Tag: Ralph Rimmer

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)

Coral will sponsor the Men’s and Women’s Challenge Cup

The Rugby Football League have agreed an historic commercial partnership with Coral to include both the men’s and women’s Challenge Cups in a two-year, seven-figure deal.
The two competitions will come together when the Coral Women’s Challenge Cup Final shares the stage with the men’s semi finals in a triple header at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday July 27.
The men’s Coral Challenge Cup Final will be held at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 24.
“This is a really significant day both for the Challenge Cup, and for women’s Rugby League,” said Ralph Rimmer, the RFL chief executive.
“The men’s Challenge Cup is one of the iconic competitions and trophies of British sport, with more than 120 years of history, and the famous Wembley final televised live to the nation and the world by the BBC.
“The Women’s Challenge Cup may not have that history, but Coral’s enthusiasm for it to be part of a joint sponsorship deal confirms our determination that it is set for a really exciting future.
“With Coral’s name now linked to both the men’s and women’s Challenge Cups, it’s equally exciting to be able to extend the double header for the men’s semi finals that proved such a big hit last year, and now incorporate the Coral Women’s Challenge Cup Final.
“The University of Bolton Stadium proved a popular venue for the sold-out double header last summer, so we’re delighted to be going back for a triple header in 2019.
“We are confident that thousands of the supporters of the teams who reach the semi finals of the men’s Coral Challenge Cup will also take the opportunity to watch the outstanding spectacle provided by our best women’s teams – and that will ensure their skills and athleticism are seen by the record audience they deserve.”
Adrian Osman, the Head of Sponsorship and Events at Coral, said: “The Rugby League Challenge Cup and the final at Wembley are flagship events in British sport, and we are delighted that Coral’s name will now be associated with them in this significant deal. In addition, the opportunity to get involved with women’s sport and the development of women’s Rugby League as the first title sponsors of the Women’s Challenge Cup is hugely exciting for us – and combining the final with the semi finals of the Coral Challenge Cup should produce another great event. We’re really looking forward to seeing the two competitions unfold through the spring and summer.
Leeds Rhinos are the Women’s Challenge Cup holders, having beaten Castleford Tigers in a classic final at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium last summer.
The RFL also confirmed today that the 2018 Wembley winners Catalans Dragons will defend the Coral Challenge Cup, after reaching an agreement with the French club to end recent uncertainty about their participation.
They will enter the competition at the Sixth Round stage in May, having finished in the top eight of the Super League in 2018.
The teams who finished in the bottom four will enter in the Fifth Round in April.
The Road to Wembley begins this weekend, with 52 community clubs competing in First-Round ties from Portsmouth to Wallsend, and featuring Sunday’s meeting on the Cumbrian coast between the oldest amateur club in the country, Millom, and the Challenge Cup newcomers Red Star Belgrade – which will be streamed live on the BBC Sport online platforms.
The Trans-Pennine battle between Orrell St James and Holmfirth’s Underbank Rangers will be shown live on the RFL’s Our League membership App and Website the previous day.
Tickets for the triple header at the University of Bolton on Saturday July 27 go on sale today, and are available here –https://rugbyleague.tickethour.co.uk/seatingPlan.html?idProduct=560.
Tickets for the Coral Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 24 are available here – https://www.rugby-league.com/tickets/challenge_cup_final

Squad | England Knights to face Papua New Guinea in two-game series

Today the Rugby Football League have confirmed that the England Knights will take on Papua New Guinea in a two-game series later this year.
The 24-man squad – which includes Salford Red Devils full-back Niall Evalds – will play against the Kumuls on Saturday 27th October in Lae before a second fixture in Port Moresby on 3rd November.
Following extensive planning alongside officials from Papua New Guinea, the squad will spend time at the state of the art training facilities of Brisbane Broncos in Australia before travelling to the island, where Rugby League is the national sport, for a two-game series against the 10th ranked side in the world who also progressed to the quarter-finals of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
Rugby Football League Interim Chief Executive, Ralph Rimmer, said: “The England Knights programme is an integral part of our vision for a successful national team in the next four years and beyond.
“We were determined that we would create meaningful games and experiences that would test this squad of players and travelling to the other side of the world, to one of the most passionate and avid Rugby League nations on the planet will certainly do that.
“We are absolutely committed to creating an environment and selection of fixtures that give us the best chance of winning the World Cup in 2021 and 2025 and I have spoken to the coaches and players involved in the England Performance Unit and I know that they are all incredibly excited about the opportunity to test themselves later this year.”
Following his selection Niall Evalds spoke to Salford Red Devils TV you can watch the full video below: