WIGAN'S exciting 18 year old back row forward Joel Tomkins has signed an extended contract with the Club which will keep him at the JJB Stadium until the end of the 2008 season.Wigan Chairman, Maurice Lindsay said: "It always gives us an extra thrill when a player comes through our academy ranks and into the first team. Joel is a classic example of that and he is already looking like a regular member of our first team squad. He is set for a good career with us and he increases even further the number of local players in our group."Joel Tomkins said: "I love playing for my hometown club and there are quite a few of us now in the first team squad who have played together in our youth teams. I realise I have to be patient with so many other good players at the club, but I will work hard and do my best."Head Coach Ian Millward added: "It's another great tribute to the youth policy that the club has had in place for many years, and I am sure that if Joel carries on with his rate of progress he can make it to the top. He has got some healthy competition for his spot this year, but he is big and pacey with lots of potential."
FORMER champion halfback Allan Langer has backed Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett's punt to test run fullback Karmichael Hunt in the troublesome No.7 role.Teenager Hunt will get the first shot to show his halfback credentials in the club's second preseason trial against North Queensland this Saturday night in Rockhampton. The move is seen as a stop-gap measure while first choice halfback Brett Seymour recovers from a shoulder reconstruction.But Langer, who chalked up a club record 288 appearances at halfback, believes Hunt has what it takes to form a deadly halves combination with skipper Darren Lockyer.
EELS coach Brian Smith has named ten first grade regulars in his side to play Melbourne in an NRL trial in Ballina on Saturday.The match is the first hit out for the year for both sides ahead of the first round of the NRL which kicks off on March 10. Last year's rookie sensation Tim Smith has been selected at halfback in a backline which features fullback Wade McKinnon and three-quarters Luke Burt and Ben Smith.Full squad: Wade McKinnon, Luke Burt, Ben Smith, Luke O'Dwyer, Matt Petersen, Brett Delaney, Tim Smith, Aaron Cannings, Drew Dalton, Adam Peek, Daniel Wagon, Jack Afamasaga, Chad Robinson.Interchange: Matt Keating, Kris Keating, Dean Widders, Jarryd Hayne, Peter Lewis, Josh Cordoba, Justin Tsoulos, Zeb Taia.
THE Brisbane Broncos team announced today for the NRL trial match against North Queensland Cowboys at Browne Park in Rockhampton on Saturday night.The notable selections are Hunt at halfback and Ennis at hooker. There are also a host of young players taking part in the game.The team is:Darius Boyd, Leon Bott, Scott Minto, Steve Michaels, Tame Tupou, Greg Eastwood, Karmichael Hunt, Ben Hannant, Michael Ennis, Nick Kenny, Dane Carlaw, Chris Muckert, Neville Costigan.Interchange: David Taylor, Ian Lacey, Gideon Mzembe, Lyndon Murphy, Jamie Simpson.
VETERAN Test backrower Ben Kennedy was today named Manly captain for the 2006 NRL season.The 31-year-old former Newcastle forward takes over the leadership from Michael Monaghan. Coach Des Hasler described Kennedy as the "best on-field leader in the club". "Ben Kennedy is an inspirational player and an obvious choice as captain," Hasler said in a club statement. "His first-up season with Manly was exceptional last year and the leadership won't affect his role in any way." Kennedy beat out Monaghan and new recruit Matt Orford for the role.
THE North Sydney District Rugby League Football Club is seeking interest in a joint Premier League and National Rugby League football tipping competition.All tipsters from all clubs from around the country are welcome to participate with both weekly and end of the season prizes.If you are interested in joining the comp go here -http://www.northsydneybears.com.au/Bears%20Club/promotions/tipping.htmto register your interest and download the 'Terms & Conditions'.The North Sydney Rugby League Football Club can be contacted on 9466 8860, by e-mail [email protected], or check out the website athttp://www.northsydneybears.com.au.
