Ebbw Vale is a town at the head of the valley formed by the Ebbw Fawr tributary of the Ebbw River in Wales. It is the administrative centre of Blaenau Gwent county borough; the Ebbw Vale and Brynmawr conurbation has a population of 33,000. It has direct access to the dualled A465 Heads of the Valleys trunk road and borders the Brecon Beacons National Park. There is evidence of early human activity in the area. Y Domen Fawr is a Bronze Age burial cairn above the town and at Cefn Manmoel you can find a demarcation dyke of neolithic or medieval origins. In modern times the area was a quiet uplands spot in rural Monmouthshire. With only about 120 inhabitants at the end of the 18th century, Ebbw Vale and the whole area was transformed by the Industrial Revolution. Ebbw Vale Iron Works, which became the Ebbw Vale Steelworks, opened in 1778, followed by the opening of a number of coal mines around 1790. Rails for the Stockton and Darlington Railway were manufactured at Ebbw Vale in 1829. Steel from Ebbw Vale was used to construct the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
At its height, the steelworks in Ebbw Vale was the largest in Europe, although it attracted little attention from German bombers during World War II. By the 1960s, around 14,500 people were employed at the steelworks; the end of the century witnessed a massive collapse of the UK steel industry. A strike in 1980 was followed by closures and redundancies which resulted in the dismantling of many of the old plants. In 2002 only 450 were employed in the old industries, by July of that year the final works closed. Today there are no mines left in the area. Ebbw Vale is still recognised for its innovation and contribution to the development of Britain as an industrial nation. Ebbw Vale is recovering from a period of one of the highest unemployment rates in the United Kingdom as a result of the decline of the mining and steel industries. There are several industrial estates with some significant manufacturing facilities. Yuasa/Ybel is a good example. In 2003 work began on redeveloping the steelworks site.
By 2015 the site was changed with a new hospital, college campus and leisure centre. Ebbw Vale first hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1958; the Welsh language was dominant in the area until the last quarter of the 19th century and remnants of the language persisted into the 1970s. The National Eisteddfod returned to Ebbw Vale in 2010. Aneurin Bevan, the "father" of the National Health Service, represented Ebbw Vale as a Labour Party Member of Parliament in Parliament from the 1929 general election; when he died in 1960, he was succeeded as MP by Michael Foot. The seat joined with the neighbouring Abertillery constituency to form Blaenau Gwent. In 2010 the former community of Ebbw Vale was abolished and replaced by Ebbw Vale North and Ebbw Vale South; the Ebbw Vale conurbation today runs in an unbroken housing street plan 3 miles or so from Beaufort in the North to Cwm in the South. There are significant areas of modern housing to the south of the town. In 1992 the Ebbw Vale Garden Festival was the last National Garden Festival.
It was sited on the south side of the demolished steel works. The festival ran for five months between October 1992 attracting over 2 million visitors; the development cost around £18 million. Since the site has been redeveloped with new housing, some light industry and the Festival Park Branded Outlet, a retail outlet comprising forty shops; the Ebbw Vale Steelworks site known as "The Works" has been re-developed under a £350 million regeneration project by Blaenau Gwent Council and Welsh Government. It provides scope for wetlands, a Learning campus and more. Wales' first all individual bed hospital Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan opened in 2010 and is named after the NHS' founder: Aneurin Bevan. A small development of four prototype houses have been developed on the site as a precursor to the wider residential development parcels being developed. Following a competition run by the council several plots were developed in time to be demonstrated at the 2010 Eisteddfod, held on the steelworks site. In 2010 Blaenau Gwent council and United Welsh Housing Association, built two eco-friendly prototype buildings.
The Larch house and the Lime House are both energy efficient houses meeting both Passivhaus and Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6 and Level 5 respectively. The buildings were open for demonstration at the 2010 Eisteddfod. Ty Unnos is a 2-bed property designed by Cardiff University's Design Research Unit, it meets Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 and utilising construction techniques that allow Welsh softwood to be used in the fabric of the building. The Environmental Resource Centre is an educational facility run by Gwent Wildlife Trust. Designed by Cardiff University's Design Research Unit and Located on the Hotmill Plateau it was the first building to be completed as part of the redevelopment of the former steelworks site in Ebbw Vale; the centre is located on an ecologically rich site next to the Pumphouse cooling ponds, which have become a haven for wildlife since the closure of the steelworks. It was opened by Iolo Williams and Jane Davidson AM on 21 May 2010; the General Offices is a Grade II* listed building, undergoing renovation.
