Posted: 28 October, 2016

Five Reasons Why Scotland Can Upset The Kangaroos

Scotland playmaker Danny Brough says his side cannot afford to be star-struck when facing Australia in a daunting Four Nations opener in Hull.

The three-time Super League Man of Steel recipient conceded beating Mal Meninga's side would be something of a miracle and said avoiding embarrassment at the hands of their star-studded opponents is the Scots' biggest aim.

The Bravehearts have never played Australia in their 20-year existence and are aiming to succeed where France, Papua New Guinea, Wales and Samoa have failed.

Brough is one of seven Super League players in coach Steve McCormack's 19-man squad, which also includes NRL regulars Lachlan Coote, Euan Aitken, Luke Douglas and Kane Linnett.

Scotland face Australia at 6am, Saturday morning AEDT.

Five Reasons Why Scotland Can Upset The Kangaroos


North Queensland's premiership-winning fullback will make his debut for the Bravehearts, who he qualifies to play for through his Glasgow-born grandparents. Still harbours ambitions to play for NSW.

Lachlan Coote Photo: Getty Images


Another member of the Cowboys' 2015 grand final-winning side, the former Sydney Roosters centre will win his fourth cap against the Kangaroos having played three games for Scotland in the 2013 World Cup.

Kane Linnett Photo: Getty Images


Vastly experienced prop who played a record 215 successive NRL matches between 2006-2014 during spells with Cronulla and the Gold Coast. Will play in the Super League next season with St Helens after signing a three-year deal last month.

Luke Douglas Photo: Getty Images


Became a regular member of the St George Illawarra side last year and earned his first representative call-up with NSW Country last April. Will partner Linnett in the centres on his international debut.

Euan Aitken Photo: Getty Images


Classy playmaker who threw in his lot with Scotland after being constantly overlooked by former England coach Steve McNamara. Three-time winner of the Super League's Man of Steel, the Huddersfield five-eighth possesses an outstanding kicking game and is not afraid to take on the line.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 18:  Danny Brough of Huddersfield Giants in action during the Super League match between Huddersfield Giants and Bradford Bulls at Etihad Stadium on May 18, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Danny Brough of Huddersfield Giants Photo: Getty Images

Scotland's 19-man Squad

Danny Addy (Bradford), Euan Aitken (Dragons), Ryan Brierley (Huddersfield), Sam Brooks (Widnes), Danny Brough (Huddersfield, capt), Lachlan Coote (Cowboys), Luke Douglas (Titans), Dale Ferguson (Bradford), Ben Hellewell (London Broncos), Liam Hood (Leigh), Ben Kavanagh (Bradford), Kane Linnett (Cowboys), Frankie Mariano (Castleford), Billy McConnachie (Ipswich Jets), Callum Phillips (Workington), Sheldon Powe-Hobbs (Northern Pride), Matty Russell (Warrington), Lewis Tierney (Wigan), Adam Walker (Hull KR).

Kangaroos Team

Matt Moylan, Josh Mansour, Justin O'Neill, Josh Dugan, Blake Ferguson, James Maloney, Cooper Cronk, Aaron Woods, Cameron Smith (capt), David Klemmer, Sam Thaiday, Tyson Frizell, Jake Trobojevic. Interchange: Jake Friend, Shannon Boyd, Trent Merrin, Michael Morgan, Valentine Holmes. (one to be omitted).

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Tags: Scotland Bravehearts, Four Nations

Posted: 27 October, 2016

England To Host 2021 Rugby League World Cup

England have won the right to stage the 2021 World Cup, the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) has announced.

The Rugby Football League (RFL) received the nod ahead of the United States, largely on the back of playing numbers and heavy government backing.

RLIF chief executive David Collier said: "England staged an outstanding World Cup in 2013 and have clearly outlined their vision for the 2021 World Cup as a world-class event eclipsing the attendances, reach and legacy of 2013.

"The bid details that the Rugby League World Cup will be the highlight of the international sporting calendar in England that year and RLIF looks forward to a great tournament."

