Mazey new Chairman at Swinton

andy mazey

SWINTON Lions have a new chairman and his name is Andy Mazey, a successful business man and who works as the head of the SR Waite Group.

He has also supported the club through player sponsorship and has given the club advice over the last few turbulent weeks.

Mazey will be joined on the board by Steve Wild who will oversee operational matters, and Alan Marshall will be in charge of the finances. Steve Moyse will also join the club’s new board as a representative of the Supporters’ Trust. David Jones who is the club’s current president will also support the new board in any way he can.

With regards to how the club will now be run, it means that no single person will have the whole control of the club. Any decisions to be made will be done democratically and be solved by having a whole board discussion.

On his appointment Mazey said: “It is an absolute honour to become Chairman of a club with such a rich heritage as Swinton Lions. Since the extent of the club’s financial problems came to light, there have been some outstanding efforts from Swinton supporters.

“That level of passion and commitment to the club is ultimately what persuaded me that Swinton Lions is a club worth investing in, and one that can have a bright future. I have also witnessed at first hand the tremendous efforts of Alan, Steve and David to keep the club alive in stressful and often overwhelming circumstances.

“Their determination and love for the club also persuaded me that Swinton Lions was a club worth helping. Also, despite the troubled background, Stuart, Jay and all the players and staff have never given less than 100%.

“The game of Rugby League is my passion and I have been fortunate to have some great times in both the professional and community games over a number of years. However, the challenge of taking Swinton Lions forward and leading this new management team, together with our loyal volunteers and fantastic supporters, is one that has really wet my appetite.

“The focus now is to continue our recent efforts on and off the pitch to see out the 2017 season successfully, whilst developing a sustainable business model to move forward in the months and years ahead.

“We have a clear goal to get this club back home to M27 which will enable us to maximize our potential and fully re-engage the community of Swinton & Pendlebury and its young people, who are of course the Lions’ players, coaches and supporters of the future.”


Grady gets new deal at Crusaders

mike grady
Image source: Love Rugby League

NORTH Wales Crusaders head coach Mike Grady has signed a new one year deal at the club, and insists he is looking forward to building the team for the future.

On his new deal Grady said: “My first aim is to finish this season strongly, with having both mine and Jonny’s futures sorted, we can now speak to players about next season and start to build.

“My intention is to keep the majority of this year’s squad and then strengthen in a few areas to allow us to challenge in the top eight next year. I’ve learned a lot from my first season in charge, and hopefully I can put that to good use next year.

“It’s great to be able to have plenty of time to plan ahead for next year for everything from training venues to players. The support at the club has been fantastic and I couldn’t have asked for any more from the fans.

“They’re there week in, week out whatever the result and it creates a fantastic atmosphere around the club. It’s now important for us to go out on a high this year and then start to build for next year.

“I’m looking forward to continuing my time here and am also keen to improve on what we’ve achieved this season.”

Andy Ellis Stays on and Dickenson is appointed as board member

Andy Ellis

YORK City Knights have kept hold of hooker Andy Ellis for another season, as he puts pen to paper on a new one year deal.

Knights head coach James Ford said: “I’m really pleased to add Andy’s skill, leadership and experience to the squad for next season. He’ll form an outstanding partnership with Harry Carter and play a very important role in his development also.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Andy, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to continue to do so.”

While Ellis commented: “I’m delighted to get the deal sorted and extend my time at York for a further 12 months. York have been great to me since my arrival and it was a very easy decision to extend my stay here.

“The team has improved out of sight since I first arrived and I’m excited to see just how far we can progress. The club enjoys first class facilities so with a full run at pre season this winter, we should really hit the ground running, no matter what division we’re playing in.

“For now though, I’m pleased to get the deal sorted and concentrate solely on giving my all for the remainder of 2017.”

In other news York have added experienced business owner Joanne Dickenson to their board, she is a shareholder in the popular ‘Rugby AM’ show fronted by Alex Simmons and Jamie Jones-Buchanan.

On her appointment to the board she said: “It has been a joy to see the turnaround at the Knights this year under the stewardship of Jon Flatman and the team he has in place. The buzz within the City and the wider game for what has been achieved is a joy to see and that is why it is with great pleasure that I have accepted Jon’s offer of a seat on the Board of Directors.

