Tag: England

Great Britain return to face New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga

The iconic Great Britain jersey will return to the international stage this autumn.
The recent meeting of the Rugby League International Federation confirmed a four-match tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea for the Great Britain Rugby League Lions – with full details of the schedule to be released in Auckland tonight.
It will be the first time Great Britain have played since the home series against New Zealand in the autumn of 2007, and their first appearance in the southern hemisphere since the 2006 Tri-Series – reviving a tradition which dates back to 1910, when the first touring team after the 1895 Northern Union breakaway were known as the Lions.
In addition to two Tests against the Kiwis and one against the Kumuls – the latter a first in Papua New Guinea since 1996 – Great Britain will play their first ever Test against the Tonga team who made such an impact in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, including in a stirring semi final against England in Auckland.
Wayne Bennett, who has been the England coach since 2016, will be the head coach of the 2019 Rugby League Lions, with further details of his support staff, the composition of the squad and the selection process, the kit design, and kick-off times and travel packages for the tour to follow in coming weeks.
“It’s an honour to be involved in the revival of the Great Britain team as head coach,” said Bennett.
“I’ve coached against them in the past with Australia, and wherever you’re from in the world of Rugby League, that Great Britain jersey is a famous one – and I’m sure the current generation of players will be excited by the prospect of wearing it and representing their country in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
“It’s an exciting prospect for international Rugby League, and good to have that Great Britain tradition back.”
Ralph Rimmer, the chief executive of the Rugby Football League, said:“The return of the famous Great Britain jersey is something people have been talking about for a long time – so this is an exciting announcement for us.
“It’s 12 years since Great Britain last played a Test, and 13 since they last travelled to the southern hemisphere, for the Tri-Nations series of 2006.
“While the development of the England Performance Unit has been a priority and a success for the RFL, across Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair Rugby League – and will continue to be as we build towards the 2021 Rugby League World Cup – there is such history and tradition around that Great Britain shirt.
“It’s great for the game to have it back, as part of the schedule drawn up by the RLIF also including the Oceania Cup. We’ll be committed to respecting and honouring that tradition as we build up to the tour through 2019.”
The announcement has also been welcomed by senior figures from Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Barry Coade, Chairman of Rugby League Ireland, said: “We are delighted that Great Britain & Ireland will tour again this Autumn. The tour looks like a real challenge given the rise of the Pacific nations and we think this is a big step forward for international Rugby League.”
Keith Hogg, the Chair of Scotland Rugby League, said: “Having the Great Britain team back is a boost for all of the home nations. We are proud of the contribution made by Scots to Great Britain Rugby League in the past, most obviously when Dave Valentine lifted the World Cup in 1954, and this announcement is a great incentive for young Scottish players to maintain that tradition in the future.”
Paul Chambers, General Manager of Wales Rugby League, said: “Wales Rugby League fully embrace and support the first Great Britain Rugby League tour to the Southern Hemisphere for many years. The whole concept of the Rugby League Lions adds another dimension to the ambitions of players and staff involved with all Home Nations and Wales Rugby League are looking forward to promoting and being involved in the process.”

The RFL restructure the England Performance Unit

The Rugby Football League today announced a restructure of the England Performance Unit which involves an expanded role for Paul Sculthorpe MBE, and contract extensions for Kevin Sinfield MBE and Jamie Peacock MBE.
Sculthorpe, the only man to win Super League’s Man of Steel award in consecutive years, has been appointed England Pathways Coach, meaning he will be working with all teams in the EPU and focusing on the country’s outstanding young players, from Junior Academy to Knights level – following his involvement in last autumn’s successful England Knights tour of Papua New Guinea.
Sinfield, who joined the RFL as Rugby Director in 2016 and has continued in that role since being appointed as Director of Rugby at Leeds Rhinos last summer, has committed to the RFL role until 2022 – after the Rugby League World Cup on home soil in 2021.
Peacock, another former England and Great Britain captain who has been working as the England team manager since July 2016, has also extended his agreement with the RFL until 2021.
Paul Anderson will be continuing as Knights head coach in a consultancy role after joining Warrington’s backroom staff since the end of last season, and the former Warrington forward David Elliott remains National Programme Manager and head coach of the England Academy team after the 2-0 series victory over the Australian Schoolboys last month.
Ben Jones, previously the Research and Innovation Manager, takes a new role as England Performance Director; Jane Phillips takes over as Head of England Operations; and Barry Frost continues as Head of Performance Analysis.
Further announcements about the England Women and Wheelchair coaching staff will be made later this year.
Ralph Rimmer, the RFL chief executive, said: “We created the England Performance Unit last January after proposals from Kevin Sinfield, and the results for 2018 speak for themselves.
“Our senior England men’s team won four games out of five Tests played, three of them against New Zealand.
“England Women had a big win in France – although we recognise that securing more international competition for them is a major priority for 2019 and beyond – and on one memorable Saturday in October, the Knights made it three wins out of three for our England teams when they won their first international in Papua New Guinea.
“That was followed by the superb performances of Dave Elliott’s England Academy team against the Australian Schoolboys.
“So it’s great to be able to announce the news that Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Paul Sculthorpe – three truly outstanding players of the Super League era – will retain key roles in the EPU, as we continue to build towards hosting the Rugby League World Cup in 2021.
“We recognise there is a need for clarity about international fixtures for all our national teams – men’s, women’s and wheelchair – and rest assured we are working hard behind the scenes to allow us to make further positive announcements as soon as possible.
“The EPU is delivering exactly as we had hoped, which is thanks to those involved and also the support of the clubs.
“We remain focused on success in the RLWC2021 and beyond, as we all understand the impact this can have for the sport in the UK – and are therefore delighted to have secured these key personnel on that journey.”
England Performance Unit 2019
England Rugby Director; Kevin Sinfield (Consultant)
England Performance Director; Ben Jones (Consultant)
Knights Head Coach; Paul Anderson (Consultant)
National Programme Manager; Dave Elliott (Employee)
England Pathways Coach; Paul Sculthorpe (Consultant)
Head of England Operations; Jane Phillips (Employee)
RFL Head of Coaching and Player Development; Dave Rotheram (Employee)
Performance Analysis; Barry Frost (Consultant)