THE first major event for 2006 happens this month with our junior sign-on day set down for Sunday, February 12. The day will kick off at 9.30am in the Dolphin oval dressing sheds and will finish by 11.30am. The Dolphins Old Boys will provide a free sausage sizzle and drinks for the kids with our good friends and major sponsor Keystar Auto World handing out giveaways to every player. Any new players wanting to sign up should bring along a birth certificate or equivalent proof of age as well as two passport size photos on the day.Registration fees are $45, which includes a club polo shirt for every player. Won't it be great to see our teams arriving at games in 2006 looking like a team that is proud of their club? Anyone wanting to help out on sign-on day can contact Grant Cleal on 3203 7333.The Redcliffe Dolphins junior coaches took part in a coaching camp last month at Alexandra Headlands. The camp was held over two days with our coaching team getting a lot of useful tips on coaching junior rugby league.Coaching staff from the senior Dolphins were on hand to take the boys through their paces with head coach Anthony Griffin, strength and conditioner Tony Guilfoyle, kicking coach Doug Hale and Colts coach Craig "Trigger" Ingebrigtsen passing on experiences to rest of the camp. Coaches from the under 11s to the under 18s had first contact from the coaching staff from our new affiliate club, the Brisbane Broncos. This was the first step in a long and continued effort by both clubs to make sure that every junior who registers with the Dolphins receives the best coaching available. A coaching information night also was organised in January for coaches taking on teams in the younger age groups (under 7-10). Members of the Broncos coaching staff and Dolphins junior development addressed these coaches about the club's expectations for 2006 and finished the night off with some field work. Coaches are still required for some of the younger teams.IN 2005, the Dolphins had six under seven, four under eight, four under nine and four under 10 teams playing in modified footy competitions. We expect to have at least that number again in 2006. For these youngsters to get their chance to play league, we need some special help.Dolphins teams have been fortunate over recent seasons with a more than capable group of referees officiating over local games.We need to recruit seven new starters to our referees ranks and that magnificent 7 are needed now.The main criteria is that you must want to improve your fitness level marginally, are happy to involve yourself for an hour or so on a Sunday morning, be available for games that are all played at Dolphin Oval, complete a referees course run locally by the QRL and be a part of the start of our youngest champions fulfilling their dreams.There may even be a future career awaiting someone that takes on refereeing this year.Age or gender is no barrier with male and female referees officiating, the minimum age is 14 and there are granddads refereeing at many clubs.To register your desire to find out more about this vital role, contact Grant or Katrina at the Dolphins on 3203 7333. Remember, we need 7 so the kids can play.
REDCLIFFE coach Anthony Griffin was instrumental in the Melbourne Storm signing Pat Gardner as a teenager.So it's ironic that Gardner lines up with the Dolphins this season even though Griffin had moved to Melbourne as Gardner arrived at Bishop Park to start football life as a Norths devil."When I was with Norths I received a tip-off from our scout in Cairns," Griffin said."The player he was praising was Pat, who as an 18-year-old was playing with the Cairns Cyclones in the state League. We signed him but as he arrived I went to Melbourne to coach."Pat has been with Norths first grade for the past four seasons and he has been a shandy away from playing NRL."We're lucky to have him here with us. He still harbours ambitions of playing NRL, but if that doesn't happen he would be perfect to be one of our frontline props when Adam Starr and Troy Lindsay call it a day."Pat is a great acquisition for our club because he has the size, experience of 60-70 starts in the Cup and is only 24."We're lucky that we have a number of established props in Clint Fraser. Damien Jentz and Darren Glase from Souths Logan who should figure this season. They are all in their early to mid 20s and have all the right attributes."And we have a prop coming through from Colts in Brad Massey who shows a bit."Gardner hails from Innisfail in North Queensland, the same hometown as Billy Slater, but Pat plays the game in a far different manner to the fleet-footed fullback. A tough no-nonsense prop who tops 108 kilograms, he did the pre-season with Storm's top squad last year and impressed coach Craig Bellamy with his work ethic.Gardner will spend a week this pre-season at the Broncos as topline Dolphins are rotated through their training program.Redcliffe skipper Shane Perry is an exception as he has been training with the Brisbane side since before Christmas with injury clouds over Brett Seymour and Darren Lockyer.The Broncos have handed on a handy acquisition to Redcliffe in young Kiwi outside back Kaine Manihera. He came across the Tasman at the end of last season after starring with the Canterbury Bulls in the tough Bartercard Cup.
