Briers back and ready for another Welsh shock
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.
Saturday 22 October 2011
Wales start on the second leg of an improbable journey today when they face Ireland in Neath.
A year ago, the Welsh created a major shock when they beat France to take the final place in this year's Four Nations. Today's game is their one warm-up before meeting England next weekend.
"Last year nobody expected us to go to France and win," said the Wales coach, Iestyn Harris. "This year is the same and there is no pressure on us whatsoever."
Harris intends to use as many of his Four Nations squad as possible today, including the potential new caps Peter Lupton, Matt Seamark and Tyson Frizell. More importantly, he has his captain Lee Briers available after missing the clincher in France a year ago. Gareth Thomas, who stood in as captain that day, is also fit to play after recovering from his broken arm.
It was a much-changed Ireland team that lost to Scotland in Glasgow last weekend, with several of the eight new caps from the Irish domestic competition. "The domestic lads were really good and showed they can cope with this level of competition," said the new Ireland coach, Mark Aston.
He makes more changes today, with the return of Sheffield Eagles' winger, Tim Bergin, from suspension and the Leeds prop Luke Ambler from injury. Ambler replaces a Leeds team-mate, Kyle Amor, who is instead captaining Cumbria against England's second string, the Knights, at Whitehaven.
Cash-crisis club Leigh have avoided a winding-up petition in the High Court. The club says that with money advanced from the RFL they can now meet their commitments.
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao live: Mayweather puts on defensive masterclass to win by unanimous decision
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin on Sky Sports Box Office?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does the fight start and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather's mouthguard costs $25,000 - enough to fly to Las Vegas and back 18 times
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds