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Author Archive for Gavin Willacy

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Celebrating 40 years of professional rugby league in London

London Broncos are not nearly as popular as Fulham were in 1980 but their longevity should be applaudedBy Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredLondon Broncos are celebrating their 40th birthday this week, making them old enough for a mid-life crisis. I…

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Celebrating 40 years of professional rugby league in London

London Broncos are not nearly as popular as Fulham were in 1980 but their longevity should be applaudedBy Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredLondon Broncos are celebrating their 40th birthday this week, making them old enough for a mid-life crisis. I…

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Celebrating 40 years of professional rugby league in London

London Broncos are not nearly as popular as Fulham were in 1980 but their longevity should be applaudedBy Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredLondon Broncos are celebrating their 40th birthday this week, making them old enough for a mid-life crisis. I…

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The transfer window is working for young, free and single footballers

With clubs struggling financially and facing a salary cap in the Football League, academy players are in demandBy Gavin Willacy for Playing in the ShadowsThere are currently hundreds of men in their twenties and thirties wondering if they are still pro…

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‘It’s really frustrating’: Catalans Dragons isolate from Super League

Catalans are watching other clubs overtake them in the Super League table as they remain in quarantine for 14 daysBy Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredEvery team has had it tough since the coronavirus pandemic struck. And then there is Catalans Drag…

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The life of a rugby league ball: from a rubber tree in India to Super League

Steeden have been making sports gear since 1958, but how do they do it and how were they affected by the pandemic?By Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredHow does a rugby league ball end up getting from the rubber trees of India to a Super League pitch…

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The collapse of Barnet’s academy is sad news for London’s young players

Barnet’s failure to earn promotion back to the Football League means their young footballers no longer have a homeBy Gavin Willacy for Playing in the ShadowsBarnet were 11th in the National League when the pandemic struck, so reaching the penultimate s…

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Expect a fan-friendly experience at next year’s Rugby League World Cup

The three tournaments – the men’s, women’s and wheelchair events – have been scheduled to suit supporters’ schedulesBy Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredWith six of next season’s Premier League stadiums hosting games, no one can accuse Rugby League …

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Tony Adams: ‘Hopefully people have had periods of reflection in lockdown’

Adams talks about his year as the the RFL president, gambling adverts, Prince William and the power of meditationBy Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredTony Adams hands over the presidency of the Rugby Football League to Clare Balding on Wednesday. Ad…

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The strange tale of the England Schoolboys football team

Wembley will not be hosting any fans this summer. For much of the 20th century, it was packed full for Under-15s gamesBy Gavin Willacy for Playing in the ShadowsAaron Martin’s return to Wembley on Monday did not go as well as his debut under the arch. …

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The strange tale of the England Schoolboys football team

Wembley will not be hosting any fans this summer. For much of the 20th century, it was packed full for Under-15s gamesBy Gavin Willacy for Playing in the ShadowsAaron Martin’s return to Wembley on Monday did not go as well as his debut under the arch. …

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Jermaine Coleman: ‘Black people don’t want a leg up. Just equality’

Coleman, the only black British head coach in professional rugby league, spells out where the sport needs to changeBy Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredDoes rugby league have a problem with racism? Jermaine Coleman would know better than most. Colem…

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From the Premiership to park pitches: the rugby referee who switched codes

After being made redundant as a rugby union referee, James Jones worked his way back to the top … in rugby leagueBy Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredWhen James Jones was made redundant by the Welsh Rugby Union at the age of 34, he expected to spe…

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The footballer who signed his first EFL contract a fortnight before lockdown

After years of waiting for his Football League debut, Paco Craig was finally getting his chance aged 27. Then a pandemic arrivedBy Gavin Willacy for Playing in the ShadowsThe story of Jim Morris was so good Disney made a film about. In T…

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The footballer who signed his first EFL contract a fortnight before lockdown

After years of waiting for his Football League debut, Paco Craig was finally getting his chance aged 27. Then a pandemic arrivedBy Gavin Willacy for Playing in the ShadowsThe story of Jim Morris was so good Disney made a film about. In T…

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The footballer who signed his first EFL contract a fortnight before lockdown

After years of waiting for his Football League debut, Paco Craig was finally getting his chance aged 27. Then a pandemic arrivedBy Gavin Willacy for Playing in the ShadowsThe story of Jim Morris was so good Disney made a film about. In T…

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A short history of rugby league on TV: from Richard Madeley to multiscreen

Rugby league returns this week with a glut of live games. There was a time when viewers only had an hour with MadeleyBy Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredOnly a few days to go until your rugby league famine is over. All eight of this weekend’s NRL g…

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A former basketball player is opening young footballers’ minds in lockdown

Sports consultant Jamie Edwards is running online courses to help Football League players improve their mental habitsBy Gavin Willacy for Playing in the ShadowsEvery Tuesday morning during lockdown, dozens of teenage players from Football League clubs …

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Meet the national team coach who is working nights in a coronavirus ward

While other coaches are preparing for the Rugby League World Cup, Scotland boss Nathan Graham is working in a hospitalBy Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredIn his playing days, Nathan Graham captained Scotland and played full-back for Dewsbury, North…

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Why clubs below Super League may be better placed to deal with lockdown

Championship clubs rely heavily on matchday income but their smaller wage bills make them more nimble in a crisisBy Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredPlenty has been written about the plight of Super League players and clubs, but what is at stake in…