’<br />

The first international was staged between <strong>England</strong> and ‘Other Nationalities’<br />

in 1904. Mike Latham looks back to that historic occasion...<br />

Nine seasons in from<br />

its formation in 1895,<br />

the Northern Union<br />

was wrestling with all sorts of<br />

problems, not least the rapid<br />

growth in popularity of soccer,<br />

often in areas previously rugby<br />

strongholds. The<br />

administrators had to act fast<br />

and considered various<br />

options to make the game<br />

more attractive, both for<br />

players and spectators.<br />

The first international under<br />

the new code was key to that<br />

strategy. It was between two<br />

teams chosen by NU officials,<br />

R Jack Fish scored the<br />

first international try<br />

an experimental game of<br />

12-a-side, staged at Central<br />

Park, Wigan between <strong>England</strong><br />

and Other Nationalities<br />

Problems had dogged the<br />

fixture, originally scheduled<br />

for Oldham’s Watersheddings<br />

ground on New Year’s Day 1904<br />

but called off due to a frostbound<br />

pitch. A second attempt<br />

was made to play the fixture,<br />

on Monday, 8 February, but this<br />

time the Watersheddings pitch<br />

was waterlogged after days of<br />

heavy rain. Fingers crossed,<br />

they switched venues to Wigan,<br />

Easter Tuesday afternoon, 5<br />

April 1904.<br />

The portents were good.<br />

Wigan, not long previously<br />

in low water and close to<br />

closing down, had enjoyed a<br />

revival after inaugurating their<br />

Central Park ground in 1902.<br />

Successive record attendances<br />

of 15,000 had been attracted<br />

for games against Leigh and<br />

Salford over Easter and the<br />

amateur game was revived in<br />

the town. Many felt that the old<br />

15-a-side game was outdated<br />

and that change was needed<br />

and during the 1903-04 season<br />

R Dai Harris’s Other Nationalities cap<br />

county games were played, as<br />

an experiment, as 12-a-side,<br />

three three-quarters and six<br />

forwards. The international<br />

was to be played under a<br />

different format, also 12-a-side<br />

but with four three-quarters<br />

and five forwards.<br />

Many clubs were in favour of<br />

a reduction in the number of<br />

players, but under the NU rules<br />

a three-quarters majority was<br />

required to carry this through.<br />

The secretary, Joe Platt,<br />

recorded that although more<br />

than not favoured the change,<br />

there was not a sufficient<br />

majority to even put forward<br />

the motion to the annual<br />

general meeting. It was to be<br />

two years later, at the 1906<br />

AGM that a compromise was<br />

#40


#ENGLANDRL<br />

reached and the game became<br />

13-a-side.<br />

The first international was<br />

a low-key affair, attracting<br />

a crowd of only 6,000 as<br />

many supporters were back<br />

at work. Late adjustments<br />

were required to both teams<br />

as players put club before<br />

country, after the Broughton<br />

Rangers-Bradford Challenge<br />

Cup-tie went to a replay at<br />

Park Avenue on the same<br />

day, attracting a crowd of<br />

over 25,000. Moreover, after<br />

a delayed kick-off, <strong>England</strong><br />

began with only eleven players<br />

after James Lomas arrived late<br />

at the ground and only joined<br />

the fray, to ironic cheers, with<br />

around ten minutes played.<br />

The <strong>England</strong> side comprised,<br />

under the old county<br />

boundaries (long before<br />

the 1974 reorganisation)<br />

