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Author Archive for Aaron Bower

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State of Mind leads rugby league’s pioneering work on mental health

The experiences of former forward Paul Highton and ex-referee Ian Smith are testament to the value of Super League’s dedicated State of Mind round of fixturesIt did not take Paul Highton long to realise something was wrong. “On Sunday I’d played my las…

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Super League decides to scrap controversial Super 8 format

• One-up, one-down relegation system to return in 2019• Super 8 structure ‘isn’t working’ says Robert ElstoneThe Super 8 structure will disappear at the end of this season with a return to a more conventional one-up, one-down format between Super …

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Joel Tomkins quits Wigan for Hull KR after ‘embarrassing’ barmaid row

• Forward signs deal with Hull KR until end of next season• Tomkins: ‘I decided the best thing would be for me to leave’Joel Tomkins’ Wigan career is over after the forward agreed to cut ties with his hometown club and join Hull KR less than a week aft…

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Tommy Makinson’s fine form earns England call-up to face New Zealand

• Wing has impressed for Super League leaders, St Helens• England meet New Zealand in Colorado in JuneTommy Makinson is one of three uncapped players in Wayne Bennett’s England squad to face New Zealand in Colorado this month.The wing has impressed for…

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Wigan suspend Joel Tomkins for abusive rant at barmaid

• International suspended for four weeks and fined £10,000• Brother Sam fined £5,000 for his part in disturbanceWigan have suspended the forward Joel Tomkins for four weeks and fined his brother Sam after footage emerged of them being abusive towards b…

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Warrington at head of queue to bring Kyle Eastmond back to Super League

• Former St Helens star a free agent after leaving Wasps• Signing would not affect Warrington’s salary cap limitsWarrington are increasingly confident they can lure Kyle Eastmond back to rugby league after a seven-year absence from the game.The 28-year…

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Magic Weekend could disappear if rugby league’s calendar is altered | Aaron Bower

Some of Super League’s power brokers are pulling for change but the fact the NRL is hosting a Magic Weekend in Brisbane next year is proof of the event’s credentialsAt a time when British rugby league’s long-term future has never felt more uncertain, t…

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Zak Hardaker receives reduced 14-month ban amid ‘exceptional circumstances’

• Former England full-back tested positive for cocaine in 2017• Free agent expected to join Wigan after suspensionThe former Castleford and England full-back, Zak Hardaker, has received a 14-month suspension from UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) after testing pos…

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Players’ union chief says blame society, not rugby league, for increased drug use

• Hull KR’s Thomas Minns fourth player in a year to test positive• Recreational drug use seems more commonplace now, says CarvellThe head of the Rugby League Players’ Association has claimed that his sport does not have a problem with drugs and said th…

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Leon Pryce warns ‘over-coaching’ is affecting England’s ability to match Australia

• Young players must be encouraged to take risks, says Pryce• Half-back in particular a position where Kangaroos have the edgeThe former Great Britain half-back, Leon Pryce, has said young English half-backs are being “over-coached” and prevented from …

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Ben Barba happy to concentrate on helping St Helens win trophies

• Full-back in fine form at start of Super League season• Australian linked with return home having served suspensionBen Barba is unlikely to make a decision on whether he will return to the National Rugby League next season until the end of the curren…

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Revitalised London Broncos trust in youth to fulfil Branson prophecy | Aaron Bower

Broncos are favourites for promotion to Super League with a focus on community programmes and capital-born playersAlmost 21 years have passed since Richard Branson stood on the plush turf of his London home and declared his grand vision for rugby leagu…

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Josh Charnley says he returns to rugby league a more confident player

• After 18 months in rugby union with Sale winger joins Warrington• 26-year-old signs deal until end of 2020 seasonJosh Charnley has insisted he can leave rugby union with his head held high despite cutting short his time with Sale to return to rugby l…

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Salford in talks about playing Super League match in New Jersey

• Club hopeful of overcoming opposition from RFL and other teams• Catalan Dragons have said they are willing to take part in projectSalford are in discussions with the consortium behind the bid to introduce a New Jersey-based side into the Rugby Footba…

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Luke Gale and Castleford gearing up for another Grand Final tilt

The reigning man of steel hopes a tough run of fixtures starting with Wigan will show Castleford can repeat last season’s heroicsLuke Gale believes Castleford’s run of games that begins with Sunday’s visit of Wigan will illustrate just how capable last…

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Everton CEO Robert Elstone poised to take charge of Super League

• Goodison Park CEO tempted back to rugby league by top job• Former Castleford board member has been at Everton since 2005The Everton CEO, Robert Elstone, is set to return to rugby league after being approached to take up a role as the head of Super Le…

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Eddie Hearn offers to lead Super League revolution

• Boxing promoter offers help in raising profile of rugby league• Hearn says he ‘learned a great deal about the sport’ in RFL meetingEddie Hearn insists he and Matchroom Sport have the capability and the confidence to transform rugby league’s profile i…

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Marc Sneyd’s flawless boot helps Hull survive fightback by Warrington

• Kicker nails six out of six shots plus a drop goal in 21-12 win• Wigan beat Widnes 32-16 after falling behind in first halfHull FC were 21-12 winners in an ill-tempered match by the Humber as they secured only their second victory of the new Super Le…

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RFL persuades Wayne Bennett to continue in role as England coach

• Bennett’s next game will be Test against New Zealand in Denver• Castleford coach Daryl Powell decides against joining BennettThe Rugby Football League will confirm Wayne Bennett’s reappointment as England coach in the next 48 hours – but the Castlefo…

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Leeds taught harsh lesson by Melbourne in 38-4 World Club Challenge defeat

• Reigning Super League champions well beaten at AAMI Park• Cameron Smith and Billy Slater imperious for NRL championsAhead of Leeds’ World Club Challenge title match with Melbourne, the club’s chief executive, Gary Hetherington, underlined the scale o…