The A-List: Jason Taumalalo (North Queensland & New Zealand)

Taumalolo, Jason2

By STEVE MASCORD JASON Taumalolo is no expert on the ‘pathways’ paper that earned former NRL head of strategy Shane Richardson a little bit of derision and almost no thanks. The uber-destructive North Queensland and New Zealand back rower doesn’t know how the document was going to achieve its aim of keeping youngsters at home […]

How Cronulla’s Jack Bird Smashed A Footy Taboo

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By STEVE MASCORD AS if we needed further proof rugby league culture is changing quickly, Cronulla star Jack Bird has sparked stunned looks from team-mates by inviting his girlfriend into the sheds for the victory song. Just eight days after the NRL entered a float in the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, 20-year-old Bird […]

Rugby League’s Resolutions For 2016

New Years Resolution

By STEVE MASCORD WHEN News Corporation gave up its first and last rights over NRL satellite TV, we heard the expression that rugby league was “in control of its own destiny”. The decision to surrender those rights supposedly cost Rupert Murdoch’s righthand man in Australia, Kim Williams, his job. We had heard the same thing […]

The A-List: Josh Hodgson (Canberra & England)

Hodgson, Josh

By STEVE MASCORD HAD Hull Kingston Rovers not tried to extend their contract with hooker Josh Hodgson some 18 months ago, he might be still playing for them. You read that right. The 26-year-old returns to Canberra this month for his second season a player transformed. From a solid first-teamer in Humberside who’d had a […]

Bondi Beat: January 2016

RLW January 2016

By STEVE MASCORD IT’S a rather strange dichotomy: players in Australia have never been better paid yet nor have they ever been more militant. Since the last Bondi Beat, the National Rugby League has secured a satellite TV deal with Rupert Murdoch’s FOX Sports which has taken the total television rights contract to A$1.8 billion […]

The Eight Most Intriguing Players In The NRL

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By STEVE MASCORD WE are constantly told that rugby league players have become vanilla, clichéd, boring. Either that, or that they are uneducated hoodlums. The idea that they can be engaging, interesting, intriguing people is something that rarely enters the public imagination. There could be a number of reasons for this. Current NRL media guidelines […]

The A-List: Josh Mansour (Penrith, Lebanon & Australia)

Mansour, Josh

By STEVE MASCORD IT works like this: never open with your best question. To some people, the journalistic practice of softening up an interview subject with some ‘Dorothy Dixers’ is just plain sneaky. Lull the person into a false sense of security, wait until their guard is down, then hit them with a curly one. […]

The Biggest Season-to-season Form Reversals In Premiership History

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By STEVE MASCORD (with research by David Middleton) THE salary cap is often given credit for the fact we have had 10 different premiers since 1998 – but you can’t thank the salary cap for what Cronulla have done this year. Maybe you can blame ASADA. From wooden spooners in 2014 to eliminating the reigning […]

Bondi Beat: December 2015

RLW December

AFTER the snorefest that doubled as the Second Test in London, maybe it’s time to rethink our approach to tinkering with the rules of rugby league. Instead of asking ourselves how we can make our game more exciting, maybe we really need to look at how we can make it less boring. The NRL is […]

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