Dave Hadfield

Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.

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Hull captain Gareth Ellis will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery for a snapped Achilles

After Eights: will Rugby League's big shake-up work?

The chief executive of the Rugby Football League, Nigel Wood, is spending much of the week before the game is turned on its head again walking across the country to commemorate the RFL’s 120th anniversary and raise money for its charities.

A view of St James' Park

Super League Magic Weekend: Stanley Gene hopes Geordies will embrace the Magic of a less familiar game at St James' Park

On the weekend when St James’ Park will host six Super League fixtures, Dave Hadfield meets the Newcastle coach from Papua New Guinea with a mission to help the code take root in a region where it has long held the potential to flourish

Leigh united for the Cup

The Lancashire town’s pro and amateur rugby league teams never got on but they do now, writes Dave Hadfield ahead of a unique fifth-round weekend

Joel Reddy, left, and Luke Keary celebrate after the former scored a try for South Sydney Rabbitohs

St Helens 0 South Sydney Rabbitohs 39 match report: Saints’ big night wrecked by record World Club Challenge defeat to Souths

A diplomatic George Burgess, voted man of the match on the night, praised Saints for their effort, but in reality we were looking at two different worlds

George burgess (left) of South Sydney Rabbitohs

World Club Series: Saints fired up to finish top of growing World

Annual contest between England and Australia now involves six clubs, with St Helens versus South Sydney the showpiece.  But could it expand still further, asks Dave Hadfield

Super League: Brave new world offers unexpected

No one is quite sure how the biggest shake-up in 20 years will affect the new Super League season, which kicks off on Thursday night, but it should deliver more drama

Super League: Club-by-club guide

A run down of the 12 teams

St Helens know they must keep moving to stay ahead

Saints have a new coach, captain and key overseas player despite winning the Grand Final last season

Joe Burgess

Super League 2015: Burgess exodus continues as unrelated Joe joins Slammin' Sam's brothers Down Under

Rugby league’s top division has been radically redrawn to help safeguard its homegrown talent

Parker, back row, second left, with Barrow in 1954

Reg Parker: Rugby league player who won the Challenge Cup with Barrow and became an elder statesman of the game

With his calm, unflappable manner, he was a popular choice as team manager of the Lions tour to Australia and New Zealand in 1974

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