ONE of New Zealand's most experienced rugby league internationals, John Rutherford (Jock) Butterfield, died in a Brisbane hospital on Saturday after falling ill. He was 72 years old.
THE Souths Logan Magpies will field a top class line-up when they go head-to-head with the Burleigh Bears in a trial match on Friday night.
IN the NSW Rugby League Jim Beam Cup trial match played at Redfern Oval on Saturday, Newtown defeated Souths Juniors 20-16. This was quite an entertaining match, with the lead changing hands several times. Both coaches, Trevor Schodel (Newtown) and Bill Grech (Souths Juniors), would have been pleased with their respective teams' defensive commitment and constructive play.
The Sydney Airport Jets are back at Henson Park this Saturday, February 21st for more trials action. In the NSW Premier League, Newtown hosts the North Sydney Bears with the match kicking off at 5pm. This game also doubles as the first leg of the 2004 Frank Hyde Cup series. In the Jim Beam Cup trial starting at 3pm, Newtown takes on the competition newcomers Narellan.
At 5pm, Saturday, March 6th, first grade Rugby League football returns to Henson Park for the first time in 21 years when Newtown is at home to 2003 NRL semi-finalists, the Melbourne Storm.
FOLLOWING hot on the heels of the recent search for a Cowgirl campaign, London Broncos are now looking for a couple of Cowboys to perform at Griffin Park throughout the upcoming season.
WORLD Club Champions Bradford Bulls are delighted to unveil a new entertainment team which will combine skills from a variety of fields to ensure the Bulls remain at the forefront of sports entertainment for Super League IX.
BRADFORD forward Stuart Fielden has called for next year's World Club Challenge to be played in Australia to prove the English teams can win the title anywhere.
ST George Illawarra forward Lance Thompson has been dropped to Premier League for disciplinary reasons and will play in this Saturday's Rockhampton trial against the Central Comets. The experienced back rower has also been fined by the Dragons.
WARRIORS prop Richard Villasanti has started contract negotiations with the New Zealand Warriors to secure a new two-year deal at the National Rugby League club.
CRONULLA fullback David Peachey will be "dynamic" for the Sharks this year after impressing in his first rugby league trial game of 2004.
THE Dragons' Premier League team will play a trial match against the Central Queensland Comets at Browne Park, Rockhampton, from 8pm this Saturday. The team is as follows:
THE NZ Warriors have named a near full-strength side for their trip to the Gold Coast, where they will take on Parramatta on Saturday night.
MELBOURNE Storm coach Craig Bellamy will use his entire playing squad against the Brisbane Broncos this Saturday night at Toowoomba Stadium in the second of four pre-season trial matches.
KNIGHTS coach Michael Hagan named his squad for Saturday night's game against the Sydney Roosters at Nelson Bay with Parramatta recruit Steve Witt wearing the No.7 jersey.
WELL you can tell the NRL season is less than a month away from kick off, the World Club Challenge has just completed, Charity Shield kicked off, and murmurs about the Melbourne Storm spending their last season in Victoria this year.
NRL Notebook: February 15, 2004
By Warrick Nicolson, Nicolson Sports Consultancy