Sporting Digest: Rugby league

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The Northern Ford Premiership club Swinton have signed Paul Loughlin, the 33-year-old ex-St Helens, Bradford Bulls and Great Britain centre, on a 12-month contract. Loughlin was released at the end of last season by Huddersfield.

Japan overcame horrendous injury problems to defeat a powerful Canadian side in the second of the Lincoln qualifying tournament group matches in Orlando yesterday. Despite losing heavily to the United States on Tuesday and collecting several injuries to key players, they produced a performance full of pride and passion. "We had a meeting and told ourselves to have pride in our flag," said the captain, Kyohei Ueda. "We were determined to show everyone in rugby league that we can play this game."