The RLIF has recommended the United States be awarded the 2025 World Cup, along with a separate international tournament to be staged between 2021 and 2025.

The bid was submitted on behalf of the USA and Canada by Australian businessman Jason Moore, who runs the Sydney-based sports marketing and event management company Moore Sports International (MSI).

Moore had pledged to hand over PS10million ($A16 million) at the end of the first tournament to be held outside the game's traditional areas and help lay down firm roots for the game in North America, which will host professional rugby league from May when Toronto play in the English-based League 1 competition.

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood, who is chairman of the RLIF, and chairman Brian Barwick, a fellow federation board member, did not take part in the decision-making process.

Officials say bids were assessed against seven criteria and England scored heavily in its supporter base and government support, in terms of the PS25million ($A40 million) government backing and its legacy, as well as in areas such as visas, security, international development and promotion.

Collier added: "The MSI USA/Canada bid provided the RLIF with an unprecedented opportunity to take rugby league's pinnacle event, the World Cup, to the commercially lucrative and passionate sports audience of North America.

"The RLIF sees a great future for the sport in North America and has recommended that discussions with MSI are expedited to bring professional rugby league to North America as well as future international tournaments.

"Those discussions are being progressed ... and a report will be presented to Congress which will be held on 19 November this year."

Meanwhile, tickets to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) go on sale October 27, with the NRL confirming seats starting from $10 for kids and concessions, $20 for adults and $45 for a family of four.

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Posted: 27 October, 2016

Stephen Kearney Makes His First Warriors Signing

Kearney said he couldn't be happier to secure McNamara.

Stephen Kearney Photo: Getty Images

Former England coach Steve McNamara is joining the Warriors on a two-year contract as one of the NRL club's three assistants.

The Yorkshireman, an assistant at the Sydney Roosters for the past three seasons, will link up with new coach Stephen Kearney.

Former Kiwis coach Kearney's other assistants are the man he replaced in the top job, Andrew McFadden, and club legend Stacey Jones.

Steve McNamara Photo: Getty Images

Apart from guiding England for five years, McNamara was also coach of Bradford in the Super League.

"Now I'm really excited about this next step in my coaching career, coming to Auckland and working with Stephen and a great coaching group," the 45-year-old said.

"I have the greatest admiration for Stephen from the days when we were opposing coaches of our national teams."

Kearney said he couldn't be happier to secure McNamara.

"While Steve and I were adversaries in our roles with our national teams, we formed a great relationship," he said.

"He brings qualities that will give us a really strong and experienced coaching group as we look ahead to take the Warriors to the level we collectively expect of this club."


Born: September 18, 1971, Hull

Coaching career:

* Club - Bradford 2006-10, Sydney Roosters assistant 2014-16

* International - Great Britain assistant 2007, England assistant 2008-09, England 2010-15

Playing career:

* Hull FC 1989-96, Bradford 1996-2000, Wakefield 2000, Huddersfield 2001-03

* Great Britain 1992-99

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Posted: 27 October, 2016

Wayne Bennett Has Announced A Brilliant Signing... And Dragons Fans Won't Be Happy

Wayne Bennett may have just scored the coaching coup of the decade.

Reigning NSW Cup and State Championship-winning mentor Jason Demetriou will serve as a coaching assistant at Brisbane under Wayne Bennett for the 2017 NRL season.

Considered one of the best up-and-coming coaches in the NRL, Demetriou led the Illawarra Cutters (the Dragons reserve grade side) to success this year in claiming both lower-grade trophies.

You may not know the name but you will be impressed by his track record, having won three grand finals in the last four years.

Demetriou was part of North Queensland's premiership-winning coaching staff in 2015 in their grand-final victory over the Broncos, 

Last season he led the Illawarra Cutters - who are the Dragons reserve grade side - to the Intrust Super State Championship, defeating the Burleigh Bears in the Grand Final.

He also won back-to-back minor premierships as head coach of the Northern Pride in the QLD Cup, including a Grand Final win in 2014.

So it's an astute signing by Wayne Bennett. And a sore one for St George Illawarra. Read the full statement below.

