With the government’s announcement this week, I’m very hopeful that full crowds can return to rugby league matches on July 19.
It will be a happy day for all in rugby league, and in sport, when stadiums are packed again – and playing standards will improve too. It’s great news, although of course increasing attendance safely is paramount.
Speaking to well-placed sources in Australia, the main takeaway is this: the Rugby League World Cup committee is doing absolutely everything in its power to make certain this year’s tournament goes ahead – including unforeseen financial expenditure they’re willing to wear to ensure the concerns of all participating nations are met.
I’m led to believe that at present, the news is as positive as it can be. But, as we’ve seen from recent sporting events including the British and Irish Lions and cricket, the situation can change quickly.
On another note, I’m looking forward to chatting to Danny Ward on Friday, as our studio guest for Leeds Rhinos’ clash with Catalans Dragons. I was surprised at the timing of his departure from London Broncos – did he jump, or was he pushed? I’ll do my best to find out and where the future may lie for this highly regarded, talented coach.
Talking of the Rhinos, we may have seen a pivotal match in their 2021 campaign on Monday night. What a team effort, to travel and take down on their own midden a Warrington Wolves side that was running hot in Super League. Full credit to Richard Agar and his men.
I know that Leeds had been hunting a head coach for 2022 – but following a couple of unsuccessful approaches, have decided to maintain the status quo instead of rocking on the other side of the world. On Monday night’s evidence, it might not be a bad decision.
Warrington have answered their critics over the last six rounds, but they know better than anyone that the questions won’t go away until they lift the title at Old Trafford.
Their defeat to Leeds came about, I believe, from wastefulness in attack as much as anything else – and this a side that previously had been pouring on the points. So, a bad day at the office for the Wolves or some of their consistent inconsistencies of recent years rising to the surface again?
I’d like to finish by paying tribute to a true champion – arise Sir Kev. I can understand why many rugby league fans are still in shock at the departure of Kevin Sinfield to rugby union at the end of the season.
In running yet another marathon to raise money for MND and his great friend, rugby league legend Rob Burrow, Kevin has shown again what a wonderful human being he is.
Rob is fortunate to have him as a mate and the game has been lucky to have him. Kevin obviously feels his future lies in union. But, speaking selfishly for a minute, I wish it was in the code that knows him so well, and loves him so much.
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