News

Parliamentary Group welcomes Rugby League Players Association to Parliament

Last night (15 May) the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group heard from the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) in Parliament. Members of Parliament and Peers were joined by associate and honorary members in the Palace of Westminster, and heard from GMB Senior Organiser for Rugby League, Pete Davies, and Garreth Carvell, former Great Britain international and GMB learning project and RLPA lead. The RLPA, a branch with financial backing from the GMB trade union, was re-established at the start of 2018. It aims to offer support and guidance to rugby league players, and all who work in the sport. Speaking after the meeting, All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group Chair and Member of Parliament for Bradford South, Judith Cummins MP, said…

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Parliament commemorates 50th anniversary of Watersplash Final

Members of Parliament have recognised the 50th anniversary of the Watersplash Final. A motion has been tabled in the House of Commons by Member of Parliament for Wakefield, Mary Creagh MP, commemorating the game between Leeds and Wakefield Trinity, which was played in wet conditions at Wembley Stadium on 11 May 1968 for rugby league’s Challenge Cup. The game included one of the most dramatic moments ever seen at a major sporting event, when Wakefield’s Don Fox missed a last gasp conversion in front on the posts, meaning that Leeds won 11-10. The motion recognises this iconic moment in British sporting history, and “congratulates the BBC for producing and broadcasting nationally a thorough documentary on the match.” Mary Creagh MP,…

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Members of Parliament welcome plans for Rugby League World Cup 2021

Members of Parliament have welcomed plans for the Rugby League World Cup 2021. Yesterday (18 April), MPs and Peers had the opportunity to meet with tournament organisers in the Palace of Westminster, learn more about the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments which will be staged together for the first time across England, and find out how to get involved with the host bid process. The applicant stage of the host bid process opened at the start of January 2018, and aspirant hosts have until the end of July 2018 to submit their application. In August, compliant submissions will be invited to the candidate stage that runs through until December 2018. Successful hosts will be announced in early 2019. All-Party Parliamentary…

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Parliamentary Rugby League Group hears from Supporters Direct

The All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group welcomed representatives of Supporters Direct to the Palace of Westminster last night (20 March). MPs and Peers were joined by honorary and associate members in Parliament, and heard from Supporters Direct Chief Executive Ashley Brown, Chair Tom Greatrex, and Network Manager Nicola Hudson. The presentation focused on Supporters Direct’s work to develop fan engagement in rugby league. Supporters Direct was set up in 1999 to help football supporters gain influence in the running and ownership of their club. Since 2009, the organisation has established around 20 Supporters’ Trusts in rugby league, six of whom now majority control or own their clubs. Chairing the meeting was Member of Parliament for St Helens South and Whiston,…

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Parliamentary Group welcomes growth in women’s rugby league

On International Women’s Day, the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group has welcomed growth in women’s and girls’ rugby league. The Women’s Super League has grown to seven teams for 2018, with Bradford Bulls Women, Featherstone Rovers Ladies, Castleford Tigers Women and York City Knights Ladies joining St Helens Ladies, formerly known as Thatto Heath Ladies, and newly formed sides Leeds Rhinos Women and Wigan Warriors Women in this year’s competition. Each team will play each other twice over the course of the regular season, which will run from 8 April to 30 September. The Women’s Super League Grand Final will take place on 13 October in Manchester. Earlier this week the Rugby Football League announced a new Women and Girls…

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The Last Leg star visits Parliament to celebrate Physical Disability Rugby League

Yesterday afternoon (28 February) the local Members of Parliament for Warrington Wolves and Leeds Rhinos welcomed The Last Leg host Adam Hills, and representatives from both clubs to Parliament to celebrate the first ever Physical Disability Rugby League match in the UK. Representatives from the Warrington Wolves Foundation and Leeds Rhinos Foundation met with Members of Parliament to discuss efforts to launch and grow rugby league for those with disabilities. Local Members of Parliament Alex Sobel MP and Faisal Rashid MP had previously tabled an early day motion in the House of Commons, to welcome the concept and congratulate all involved. Both clubs were presented with a framed copy of the motion. Physical Disability Rugby League is a modified version…

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Parliamentary Rugby League Group wishes home nations well for Commonwealth Championship

Members of the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group have passed on their best wishes to those players representing England, Scotland and Wales ahead of the forthcoming Commonwealth Championship. Group Chair, Judith Cummins MP, has written to all three teams, wishing them well for the tournament. The nine-a-side competitions take place between 23-24 February in Moreton Bay, Queensland. In the men’s competition, Scotland and Wales are in Pool A with Australia and Fiji, whilst England are joined in Pool B by Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga. A women’s tournament, featuring Australia, Fiji, Samoa, Canada, Cook Islands and Tonga will also run over the weekend, as will a three team physical disabilities tournament between Australia, New Zealand and the Commonwealth All…

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Parliamentary Rugby League Group presents Super League Player of the Year Award

On Sunday afternoon (11 February), Member of Parliament for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford and All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group Member, Yvette Cooper MP, presented Castleford Tigers’ Luke Gale with the Group’s 2017 Super League Player of the Year Award. The award is made annually by MPs and Peers to the player that they feel performed consistently at the highest level of the course of the Super League season. Gale was instrumental for Castleford Tigers in 2017, in a season that saw the club win the League Leaders’ Shield for the first time in the Super League era, and end their 91-year wait for a top-flight title. After returning to playing just two weeks after an emergency appendix operation, he was…

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Parliament hails United Kingdom’s first Physical Disability Rugby League match

Members of Parliament have welcomed the United Kingdom’s first ever Physical Disability Rugby League match, which was played on Sunday 4 February between Warrington Wolves and Leeds Rhinos. A motion has been tabled in the House of Commons by Alex Sobel MP and Faisal Rashid MP, and “congratulates all those who took part, including The Last Leg’s Adam Hills and Alex Brooker who went head to head playing for Warrington and Leeds respectively.” Physical Disability Rugby League is a modified version of the game which involves both full contact and touch tackle options, to allow all players who have physical disabilities to participate. Leeds Rhinos defeated Warrington Wolves 22-10 in the match, which was held in front of over one…

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2021 Rugby League World Cup Chief Executive discusses tournament plans in Parliament

The All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group yesterday (30 January) heard from 2021 Rugby League World Cup Chief Executive, Jon Dutton, in Westminster. Dutton made a presentation in Parliament to MPs, Peers and associate members of the Group, focusing on plans for the tournament, including the host bid process. There was also discussion of the three pillars of the tournament’s legacy programme: volunteers; participation and engagement; and a facilities fund. The men’s, women’s and wheelchair Rugby League World Cups will be staged together for the first time in 2021 across England. The applicant stage of the host bid process opened at the start of January 2018, and 2021 Rugby League World Cup hosts will be selected in late 2018. Chairing the…

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