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

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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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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.

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Shaun Johnson converts his own last-minute try to deny hosts a World Cup semi-final win

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