“I have been a huge fan of Rugby league from the grass roots right up to the professional game, our sport is unique in its ability to develop bonds that last. It is my goal to help foster these bonds between the Knights and the people of York and North Yorkshire which will help see the game and the club grow.

“As the mother of a Rugby mad 14 year old boy at New Earswick all blacks and a shareholder at Rugby AM I have been able to witness what a positive influence our game can be for the good. Through my involvement with Rugby AM I have been lucky enough to meet many great characters within the sport and I will be using these relationships to help us achieve our goals.

“It is my passion to help Jon make Rugby League in York aspirational for the children of our region and we will do that by developing and promoting positive role models that embrace the true essence of what Rugby League has to offer.”

One person who was happy to see the appointment of Dickenson, is Rugby league legend and Hull KR Director of Rugby Jamie Peacock who said: “I have known Jo for some time and her knowledge of and passion for rugby league is second to none. I am sure her involvement with the Knights will help take them to the next level. It is great to see a strong and fair minded woman as a director at a rugby league club”

Meanwhile Rugby Football League Chief Operating Officer, Ralph Rimmer also commented: “This is a fantastic appointment for York City Knights and one that shows the vision and direction the club is heading in.

“Joanne’s commitment to the club, community and city will be felt as I know she will fully get behind the development of the Knights. This addition is one of many to a growing roster of talented women in Rugby League.”

RL Obsessed: League One news round up


Rugby League Obsesessed bring you a League One news round up…

OXFORD have had two players banned, centre Thomas Newbould and fullback Jordan Siddons have both been found guilty for incidents that took place in the game against South Wales Ironmen.

Siddons has been found guilty of a Grade C high tackle charge, and has been banned for two games and finned £75.

Meanwhile Newbould has been banned for three games after being found guilty of a Grade C head butting charge, he was also fined £75.

KEIGHLEY Cougars boss Craig Lingard says he has been pleased with how second-rower Josh Lynam has responded to an internal suspension, and has said the player is on his final warning at the club.

Lynam was disciplined by the club after he didn’t turn up to the Cougars game against York City Knights. He subsequently missed the Toronto and Whitehaven games, but he has been brought back into the fold for the trip to Newcastle Thunder.

Lingard said on the situation: “He is on his final warning and is fully aware of standards that are expected of him, and he can’t slip up again. He is back in contention and his attitude in training since his suspension has been first class, so we can’t ask any more of him.

“As far as I am concerned the incident is done and dusted unless there is a repeat of it, and then unfortunately that will be it for him. Both parties know where we stand now and we move forward as opposed to looking back.”

HUNSLET have signed up prop forward Lewis Reed for another year, and he will now stay at the South Leeds Stadium until the end of the 2018 season.

He signed for the cougars back in 2013 and has steadily worked his way into a regular starting position, Reed has played 15 times so far this campaign scoring just one try.

Head coach Gary Thornton said on Reed’s new deal: “Lewis has been one of our most consistent performers since I arrived at the club, and a cornerstone of our pack.

“He’s still relatively young for a front rower, but he has played regular 1st team football for a number of seasons now, so has built up some good experience.

“He has a terrific attitude to training and playing, and has worked hard on improving his fitness after an injury hit start to the season, he has put in some solid performances against some of the bigger clubs in the division.

“He was outstanding at Toronto and really stood up to their pack, and is well respected by his peers. He’s a big, strong front rower, and takes some holding going forward, and is developing an off load game too.

“I’m delighted he has re-signed, and look forward to seeing him develop into one of the top front rowers in the division in seasons to come with Hunslet.”

On his extended stay at the club Reed commented: “I’m really pleased to have signed another 12-month extension at Hunslet, I have been here a few years now and I love playing for this club.

“I’m looking forward to finishing this year on a high and then having a big pre-season and hopefully making 2018 a lot more enjoyable for our loyal fans and challenge for promotion.”

Thornton insists that plans are already being put in place for next season, and recruitment is certainly one area that Thornton is concentrating on.

He said: “George Flanagan, Jack Lee and Jimmy Watson were all on a two-year deal and Joe Sanderson has committed to the club for another year.”

