TWO of Scotland?s most exciting prospects received their Player of the Year Awards at a presentation ceremony after the Scotland v Australia Student International at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh last Sunday night. Glasgow Bulls winger Andy McPhail ? who scored with his first touch as a full international against Wales in October ? picked up the inaugural Roy Kinnear Award for Scotland Students Player of the Year. McPhail was one of six Napier University undergraduates in the Scotland Students side that lost 26-6 to the Aussies, McPhail setting up the home side?s only try with a trademark breakaway. The Glaswegian started the season in the Scotland Students side and after a prolific summer was promoted to the A team and eventually two full caps in the European Nations Cup.
MALTA will challenge for the ten thousand dollar 2005 Orara Valley Sevens, with the tournament providing good preparation for the 2005 VB Sevens in Sydney, Australia the following month.
RUGBY Football League executive chairman Richard Lewis has revealed the Tri-Nations tournament is unlikely to be staged in the southern hemisphere before 2006.
THE Illawarra Steelers are looking to the future with cautious optimism after posting mixed results on their 2004 balance sheet.
While the Steelers Club posted an encouraging profit of more than $498,000, the company overall, which is also responsible for football and other operations, returned a $648,400 loss.
EXCITING new Hull FC signing Nathan Blacklock believes the club have what it takes to lift the Super League crown as he prepares to get into the Christmas spirit.
DAVID Waite is to step down from his position as RFL Performance Director at the end of this month in order to take-up a key consultancy role with Perpignan as they prepare for Super League entry in 2006.
LONDON Skolars are to take on the current World Champions Bradford Bulls in a groundbreaking pre-season friendly in Dublin in January. The National League 2 side will play a Bulls XIII select side at Blackrock College RFCs ground on Sunday 23 January with a 1.30pm kick-off.
THE Rugby Football League has struck a deal with betting exchange Betfair to help combat match-fixing and illegal betting.
LAST year Wollongong solicitors McGuire & McInerney generously became sponsor of the Wollongong Sevens at the last minute. McGuire & McInerny's Mark McDonald has sportingly given organisers the go ahead to seek other options for 2004 and may either return as naming rights sponor or aid the (University) club and tournament in another capacity, depending on our ability to attract alternative support.
ST George Illawarra, the mighty club who seem to firmly have a grasp of the NRL perennial underachiever tag have gone from the Penthouse to the Outhouse.
DISGRACED football star Andrew Walker - banned from rugby league for two years after taking cocaine - wants to return to rugby and is eying the new Super 14 franchise in Perth.
AFTER months of negotiating and still holding talks with the NRL, Danny Williams has signed a one year deal with the London Broncos.
THE NRL has agreed to bring the kick-off to the Broncos-Warriors match in round two - at Suncorp Stadium - forward by an hour to 7.30pm.
When the NRL initially announced the first five weeks of the 2005 NRL draw, the Broncos-Warriors encounter was the third scheduled in a trio of live matches to be screened on Fox on Saturday, March 19. With daylight saving still operating on that weekend, the Broncos-Warriors clash was to have kicked off in Brisbane at 8.30pm and beamed live in to NSW at 9.30pm (EDST), following the Raiders-Knights clash (5.30pm) and the Dragons-Storm (7.30pm).
BRISBANE Broncos coach Wayne Bennett believes a NRL team could be based in Papua New Guinea within ten years.
2005 sees the Dragons reintroduce a Jersey Flegg (under 20 years of age) team, through the combination of the St George and Steelers sides of 2004.