two Lancastrians- George<br />

Dickenson of Warrington and<br />

Johnnie Baxter of Rochdale<br />

Hornets, the latter born in<br />

Dalton-in-Furness, then a<br />

Lancashire town. Warrington<br />

R Phil Brady, Other Nationalities’<br />

half-back, born in Somerset<br />

flyer Jack Fish was born in the<br />

Cheshire town of Runcorn.<br />

Fullback Billy Little of Halifax,<br />

winger Frank Spottiswood of<br />

Oldham, Salford centre Lomas<br />

and Roughyeds’ forward Joe<br />

Ferguson were all Cumbrians.<br />

Ferguson and Lomas hailed<br />

from Maryport, Little from<br />

Flimby and Spottiswood from<br />

Carlisle. The Halifax trio of<br />

halfback Johnny Morley and<br />

forwards Jack Riley and Billy<br />

Bulmer, and Hull KR’s Anthony<br />

Starks all represented the<br />

Broad Acres, while Salford’s Pat<br />

Tunney hailed from Durham.<br />

The Other Nationalities side<br />

comprised nine Welshmen,<br />

two Scots and an Englishman,<br />

Huddersfield halfback Phil<br />

Brady, reported as Welsh but<br />

actually born in the Somerset<br />

town of Bridgwater. Forwards<br />

George Frater and Jim Moffat<br />

had both come down from<br />

Melrose in the Scottish borders<br />

to play for Oldham, the latter<br />

having now switched to Leeds.<br />

Wigan’s Dai Harris and Eli<br />

Davies were late call-ups due<br />

to withdrawals and Salford<br />

had four players in fullback<br />

Dan Smith, wing Willie Thomas<br />

and forwards Jack Rhapps<br />

and Herbert Buckler. Oldham<br />

also provided centre Dai Lewis<br />

and forward Dai Thomas and<br />

Leeds another representative<br />

in winger Tom Llewellyn.<br />

Jack Fish had the honour of<br />

scoring the first international<br />

try after a brilliant sprint,<br />

but gradually the Other<br />

Nationalities began to<br />

dominate, Oldham’s Thomas<br />

crossing following a scrum.<br />

R James Lomas, late for the first<br />

international, later tour captain<br />

In the second half Salford’s<br />

Thomas broke a long deadlock,<br />

scoring in the corner after a<br />

good passing move before<br />

Harris wrapped up victory for<br />

his side after good approach<br />

play by Llewellyn. No goals<br />

were kicked and the Other<br />

Nationalities won, 9-3.<br />

Critics reported the game<br />

as ‘remarkably open’ and<br />

favoured the five forwards<br />

format to that adopted in the<br />

county championship. With<br />

only ten men packing down<br />

there was a drastic reduction<br />

in the number and duration<br />

of scrummages and far more<br />

opportunities for backs to<br />

display their abilities than<br />

under the 15-a-side code.<br />

Soon there were to be vast<br />

changes to the Northern<br />

Union game, the adoption of<br />

13-a-side and tours by the New<br />

Zealanders in 1907-08, the first<br />

Kangaroos a season later, the<br />

first Northern Union tour down<br />

under in 1910, Lomas the tour<br />

captain. But on that Easter<br />

Tuesday afternoon in Wigan<br />

international <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong><br />

was born.<br />

#41


#ENGLANDRL<br />

1992<br />

FLASHBACK:<br />

ENGLAND vs WALES<br />

As the Women and Wheelchair sides of <strong>England</strong> and Wales faceoff,<br />

Doug Thomson of <strong>League</strong> Express, recalls the 1992 clash<br />

between the two nations’ men’s sides in Swansea...<br />

Garry Schofield, Martin Offiah,<br />

Ellery Hanley, Lee Crooks... All<br />

household names in the <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> world, and all members of the<br />

