News

State of Mind visit Parliament

The All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group welcomed representatives of State of Mind to the Palace of Westminster last night (28 March). Representatives of State of Mind made a presentation in Parliament to Peers, MPs and associate members on the work being done by the organisation to raise awareness of the issues surrounding mental health. Attending from State of Mind were Chair Malcolm Rae OBE, along with co-founder Dr Phil Cooper and trustee Dr Allan Johnstone. Former players Jimmy Gittins, Danny Sculthorpe and Brian Carney all also shared their experiences. State of Mind was established in 2011 with the aim of improving the mental health, wellbeing and working life of rugby league players and communities. A team of mental health and…

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Parliamentary Rugby League Group statement on Sport England funding to RFL

Following today’s (23 March) announcement of Sport England funding to the Rugby Football League for the period 2017-2021, All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group Chairman, Greg Mulholland MP, has made the following statement. Mulholland, who is Group Chairman and Member of Parliament for Leeds North West, said: “Whilst the reduction in Sport England funding for the Rugby Football League is considerable and of course presents some challenges, in the wider context of the government’s sport strategy and in comparison to other sports, this is a relatively good settlement for rugby league. “Rugby league is a sport that has a proud history of providing opportunities for people to get active, and though it is disappointing that its core Sport England funding has…

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Parliament welcomes 50th anniversary of Student Rugby League

A motion has been tabled in the House of Commons welcoming the 50th anniversary of Student – now University and College – Rugby League and the formation of Leeds University Rugby League Football Club, the first ever university rugby league team. The club was formed in 1967 following a conversation between Andrew Cudbertson, Jack Abernethy and Bill Scott on a train back from Huddersfield after a match at Fartown. Cec Thompson, a former international and mature student at the university, brought his knowledge and experience to the club as coach and President. A year later, a team of students at Liverpool University had assembled a side to play against Leeds in the first ever inter-university rugby league match in 1968.…

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Parliament welcomes historic Toronto Wolfpack fixture

A motion has been tabled in the House of Commons welcoming the historic rugby league match taking place between London Skolars and Toronto Wolfpack on Saturday 4 March. Toronto are the first transatlantic rugby league team, and have entered League 1, the third tier of rugby league in the UK. The game at Skolars’ New River Stadium will be their first league fixture. The motion “notes that this will be the first league fixture for Canadian club Toronto Wolfpack” and “welcomes the ambition shown by founder Eric Perez and all involved with the Toronto Club”. It also praises London Skolars’ role in ensuring that the day provides a full celebration of rugby league, by involving twenty London and South East…

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Wales Rugby League discuss World Cup preparations in Parliament

The All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group welcomed Wales Rugby League to Parliament yesterday evening (28 February). Peers and MPs were joined by associate members in the Palace of Westminster, as Wales Rugby League discussed participation, development and the growth of the game in Wales. There was a focus on the heritage and history of the sport in Wales, as well as on preparations for the forthcoming 2017 Rugby League World Cup, and opportunities to develop the sport. Parliamentary Undersecretary of State at the Wales Office, Guto Bebb MP, was also in attendance as Brian Juliff, Chris Thair and Mike Nicholas from Wales Rugby League made a presentation in Parliament. The Welsh men’s team are current European Champions, unbeaten in six…

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Parliament welcomes World Club Series wins

A motion has been tabled in the House of Commons congratulating Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves on their World Club Series victories. The motion recognises that “these are the first victories for northern hemisphere sides in the expanded World Club Series format” and further notes that Wigan’s success makes them the first northern hemisphere World Club Champions since 2012. It also “congratulates Wigan Warriors in particular for their success in becoming World Club Champions for a record fourth time.” The Warriors defeated NRL Champions Cronulla Sharks 22-6 to become World Club Champions whilst in the other World Club Series match Warrington ran out 27-18 victors. The motion was tabled by Member of Parliament for Wigan, Lisa Nandy MP, who praised…

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Sports Minister praises work of rugby league in tackling homophobia

The Sports Minister today (Thursday 9 February) praised rugby league for its leadership in tackling homophobia in sport. At Culture, Media and Sport Questions, All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group Chair, Greg Mulholland MP, asked the Minister to join him in welcoming “the leadership shown by rugby league in tackling homophobia in sport, on this, the day that the Super League season kicks off.” The Sports Minister responded by “praising rugby league for all its efforts in making progress on this issue.” The Minister went on to welcome the start of the Super League season, which kicks off with a game between Leeds and St Helens this evening. Speaking afterwards, Parliamentary Rugby League Group Chair and Leeds North West MP, Greg…

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Parliament pays tribute to Colin Hutton

Members of Parliament have paid their respects to rugby league great Colin Hutton, who sadly passed away last week. A motion has been tabled in the House of Commons, recognising the huge contribution that Hutton made to rugby league in the city of Hull as well as nationally. Hutton played professionally for Widnes and Hull FC, scoring the winning conversion for Hull FC in the 1956 Championship final. After retiring from playing, Hutton crossed Hull to become Head Coach at Hull KR, beginning a 60-year association with the club which also saw him hold roles as Chairman, Director and President. The motion also ‘remembers with pride the 1962 Ashes Series in which Great Britain, led by Colin as Coach, emerged victorious…

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National Rugby League Museum plans discussed in Parliament

The Parliamentary Rugby League Group welcomed representatives of Rugby League Cares to the Palace of Westminster yesterday evening (Tuesday 31 January), to discuss plans for a National Rugby League Museum. MPs and Peers were joined by associate members in Parliament, and heard from Professor Tony Collins, Brigid Power and Chris Rostron about the campaign to establish a world-class National Rugby League Museum in Bradford’s City Hall. Rugby League Cares are currently working on a first stage application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will be submitted. The aim is for the museum to explain how and why rugby league has become a key part of England’s heritage and way of life, and to tell a story of the people and…

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Parliamentary Rugby League Group saddened by Bradford Bulls liquidation

The Parliamentary Rugby League Group has expressed its sadness at the news that Bradford Bulls RLFC have gone into liquidation. A deal to save the club, which was placed in administration for the third time in four years in November, could not be reached despite interest from a number of bidders. However, it is hoped that a new club will be formed from the Bulls to play in 2017. The Bulls were one of the most successful in the summer era, winning four Super League titles and two Challenge Cups between 1997 and 2005. The club also won the World Club Challenge in 2002, 2004 and 2006. Group Chairman and Leeds North West MP, Greg Mulholland, said “the demise of…

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