ENGLAND’S Rugby League World Cup 2013 squad are celebrating their individual links to the community game by donning the shirts of their community clubs for an extraordinary photocall.
Steve McNamara’s side wore the shirts in an official photoshoot at their RLWC2013 base headquarters at Loughborough University, so that each England player could once again represent the club at which they began their Rugby League careers.
England coach McNamara has praised the community game and believes that international Rugby League, which has produced some stunning matches throughout RLWC2013, enjoyed by record crowds and large television audiences, should celebrate the vital contribution the community game plays in the first steps of player development.
“With the Rugby League World Cup being played on a stage set for all the best players in the world, we have got to remember that it all starts at our community clubs,” said McNamara. “It is where our young kids of five, six, seven, years of age start and go on all the way through. If we don’t have that, then we don’t have an international game.”
The community game international photocall was arranged by the RFL with the community clubs providing shirts for the England RLWC2013 squad. Each club will be presented with a framed signed picture of their former player, wearing their respective individual community club shirts to display and hopefully inspire future generations to represent their country.
Throughout RLWC2013 there has been a special website developed by the RFL to capture new interest in the sport from anyone looking to play, watch, coach or officiate in Rugby League, with information about how to get involved with the community game. The information is all available at www.extraordinaryrugby.com
In the picture, James Roby has his Blackbrook shirt on as does ex-Saint James Graham.
Jammer spent the majority of his amateur career at Thatto Heath Crusaders before moving to Blackbrook at under 16s.
Back row: Lee Mossop (Hensingham ARLFC), Kallum Watkins (Latchford Albion), Chris Hill (New Spring Lions), Thomas Burgess (Dewsbury Moor), Sam Burgess (Dewsbury Moor), George Burgess (Dewsbury Moor), Leroy Cudjoe (Newsome Panthers), Liam Farrell (Wigan St Patricks), Ryan Hall (Oulton Raiders).
Middle row: Tom Briscoe (Featherstone Lions), Zak Hardaker (Featherstone Lions), Brett Ferres (Smawthorne Panthers), James Graham (Blackbrook), Carl Ablett (Hunslet Parkside), Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan St Patricks), Ben Westwood (Normanton Knights), Michael McIlorum (Queens).
Front row: Josh Charnley (Wigan St Patricks), Rangi Chase (Dannevirke Tigers), Rob Burrow (Featherstone Lions), Kevin Sinfield (Waterhead), Sam Tomkins (Wigan St Patricks), Gareth Widdop (King Cross Park), James Roby (Blackbrook).