<strong>England</strong> team which took on Wales in<br />

Swansea in November 1992.<br />

It was the first <strong>England</strong> match in<br />

eight years and also the first covered<br />

by <strong>League</strong> Express, which had started<br />

publication in September 1990.<br />

Skipper and stand-off Schofield, now<br />

a thought-provoking <strong>League</strong> Express<br />

columnist, and loose-forward Hanley, his<br />

Leeds teammate, were the two survivors<br />

from the last <strong>England</strong> side, which beat<br />

Wales 28-9 at Ebbw Vale in October 1984.<br />

Coach Malcolm Reilly was taking no<br />

risks, and picked his strongest available<br />

side, with Wigan winger Offiah and<br />

Castleford prop Crooks joined by the<br />

likes of Castleford scrum-half Mike Ford,<br />

Leeds prop Steve Molloy and Widnes<br />

secondrower Richie Eyres.<br />

The replacements included Daryl<br />

Powell, then a Sheffield half-back, now<br />

the coach of Castleford who is preparing<br />

for next month’s Wembley Challenge Cup<br />

final date with St Helens.<br />

Wales, coached by Clive Griffiths,<br />

fielded experienced Salford winger<br />

Phil Ford at full-back and slick centres<br />

Allan Bateman (Warrington) and John<br />

Devereux (Widnes), and gave their<br />

visitors a tough first-half test after a<br />

shaky start in heavy rain.<br />

Crooks’ early penalty goal was<br />

followed by Hanley’s try and Widnes<br />

fullback Stuart Spruce’s touchdown,<br />

which Crooks converted.<br />

But a try by St Helens stand-off<br />

Jonathan Griffiths, goaled by Devereux,<br />

started a fightback which continued<br />

when Hull prop Mark Jones powered<br />

over, before Warrington scrum-half Kevin<br />

Ellis landed a field goal.<br />

In the last play of the first half,<br />

however, Crooks scored a try and added<br />

the conversion for an 18-11 lead.<br />

<strong>England</strong>, defying a greasy surface to<br />

move the ball about in style, added<br />

Eighteen further points after the break,<br />

with tries by Offiah (2), Featherstone<br />

centre Paul Newlove and Schofield and<br />

another Crooks conversion cementing a<br />

36-11 success.<br />

Eyres took the man of the match<br />

award with a strong-running show<br />

while Jones produced a towering<br />

performance for Wales.<br />

<strong>League</strong> Express, who ran the headline<br />

‘Dragon Slayers’, made its men of the<br />

match Eyres and, for Wales, London<br />

Crusaders (now Broncos) hooker<br />

David Bishop.<br />

The match drew a crowd of 10,243<br />

to Vetch Field, and while the old<br />

#42


#ENGLANDRL<br />

R Wales halfback<br />

Kevin<br />

Ellis alongside<br />

<strong>England</strong><br />

counterpart<br />

Garry<br />

Schofield<br />

promote the<br />

1992 clash<br />

at Swansea’s<br />

Vetch Field<br />

Swansea City football ground, like<br />

match sponsors British Coal, has gone,<br />

<strong>League</strong> Express is still going strong as<br />

the game’s only trade paper, and will<br />

be covering tonight’s match against the<br />

Combined Nations All Stars in detail.<br />

Out every Monday, <strong>League</strong> Express,<br />

which has a sister website TotalRL.com,<br />

delivers detailed match reports and<br />

pictures from every professional game<br />

in both hemispheres.<br />

Readers can also get the latest news<br />

from clubs in the UK and around the<br />

world, plus unrivalled coverage of<br />

grassroots and women’s <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong>.<br />

