FAR & WIDE: Number 12

By STEVE MASCORD

SOUTH Sydney will play Papua New Guinea in next year’s Return To Redfern match in early February 9.

Far & Wide can reveal discussions have been going on for some time with the PNGRL and the International Federation wanted certain conditions met before allowing the clash to go ahead.

Souths have definitely thought outside the box in organising the matches in recent years, taking on Warrington last season. While out of the NRL, the bunnies also took on the United States and Lebanon at Redfern Oval.

Rabbitohs members will get first shot at tickets. It’s not known if the Kumuls will have access to their NRL players for the game.

“We’ll ask the clubs – if there is sufficient insurance they might release the players,” said the RLIF’s Tas Baitieri.

As we know, Gold Coast’s David Mead is trying to change his eligibility anyway – but Baitieri said: “There are changes happening up there and I think we can change his mind.”

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FAR & Wide has heard Italy is on the verge of pulling out of this year’s European Cup because of administrative issues. The tournament will go on with just Ireland, Scotland and England Knights.

More news as it comes to hand.

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SYLVESTER Wellington from Ghana is in London at the moment but he’s not interested in taking home a medal.

Sylvester is the development manager for Ghana Rugby League and he is doing an “intensive” rugby league coaching course. When he goes home, he expects to train 150 coaches himself within days!

Wellington has secured agreements with a number of schools and workplaces to develop rugby league in the African nation.

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MAURICE Watkins is the street corner tip to be the new chairman of the Rugby Football League, replacing Richard Lewis who has gone back to Tennis.

Unlike previously, the position will not be fulltime. Watkins, who was previously on the Greyhound Racing Board, was recently appointed chairman of the Rugby League European Federation.

His predecessors in that organisation are Lewis and Jean-Paul Ferre.

The general manager of the RLEF is a good friend of Far & Wide, Danny Kazandjian, who previously looked after our game in Lebanon.

Danny is still very proud of Lebanese achievements.

“Their U20s travelled to Morocco in June; English Lions U18 visited Lebanon in July; the Cedars are currently in Canada (for last) Saturday’s Test,” Kazandjian writes.

“The U18s travel to Belgrade for a three-way festival next week and in October the Cedars are planning a match against the Cook Islands (TBC). This series will see Lebanese national rugby league teams playing in Europe, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.”

Wouldn’t it be great if the RLIF offered public membership with travel packages to some of these games?

Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK

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