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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The captains line up during the Super League launch

Super League stakes are higher than ever as men of steel renew hostilities

With the introduction of relegation, the momentum gained from the World Cup and the injection of some star players, the new season is a thrilling prospect

Oguchi Onyewu scores Sheffield Wednesday's second goal in the FA Cup win over Rochdale

Rochdale 1 Sheffield Wednesday 2 match report: Stuart Gray is rewarded with a job after Owls triumph

Caretaker manager is confirmed in a full-time role shortly after victory

Wigan won last year's Grand Final and the play-offs for the top eight will stay in 2015

Dave Hadfield: Welcome return of relegation in a reduced Super League

The League's bottom four teams will compete with the top four in the Championship for the other four places in the following year's competition

Nikica Jelavic scored twice for Everton against Queens Park Rangers

Everton 4 QPR 0 match report: Nikica Jelavic impresses his suitors

Everton put four past Harry Redknapp's side to book their place in the draw for the next round with the striker netting twice against the side rumoured to be interested in him

Steve McNamara has been retained by England despite their defeat to New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final last month

Steve McNamara to coach England...from Sydney

The England coach, Steve McNamara, is to join the coaching staff of the Sydney Roosters, but is to continue to take charge of the national team on a part-time basis.

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McDonald Bailey: Athlete

Olympic sprint bronze medallist who achieved unwanted fame through one game of rugby league

Victorious Australia players lift the World Cup at Old Trafford

Rugby League World Cup: Now we know – no one can live with Kangaroos

In the cold light of day, there was only one thing seriously wrong with the Rugby League World Cup. Australia were just too good.

Captain Cameron Smith lifts the trophy

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Coach Sheens hails ninth World Cup win as best performance of his reign

Billy Slater and Nate Myles at Old Trafford

Billy Slater fit to return for Australia and exorcise his 2008 demon

Billy Slater looks ready to take his place in Australia’s side to try to win back the World Cup his mistake cost them five years ago. The Melbourne full-back was player of the tournament in 2008. In the final, however, it was his error that created the winning try for the Kiwis’ Benji Marshall. This time, he missed the semi-final against Fiji after aggravating a knee injury in the last group game against the US and there were fears he might have to sit out his chance for revenge in this afternoon’s final at Old Trafford.

Sam Burgess contemplates what might have been after England's defeat to New Zealand

England 18 New Zealand 20: Steve McNamara proud after one of the sport's great games

England’s World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand will live long in the memory

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