I love getting Hayfever. I love taking a stroll in the morning and being unable to smell the freshly bloomed flowers because my nose is too blocked to do anything. I love the fact that the same nose will soon become red and runny after I blow my way through an entire box of Kleenex tissues in a single day. I love the way my eyes fill up with water any time I walk past a recently mown patch of grass. And I love getting that itchy feeling at the back of my throat which makes me pull all sorts of weird and wonderful faces in between my endless bouts of sneezing.
WAYNE Bennett has confirmed he will step down as coach of the Queensland State of Origin team next year and he will be replaced by Newcastle coach Michael Hagan.
THE Rockhampton Leagues Club Central Queensland Comets have announced a trial with the St George Illawarra Dragons on Saturday, February 21 next year.
FORMER Rockhampton Leagues Club Central Queensland Comets Wade and Clint Rothery have returned to the Comets for the 2004 season.
The Sydney Airport Jets will soon be back in training for the 2004 season, and are ready to rebuild their playing strength following a relatively successful year in 2003.
Newtown is the oldest club in Australian Rugby League, and fields teams in the high standard NSWRL Premier League and Jim Beam Cup competitions. The Jets take great pride in their impressive player-developmental role, with ten players from their 2003 roster taking up lucrative offers with NRL and overseas clubs. This movement in players presents opportunities for other youngsters to enhance their reputations by playing with the famous and professionally-run Newtown club.
Craig Field, still one of the best halfbacks in Rugby League and the joint winner of the Newtown club's 2003 players' player award, will be playing again with the Jets in 2004. Craig proved to be an inspirational mentor with his youthful team-mates last season, and will be a great drawcard for other youngsters to join the Jets and to take their careers forward.
The Jets have recently signed boom New Zealand Bartercard Cup centre Sioeli Helu, who weighs in at 105 kgs. and runs the 100 metres in 11 seconds. No doubt many other talented young Kiwis have noted the example of David Fa'alogo, who signed with the Jets in 2003 from the Bartercard Cup ranks, and within a month had won an NRL contract with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Newtown coach Colin Murphy, popularly known as "The Kevin Sheedy of Rugby League", will once again have charge of the Jets' Premier League squad, while former Sharks and Raiders halfback Trevor Schodel will be the Jim Beam Cup coach.
The Sydney Airport Jets begin official training on Tuesday, 11 November, and all inquiries should be directed to 1300 36 36 90.
BRISBANE Broncos utility Casey McGuire is recovering from an accident on his grandparent's Dalby farm which almost claimed his eye sight.
SINGAPORE Rugby League has taken further steps in preparation for its first international in 2004 with the appointment of its national coach and team medic. Tony Ashton is currently development officer for the Melbourne Storm in the National Rugby League, and with a Level 3 certificate, brings the standard of coaching needed to make the Singapore side competitive in a short period of time.
THE old saying of ?your damned if you do, and your damned if you don?t? must be running through the heads of the Rugby Football League at the moment, after the Welsh Dragons were thumped by the Australian Kangaroos. Since the Dragon?s courage performance in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup, there has been a growing call by the fans and the media for Wales to have the chance to play the best, and be given regular competition.
THE refereeing appointments for the Think! Road Safety Test Series have been confirmed with Britain having an official for the first and third tests as an equaliser for Australia having Bill Harrigan for the second and third test matches in the 2001 Kangaroo Tour.
WELSH coach Neil Kelly questioned the wisdom of pitting his side against the world champions after Australia ran up a record 76-4 win at Bridgend.
AUSTRALIA recorded a 76-4 obliteration of Wales here today at Brewery Field in Brigend and look back on track for the Test Series with the British Lions beginning next week, after a shaky start to their tour.
THE French rugby league side withstood a second-half fightback to get their European Champions Cup campaign off to a 26-18 victory in Dublin.
GREAT Britian coach David Waite hopes to have a full squad to select from for Saturday's Think! Road Safety First Test against Australia at The JJB Stadium, Wigan.
The Lions saw captain Andy Farrell and loose forward Paul Sculthorpe sit out the clash with New Zealand A last Wednesday with respective knee and calf injuries.
AUSTRALIAN coach Chris Anderson has named his team for the opening Think! Road Safety Ashes Test, at Wigan on Saturday, and includes Sydney Roosters' Craig Wing at centre in Ryan Girdler's absence.
The Kangaroos lost Girdler, the exerienced Penrith centre, with a recurrence of a calf muscle injury in Sunday's 76-4 win over Wales.
THE NZ'A' were always going to be doing it tough when they took on the National League One Representative Team at Leigh on Sunday, being up against 12 Grand Final players from this years National League One competition.
NZ'A' put in a courageous effort, hoping to end their five-match tour on a high and at times showed some brilliant flare.
Former Great Britain prop, and coach of the National League One Team was certainly not taking them lightly and after watching a couple of their earlier matches knew the New Zealand team would be no walk over. Prior to the match he made such comments as "I thought they played really well against Great Britain for long spells, they asked a lot of questions of them", and "They are a big, physical side and, like any Kiwi side, they know how to offload, it looks as though it will be a bit physical!"
The game was just as Karl had expected with some huge tackles going in and some bustling runs, particularly from front rower, George Tuakura, who was the NZ'A" man of the match.
The National League side did get a bit of a scare when NZ'A' converted two tries in the last 10 minutes after they had trailed 40 - 16. This tended to be the trend for the tour with very late starts from the New Zealanders and having to play too much catch up footy.
Reports from the NZ'A" staff are however, very positive, feeling that many of the players have developed immensely from their experience and will definately become better sportsmen from this. It has to also be said that Great Britain have done wonders in the game of Rugby League over the last couple of years and the NZ'A' had the opportunity to play some quality opposition.
Nigel Taumoli, Paul Fisiiahi, Jonny Limmer, Hale Va'asa (2) : Tries
Steve Buckingham (4) : Goals
NATIONAL LEAGUE ONE 40
Stuart Littler, Raoney Bowker, Simon Baldwin, Chris Charles, Malcolm Alker, Neil Turley (3) : Tries
Neil Turley (4) : Goals
Halftime Score: 28 - 4 To National League One