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Former England international named Workington coach

Pryce has signed a two year deal Credit: Workington Town

Workington Town have unveiled former England international Leon Pryce as the new coach at Derwent Park.

The 36-year-old has just called time on a playing career that saw him win four Grand Finals, six Challenge cups and 17 Great Britain caps.

Pryce has signed a two year deal and will be aiming to drag town out of the third tier next season:

It’s a great move for me and it’s good to get a chance in coaching. I’ve only been retired for six months, so it’s nice to get the opportunity so early.

It’s maybe a little sooner than what I expected, to get my first coaching job, but I think it’s the right opportunity for me. It’s a good level for me to start at too and a good club in Workington."

– Leon Pryce, Head Coach, Workington Town

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Workington Town sign Wales international

Phil Joseph (left) has signed. Credit: Workington Town

Workington Town have signed experienced forward Phil Joseph for the 2017 season.

The Welsh International vice Captain has made over 100 Super League appearances, for Huddersfield, Hull KR, Widnes , Swinton, Salford and most recently Bradford.

I’ve had several offers to continue as a full time player but I also have to think about life after rugby and want to develop my businesses and also give time to my academic studies. Signing for Town was a great opportunity to do that.

Workington is a club with a great history and pedigree. It’s a club that’s very community and family orientated and that’s the kind of environment I love to play in. I know the fans are passionate and knowledgable at Derwent Park and my pal Jarrod Sammut spoke very highly of the club.

Dave Clark and the Board really sold me on what they aim to do with the club over the next few years and I can’t wait to get started.

– Phil Joseph

Workington Town name Clark as Head Coach

Dave Clark unveiled as new Head Coach Credit: Workington Town

Workington Town have unveiled Dave Clark as their new Head Coach.

The Cumbrian-based trainer will replace Australian Phil Veivers who parted company with the club last month.

‘’I’m very honoured to join Workington Town. The Directors shared their ambitions with me and I was impressed with how they want to position the club for the future."

– Dave Clark

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Rugby derby points 'more important to Whitehaven'

Training. Credit: ITV Border

Workington and Whitehaven go head to head in the Rugby League Championship this weekend.

Workington are currently bottom of the table with Whitehaven just a place above.

As well as local bragging rights two vital league points are also at stake.

There are a few of us around the eight points mark in the bottom three or four. So it is two points that are more vital for Whitehaven this weekend.

– James Robinson, Whitehaven RLFC

Workington Town legend Sol Roper has passed away

Sol Roper passed away suddenly on Wednesday. Credit: Jim Davis

Workington Town RLFC have reacted to the sad news of the passing of one of its most popular and greatest ever players. Sol Roper passed away suddenly on Wednesday.

The club have moved immediately to pay a moving tribute to a player who made his debut in 1954 enjoying a rugby league career that lasted almost 18 years.

Paying tribute vice chairman Mark Fryer added

Everyone at the club, and indeed across the area as a whole, will be saddened at this news. Sol may have been diminutive is size was but was a giant of the sport and a hugely respected figure. The word legend is perhaps used too often in the modern game these days but by any standard, or any era, he was a legend of the game.

Sol attended games and club functions with enthusiasm and always cut a very smart figure in his club blazer and tie, we will all miss him terribly, but we will retain many outstanding memories of Our thoughts are with all the family at this very sad time time.”

– vice chairman Mark Fryer

John “Sol” Roper hailed from Pica, near Distington. He was a schoolboy prodigy who captained Cumberland Schools in 1951.

He played for Distington and Hensingham and was selected for England Amateurs when he was only 17, scoring a try in England’s 23-0 victory over France at Headingly on 17th April 1954.

Sol Roper was a first-teamer with Workington Town, striking up a decade-long telepathic understanding with Harry Archer – probably the most celebrated half-back pairing in Cumbrian history.

Sol’s first season with Town, 1954/55, was eventful. Sixteen days after his Town debut he made his County debut, at only eighteen-years-old , when he played against Yorkshire on his home ground, Borough Park.

When the Challenge Cup came round in 1955 few thought much of Town’s chances but they surprised the Rugby League world. Dewsbury Celtic, Leeds and St Helens were beaten before Town accounted for Featherstone 13-2 in the semi-final at Leeds, when Sol was heavily concussed.

In the final against Barrow at Wembley, Sol was the youngest man on the pitch. Again he was in the wars. After 52 minutes he was stretchered off with a shoulder injury. Although he returned to play heroically on the wing, Barrow had established a winning lead and Town eventually lost 12-21

In 1958 Sol was back at Wembley as Town’s Captain, at that time the youngest ever Wembley skipper.

The final pitted them against Wigan but once again they lost, injuries being the crucial factor. It was the same story a week later in their Championship Final against Hull at Odsal.

This time second-rower Cec Thompson was taken from the field after 25 minutes with Town leading 3-0. He never returned and Hull won 20-3.

Sol finally picked up a winner’s medal with Town in 1962, when they beat Widnes 10-0 in the inaugural Western Division Championship final at Wigan, following a 9-9 draw at the same venue.

The Roper-Archer duo’s superiority at half-back was a vital factor.

Sol carried on playing for Town until 1966, amassing 399 appearances. As a scrum-half he knew all the tricks of his trade. He fitted the stereotype – invariably the smallest man on the pitch, but just as invariably the gutsiest. He was renowned for his low, clean tackling, his stamina and his guile. His total of 94 tries was a testimony to his attacking values.

After a year out of the professional ranks Sol joined Whitehaven and gave five years splendid service with 82 appearances (11 tries 9 goals). While at the Rec he extended his Cumberland career to fifteen years, and 21 caps, one of the longest on record.

His son Tony and Grandson Jonathan both enjoyed successful rugby league careers.

399
Sol carried on playing for Town until 1966, amassing 399 appearances
94
His total of tries at Workington Town is a testimony to his attacking values.
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