International | Niall Evalds moves into the England Knights squad

Salford Red Devils fullback Niall Evalds has been selected for the England Knights squad ahead of their two-game series against Papua New Guinea.
Evalds finished the year as Salford Red Devils’ top try-scorer for the second consecutive season racking up an impressive 13 tries.
England Knights Head Coach Paul Anderson has called the 25-year-old fullback up in place of Wigan – and former Salford loanee – Oliver Gildart who has moved into the England side for the Autumn internationals against France and New Zealand.
Gildart moves into the England squad in place of an injured Sam Burgess while Warrington’s Tom Lineham has moved into the England Knights squad as a replacement for Castleford’s Greg Minikin who has withdrawn through injury.
Luke Gale has also pulled out of the England squad with a knee injury and a replacement will be named early next week before the one-off Test against France at Leigh Sports Village.
 
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Support England Rugby League tomorrow morning

Make sure you tune into BBC One tomorrow morning at 9am to watch England take on Australia in the final of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. 
England, who are featuring in their first World Cup final for 22 years, will be looking to defeat an Australian side who have the won the competition a record 10 times and overcame England 18-4 in the opening game of the tournament.
Coverage starts on BBC One at 8:30am and everyone here at the Salford Red Devils would like to wish England the best of luck in the final. Bring it home.
The teams for tomorrow’s final are below:
Australia: Billy Slater, Dane Gagai, Will Chambers, Josh Dugan, Valentine Holmes; Michael Morgan, Cooper Cronk; Aaron Woods, Cameron Smith, David Klemmer, Boyd Cordner, Matt Gillett, Josh McGuire.
Interchanges: Wade Graham, Jordan McClean, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Tyson Frizell.
England: Gareth Widdop, Jermaine McGillvary, Kallum Watkins, John Bateman, Ryan Hall, Kevin Brown, Luke Gale, Chris Hill, James Roby, James Graham, Ben Currie, Elliot Whitehead, Sam Burgess.
Interchanges: Alex Walmsley, Tom Burgess, Chris Heighington, Jonny Lomax.

Salford’s last representative eliminated from the Rugby League World Cup

Manu Vatuvei’s Tongan side were knocked out of the Rugby League World Cup following a semi-final defeat at the hands of England on Saturday morning.
England opened up a 20-0 lead against the surprise semi-finalists with tries from Jermaine McGillvary, Gareth Widdop and John Bateman.
However, Tevita Pangai Junior, Siliva Havili and Tuimoala Lolahea all went over in the space of seven minutes for the Tongan’s to almost pull off a memorable fightback.
There was late controversy as Andrew Fifita almost went over for Tonga with the final play of the game but was adjudged to have dropped the ball following a collision with Elliot Whitehead which wasn’t sent to video referee Ben Thaler by referee Matt Cecchin.
Vatuvei was the last Salford representative at the Rugby League World Cup.
New signing Gavin Bennion, who featured for Wales in the World Cup, has been in training with the Red Devils while fellow countryman Craig Kopczak has also linked up with the side today.
Ireland international Tyrone McCarthy is set to be back in training in midweek while Vatuvei will re-join the squad in the next fortnight.
England are set to face Australia in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup final at 9:00am on Saturday 2nd December with the game being live on both BBC One and Premier Sports.
 
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