George Williams is aiming to prove his class for England in the inaugural Downer World Cup Nines in Sydney, ahead of his big-money move to Canberra Raiders next season. The highly-regarded playmaker has spent his entire career at hometown club Wigan Warriors, but has now joined fellow Englishmen John Bateman, Elliott Whitehead, Josh Hodgson and Ryan Sutton in the Australian capital. Williams has attracted plenty of media attention ahead of the Nines, a nine-a-side variant of the sport that will see 12 men's and four women's teams competing on Friday and Saturday at Bankwest Stadium in a bid to be crowned champions. England are represented in both competitions, with Wales' men also in action, and 24-year-old Williams will feature before representing Great Britain in their four-match tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea under Wayne Bennett, who will also coach England in the Nines. England are in a group with Wales, Lebanon and France, with their opening Nines game against the Welsh … [Read more...] about George Williams looking to impress in World Cup Nines ahead of big-money move to Canberra Raiders
Womens rugby league world cup
Jake Connor took centre stage as England's men and women both registered convincing 25-4 wins in their opening pool games at the inaugural World Cup Nines tournament in Sydney. Hull FC centre Connor, on his 25th birthday, scored two of the men's team's five tries in a resounding victory over Wales. Warrington hooker Daryl Clark, Catalans full-back Sam Tomkins and Huddersfield winger Jermaine McGillvary also touched down, with Swinton's Mike Butt grabbing Wales' consolation. Tomkins, who was in imperious form throughout, said: “It was a lot of fun. “We said beforehand that we wanted to play some rugby with plenty of offloads and score some nice tries, and we did that.” It was the first of three matches in Pool B for England, whose group in the 12-team tournament also includes France and Lebanon. Wayne Bennett has taken a 16-man squad to the tournament and his men face France and Lebanon in the early hours of Saturday morning. McGillvary said: “It was very … [Read more...] about England outclass Wales in World Cup Nines opener
With family and friends waiting outside in the foyer, just hours after Australia’s morale-crushing round of 16 loss to Norway, captain Sam Kerr rallied her troops with an impromptu and typically straight-talking speech at the team hotel. Her message was simple. Losing sucked. The team had set their sights on a final-four finish, they’d come up short. Which really sucked. But it wasn’t the end. Kerr spoke passionately about coach Ante Milicic and his staff, thanking them for the most professional Matildas environment she’d ever been a part of. With an eye on the Olympics ahead, the captain concluded with another simple message: stay together, stay focused, and this team would do something very special. It was a speech of defiance. A speech of optimism. And yet it was a speech that stands in stark contrast with much of the immediate reaction to the loss, one of negativity and disappointment, with a rapid descent into finger pointing. Australian football is a … [Read more...] about Australian football needs to heed Sam Kerr’s World Cup exit rallying cry
Last week’s announcement of the new Matildas pay deal was a landmark for football in Australia. The new collective bargaining agreement has base wages built in that provide pay parity with the team’s male counterparts, the Socceroos, in many areas. With women’s sport across Australia reaching greater heights than ever before, it is worth comparing how this deal stacks up against some other women’s sports. Football The new deal has guaranteed the Matildas a tiered payment system with minimum wages set at $40,000 and going up to $83,000 for top tier players – in line with what the Socceroos players will receive. Both teams will also have access to 24% of national team-generated revenue, which rises by 1% each year to 2023; 5% of this will be put back into youth and development programs. Both teams will also receive 40% of the prize money paid to Football Federation Australia for World Cup performances. Currently this is where the major disparity sits, as … [Read more...] about How does the Matildas’ pay deal stack up against the rest?
Legendary England rugby union captain Bill Beaumont and Ashes-winning England skipper Alastair Cook lead the way for Sport in the New Year Honours list. Cricketer Cook is bestowed the accolade from Her Majesty just months after he celebrated a stunning century in his final Test innings for England. Cook, who scored 33 Test tons and bowed out with 147 against India earlier in the summer, will become a 'Sir' after he was recognised for his services to cricket. Beaumont, who led England to a Five Nations Grand Slam in 1980 and also captained the British and Irish Lions, is also knighted. He is a former Rugby Football Union chairman and was elected chairman of World Rugby in 2016. Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore, who has headed the organisation for almost 20 years and will shortly step down from his role, has been awarded a CBE. And there is also a CBE for Willie John McBride, the former Ireland and British and Irish Lions captain, who played in a record 17 Lions Tests … [Read more...] about New Year Honours List 2019: Full list of Sport winners revealed