CREDIT to the RFL for scrapping the mid-season game against France, and giving England some decent competition.
Clubs have given their blessing to Steve McNamara’s men facing an ‘all-stars’ team drawn from Super League’s best overseas players this summer.
The idea has already captured fans’ imaginations, and with Aussies like Pat Richards, Ryan Hoffman, Matt King, Danny Buderus and Willie Mason available – plus current Kiwi Test ace Thomas Leuluai – the ‘all-stars’ team shouldn’t lack firepower.
And don’t for a minute think the overseas players wouldn’t take the game seriously.
They hate the fact there are still many Down Under – and over here – who unfairly reckon they are only in Super League because they’re not good enough for the NRL.
Getting one over on England would send a loud message back home that they are still very capable.
In fact, I can only see one problem with the plan – there’s a very good chance England will lose.
And if our national team can’t beat Super League’s Aussies, what hope have they got against the Kangaroos at the end of the year?
IT’S back to Premier League action this weekend for Latics, with Fulham the visitors.
Competition in the League ladder is so intense that a loss may prompt headlines about Roberto Martinez being under pressure while a win would lift them into the Champions League spots.
Okay, that last point is a lie, but there’s no denying that the bottom half is tighter than a submarine door – 14th-placed Fulham would be rock bottom had they lost their last match.
IT’S impossible not to feel some sympathy for Chris Kirkland.
Due to some fine performances from Ali Al Habsi in goal (Latics’ player of the season, anyone?) Kirkland has understandably had to wait for his chance to get back into the Wigan team. And when that chance finally came, against Bolton last week, he left the pitch on a stretcher.
JUST when it looked like cricket had presented the country with a new set of sporting heroes who are impossible to dislike, this PR email dropped in our sports desk inbox last week:
“Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook are ambassadors of the Q club; a club like no other, it is designed specifically towards dressing the modern man in a unique and relaxed environment focused on contemporary style. ‘Simple and stylish is what works for me,’ said Cook.”
Someone pass me the sick bucket!
THE bookies obviously reckon Wigan’s Chris Ashton is poised for even bigger things this year – he’s already been installed as the 11th favourite to win the BBC’s 2011 Sports Personality of the Year!
England RU’s former Warrior, who hails from Orrell, is at 28/1 and ahead of Wayne Rooney, the only footballer on Skybet’s shortlist at 40/1.