As well as Schofield, who won three<br />

<strong>England</strong> caps and a joint-record 46<br />

for Great Britain, regular columnists<br />

include Martyn Sadler, Gareth Walker<br />

and Phil Hodgson. <strong>League</strong> Express is<br />

widely available from local newsagents<br />

across the North of <strong>England</strong> as well as by<br />

subscription and digitally.<br />

#43


#ENGLANDRL<br />

CHALLENGE CUP FINAL<br />

GETS 45,000 WEMBLEY<br />

CROWD GO AHEAD<br />

The RFL is pleased to confirm that the<br />

Challenge Cup Final is part of the<br />

Events Research Programme and so<br />

capacity at Wembley Stadium will be 50%,<br />

meaning 45,000 fans will be able to<br />

attend on the day. The RFL and Wembley<br />

National Stadium Limited are committed to<br />

ensuring the health and safety of spectators at<br />

the Challenge Cup Final 2021, and to providing<br />

as safe and suitable an environment as possible<br />

at the event. By purchasing tickets for the 2021<br />

Cup Final you will be agreeing to the Covid-19<br />

Code of Conduct for the event, which you can<br />

view on the RFL website.<br />

TICKETING FAQs<br />

When can I buy a ticket?<br />

Tickets went on sale this week, initially to<br />

supporters of the four clubs involved, but are<br />

now on general sale.<br />

How many tickets can I buy?<br />

You will be limited to six tickets per purchase.<br />

Anyone wishing to buy more than six tickets<br />

should contact our Group Sales Team by<br />

emailing groups@rfl.co.uk<br />

How do I purchase tickets?<br />

All tickets will be sold via the RFL and can be<br />

purchased on the RFL website<br />

During the exclusive Members Sales Period<br />

you must select which Club you are a Member of<br />

during the sales process. If you select the wrong<br />

Club then all of your tickets will be cancelled<br />

and a refund given at the end of the week.<br />

Can I choose my seats?<br />

You cannot choose your seats and instead you<br />

can buy tickets within five different categories<br />

– one for each of the competing teams or a fifth<br />

one for neutral fans. Tickets for the 2021 Cup<br />

Final are sold on a best available basis and you<br />

will be allocated your seats by the RFL.<br />

What price are the tickets?<br />

All tickets now on sale are priced at £55<br />

for adults, £40 for concessions and £25<br />

for under 16s.<br />

PLEASE NOTE – Wembley Stadium do not<br />

permit children under 2 years of age.<br />

Will my seat be socially distanced?<br />

Due to the event being part of the Events<br />

Research Programme with a 50% capacity, seats<br />

will not be socially distanced. We will sit you in<br />

a group of however many tickets you purchased<br />

and leave two seats either side of your group<br />

before the next group of ticket buyers. However<br />

we will sell into every row in the lower tier of<br />

the stadium meaning fans will be in the seats<br />

directly in front and behind you.<br />

When and how will I receive my tickets?<br />

All tickets for the 2021 Cup Final will be Print<br />

at Home. No tickets will be posted to mailing<br />

addresses. When you buy your tickets, you<br />

will not receive your Print at Home tickets at<br />

#44


#ENGLANDRL<br />

that time. The RFL will allocate your seats and<br />

you will be sent your Print at Home tickets at<br />

least five days before the event. If you have not<br />

received your email with your Print at Home<br />

tickets five days before the event, please contact<br />

ticketing@rfl.co.uk<br />

Will I need an email address to<br />

purchase tickets?<br />

Yes, email addresses will now be a mandatory<br />

part of the ticket buying process. Not only for<br />

Print at Home tickets but also to comply with<br />

Track & Trace regulations. Customers must<br />

supply an email address on every booking, even<br />

those by telephone to our Box Office. If you do<br />

not have an email address you can register free<br />

to many domains and this only takes a matter<br />