Broncos Official Statement

Jason Demetriou Photo:

State Championship winner Jason Demetriou will join Wayne Bennett’s NRL staff as an assistant coach for the 2017 pre-season.

Demetriou has experienced a wonderful last few years, capped off by winning the Intrust Super State Championship with the Illawarra Cutters over the Burleigh Bears on NRL Grand Final Day.

He will move from the St George Illawarra Dragons club to the Broncos having previously being based in Queensland.

After a long playing career in England including stints with Wakefield and Widnes, the Sydney-born Demetriou coached the Keighley Cougars.

Back in Australia, he coached the Northern Pride to the 2014 Intrust Super Cup title by winning the Queensland Cup grand final over Easts Tigers.

In 2015 he was on the North Queensland coaching staff, ultimately part of the Cowboys’ golden-point grand final win over the Broncos.

The Cutters celebrate winning the 2016 State Championship Grand Final Photo: Getty Images

But after impressing again by winning the NSW Cup and the State Championship match over Burleigh – a clash of the NSW and Queensland champions - Demetriou will move to Brisbane to work under Bennett.

"I am very excited for the opportunity the Broncos and Wayne have given me and I look forward to the years ahead,” he said.

“It's a very strong club, with great leaders and a great roster and I look forward to playing my role in that.

“I look forward to my family settling in and making Brisbane our home.

“I'd like to thank my wife Nat and my girls for supporting me and allowing me to follow this path - without their support I wouldn't be here."

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Tags: St George Illawarra Dragons, Brisbane Broncos

Posted: 27 October, 2016

Jamal Idris Is In The Wests Tigers 'Family'

Jamal Idris Photo: Getty Images

Jamal Idris will return to the NRL with Wests Tigers next year after an 18 month absence and the former Kangaroos' representative says this time he is doing it for himself.

The Wests Tigers announced on Thursday Idris would join them for the 2017 season.

Idris, 26, left the Penrith in 2015 due to personal reasons, spending time travelling the world over the past 18 months.

He said his passion for rugby league had returned.

"I've learned a lot over the last year, and the biggest thing was that I was playing rugby league for others. This time, I'm playing rugby league for myself," Idris said.

"There's no better way to get back into it than to get stuck into training, and I'm improving a lot every week. I'm just hoping to do it now, week in and week out."

Coach Jason Taylor said Idris would add depth next year to the Tigers' outside backs.

"We're really looking forward to having Jamal join us ahead of the 2017 season," said Taylor.

"He brings a lot of size and strength to our outside backs which is something that we identified that needed to be improved on for the coming year.

"He's played the game at the highest level and comes to Wests Tigers with a lot to prove.

"Jamal's been working hard over the last couple of weeks to ensure that he's ready for the start of pre-season and he's incredibly motivated to get back into the game and we're really happy that he's decided to do it with us."

Idris has played 131 NRL games since 2008 with Canterbury, Gold Coast and Penrith.

He represented NSW once in 2010 and Australia on one occasion in 2011.

Watch the video and read the full statement below.

Wests Tigers Official Statement

Wests Tigers are pleased to announce that former Australian international and New South Wales representative Jamal Idris has joined the Club.

The 26-year-old has played a total of 131 first-grade games since making his debut for Canterbury in 2008 — playing four seasons for the Bulldogs before spending two years with the Titans from 2012 and with the Panthers from 2014.

The 2009 Dally M Rookie of the Year has agreed to join Wests Tigers in 2017 and will add plenty of experience, size and skill to the Club’s first-grade squad.

Jamal Idris Photo: Getty Images

After spending 18 months away from rugby league, the Forster Hawks junior said he was excited to be making his return to the NRL with Wests Tigers.

“For me, it’s so exciting as there are a lot of up-and-coming young players here,” said Idris. “The average age is really young, and they’re only going to get better and more experienced. If they do that together, then they’re going to gel well as a team and that’s really exciting.

“I’ve learned a lot over the last year, and the biggest thing was that I was playing rugby league for others. This time, I’m playing rugby league for myself,” he said.