Built between 1913 and 1915 it formed part of the steelworks site. A brand-new modern extension opened on 24 October 2010 and houses the Gwent Archives; the main building is opened with an entrance hall and function rooms together with a
Scotland national rugby league team
The Scotland national rugby league team represent Scotland in international rugby league football tournaments. Following the break-up of the Great Britain team in 2008, Scottish players play for Scotland, apart from occasional Southern Hemisphere tours, for which the Great Britain team is expected to be revived; the team is nicknamed the Bravehearts. Though its foundations may date back to as early as 1904, the team formally began in 1995, making them the newest international rugby league team in Great Britain. In their first match they played Ireland. Since Ireland has become the team's main rival, the two teams having played each other many times in their short histories. In 2000 they qualified for their first World Cup, but failed to make an impact, losing all three of their group matches. In 2008 they beat. Scotland play in a dark blue strip, similar to the nation's football and rugby union teams, with blue shirt and socks. A blue and white shield with a thistle, the Scottish emblem, is the team's badge.
The shirt has been changed, although in the early days of the team, white was used on the shirts. The team is ranked seventh in the RLIF World Rankings, having jumped from fourth after going winless in the 2017 World Cup. Englishman Steve McCormack is the team's coach, having coached since 2004, with Danny Brough captaining the side, it could be argued that the foundations for the Scottish team began in 1904. On 5 April 1904 England played an international match against the "Other Nationalities", a team of Welshmen and Scotsmen, in Wigan, it was a 12-a-side game. Of the twelve players who played for the Other Nationalities team two of them were Scotsmen coming from Northern Union clubs, including captain George Frater. After 80 minutes the Other Nationalities had beaten England 9–3; the team carried on for another two years, playing England in 1905, losing 26–11, in 1906, drawing 3–3. The team was revived, most notably in the early 1930s, in 1949. Both Scotland and Ireland had been developing rugby league in their respective nations for several years.
This was true at student level, with a Scotland student team having played since 1987 and having competed in the 1992 Students World Cup. But it was decided that the time was right for an open-age national team to attempt to be entered into an Emerging Nations Tournament that would coincide with the 1995 World Cup, that the Rugby League International Federation had announced. Both Scotland Rugby League and Rugby League Ireland arranged a match on 13 August 1995 at the Royal Dublin Showground in Dublin, Ireland; however the Rugby Football League provided no financial support to either team. Luckily the Scotland team managed to get sponsored, the money was used for the ferry crossing, but each individual player had to pay for basic accommodation; the Scotland squad was made up of players who had played in the student squads, but a few professionals were included. Just before the start of the match, after the Scottish team had spent a night at a youth hostel, the Irish Rugby Football Union prevented the teams from getting changed at the arranged Blackrook College.
A new location was found but it was half a mile away from the ground, so the players had to walk that distance in their playing kit. The match was looking like it would be scoreless at half-time until just before the break, centre Lee Child scored to put Ireland ahead. After the break Scotland hit back, Sean Cusack scoring Scotland's first try. Gavin Manclark scored to propel Scotland into the lead; this did not last long though. Ireland scored again, with Seamus McCallion going over. Four minutes in the 69th minute, Scotland scored two tries with Manclark and Shelford sealing the eight points. However, this was not enough as Ketteridge had only kicked three conversions compared to Ireland's Ian Devery who had kicked five; the match finished with Ireland winning 26 -- 22. After this international Scotland were allowed to take place in the Emerging Nations Tournament, to be held in England. On 16 October 1995 at Featherstone they faced Russia, playing international rugby league since 1991, in their opening game in Group A. Coached by former Great Britain and England player, George Fairbairn, who put together a team of former Scotland students, rugby union players, a few league professionals including Alan Tait, who played for Leeds, who would captain the side.
The whole of the Scotland team had hired kilts to be worn pre-match. The game started off well for Scotland, and minutes Tait doubled the Bravehearts lead. But the Russia Bears dragged themselves back into the match, stand-off Victor Netchaev scoring first, in the 30th minute Alexander Otradnov scored. Scotland were ahead though at half-time by four points because Russia had failed to convert their tries. In the second half it was all Scotland with only Andrey Scheglov's drop goal adding to the Bears points. On the other hand, former Great Britain international Hugh Waddell, Ali Blee and Tait again all scored to seal a Scottish victory. Scotland's second match was against the United States in Northampton, traditionally a rugby union city; the Tomahawks were made up of AMNRL players but Scotland took a while to get going. In the twelfth minute winger Rory Lewis unexpected put America ahead, which caused The Bravehearts to start playing well for the remainder of the first half, Scotland going into
Wakefield is a cathedral city in West Yorkshire, England, on the River Calder and the eastern edge of the Pennines, which had a population of 99,251 at the 2011 census. The Battle of Wakefield took place in the Wars of the Roses and it was a Royalist stronghold in the Civil War. Wakefield became an important market town and centre for wool, exploiting its position on the navigable River Calder to become an inland port. In the 18th century, Wakefield traded in corn, coal mining and textiles and in 1888 its parish church acquired cathedral status, it became the county town of the West Riding of Yorkshire and was the seat of the West Riding County Council from 1889 until 1974, when the county and council were abolished, of the West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council from 1974 until its dissolution in 1986. The name "Wakefield" may derive from "Waca's field" – the open land belonging to someone named "Waca" or could have evolved from the Old English word wacu, meaning "a watch or wake", feld, an open field in which a wake or festival was held.
