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Author Archive for Aaron Bower

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Zak Hardaker: ‘Days off would end with me losing my head or going to the pub’

The former Man of Steel has not played for 16 months after a drugs ban but is ready to make the right kind of headlines at WiganIt is a crisp January morning at Wigan’s training ground and Zak Hardaker is in his “happy place”. The 27-year-old has come …

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Super League’s Robert Elstone: ‘Wigan playing at the Nou Camp is a huge statement’ | Aaron Bower

Super League’s chief executive has big plans for 2019 and beyond and does not mind if he has to ruffle a few feathers along the way“Super League needed to freshen up, and that’s probably putting it modestly.” Barely five minutes have passed since the D…

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Cash dispute could see Catalans Dragons not defend Challenge Cup crown

• Catalans refusing to pay £500,000 cash bond to RFL• Would be first time Challenge Cup does not involve holdersThe Challenge Cup could take place without the reigning champions for the first time in rugby league history after the holders, Catalans Dra…

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Tony Adams to become new president of Rugby Football League

• Former Arsenal player made contacts through Sporting Chance• Charity has helped more than 400 rugby league playersTony Adams, the former Arsenal and England footballer, will become the new president of the Rugby Football League next summer. Adams, wh…

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Rugby league’s Mr London and why he’s spent £20m on the Broncos and won’t stop now | Aaron Bower

David Hughes says the London club can do more than survive in Super LeagueThe year is 1996. Britpop is dominating the airwaves, football is coming home and rugby league is undergoing the most significant transformation since its formation a century ago…

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Super League awards: the complete review of the 2018 season | Aaron Bower

Catalans Dragons created history, John Bateman was a force at Wigan and the Shaun Wane story had a very happy endingBen Barba may have won the Man of Steel award, but it is hard to imagine Wigan going all the way to Old Trafford and lifting the Super L…

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Golden Boot is now on the other foot for Tommy Makinson

England wing enjoys his award following a hat-trick against New Zealand after injury had nearly ruined career“It’s all a bit mad this, isn’t it?” says Tommy Makinson as he tries to make sense of the latest outstanding moment in one of game’s more remar…

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Sinfield wants England’s new mentality to demand NZ series whitewash

• To be where we want to be, it’s got to be 3-0’ he says • England hopeful over 2020 home series against AustraliaKevin Sinfield has called on England to underline their changing mentality and complete a whitewash series victory over New Zealand on Sun…

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England’s Tommy Makinson joins world elite by winning Golden Boot

• St Helens winger only fifth Englishman to win accolade• Australia centre Isabelle Kelly is women’s winnerTommy Makinson has become only the fifth Englishman to receive rugby league’s highest individual accolade, the Golden Boot award.The England and …

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Jermaine McGillvary will feel at home when England run out at Anfield

The Huddersfield wing has a particular reason to be looking forward to facing New Zealand in LiverpoolFor all of England’s squad, the bright lights and big stage Liverpool and Anfield provide makes Sunday’s second Test against New Zealand extra special…

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Sam Tomkins still has ‘plenty of rugby left’ as England face Kiwis at Anfield

• Wigan full-back never gave up on England after four-year exile• England won first match of three-Test series against KiwisSam Tomkins has said he never feared his England career was over during his four-year exile from the national team as Wayne Benn…

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England temper crowd estimate for Sunday’s New Zealand Test at Anfield

• I would hope we would be over 25,000, says Ralph Rimmer• International federation to meet this week and finalise GB tourRalph Rimmer, the Rugby Football League chief executive, has conceded the governing body has work to do to maximise the potential …

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South Sydney Rabbitohs to sign England head coach Wayne Bennett

• Bennett set to join Rabbitohs from 2020• Souths will not stop Bennett from continuing England roleSouth Sydney Rabbitohs will not stand in Wayne Bennett’s way if he wants to continue his role as England coach alongside his club duties after confirmin…

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England can make statement against New Zealand, says James Graham

• Tourists arrive for series on back of beating Australia• Graham says international game is in best of healthJames Graham believes international rugby league is in its rudest health for some time and wants a new-look England side to underline their cr…

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Zak Hardaker to enter rehab after drink-driving conviction but will stay at Wigan

• Warriors stand by full-back, saying they have ‘duty of care’ • Hardaker yet to play for club because of ban for cocaine useWigan have announced that Zak Hardaker will remain with the Super League champions in 2019 despite pleading guilty to a drink-d…

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Shaun Wane: ‘I don’t cry much but I’ve just got upset then, haven’t I?’

Wigan’s coach, facing the Grand Final against Warrington, is aiming to leave his beloved club with a fifth major trophyIt is often a thankless task trying to get a read on the stony-faced Shaun Wane and his emotions, but as the record buttons were pres…

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Steve Price’s Warrington primed to finally end a 63-year title drought

The underdogs are looking to spoil Shaun Wane’s farewell party with Wigan at Old TraffordThe emotion driving Wigan’s pursuit of a fifth Super League title in Saturday’s Grand Final has dominated most of the headlines before the season-ending finale at …

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Sam Tomkins keen to go out with a Grand Final bang for beloved Wigan | Aaron Bower

As the full-back prepares to face Warrington in his last game, he reminisces about how hard he found it as a youngster to satisfy Shaun Wane, who is also bowing out of WiganFrom the moment Sam Tomkins burst on to the rugby league landscape in 2008, the…

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Footballers seeking mental health help in record numbers – but it’s good news | Aaron Bower

The PFA is set to assist more players than ever this year and those at the heart of the fight believe that reflects a growing trust in the system rather than a growing problem“The statistics may sound worrying when you first hear them but they’ve got t…

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St Helens’ departing Ben Barba is Super League’s 2018 Man of Steel

• Barba, 29, becomes sixth Australian to win award• Wigan’s Shaun Wane named coach of the yearBen Barba has been named Super League’s 2018 Man of Steel. The 29-year-old full-back, who will leave St Helens at the end of this season to join the NRL side …