Tournament marked game’s centenary
THE 1995 Rugby League World Cup – staged at various venues across England and Wales – marked the century anniversary of the sport and, despite initial fears, proved more successful than expected.
It was the 11th staging of the tournament and, given it celebrated 100 years of rugby league, was doubled in size with the likes of Fĳi, Tonga, Western Samoa,and South Africa all taking part.
Although there was some one-sided matches, the competition – especially with games involving some of the lesser nations – did capture the imagination. That was illustrated by the fact both Wales and Papua New Guinea had two representatives each in the World Cup XIII.
Wales saw Iestyn Harris and Anthony Sullivan named while the Kumuls had scrumhalf Adrian Lam and prop David Westley included.
There was five England players – Leeds-born Jason Robinson, ex-Featherstone Rovers centre Paul Newlove, Sheffield Eagles hooker Lee Jackson, Auckland Warriors’ Denis Betts and Wigan loose forward Andy Farrell.
Strangely, champions Australia earned just three selections – Brad Fittler, Steve Menzies and Mark Carroll – with ex-Castleford centre Richie Blackmore being New Zealand’s only nod.