“There’s no better way to get back into it then to get stuck into training, and I’m improving a lot every week. I’m just hoping to do it now week in and week out.

“I can’t wait to meet all the new fans and Members of Wests Tigers,” said Idris. “This Club has a great history and supporter base, and I can’t wait to meet and get to know so many more fans.”

Jamal Idris Photo: Getty Images

Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe said that the signing of Idris was an exciting one for all Members and fans following on from a strong 2016 season.

“As a Club, we are really pleased to have Jamal at Wests Tigers next year,” Pascoe said. 

“We’re thrilled that he’s decided to embark on the next stage of his playing career with us.

“We all know what he can do on the field and we look forward to seeing him do it in a Wests Tigers jersey next season,” he said. “Jamal’s been a fan favourite everywhere that he’s played and I’m sure that Wests Tigers Members and fans are excited to have him with us.

“We had a lot of positive signs both on and off the field in 2016 and Jamal’s signing is another step in the right direction for this organisation,” said Pascoe.

Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor Photo: Getty Images

Wests Tigers Head Coach Jason Taylor said that having a player of Idris’ experience and natural ability would be a great addition to the Club’s first-grade squad in 2017.

“We’re really looking forward to having Jamal join us ahead of the 2017 season,” said Taylor.

“He brings a lot of size and strength to our outside backs which is something that we identified that needed to be improved on for the coming year.

“Jamal has played the game at the highest level and comes to Wests Tigers with a lot to prove,” he said.

“He's been working hard over the last couple of weeks to ensure that he’s ready for the start of pre-season and he’s incredibly motivated to get back into the game and we’re really happy that he’s decided to do it with us.”

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Tags: Wests Tigers, Jamal Idris

Posted: 27 October, 2016

Brett Kimmorley Joins The USA

Brett Kimmorley Photo: Getty Images

In some exciting news, Brett Kimmorley has been appointed assistant coach of the USA.

The former NRL premiership winning halfback said he was stoked to be working alongside head coach Brian McDermott of the Leeds Rhinos.

"I'm very excited and honoured to be part of the coaching staff for the U.S.A. Hawks team in the 2017 World Cup. Brian is a very successful coach in the Super League and I look to educate myself from the time we spend together," Kimmorley told

"I look forward to sharing my knowledge of the game and assisting the players with their performance not only in the World Cup, but also when they return to America.

"I have played in a World Cup and view it as the pinnacle of international game and will do my best to achieve the best results that we can."

WREXHAM, WALES - NOVEMBER 16:  Cameron Smith (L) and Greg Inglis (R) of Australia share a joke with Clint Newton (C) of USA at the final whistle during the Rugby League World Cup Quarter Final match between Australia and USA at the Racecourse Ground on November 16, 2013 in Wrexham, Wales.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Cameron Smith and Greg Inglis of Australia share a joke with Clint Newton of USA at the Rugby League World Cup Quarter Final in 2013 Photo: Getty Images

The 2017 Rugby League World Cup kicks off on October 27 and hosted by Australia and New Zealand with three pool games also being played in Papua New Guinea. The USA’s first match against Fiji in Townsville, Queensland.

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Posted: 27 October, 2016

Scotland Squad To Face Aussies Features Key NRL Stars

Lachlan Coote of the Cowboys Photo: Getty Images

Seven debutants have been named in Scotland's 19-man squad to face Australia in this weekend's Four Nations opener in Hull. 

Cowboys fullback Lachlan Coote and Dragons centre Euan Aitken are among the new faces for Scotland, while Titans prop Luke Douglas and Kane Linnett have also been included in the squad.

Scotland face Australia at 6am, Saturday morning AEDT.

