Tottenham Hotspur will host the final match of the first Ashes series between England and Australia for 17 years as the national team seek to end half a century of hurt. Not since 1970 has an England or Great Britain rugby league side beaten the Kangaroos in an Ashes series and next year's showdowns come just 12 months before the 2021 World Cup in England. The three-match series will see games at the University of Bolton Stadium and Leeds United's Elland Road before the potential decider at Spurs' new home on November 14. England have not faced their old enemies since losing 6-0 to Australia in the 2017 World Cup final in Brisbane and next year will see the first Ashes series since 2003. England coach Wayne Bennett's contract with the Rugby Football League expires at the end of the current Great Britain tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. He is expected to hold talks with RFL rugby director Kevin Sinfield imminently about a contract extension that would see him lead England into … [Read more...] about Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to host rugby league Ashes clash between England and Australia
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Eddie Jones does a good fireside yarn and he was on cracking form when looking forward to England’s opening game of this autumn’s series. Between a string of anecdotes about his time with South Africa, including one about the current Springbok head coach, Allister Coetzee, falling off a bar stool because he was laughing so hard, he was asked when his England side would become the finished article. “November 2nd 2019, 8pm,” he replied instantly, referencing the next World Cup final. “We will be at our absolute peak. We’ll be like Rocky, doing push-ups at the top of the stairs.” It is an enticing image, the only uncertainty being precisely how many of the weekend’s matchday squad will still be around in Japan in three years’ time. It is not only injury that is refreshing the largely settled team Jones has chosen until now and there is a chance for half a dozen newish – or recycled – individuals to book their seats on … [Read more...] about Eddie Jones backs England to hit their peak for next World Cup final
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Code-hopping All Blacks center Sonny Bill Williams has confirmed he will return to rugby league, joining the Canada-based Toronto Wolfpack in England’s expanding Super League. The 34-year-old, who has represented New Zealand in both rugby union and rugby league, announced his decision Friday in a statement released by New Zealand Rugby. “I have been privileged and blessed to have been given so many opportunities in New Zealand rugby, starting with Canterbury back in 2010, as well as the Crusaders and Chiefs, Counties Manukau and, of course, the Blues and All Blacks,” Williams said. “I’d like to thank all those fans in New Zealand and around the world who have supported me.” Williams’ deal with the newly-formed Wolfpack is reported to be worth as much as $10 million over two years, making it the biggest deal ever signed in either rugby union or rugby league. The Toronto club is reported to have a shopping … [Read more...] about Sonny Bill Williams joins Toronto in England Super League
Get unlimited access to all Telegraph Sport for £1 a week, including our unrivalled Rugby World Cup coverage It was in March 2018 that Mauricio Pochettino declared Dele Alli as the best 21-year-old in world football. Now 23, there would be plenty of debate over whether or not he is even the best in his age group at Tottenham Hotspur. Pochettino’s bold claim took Alli by surprise at the time and the Argentine admitted his might not have been an objective opinion, as he talked up the young forward on the back of an injury to Harry Kane. But there was no doubt Alli looked like a footballer with the world at his feet during a season in which he had scored twice against Real Madrid in the Champions... … [Read more...] about Dele Alli feels weight of the world on his shoulders as star continues to fall
It is hard to believe but somewhere out there is a well-known rugby coach without a new book out. It is tempting to imagine Eddie Jones and Warren Gatland duelling with inky quills at dawn, going at it while their faithful ghost writers hold the blotting paper. Both protagonists are still proudly old school at heart, having learned their trade long before the arrival of the internet. Publish and be damned with faint praise is the usual endgame with such post-World Cup autobiographies but both Jones and Gatland have gone in refreshingly hard and low. The former has been particularly blunt about his regard – or lack of it – for English club rugby. “I often wonder ‘Is it ever going to change?’, writes Jones in My Life and Rugby, bemoaning the “widespread lack of imagination and skill” and the “stodgy games” he says he watches week after week. He also feels English coaches are more reactive than proactive, held back by a reticence he … [Read more...] about Have rugby’s super-coaches stunted the growth of those following them?