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Wayne Bennett is new England RFL head coach

The RFL has confirmed that Wayne Bennett is to become the new Head Coach of the England Rugby League team. It follows the departure of former Bradford Bulls boss Steve McNamara.

Bennett, the most successful Australian Rugby League coach in history has agreed a two-year deal that will see him take charge of the England team through the 2016 Four Nations and 2017 World Cup.

I am very excited by the challenge of taking England on to the next level. From what I have seen I have been impressed by the ambition and energy demonstrated by the team and I look forward to working with a group of players that I believe have what it takes to succeed on the international stage.

– Wayne Bennett


Steve McNamara leaves role as England head coach

Steve McNamara: no longer head coach Credit: PA

Steve McNamara has left his role as England head coach, the Rugby Football League has confirmed.

The 44-year-old former Bradford boss, who was appointed in 2010, was out of contract at the end of November's Test series against New Zealand and has been told he will not be offered a new deal.

The move is set to pave the way for the appointment of veteran Australian Wayne Bennett as the new England head coach.

The RFL has concluded that with the 2016 Four Nations and 2017 World Cup on the horizon, now is the time to make any change to the England set-up.

Steve McNamara has been the longest serving national coach in our history and it is undoubtedly the case that the national team and set up have moved on considerably under Steve’s leadership. We would like to place on record our thanks to Steve McNamara for his considerable efforts over the years to both the England senior team and the underlying programme. He leaves with our very best wishes and on a high, after a series win over New Zealand.

– RFL chief executive Nigel Wood

Bulls move to ally winding-up fears

Bradford have moved to allay fears for the club's future after being faced with a winding-up petition over an alleged unpaid tax bill.

Credit: Press Association

The petition, brought by HM Revenue and Customs, was due to be heard at the High Court on November 30 but the Bulls say their legal advisers have begun the process of having the notice removed.

"It is our understanding the petition has been incorrectly lodged against the company," said Bradford chairman Marc Green in a statement.

"Our solicitors are now dealing with this and we expect to see the matter resolved - and the winding-up petition removed - imminently."

The Bulls have twice been in administration in the last three years and were relegated from Super League at the end of the 2014 season.


First Million Pound Match sees Wakefield coach take on former captain

Wakefield's Belle Vue will be the venue for whats been billed as the Million Pound match - the difference in financial terms between playing in the Championship and the Super League - and sees 2 traditional West Yorkshire sides go head to head.

Bradford Bulls are hoping to bounce back to the top flight after a year in the second tier, whereas Wakefield are looking to avoid dropping down a division.

To add to the drama the game pits Bulls head coach James Lowes against the man who signed him from Bradford back in the 1990's Brian Smith - now in charge at Trinity:

Wayne Godwin hangs up his boots

Former Castleford Tigers and Bradford Bulls hooker Wayne Godwin has announced his retirement.

Credit: Press Association

In a letter posted on Twitter, the 33-year-old said: "After 15 years playing professional rugby league, I'm sad to announce my retirement from the greatest game of all.

I'd love to play all my life but my body can't take much more. My Knee injury has stopped me playing to the standard I set for myself so I had to make the hard decision to call it a day.

– Wayne Godwin

He will play his final game on Sunday for Championship club Dewsbury Rams after joining two years ago.

Godwin is the fourth player in a fortnight to announce his retirement following Adrian Morley, Richard Mathers and Garreth Carvell.

Former Bradford chairman Jack Bates dies aged 94

Rugby League is mourning former Bradford chairman Jack Bates, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 94.

Bates served on the Bradford board for over 30 years and was an influential figure during the club's transformation from Bradford Northern to the hugely successful Bradford Bulls.

"It is with sadness that we have learned of Jack's death. He was a great servant to both his beloved Bradford Bulls and to the sport of Rugby League."

– Nigel Wood, Rugby Football League chief executive

Purtell to stay with Bradford Bulls until 2017

Adrian Purtell says he has 'really enjoyed' his time with the Bulls and has 'no desire' to move elsewhere. Credit: Press Association

Adrian Purtell has agreed a new two-year deal with Bradford Bulls, extending his stay with the club until at least the end of 2017.

The 30-year-old Australian said he has 'really enjoyed' his time with the Bulls and has 'no desire' to move elsewhere.

“I love the community feel about the Bulls and the way the supporters continue to get behind the club. I am very positive about where this club can go. Super League is where I and everyone else wants to be, and I feel there is enough quality here to ensure we achieve our goal of promotion. I am totally committed to the cause, whether that means top-flight rugby next year or even the year after. The worst-case scenario will see us have another crack at promotion in 2016, with another fantastic team.”

– Adrian Purtell

He joined the club back in 2011, following lengthy stints in the National Rugby League with Canberra and Penrith.

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