Euan Aitken of the Dragons Photo: Getty Images

Kane Linnett of the Cowboys Photo: Getty Images

Scotland's 19-man Squad

Danny Addy (Bradford), Euan Aitken (St George Illawarra), Ryan Brierley (Huddersfield), Sam Brooks (Widnes), Danny Brough (Huddersfield, capt), Lachlan Coote (Cowboys), Luke Douglas (Titans), Dale Ferguson (Bradford), Ben Hellewell (London Broncos), Liam Hood (Leigh), Ben Kavanagh (Bradford), Kane Linnett (Cowboys), Frankie Mariano (Castleford), Billy McConnachie (Ipswich Jets), Callum Phillips (Workington), Sheldon Powe-Hobbs (Northern Pride), Matty Russell (Warrington), Lewis Tierney (Wigan), Adam Walker (Hull KR).

Kangaroos Team

Matt Moylan, Josh Mansour, Justin O'Neill, Josh Dugan, Blake Ferguson, James Maloney, Cooper Cronk, Aaron Woods, Cameron Smith (capt), David Klemmer, Sam Thaiday, Tyson Frizell, Jake Trobojevic. Interchange: Jake Friend, Shannon Boyd, Trent Merrin, Michael Morgan, Valentine Holmes. (one to be omitted).

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Tags: Scotland, Four Nations

Posted: 27 October, 2016

The NRL's Best And Worst Off-Season Signings

Nathan Brown, Robbie Farah and Josh Addo-Carr Photos: Getty Images

Here are your club's best and worst player signings for next season. 


Best: New signing Tautau Moga was once hailed as the next Israel Folau but has had his career stalled by three knee reconstructions. If the former Roosters and Cowboys centre can hit his straps, it solves a big problem for the Broncos who are light on in the three-quarter line.

Worst: Benji Marshall. Hard to see how he fits in at Red Hill. He is behind Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford in the halves and he lacks the speed to play centre. There could be plenty of benchwarming for the former Golden Boot winner this year.

Benji Marshall Photo: Getty Images


Best: Letting out-of-form and ill-disciplined Frank Paul Nuuausala go late last year was a wise move by coach Ricky Stuart.

Worst: The loss of Sam Williams could leave the club's lack of playmaking depth exposed.

Sam Williams Photo: Getty Images


Best: Tony Williams hardly landed a blow in his four years at Belmore. Dogs fans will be happy to see the back of him.

Worst: Curtis Rona was comfortable the club's leading tryscorer over the past two years, but they did nothing to stop him from defecting to rugby union.

Tony Williams Photo: Getty Images


Best: The premiers have secured Manaia Cherrington from Wests Tigers to cover for the loss of retired hooker Michael Ennis. But they really need to sign a name hooker before the season starts. Skipper Paul Gallen wants James Segeyaro.

Worst: Premiership-winning back-rower Chris Heighington's future hasn't been sorted despite his desire to stay in the shire.

Chris Heighington Photo: Getty Images

Gold Coast:

Best: Jarryd Hayne. Only played six games at the back end of last year. With a full pre-season under his belt, the Hayne Plane will be ready to take the NRL by storm again.

Worst: Greg Bird's off-field record is poor at best, but without him in the pack the Titans lack intimidation and experience.

Jarryd Hayne Photo: Getty Images


Best: Shaun Lane. The tall forward burst onto the scene with the Bulldogs in 2015, but played just one NRL game last year after being shipped off to the Warriors. He is a far better player than that.

Worst: Losing Jamie Buhrer. In the past Manly would do everything to keep great clubmen like Buhrer. Now they trade them for reserve grade wingers in Akuila Uate.

Shaun Lane Photo: Getty Images


Best: Josh Addo-Carr. The former Wests Tigers speedster should step right into the Storm wing spot vacated by the Super Rugby-bound Marika Koroibete.

Worst: The loss of Blake Green means Cooper Cronk will have another halves partner. If Billy Slater isn't fit and Cameron Munster has to stay at fullback they are in trouble.

Josh Addo-Carr Photo: Getty Images


Best: If he gets the go-ahead to play, Kieran Foran will form a premiership-contending spine with Shaun Johnson, Issac Luke and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

Worst: Is Foran ready to play football again and should the NRL allow him back?

Kieran Foran Photos: Getty Images


Best: Good riddance Akuila Uate, who was said to be paid around $500,000 a year just to hang on the wing.

