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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Michael McIlorum has won out over James Roby as hooker

World Cup: Steve McNamara determined to qualify on a high

England’s progress into the World Cup quarter-finals might look a formality, but they are preparing themselves for a searching physical test from Fiji in their final group game in Hull this afternoon.

New Zealand's Alex Glenn, centre, is tackled by Papua New Guineas Dion Aiye, right, and Charlie Wabo

New Zealand 56 Papua New Guinea 10: Kiwis show no mercy in crushing World Cup victory

The World Cup holders, New Zealand, completed their group games with a 100 per cent record, beating Papua New Guinea by a crushing 56-10 at Headingley tonight with Sonny Bill Williams scoring a hat-trick of tries.

Matterson: 'We even got a line in the New York Times. They might have to give us a paragraph now'

Rugby League World Cup: Terry Matterson plays name game in US adventure

Tomahawks can seal quarter-final place with last-minute coach

Zak Hardaker has left the squad owing to 'personal issues'

Steve McNamara’s ham-fisted denials add to damage caused by Zak Hardaker exit

Leeds full-back Zak Hardaker has left England’s World Cup squad because of what are described as “personal issues,” in the latest blow to Steve McNamara’s squad system.

Ben Hellewell is Scots’ saviour in 30-30 draw with Italy

Ben Hellewell’s second try gave Scotland a creditable and possibly crucial 30-30 draw against Italy on Sunday in another blockbuster World Cup encounter at Workington.

World Cup: US ‘defy belief’ to stun Wales 24-16

Something very strange is happening to the world of rugby league, with Wales crashing out of the World Cup and the United States eying a quarter-final place. A late surge could not prevent the Welsh, twice semi-finalists in recent years, bowing out in Wrexham with two defeats in their first two matches.

Hat trickery: England’s Ryan Hall prepares to beat James Mendeika of Ireland to score the third of his tries yesterday

England 42 Ireland 0 match report: Ryan Hall puts England on brink

Eight-try blitz routs Irish and leaves Steve McNamara's side one win away from the quarter-finals

Kevin Sinfield (front centre), Leroy Cudjoe (front right) and Rangi Chase (right) during the Captain's Run at the John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield

Rugby League World Cup: England home in on first win of crazy tournament

England can get their World Cup campaign back on track in front of a sell-out crowd that will emphasise just how this tournament has seized the public imagination.

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.

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