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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James Graham was dropped for the Australia game for disciplinary reasons

Rugby League World Cup: James Graham return timely for Steve McNamara's England

James Graham is back in the England team for the match against Ireland after being dropped for disciplinary reasons at the start of the World Cup.

Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess sweats on ban decision

Sam Burgess will find out on Monday whether he faces a suspension that would end his World Cup.

New Zealand’s Frank Pritchard is tackled by Samoa’s Sauaso Sue and Suaia Matagi

New Zealand 42 Samoa 24: Vatuvei hat-trick gives Kiwis victory after Samoa scare

Manu Vatuvei’s second half hat-trick of tries saved the World Cup-holders from potential embarrassment after they clocked off too early, thinking their job was done.

Brett Ferris and Sam Burgess express their disappointment after England suffered defeat to Australia

Australia 28 England 20 match report: Battling England frustrated by Australia comeback

England shot out to a 10-0 lead but ill-discipline allowed the Australians back into the game

Rhys Evans is tackled by the Italians Ryan Ghietti (R) and Aidan Guerra (L) during the Rugby League World Cup Inter group match

Wales 16 Italy 32 match report: Italy prove no fluke with win at Millennium Stadium

Italy are the unlikely side cutting a swathe before and during the Rugby League World Cup. Already the conquerors of England in a pre-tournament friendly, they added the Welsh scalp to their collection by outlasting them in a thoroughly entertaining encounter last night.

Steve McNamara stormed out of a press conference Friday night

Rugby League World Cup: Steve McNamara storms out of briefing after refusing to explain James Graham's omission

Steve McNamara, the England coach, walked out of his pre-World Cup press conference rather than explain his decision to drop James Graham from the curtain-raiser against Australia.

The captains from the 14 competing nations line up with the World Cup trophy

Rugby League World Cup: Showcase can lift game's spirits

The build-up to this year's tournament has been far from smooth, but it is still a chance to show all that is good about the sport

As player of the year Cameron Smith has plenty to smile about

Rugby League World Cup: World No 1 Cameron Smith is the glue in the Aussie camp

Captain full of praise for England and plays down talk of rifts within his own squad

Gareth Hock overslept and missed an England recovery session

Rugby League World Cup: England out of order to drop me for missing team swim, says Gareth Hock

30-year-old livid after he is kicked out of tournament for oversleeping after late-night drink

Kevin Sinfield (left) leaves the field after England's 15-14 defeat by Italy on Saturday

Rugby League World Cup 2013: Kevin Sinfield believes criticism from Italy defeat will spur England on

Captain says the team will stick together and move on

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