FRANK Hyde turned 90 today, Tuesday, February 7th, 2006Congratulations to the great Frank Hyde who reaches the milestone of his ninetieth birthday on Tuesday, February 7th. Frank is Newtown?s oldest living former first grade player, having played with the Bluebags from 1934 to 1937. Frank also played with the Balmain Tigers (from where he represented NSW in 1938 and claimed a first grade premiership title in 1939). He moved on to captain-coach Waratah-Mayfield in the Newcastle district competition and represent NSW Country in 1940. He also played with North Sydney from 1942-44, and was captain of North Sydney?s 1943 Grand Final team.He is best known as the unchallenged doyen of Rugby League radio broadcasters, having dominated the ratings for more than 30 years on 2SM. Best wishes to you Frank from the entire Newtown RLFC and from Jets and Rugby League supporters everywhere!Photo caption: Frank Hyde at Henson Park in August 2005 (Photo courtesy of Gary Sutherland Photography).
WORLD Cup ready to FireThe qualifying process for the 2008 World Cup is expected to begin in April of this year with as many as 20 nations fighting for the final five spots.Australia, England, France, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have all been given automatic entry into the 2008 World Cup. Find out just how the qualifying process will work.Dragons favourites to win in 2006The St George Illawarra Dragons have been placed as favourites to win the 2006 NRL grand final by leading betting agencies. The Dragons have been placed at juicy odds of $5.50 to win the premiership in early October even before a ball has been kicked in the NRL competition.Who rules when it comes to Coaching?Just who has the best record when it comes to the current NRL coaches and how do they compare with all the other coaches. We look at just how the coach at your club shapes up and how do they compare with the all-time coaches.Lance Thompson can't wait for the season to startLance Thompson can not wait for the 2006 NRL season to commence and is looking forward to taking the Sharks to the play-offs. It will be strange to see him out of a Dragons jersey but his focus is fully behind Cronulla who threw him a lifeline when the Saints decided to let Thompson go after more than 10 years service with the club. There is a full player profile on the former Saints player.RUGBY LEAGUE REVIEW is out Tuesday, Feb 7 at all good newsagents for $3.50.Guarantee your copy by subscribing. Check out www.rugbyleaguereview.com for more details.
THE Newtown Jets first trial match for 2006 will be played on Saturday evening (February 11th), when the Jets and the North Sydney Bears square off at Henson Park at 5.00pm. This official NSWRL VB Premier League trial match will be preceded by a trial game between the Newtown and Asquith Jim Beam Cup squads at 3.30pm, with an earlier trial between the Sydney Roosters and North Sydney Jersey Flegg teams due to start at 2.00pm. Bears CEO Greg Florimo warns that North Sydney will be stronger in 2006 as a result of their successful feeder club arrangement with the Melbourne Storm. Jets fans will be equally keen to see how their new look squads shape up in both grades at the beginning of the club?s 99th season in the rugby league game. Naturally a full catering service will be available at Henson Park for the afternoon. Club membershipMany thanks to all those Newtown members who have already renewed their memberships this year, and who have taken the opportunity to buy official club merchandise. If you have still to renew for 2006, we really do value your membership so please get your renewal form in and stay on board with the Jets. Your collective membership gives the club greater bargaining power and increases the club?s marketability to current and potential sponsors. Be sure to remind any of your family members or friends who haven?t renewed their memberships as yet to please do so as soon as possible. If you?re not an official member of the Jets, why not join up with us? It?s a great way to prove your commitment to the survival of this grand old club, and your membership makes us stronger as an organisation in so many important ways. Contact the Newtown RLFC on 1300 36 36 90 or email [email protected] with your full contact details and request for membership application forms to be sent out. You can also download a membership application form from our website at http://www.newtownjets.com See you all at Henson Park on this coming Saturday afternoon (February 11th) for the start of what is going to be an enormous year in our club?s long history! (Photo caption:Action from Newtown v North Sydney at Henson Park last year.)
ENGLISH Super League club Castleford has confirmed it is interested in Australian Test half-back Craig Gower, who has fallen out with the Penrith Panthers.The 27-year-old is reported to be furious at losing the club captaincy and being fined $100,000 - $30,000 of which was suspended - in the wake of an alleged drunken weekend on the Sunshine Coast in December and has reportedly asked for a release.Newly promoted Castleford are still searching for a quality half-back following their failure to sign Cronulla's Adam Dykes. The Melbourne Storm have also confirmed an interest in Gower.
SYDNEY Roosters halfback Brett Finch has spoken out saying he fears the Roosters wet weather play could let them down again, like it did in the Grand Final.
THE BARLA Great Britain Young Lions will face the Australian Schoolboys in a two-match Test Series this August.
LONDON Broncos will go into the game against Huddersfield on Sunday with the same team that lost to Hull at Leicester last round.