of minutes. Or seek permission from a friend or<br />

family member to utilise their email address for<br />

booking and Track & Trace purposes.<br />

Will my existing 2020 cup final ticket(s) be<br />

valid for the 2021 cup final?<br />

If you chose to transfer your 2020 Cup Final<br />

tickets to the 2021 Cup Final, your tickets are<br />

still valid and you will be allocated new seats<br />

and the usual T&C’s of sale will apply. Please<br />

note that whilst every effort will be made to<br />

locate your seats in the same area for the 2021<br />

Cup Final, we cannot guarantee that this will be<br />

possible in all cases. Should your seats need<br />

to be relocated, they will be transferred to a<br />

location that matches the price band that you<br />

paid for the 2020 Cup Final.<br />

STADIUM ENTRY FAQs<br />

Other than my ticket what will I need to enter<br />

the stadium on Match Day?<br />

TO BE ABLE TO ENTER WEMBLEY STADIUM ON<br />

JULY 17TH ALL ATTENDEES WILL NEED TO DO<br />

EACH OF THE FOLLOWING:<br />

All attendees will need a NHS Covid Pass<br />

to gain entry into the stadium. This can be<br />

obtained by downloading the NHS <strong>England</strong><br />

App and verifying your details. To then gain<br />

your Covid Pass you will need to have one of<br />

the following:<br />

• Had both doses of the vaccine at least 14<br />

days before the event<br />

• Had a negative Lateral Flow Test within 48<br />

hours of the event<br />

Further details on the NHS Covid Pass will be<br />

emailed to ticket purchasers at least seven days<br />

before the event<br />

All attendees will need to provide their name<br />

and contact details in advance. This will be done<br />

via an email from the RFL to the ticket purchaser<br />

who will then need to provide all details for<br />

everyone they have purchased tickets for.<br />

All attendees will need to Opt In to the<br />

Government’s Events Research Programme.<br />

This will also be done via an email from the<br />

RFL to the ticket purchaser who will then need<br />

to ensure everyone in their group is aware<br />

of the Events Research Programme and its<br />

requirements, as detailed in the email, and then<br />

Opt In for each member of the group.<br />

FAILURE TO DO ANY ONE OF THE ABOVE WILL<br />

RESULT IN TICKETS BEING CANCELLED.<br />

NHS TRACK & TRACE FAQs<br />

NHS Track and Trace<br />

Please note that due to current Covid-19<br />

restrictions and to comply with Wembley<br />

Stadium protocol and NHS Track and Trace, we<br />

require all 2021 Cup Final ticket purchasers to:<br />

• Provide your name and contact details at<br />

the point of purchasing your tickets<br />

• If purchasing tickets for others, provide<br />

the name and contact details for each<br />

member of the group – the RFL will email<br />

you in advance of the event for this info.<br />

Failure to provide contact info for each<br />

ticket purchased will result in your tickets<br />

being voided and your ticket purchase<br />

being refunded<br />

#45


#ENGLANDRL<br />

ALL<br />

TOGETHER<br />

NOW<br />

Lorraine Marsden,<br />

Women’s <strong>Rugby</strong><br />

<strong>League</strong> reporter<br />

at <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong><br />

Express, takes a<br />

look at the coaching<br />

duo hoping to lead<br />

the nation to glory<br />

this Autumn...<br />

S <strong>England</strong> Women Head<br />

Coach, and former Bradford<br />

back-rower, Craig Richards<br />

Craig Richards and<br />

Lindsay Anfield were on<br />

opposite side at the recent<br />

Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup<br />

Final – but they are coaching<br />

partners with the <strong>England</strong> Women<br />

set-up both for the National Lottery<br />

Mid-Season <strong>International</strong> against<br />

Wales, and the World Cup at the<br />

end of this season.<br />

Head coach Richards, whose<br />

original <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> impact came<br />

