Irish 'Origin' to strengthen World Cup bid

RUGBY League Ireland chairman Dave Southern believes next week's inaugural Irish 'Roses' clash is a a key building block in the Emerald Isle's assault on the 2008 World Cup. Teams representing Irish exiles based in Lancashire and Yorkshire will meet at Oldham St Annes on Sunday 20 February in a game that has been arranged by the Irish Democratic League, in association with RLI, to strengthen ties with the homeland. Southern believes the fixture will help cement the bond between RLI and the large number of clubs in the north of England with strong Irish heritage, and will help broaden Ireland's talent pool ahead of the 2008 World Cup in Australia. Southern explained: "We're obviously committed to developing homegrown talent - as the continued growth of the RLI Conference will demonstrate - but we're aware of the contribution that exiled athletes have made to Irish sport as a whole, and we intend to build a strong exiles network in rugby league that will underpin the excellent work that is going on at home. "English-born players such as Terry O'Connor, Barrie McDermott and Martin Crompton have already made a massive contribution to Irish Rugby League and events such as this will help us identify overseas-based talent at all levels of the game. "In the long-term, we'd like to establish formal links with 'exiles' clubs in the UK and elsewhere, to provide a clear pathway for players with Irish heritage to aim for representative honours. We view this fixture as a very exciting development for Irish Rugby League." The game kicks off at 12pm and will open the 2005 Manchester Irish Festival. The two teams, which will be made up of players from the Halifax Irish, Dewsbury Celtic, Huddersfield St Josephs and Oldham St Annes clubs, will compete for the Michael Davitt Challenge Bowl, with the presentations being made by Ms Amanda Bane of the Irish Embassy in London. Contacts: Dave Southern ? Rugby League Ireland 00353 087 672 7911. Chris Clegg ? Lancs IDL clubs 01282 602186. Sean Hussey - Oldham Irish Society 0161 620 9207.

Winning start for the Warriors

A revived Stacey Jones engineered a rare Vodafone Warriors pre-season success when they beat Parramatta 20-10 in a rugby league trial in New Plymouth today.

Light Fantastic: Kogarah Council approves Jubilee floodlights

THE Development Application to install upgraded floodlighting at Oki Jubilee Stadium was unanimously approved by Kogarah Council tonight, providing Saints fans with a luminous St.Valentine?s Day present.

Real Rabbitohs Announce Team for Video Ezy Charity Shield

THE Real Rabbitohs is pleased to announce its team to play in the 2005 Video Ezy Charity Shield this Saturday night, February 19, kicking off at 8pm.

Youthful Broncos impress

BRISBANE?S youngsters showed their more illustrious clubmates will have plenty of pressure on them this season, romping home 48-12 in the season?s opening trial against South Sydney?s premier league side in Bundaberg.

St Marys-Penrith Cougars win VB Sevens

ST Marys-Penrith Cougars won the VB Sevens today at St Marys. Results were:

Wests Tigers Team List Trial VS Manly

WESTS Tigers Head Coach, Tim Sheens has announced his squad for the Trial Game against Manly at Leichhardt Oval, Saturday 19th February kick off at 6pm.

Huddersfield 30 - Leigh 12

SUPER League newcomers Leigh face a long, hard season in the top flight after suffering a comprehensive opening 30-12 home defeat by Huddersfield.

Wigan Warriors and RFU Press Release

THE Rugby Football Union and Wigan can confirm that discussions are taking place regarding the possible signing of Andrew Farrell.

Saint Helens 40 - Widnes 18

ST Helens held off a strong challenge from new-look Widnes to open their Engage Super League campaign with victory in the Knowsley Road mud on Friday night.

London win a thriller with Warrington

LONDON Broncos got off to a winning start with a 28-24 victory over Warrington Wolves in an exciting encounter at Griffin Park.

Wakefield down favourites Bradford in style

WAKEFIELD Wildcats, the Super League surprise packet of 2004, picked up from where they left off with a stunning 28-16 victory at 2003 champions Bradford.

Wells Extends Contract and not Concerned About Twickers

WITH just two players over the age of 30 years, London Broncos are fielding one of the youngest teams in Super League, and certainly one of the youngest the capital club has ever seen.

Wigan 15 - Salford 4

WIGAN captain Andy Farrell may have played his last game for the club and lie on the brink of agreeing a cross-code move to rugby union, but the Warriors still managed to kick off their Engage Super League X campaign with victory against spirited Salford.

Leeds 16-Hull FC 12

NEWLY-CROWNED world champions Leeds Rhinos brushed off the mud at the KC Stadium to make a successful start to the defence of their Engage Super League crown.

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