FortyOn the 13th day of every month 20
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4 Forty-20 March 2012
The Chronicle minutes or so of rugby league talk and semi-competitive shenanigans featuring this very magazine’s editorial team and guests. In episode one, everyone appears to have wildly over-loaded on Haribo.
Like Forty-20itself, it comes out on the 13th day of every month, so number two should be available now. Or maybe you could listen to it while you are having a number two, we don’t mind. It’s in the iTunes store, Soundcloud, Jellycast or just follow us on Twitter, where we’ll bombard you with links and reminders to the point of irritation.
Speaking of comedians, round eight of the Stobart Super League will have a Sport Relief theme.
Each club will do something different, but there’ll be red balls, red socks, plus red knees and elbows for London Broncos, who are away at Widnes. The refs will wear red too.
Is it our imagination or are Sky really pushing the boat out when it comes to branding themselves as the channel for rugby league this year?
Along with a cast list to put GonewiththeWindto shame, there are a host of new shows too. There’s even an online chat-fest with rugby league journalists in it, BackChat, hosted by Rod Studd. We like this because they had a copy of Forty-20 on the table when we watched it.
The new series of SuperLeague SuperMenis great as well. Danny McGuire was a top guest to kick it all off and any programme that involves Sam Tomkins and Brian Carney will do for us. Great to see some of the game’s major past players getting a look in too. We’re even learning to love Phil Clarke’s Margin Meter. Well, everybody needs a laugh now and then, don’t they?
Supermen: Carney and Tomkins
“Build it and sell good beer and they will come... and drink it...”
At the press conference for the World Club Challenge, the visitors must have felt at home. Sunny day, sand on the Headingley pitch, it was like being back on Manly beach.
Another Aussie was there too, among the piled-high tins of Heinz Big Soup. Our own Steve Mascord, of course, complete with every known technological advancement and gadget known to humankind. Whether it’s websites, podcasts, videocasts or anything else online, Steve, weighed down with laptops, is your go-to guy.
Anyway, conference begins and said intrepid hack looks around in a fluster. “Anyone got a pen?”
In the aftermath of Leeds’ World Club win, Talk Sport’s Richard Keys and Andy Gray – so that’s where they went – had a special guest: Eddie Stobart, no... Hemmings.
Keys, the hairy one, said: “Quite rightly, we’ve been criticised by our North West listeners for neglecting Super League. We put that right by talking to the voice.” Gray then made the Leeds WCC triumph runner-up in his ‘Delivery of the Week’ spot, just behind Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
Mayor of Calverley update. When Jamie Peacock paid a visit to Buck House for his MBE last month, he was asked by the Queen – a regular presenter of the Challenge Cup in the 1960s (well, twice) - how long he had been playing. “Fifteen or 16 years,” replied JP. “Can’t you tell by the grey hair”, a remark HRH affected not to hear. Having avoided a trip to the Tower, the England skipper was then asked if he enjoyed playing. “It’s a great team sport,” she concurred.
Get her on Boots‘n’All.
Still in Leeds, the Mayor of that city, Councillor Reverend Alan Taylor, outed himself as a Hunslet fan at an official Civic Hall reception for the WCC protagonists in the run-up to the big match. Most of the speeches centred on the weather, but when Kylie Leuluai, who played for both clubs, was interviewed on stage by Gary Hetherington, a huge yawn emanated from the Sea Eagles ranks. Weightwatcher George Rose was identified as the likely culprit.
As if St Helens fans could feel any worse after their gut-wrenching loss to Catalan - courtesy of ‘that try’ impish builders are rumoured to have buried two Wigan shirts under the pitch during construction.
What chance Royce Simmons repeating Barry Fry’s act of urinating on each of the corner flags to ward off unruly spirits, having been advised to do so by an exorcist?
Back to One
1. Bradford forward Tom Burgess is the only one of four rugby league playing brothers to ply his trade in Super League
2. The real name of Manchesterborn author Anthony Burgess, late-writer of dystopian satire AClockwork
Orange, was John Wilson
3. Scotsman John Wilson was appointed rugby league’s first full-time secretary in 1920. He served 26 years, one year longer than predecessor Joseph Platt
4. Oldham’s Joseph Platt took up his part-time position in 1895, upon the formation of the Northern Union
5. The Northern Union - which in 1922 was renamed the Rugby Football League - was born in the George Hotel, Huddersfield
6. Along with older siblings Sam and Luke, Tom Burgess’s twin, George, is currently on the books of Australian NRL club South Sydney Rabbitohs. The brothers are pictured above in 2008