“It was important we keep a player like Joe and develop him. He has come through a really good system at Leeds Rhinos and he has been well-schooled.

“Recruitment is taking shape, we are speaking to a lot of players and we’ve nearly got a couple over the line. Hopefully we’ll be able to make some announcements over the next week or so and people will see how seriously we are going to take next year.”

GLOUCESTERSHIRE All Golds second-rower Lewis Reece has been named in a 38 man train on squad for the Welsh national team. A 19 man squad from that will be selected to go to the World Cup in Australia, and Reece is hoping to be on that plane.

He said: “There’s nothing better than playing for your country, I’ve been lucky enough to play seven times for Wales and I’ve loved every minute. I’m a proud Welshman so to get the chance to play in a World Cup would mean everything to me.

“We’ve got a very strong squad so competition for places is going to be tough. All I can concentrate on is playing well and fingers crossed I make it.”

BARROW Raiders prop Andrew Dawson could be out for another two weeks, as he is still recovering from a concussion injury which he picked up when facing Newcastle Thunder.

Barrow boss Paul Crarey said: “His concussion is ongoing, and he can’t play or train for 14 days now.

“He’s got to have a test and pass that before he can play again, so it’s been recommended he doesn’t do anything for 14 days. No contact or anything, so we’ve got to abide by those rules.

“We’re okay at the moment; James Duerden is playing well and we can move Martin Aspinwall up or even bring Brad Brennan back (from his loan at Coventry Bears) if needed, but at the moment, everyone is doing well so we have left it as it is.

“We won’t take him over to Toronto either, but he could be ready for the Keighley game when we come home.”

DONCASTER prop Feka Paleaaesina has called time on his career, and will retire at the end of the season. However before the 34 year old does walk away from his playing days, he wants to have one last success with Doncaster.

He said:  “For me I think the body is telling me it’s time to let the dream go, I’d love to play on forever but I’ve missed a lot of games due to injury so I feel that I’m ready.

“I want to go out on my terms and that’s the way it is, I would have loved to have finished my contract here but the people at the club have been really supportive of me.

“The club is in good hands with Richard Horne in charge, he is building something here and has assembled a really good squad which has a lot of competition for places.”

On Paleaaesina announcement to retire the club’s CEO Carl Hall commented: “Feka is the model professional both on and off the field, he has led by example during his time with the Dons and earlier in his career when he made his name in Super League.

“He is a great player and deserves a good send off, he will want to finish the season strongly as that’s the type of person he is.”

Head coach Richard Horne added: “Feka will be a big loss for us but we respect his decision and understand that he feels now is the right time to retire, he is a great man and has been a top player throughout his career.

“I’ve played and worked alongside him for a number of years now and he has always led by example, he will be a miss to the Dons but I’m sure he will still be attending games on a regular basis.”

TORONTO Wolfpack boss Paul Rowley will be hoping to have scrumhalf Ryan Brierley (hand), prop Ryan Bailey (knee) and prop Steve Crossley (shoulder) back in the next week or so.

Rowley admits it has been a strange year for injuries and knows he’ll have to have a bigger squad going into next year to deal with the problems the Canadian club may pick up.

The Wolfpack head coach has had various player absentees to deal with this season such as James Laithwaite’s broken neck injury, and fellow forward Jack Bussey, who underwent surgery in May for thyroid cancer.

Both players have since recovered and have played for Toronto since their return to full fist team action.

Rowley said: “It’s been the most obscure year in terms of injuries and reasons for losing players that I could ever imagine, and its made life very difficult. However in difficult circumstances, it’s more rewarding so we’re working extra hard to achieve our goals.

“Having a small squad but a good team has been very challenging this year, we’re a good team but we’re not a good squad.”

YORK City Knights have been able to extend the contract of Tim Spears as he puts pen to paper on a new one year deal at the club.

Joining the Knights last year, the 33 year old ex-Featherstone Rovers captain is delighted to be staying at Bootham Crescent for another year, and insists he has enjoyed his time at the club so far.

Spears said: “I’m delighted to get the deal sorted and extend my time at York for a further 12 months. York have been great to me since my arrival and it was a very easy decision to extend my stay here.