Worst: Can't land a big fish. Need to sign a bigger name than Buhrer or Rory Kostjasyn before the season starts.

Akuila Uate Photo: Getty Images

North Queensland:

Best: Did fantastically well to re-sign Lachlan Coote despite bigger money deals on offer from Sydney.

Worst: Losing representative prop and premiership winner James Tamou leaves a big hole in their pack.

James Tamou Photo: Getty Images


Best: Nathan Brown was arguably South Sydney's best forward this year and will bring plenty of aggression to the Eels pack.

Worst: Losing Foran leaves the Eels missing a key piece of their premiership puzzle.

Nathan Brown Photo: Getty Images


Best: James Tamou's signing means the Panthers now boast arguably the best forward pack in the game.

Worst: James Segeyaro's departure leaves them thin in the hooking department.

James Segeyaro Photo: Getty Images

South Sydney:

Best: The good Robbie Farah. The Rabbitohs desperately need some more creativity in attack and Farah will bring that.

Worst: The bad Robbie Farah. The NSW No.9 is a polarising figure and will need to fit into coach Michael Maguire's tough regime to be a success.

Robbie Farah Photo: Getty Images

St George Illawarra:

Best: Mitch Rein, nicknamed Myth Rein by the disgruntled Red V faithful, struggled in the Dragons hooking role this year and former Rabbitohs hooker Cameron McInnes is a welcome change.

Worst: Benji is gone and that is an understandable move, but the Dragons don't have another big-name playmaker to replace him.

Mitch Rein Photo: Getty Images

Sydney Roosters:

Best: The club is still looking for Mitchell Pearce's halves partner after somehow letting Sharks premiership winner James Maloney go last year. Former Rabbitohs playmaker Luke Keary will get first shot at that.

Worst: Bondi has become the new home of the game's bad boys after signing Zane Tetevano, Paul Carter and Liam Knight. Who will take the blame if that turns sour?

Luke Keary Photo: Getty Images

Wests Tigers:

Best: With Robbie Farah gone the Wests Tigers can finally concentrate on football and re-signed halves Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks have the chance to shine.

Worst: Matt McIllwrick, who has played 28 NRL games in five years, has been signed as Farah's replacement. Matt Ballin, 33 in January, is another option should he bounce back from a serious knee injury.

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Posted: 27 October, 2016

We'll Do The Country Proud, Says Meninga

Mal Meninga Photo: Getty Images

Australia coach Mal Meninga has warned his players to rise above any on-field provocation during the Four Nations and wear the iconic green and gold jumper with distinction.

In addition to there being one referee and no seventh tackle restart rule, there is also no sin-bin ruling for punching unlike the NRL where 10 minutes on the sidelines are obligatory when the fists start to fly.

Meninga made it clear when he named his Four Nations squad that players of good characters are a necessity.

Mal Meninga speaks to players during a training session ahead of the Four Nations at St Georges Park Photo: Getty Images

Andrew Fifita, Greg Bird and Semi Radradra were not considered due to off-field incidents this year.

Although he fully expects his players not to take a backward step during their matches against Scotland, New Zealand and England, Meninga wants to win the Four Nations with a team that shows Australia in a positive light.

"The player that plays for their country has to be worthy of wearing an Australia jersey," Meninga told AAP.

"You have to be an ambassador and a role model. It's a privilege to wear the Australian jumper and shouldn't be taken lightly.

"You carry an expectation and responsibility with that, not only off-field but on-field as well.

"I want my players to hold their heads high, love the game and have a fair bit of humility when they play. It's something I think is really important."

Semi Radradra faces the media Photo: Channel Nine

Although 24-hour news cycles and social media now put high-profile sports stars under the microscope when they step out of line, Meninga said it shouldn't be used as an excuse for poor behaviour.

"That's their normal life now, it's something the modern generation of players have got used to," he said.

"They accept it, take it on the chin and keep doing the things they do well."

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Tags: Australia Kangaroos, Four Nations

Posted: 27 October, 2016

Chris Sandow To Step Into The Ring

Chris Sandow Photo: Getty Images

The tiny Chris Sandow is set to step into the ring!