as a strong-running second-row<br />

for his hometown club Bradford<br />

Northern, has been in the role<br />

since 2018. He took over from Chris<br />

Chapman, who was at the helm for<br />

the 2017 World Cup In Australia.<br />

His time in the top job has<br />

been somewhat hampered by<br />

the Coronavirus pandemic, but<br />

he coached his side to a 54-4<br />

win in France in his first game, as<br />

well as taking them down under<br />

in 2019 to feature in the World<br />

Nines and a two-game series in<br />

Papua New Guinea.<br />

Tonight’s game against Wales<br />

will be the first time since then<br />

the <strong>England</strong> squad have played<br />

a competitive match against<br />

another nation.<br />

That series ended all square,<br />

with one win each, but former<br />

international full-back Anfield,<br />

who joined the international<br />

coaching set up at the same time as<br />

Richards, missed the action due to<br />

being on maternity leave.<br />

Her presence on that tour was<br />

missed, which is why Richards<br />

was so pleased to get her back<br />

onboard earlier this year as the<br />

<strong>England</strong> Performance Squad<br />

#46


#ENGLANDRL<br />

R Lindsay Anfield in her<br />

capacity as Head Coach<br />

of Castleford Tigers<br />

Also on the backroom staff<br />

are Dr Stacey Emmonds<br />

(Athletic Performance<br />

Coach), Dr Sean Scantlebury<br />

(Women’s Performance<br />

Support) and Dr Carlos<br />

Ramirez-Lopez (programme<br />

sports scientist) who are<br />

supported by nutritionist<br />

Sarah Chantle, sports<br />

psychologist Ross Shand<br />

and Steve Hardisty<br />

welfare support officer<br />

returned to training once Covidrestrictions<br />

allowed.<br />

“Lindsay is one of the best<br />

players this country has produced<br />

and has a real passion for the<br />

women’s game,” said Richards.<br />

“She has a real understanding<br />

of what it takes to compete at the<br />

World Cup and she constantly<br />

reminds us of that.”<br />

Anfield’s status as a trailblazer for<br />

Women’s <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> coaching<br />

was recognized when she was<br />

the inaugural winner of the RFL<br />

President’s Award in May 2019 –<br />

when Andy Burnham, the Mayor<br />

of Greater Manchester, was in the<br />

President’s role.<br />

While he may be in the big<br />

job with <strong>England</strong>, Richards has<br />

taken more of a backroom role<br />

with St Helens - but as head of<br />

Women’s <strong>Rugby</strong>, he has been<br />

highly influential in developing<br />

some young up-and-coming stars<br />

and turning them into genuine<br />

contenders with both club and<br />

country. He has worked effectively<br />

with Dec Hardman, the Saints head<br />

coach who has also joined the<br />

<strong>England</strong> set-up in recent months,<br />

as Saints lifted the Cup to secure<br />

their first piece of silverware in only<br />

their third season playing together.<br />

As a player, Anfield was as<br />

experienced as they come,<br />

representing her country on<br />

numerous occasions as well as<br />

being one of the leading lights<br />

when the game was in the early<br />

stages of its growth.<br />

After dedicating years of her<br />

life to playing the sport, she then<br />

moved into coaching and took<br />

Castleford Tigers into the Betfred<br />

Women’s Super <strong>League</strong>, where they<br />

won the <strong>League</strong> Leaders Shield<br />

in 2019, made the Grand Final the<br />

same year and made back-to-back<br />

Challenge Cup Final appearances.<br />

Their consistency over those two<br />

years proves what an astute coach<br />

she is, and that has now transferred<br />

to York City Knights, whom she<br />

joined in April as Director of<br />

Women’s coaching.<br />

Her impact was soon felt and<br />

following some fine recruitment,<br />

she helped steer the club to a<br />

Challenge Cup Final appearance<br />

against St Helens – a remarkable<br />

transformation for a team who had<br />

lost 68-16 to Leeds Rhinos on the<br />

opening day of this season.<br />

Like Richards, Anfield is relishing<br />

the prospect of this autumn’s<br />

World Cup, which will lift Women’s<br />

<strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong> to a new level. They<br />

are both determined to ensure the<br />

<strong>England</strong> team make the most of<br />

that opportunity – making tonight’s<br />

game a crucial step on that journey.<br />

#47


23 OCTOBER – 27 NOVEMBER<br />

THE RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP IS COMING TO<br />

WARRINGTON<br />

GROUP SALES<br />

Looking to attend a RLWC2021 fixture in a large group?<br />

Our group sale team will be happy to help.<br />

HOSPITALITY<br />

With premium seats, Club 21’s rugby club-style<br />

atmosphere, luxury lounges and prestigious dining<br />

experiences available, we offer something for everyone.<br />

SQUAD TRIPS<br />

Gather your squad and book official match tickets,<br />

accommodation and experiences with Squad Trips.


B E T H E R E F O R R E A L !<br />

M A T C H E S A T H A L L I W E L L J O N E S<br />

S T A D I U M , W A R R I N G T O N<br />

nzl<br />

MEN’S<br />

leb<br />

NeW ZeAlANd v lebANON<br />

New Zealand<br />

Lebanon<br />

SUNDAY 24 OCTOBER - 19:30<br />

MEN’S<br />

PAPUA NeW png GUINeA v COOK cki ISlANdS<br />

Papua New Guinea<br />

Cook Islands<br />

TUESDAY 2 NOVEMBER - 19:30<br />

*Refund Gurarantee - We’ll give 100% of your ticket<br />

money back in the event of restricted crowds<br />

MEN’S<br />

fra<br />

SAMOA v FRANCe<br />

France<br />

sam<br />

Samoa<br />

SUNDAY 7 NOVEMBER - 17:00<br />

Visit rlwc2021.com/tickets


GET YOUR<br />

COLLECTORS’<br />

EDITION!<br />

A limited number of professionally printed<br />

copies of this souvenir programme have<br />

been produced and are available to mail order<br />

from publisher Ignition Sports Media.<br />

To order your copy, click HERE and you will be<br />

taken to the order page on the Ignition website.<br />

Or visit www.ignitionsportsmedia.com to view the<br />

extensive range of programmes on offer across the<br />

sports of <strong>Rugby</strong> <strong>League</strong>, <strong>Rugby</strong> Union and Football.


23 OCTOBER – 27 NOVEMBER<br />

THE RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP IS COMING TO<br />

WARRINGTON<br />

B E T H E R E F O R R E A L !<br />

GROUP SALES<br />

Looking to attend a RLWC2021 fixture in a large group?<br />

Our group sale team will be happy to help.<br />

*Refund Gurarantee - We’ll give 100% of your ticket<br />

money back in the event of restricted crowds<br />

HOSPITALITY<br />

SQUAD TRIPS<br />

With premium seats, Club 21’s rugby club-style<br />

atmosphere, luxury lounges and prestigious dining<br />

experiences available, we offer something for everyone.<br />

Gather your squad and book official match tickets,<br />

accommodation and experiences with Squad Trips.<br />

Visit rlwc2021.com/tickets

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