“The club enjoys first class facilities, a great group of boys and excellent coaches, during my time here, it’s been great to be a part of the club’s continued improvement on and off the field and I look forward to continuing to grow our game and winning mentality in to next season.

“For now though, I’m pleased to get the deal sorted and concentrate solely on giving my all for the remainder of 2017.”

Head Coach James Ford added: “I’m delighted that Tim is going around again, he’s brought a degree of experience and professionalism to our young squad this season, especially when certain games have been right in the balance. He plays a part in the culture here both on and off the field, which has been invaluable.”

WHITEHAVEN scrumhalf and top points scorer Paul Crook missed the trip to Toronto, due to having to go to his day job, teaching at Hope Academy.

While the Cumbrian club’s boss Carl Forster was disappointed that Crook was missing from the trip, he’ll be glad to get the school teacher back into his squad.

Forster told the News and Star:  “It was a shame because Paul has been a key player for us but the Canadian trip came at the wrong time, just when the school is going back after the holidays.”

LONDON Skolars head coach Jermaine Coleman says that while he has discussed contracts with players for next season, he’s waiting until after the final game to finalize any new contracts.

Coleman said: “We haven’t gone down the root of getting people over the line yet, we have had discussions with players, but no one has signed any new deals at the moment.

“We have decided as a group that we wanted to focus on the season first and get that over with. We wanted to finish this season off properly before we start talking about deals ans what potentially we might do next year.s

“I just think it’s one of those that if people are discussing contracts and they feel aggrieved about what they have been getting or what they might be getting it can become a distraction.

“End of the day we are only talking a few weeks difference, and we want to get this season over with first before we talk about contracts. Also players still have chance to impress in these few weeks, so i’d hope that they use that to their advantage. If they play well it puts them in a better negotiating stance when coming to signing deals.”

WORKINGTON Town chief Dave Clark is pleased to see so many local players sign for the club, believing that if the club can create it’s own talent, it makes the club more sustainable in the long run.

He said: “I was looking at the numbers and we had seven players who played against Doncaster who haven’t played in League 1 before. So we are quite an inexperienced side, and that is something to look forward to, seeing how this group gains more experience.

“We are working in a club ethos where we sign local players first and then see where else we can get players from.

“As well as that we have tried to sign players outside the area, but that isn’t always easy as you get players who want to stay at their clubs, and are loyal to their head coaches.

“That’s their prerogative, but the players we have here and certainly the local lads have a great pride in playing for their hometown. That can only be a positive seeing local players joining the club and then performing for it too.

“Some of the lads here who have just played their first season of rugby have now signed two year deals, signaling they want to be here long term. Which in turn makes the club organic, creating it’s own talent and keeping the club sustainable.”

NORTH Wales Crusaders boss Mike Grady is still yet to sort out his own future at the club, but says he’d love to stay and is hopeful on building on what he and his staff have achieved so far at the Welsh side.

Grady who had a year left on his deal, which finishes at the end of the season said: “We are in discussions with the club at the moment and hopefully something will get sorted next week. As far as me and my assistant are concerned we are more than happy to stay at the club.

“The club seem to be happy with what we have done, particularly with the finances we’ve had to work with due to what happened with the previous owner. I think the club are pleased with what we have done both on and off the field.

“The finances will be no different in the next two years due to us still having to pay bits off, so all we want to do is build on what we have achieved this year, next year.”

COVENTRY Bears boss Tom Tsang will have to wait another week until he can have second-rower Chris Barratt back in the side, as he recovers from a concussion injury.

Tsang said: “Chris Barratt picked up a concussion injury against London Skolars and we are still waiting for him to pass the concussion test. We’ll see how he recovers but obviously we’ll be sensible with him and not rush him back.”

HEMEL Stags head coach Troy Perkins insists that the focus is still on the field, rather than off it, saying that players will have to wait until the end of the season to put pen to papers on any new contracts they might be offered.

Perkins said: “We would like to keep the majority of the squad together, we are going to leave it until the end of the season. If players want to stay with us then they won’t mind waiting a few weeks to sign.

