All posts by MikeHulme

Coote ‘has proven his commitment’ to Scotland

Scotland fullback Lachlan Coote

EX-SCOTLAND coach Steve McCormack has backed Lachlan Coote’s inclusion in the Great Britain squad – and revealed the full-back lost money to play for the Bravehearts.

Saints No.1 Coote was this week included in Wayne Bennett’s 29-man training panel for the Lions tour in autumn, having qualified through his Scottish ancestry.

His selection was met by criticism in some quarters because he was born and raised in Australia.

But Wiganer McCormack says the 29-year-old has more than proved his commitment to Scotland and shed light on the sacrifices he made to play for the nation during the Four Nations in 2016.

“He’d just come off the back of an NRL season, his body need fixing up but he really wanted to play for Scotland and he was immensely proud to do so,” said McCormack.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him and the commitment he showed to representing Scotland.

“He was over here for six weeks, away from his family, and he lost money to play for us.

“It would have cost him money to play for Scotland, but he was so motivated to represent his heritage, and he did with some fantastic displays.

“He’s very proud of his ancestry and he was absolutely top class, and I’m delighted he’s been selected in this squad.”

Warrington Wolves utility Blake Austin

Another Aussie – Warrington’s Blake Austin – is also in the squad, having previously been included in the England training squad because of his heritage.

McCormack, who left his role with the Warriors earlier this year for a role with the charity Rugby League Cares, coached Scotland for more than a decade before stepping down in 2017.

“I do understand the criticism of picking Australian-born players, I do – and sport is all about opinions,” he added.

“But Lachlan is eligible under the rules and as I said, he has certainly shown his commitment to Scotland.”

Chase sticks with Doncaster

Doncaster RLFC halfback Rangi Chase

FORMER England half-back Rangi Chase has signed a new contract with Betfred League One club Doncaster.

The 33-year-old one-time Man of Steel began playing for the South Yorkshire club in July following the completion of a two-year suspension for cocaine use and has now decided to extend his stay until the end of 2020.

“I’m happy to get it over the line,” Chase told the club’s website.

“In my mind, I was always going to stay here but it is good to get it all sorted and I can look forward to the future.”

Doncaster chief executive Carl Hall said: “Rangi has shown his class both on and off the pitch since joining the club and has given us an added threat in our attacking game.

“Richard Horne made it clear how important it was that we got the deal done, with Rangi being such an important player and other clubs showing a keen interest in him.

“To have secured his signature for next season is massive for our club.”

Hughes plays through the pain to help Warrington win the Challenge Cup

Warrington Wolves co-captain Jack Hughes

Warrington co-captain Jack Hughes wore a cricketer’s box to help him get through the pain and play a huge role in his side’s shock Challenge Cup triumph.

The Wolves turned the form book on its head with an 18-4 victory over neighbours St Helens, the runaway Super League leaders who went into Saturday’s game as heavy favourites.

Hughes was one of Warrington’s heroes, pushing hooker Daryl Clark for the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match, just three weeks after suffering a ruptured testicle that put his Wembley appearance in doubt.

“I was always confident of playing,” he said.

“There was just that contact side of things that meant there was a bit of doubt.


“I had a box on, similar to what the cricket lads wear, and it did the job.

“It was pretty uncomfortable at the start but, once you get out there, you don’t think about it.”


Hughes’ former Wigan team-mate Josh Charnley led the praises for the England Knights captain, who has been promoted to Wayne Bennett’s senior squad for the end-of-season Great Britain tour.


“I came through the system with Jack and played many games with him so I’ve seen him grow into the player he is,” Charnley said.


“I reckon he’s the most underrated player in the comp.

“He’ll play anywhere and he’s a true leader.”

Steve Price’s men rode their luck early on, withstanding a torrent of Saints pressure, before gaining confidence from substitute Joe Philbin’s solo try and adding a second before half-time when Hughes got Ben Murdoch-Masila charging over to open up a 12-0 lead.


St Helens threatened a comeback when Theo Fages went over for a 56th-minute try but Clark finished them off with his side’s third try nine minutes from the end.