That's right. The cheeky little ex-Souths and Parramatta halfback is putting the gloves on, and it's all for a good cause - raising funds for FSHD Global and Livin in Sydney on December 8.

The only problem is, organisers are struggling to find an opponent to take on the little bloke!

“Chris is a cheeky bugger so I’m sure blokes will be lining up to take him on,” promoter Matt Rose, who just happens to be the brother ex-NRL cult hero George, told Rugby League Week.

“It will be a great night, headlined by the clash of the heavyweights – Paul Gallen (Sharks) and Junior Paulo (Raiders).”

Paul Gallen Photo: Getty Images

Earlier, Paul Gallen reiterated his desire for a football superfight with Sonny Bill Williams but there is one NRL player he won't step into the ring with.

Cronulla premiership winning skipper Gallen has resumed training in his stop-start boxing career ahead of two scheduled bouts in December.

For more info on FSHD go to:

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Tags: Chris Sandow, Boxing

Posted: 26 October, 2016

Fiji Hoping To Get NSW Cup Green Light

Photo: NSW Cup

Fiji could have their entry into the NSW Cup rubber stamped as early as Friday as they seek to uncover the next generation of Semi Radradras.

The bid team, which is being spearheaded by Queensland and Fiji rugby league legend Petero Civoniceva, will make their case to the NSWRL board as they aim to enter the reserve grade competition next year.

The project has been three years in the making and is well advanced with plans to play out of the 15,000-capacity ANZ Stadium in Suva and set up a base at Sigatoka, where the players would eat, sleep and train in a live-in environment.

The consortium earlier in the year hosted NSWRL CEO Dave Todden to present their case and the final hurdle is to prove they have the financial and corporate backing to stand on their own two feet.

It was born out of Civoniceva's experiences playing for the Fijian national side in the 2013 World Cup where he heard first hand from his teammates the difficulty they had finding a pathway to the NRL.

"Unless they're scouted or found at school by an NRL scout, there's no real pathway into the game," Civoniceva told AAP.

"Someone like Suliasi (Vunivalu), he was in New Zealand and seen there playing rugby union.

"What we want is a direct, local pathway in a professional environment. We'll have a camp set up. They'll be fulltime and live out of it."

PNG Hunters Photo: Papua New Guinea Today

The Fiji bid model is based on the PNG Hunters, who have enjoyed strong success since entering the Queensland Cup in 2014 and this year finished second on the ladder.

The prize on offer is the deep well of talent that exists in Fiji as officials battle with rugby union for access to the country's top players.

The country has a proud tradition of cultivating talent stretching back to the likes of Noa Nadruku, Lote Tuqiri and Civoniceva.

Of late, the likes of Radradra, Marika Koroibete and Melbourne winger and this year's top try scorer Suliasi Vunivalu have proven themselves some of the most exciting players in the game.

It has long been identified as a fertile breeding ground for footballers with French rugby clubs establishing academies in the tiny Pacific island of 900,000 in the hope of scouting the best young players.

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Posted: 26 October, 2016

Souths Has Just Signed A BEAST Of A Player

Tyrone Taukamo Photo:

South Sydney may have unearthed a new star.

Tyrone Taukamo is only 17. He’s a Souths junior and the schoolboy rugby sensation has made a massive impression because of his power, speed and brutal defence. As you can see in the video below, he has all the skills.

It’s understood the young prodigy had a lot of tempting offers for his signature including a stack of NRL clubs.

“When Toulon approached him, the richest club in the world, he seriously considered it; however, with NRL clubs getting him on team buses and going above and beyond that convinced him that rugby league is the way he will develop to be the best player he can be,” said Taukamo's manager Craig Baker.

It's exciting times ahead with players like Taukamo joining the Rabbitohs alongside other potential stars such as Robert Jennings, Braidon Burns, Tyrell Fuimaono, Adam Doueihi and Cruz Topai-Aveai.

Tyrone Taukamo Highlights

Tyrone Taukamo Video: YouTube

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Tags: South Sydney Rabbitohs