WOLFPACK DEBUT KICKS OFF HUGE YEAR
WELCOME TO THE MOST EXCITING
season for at least four years for any Far & Wide reader — a World Cup year!
But first, to the Toronto Wolfpack, who make their competitive debut in Britain’s National League One on March 4, having been hugely impressive in two pre-season trials.
In December their trialists, drawn from North America and the Caribbean, beat Yorkshire amateur club Brighouse Rangers on the bell. The search for talent over the past six months was filmed by a production crew called Last Tackle and will be hitting screens this year. Then in January the contracted players were unfortunate not to beat Challenge Cup holders Hull at their home of KC Stadium.
HOWEVER, THE THING WE’RE
really focused on is the World Cup. The main tournament will be shown in Australia on Channel Seven and is coming together well, with sponsors being announced all the time.
The side-tournaments have had it a little rougher. Qualifying for the Women’s World Cup was, frankly, a bit of a joke. France were kicked out for no reason and — also for no apparent reason — Canada was included. Then we had a Pacific Qualifying Tournament that was so hastily arranged that every country bar the Cook Islands boycotted it. They didn’t have to play anyone to make the WC!
ANOTHER BIG MILESTONE
ahead of us this year is league finally being recognised by Sport Accord, the umbrella body for international sports federations and organisers of international sporting events.
This might be hard to believe, but in most nations, league is not legally a separate sport from union. This means people trying to start the game in a new place can legitimately be stood over by rugby union, with Sol Mokdad’s 13 nights in a Dubai jail a particularly disgraceful example.
League’s recognition has been delayed twice. We’re up again in April. @RLWfarandwide, facebook.com/ RLWfarandwide