After receiving the trophy with co-captain Chris Hill from Prince Harry, Hughes says the victory helped make up for their defeat as favourites to Catalans Dragons 12 months earlier.


“This is something we’ve been striving for since Steve arrived at the club,” he said.

“We reached two finals last year and we felt we had to take that next step as a team.


“They say third time lucky but I don’t think it was lucky. There was a lot of talk about our form going into it but we had that confidence, that belief.”


St Helens, 16 points clear at the top of Super League, remain favourites to win at Old Trafford but Warrington’s victory will give renewed hope to the chasing pack and Hughes says they have found the secret to beating them.


“It’s a matter of containing one or two individuals, starting with Tommy Mak (Makinson) and Regan Grace coming out of their half and then you’ve got the two big boppers in (Luke) Thompson and (Alex) Walmsley,” he said.


“We put a massive emphasis on those individuals and I thought we did a pretty good job on them.


“You’ve got to do it against Saints for the full 80 minutes.

“Previously this season we got to 60 or 65 and then sort of crumbled. We made sure we didn’t crumble again.


“We got one over on Saints last year when it mattered and we’re confident we can do it again this year.”

Bryson Goodwin on the highs of travel and cookies to the lows of swing bridges and Challenge Cup final defeat

Departing Warrington Wolves utility back Bryson Goodwin

NEW Zealand international Bryson Goodwin admitted that he didn’t really know what to expect when he made the move to Warrington at the start of last year.

A proposed move to Leigh fell through after the Centurions lost their place in Super League before the centre was snapped up by the Wolves.

But after spending the best part of two years in the town, Goodwin will say goodbye at the end of the year to re-join the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

And after experiencing some real highs and lows during his spell in England, he will always reflect fondly on his time at The Wire.

“I’ve loved my time in Warrington, especially making the two finals last year, and I’ve got the Challenge Cup final and the back end of the Super League season to look forward to,” said Goodwin.

“I didn’t really know what to expect when I first came over, but the club and the people of Warrington have made it really easy to fit in.

“All I can do is go out there and try my best, so if the fans are happy with me then it must mean I’m doing something right.”

A definite blot on his time at the club though was last season’s Challenge Cup final defeat, which is something Goodwin is looking to put right this week.

“A lot of people wrote Catalans off going into the game, but they played really well and managed to get the win,” he continued.

Bryson Goodwin with Warrington

“We didn’t play our best game that day, but hopefully we can put in a better performance this year and we know as a team that if we play good, we win.”

“Nobody ever wants to feel that losing feeling and plenty of the boys in this team have experienced losses in big games, so we need to get that feeling out of our club and start to build a winning culture.”

Away from rugby though, Goodwin insists he has thoroughly enjoyed living in England, and there are certain parts of British life he will sorely miss.

“One of the biggest things I’ll miss are these cookies from Tesco that I probably eat too many of but they’re just unreal,” he admitted.

“Aside from that, the biggest thing will be not having Europe on my doorstep, as I’ve got the travel bug and try and jet off somewhere new whenever I get the chance.

“Since I’ve been here, I’ve visited Iceland, the French Alps, Spain, Italy and a heap of other places, so it’s been great to experience other parts of the world.

“In Australia, you can’t really go anywhere unless you go for a few weeks because of the distance, so having Europe so close has been a highlight.”

Kiwi international Bryson Goodwin

Of course, living in England and Warrington in particular does have its downsides, and there are some things Goodwin is happy to be leaving behind.

“The swing bridges are like something from the Stone Age and they really wind me up, so I definitely won’t miss them,” he joked.

“I find it outrageous that you have to pay for a TV licence over here and I hardly watched any TV last year, so I refused to do pay for one this year and I just watch Netflix in my spare time.

“The weather is obviously not great as its supposed to be summer and it’s rained for the last four weeks, but I will miss the cold Christmases as we don’t get them back home.

“But living near the beach in Sydney is a pretty good lifestyle and the kids will be close to the family and all of their cousins.

“I will be sad to leave at the end of the season and I’ll miss the people of Warrington, my teammates and just being a part of the town in general, but it was the right decision in the end for me and the family.”