“The focus at the moment is just finishing the season strong, the players have been spoken to and they know what is on offer. We’ll talk to them again at the end of the season and they can give us some answers then.”

NEWCASTLE Thunder chief Jason Payne has revealed that he will be missing scrumhalf Danny Nicklas for the rest of the season.

Payne said: “Danny Nicklas looks like his season is over after picking up a nasty knee injury, he’s a big player for us and will be missed.”

SOUTH Wales Ironmen head coach Phil Carleton will be without his captain and hooker Connor Farrer this weekend as he recovers from a shoulder injury.

Carleton said: “We will be checking on the fitness of Connor Farrer who has a slight shoulder niggle. He should be back for the last two games of the season, by then he should be well rested up and ready to go.

“While Connor recovers it gives me a chance to throw some youngsters in to see how they manage, in a game that we should be able to cope without a player such

Challenge Cup Preview: Another Cup victory for Wigan? or can Hull win it again?


There is a lot of excitement surrounding this year’s Challenge Cup final as Hull take on Wigan Warriors at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Hull had to wait 87 years to taste success at one of the country’s most iconic stadiums, however the black and whites now have the chance to retain the Challenge Cup.

Hull won the competition last year beating Warrington Wolves, however this time around they will face the Wigan Warriors.

On the way to the final Hull have produced some superb performances, starting with an outstanding 62-0 demolition of French side Catalan Dragons. They then defeated Castleford Tigers 32-24, beating the eventual League leaders shield winners in a comfortable display.

Their crowning performance though was beating Leeds in the semi-final by 43-24, securing their date at Wembley once more.

Wigan who have always taken the cup seriously started this year’s run to the final in style by beating Championship side Swinton Lions with ease. They then faced a tough Warrington side in the quarter-finals only just narrowly beating them 27-26 on the day.

After only just getting past Warrington they then faced Salford Red Devils in a tense semi-final game in which the Warriors showed their class. They eventually won the game with ease 27-14 to book their seat at Wembley Stadium.

The team from Yorkshire will be in confident mood as they travel down to London, they have beaten their Lancashire counterparts on both occasions this season.

The first being back in March in an entertaining game, Hull raced into a 22-0 lead, only for Wigan to fight back bravely by scoring four tires. However it wasn’t enough as the black and whites came out the victors on the day.

Hull put in a similar if not better performance back on their own patch at the KCOM stadium, beating Wigan 39-26.

The two sides first met in the Challenge Cup back in 1985, in a thrilling final which was won by Wigan 28-24. They also met in the 2014 final, in a dour game it was Wigan who once again ran out winners on the day, beating Hull 16-0.

Wigan are looking for their 20th Challenge Cup, and at the height of their powers in the 1980s and 90s they won the competition eight times on the trot. This will be their 31st cup final appearance, a record, they have won 17 out of the 24 finals they have played on the Wembley Turf.

Meanwhile Hull’s record is less spectacular, having only won once at Wembley in nine visits, that coming in last year’s Challenge Cup final success.

Wigan fullback Sam Tomkins said about the final: “We’ll be expecting to see the Hull side that played the quarter-final against Castleford. I think that was probably their best performance of the year, they were brilliant that day.”

While Hull scrumhalf Marc Sneyd commented: “Wigan are Wigan, they know how to win a trophy, and they’ve won the Challenge Cup more than anybody. It’s down to us turning up and doing to them what they’ve done to a lot of teams in the past.”


Hull FC: Jamie Shaul, Mahe Fonua, Josh Griffin, Carlos Tuimavave, Fetuli Talanoa, Albert Kelly, Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Liam Watts, Sika Manu, Mark Minichiello, Gareth Ellis; Jake Connor, Josh Bowden, Chris Green, Danny Washbrook, Jordan Thompson, Steve Michaels.

Wigan Warriors: Sam Tomkins, Anthony Gelling, Oliver Gildart, Joe Burgess, George Williams, Thomas Leuluai, Frank-Paul Nuuausla, Michael McIlorum, Joel Tomkins, Liam Farrell, Sean O’Loughlin, John Bateman, Tony Clubb, Sam Powell, Taulima Tautai, Ryan Sutton, Willie Isa, Liam Marshall, Tom Davies.