In the Domesday Book of 1086, it was written Wachefeld and as Wachefelt. Flint and stone tools and bronze and iron implements have been found at Lee Moor and Lupset in the Wakefield area showing evidence of human activity since prehistoric times; this part of Yorkshire was home to the Brigantes until the Roman occupation in AD 43. A Roman road from Pontefract passing Streethouse, Heath Common, Ossett Street Side, through Kirklees and on to Manchester crossed the River Calder by a ford at Wakefield near the site of Wakefield Bridge. Wakefield was settled by the Angles in the 5th or 6th century and after AD 876 the area was controlled by the Vikings who founded twelve hamlets or thorpes around Wakefield, they divided the area into wapentakes and Wakefield was part of the Wapentake of Agbrigg. The settlement grew near a crossing place on the River Calder around three roads, Westgate and Kirkgate; the "gate" suffix derives from Old Norse gata meaning road and kirk, from kirkja indicates there was a church.
Before 1066 the manor of Wakefield belonged to Edward the Confessor and it passed to William the Conqueror after the Battle of Hastings. After the Conquest Wakefield was a victim of the Harrying of the North in 1069 when William the Conqueror took revenge on the local population for resistance to Norman rule; the settlement was recorded as Wachfeld in the Domesday Book of 1086, covered a much greater area than present day Wakefield, much of, described as "waste". The manor was granted by the crown to William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey whose descendants, the Earls Warenne, inherited it after his death in 1088; the construction of Sandal Castle began early in the 12th century. A second castle was abandoned. Wakefield and its environs formed the caput of an extensive baronial holding by the Warennes that extended to Cheshire and Lancashire; the Warennes, their feudal sublords, held the area until the 14th century, when it passed to their heirs. Norman tenants holding land in the region included the Lyvet family at Lupset.
The Domesday Book recorded one in Wakefield and one in Sandal Magna. The Saxon church in Wakefield was rebuilt in about 1100 in stone in the Norman style and was continually enlarged until 1315 when the central tower collapsed. By 1420 the church was again rebuilt and was extended between 1458 and 1475. In 1203 William de Warenne, 5th Earl of Surrey received a grant for a market in the town. In 1204 King John granted the rights for a fair at the feast of All Saints, 1 November, in 1258 Henry III granted the right for fair on the feast of Saint John the Baptist, 24 June; the market was close to the church. The townsfolk of Wakefield amused themselves in games and sports earning the title "Merrie Wakefield", the chief sport in the 14th century was archery and the butts in Wakefield were at the Ings, near the river. During the Wars of the Roses, Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York was killed on 30 December 1460 in the Battle of Wakefield near Sandal Castle; as preparation for the impending invasion by the Spanish Armada in April 1558, 400 men from the wapentake of Morley and Agbrigg were summoned to Bruntcliffe near Morley with their weapons.
Men from Kirkgate, Westgate and Sandal were amongst them and all returned by August. At the time of the Civil War, Wakefield was a Royalist stronghold. An attack led by Sir Thomas Fairfax on 20 May 1643 captured the town for the Parliamentarians. Over 1500 troops were taken prisoner along with Lieutenant-General Goring. In medieval times Wakefield became an inland port on the Calder and centre for the woollen and tanning trades. In 1699 an Act of Parliament was passed creating the Aire and Calder Navigation which provided the town with access to the North Sea; the first Registry of Deeds in the country opened in 1704 and in 1765 Wakefield's cattle market was established and became the one of largest in the north of England. The town was a centre for cloth dealing, with its own piece hall, the Tammy Hall, built in 1766. In the late 1700s Georgian town houses and St John's Church were built to the north of the town centre. Wakefield was dubbed the "Merrie City" in the Middle Ages and in 1538 John Leland described it as, "a quick market town and meately large.
A right honest man shall fare well for 2d. A meal.... There be plenti of se coal in the quarters about Wakefield". At the start of 19th century Wakefield was a wealthy market town and inland port trading in wool and grain; the Aire and Calder and Calder and Hebble Navigations and the Barnsley Canal were instrumental in the development of Wakefield as an
Wales national rugby league team
The Wales national rugby league team represents Wales in international rugby league football matches. The team is ranked ninth in the RLIF World Rankings; the team was run under the auspices of the Rugby Football League, but an independent body, Wales Rugby League, now runs the team from Cardiff. Three Welsh players have been entered into the Rugby League Hall Of Fame; as with other Welsh national sporting teams, Wales strip has been red. However, in the World Cup campaign in 2000 they wore a shirt featuring the Welsh flag, adding a touch of green and white; the team is known as "The Dragons" and so the teams logo on the shirt is a red dragon. The team date back to 1907, making them the third oldest national side after England and New Zealand, it was a touring New Zealand side that Wales first played against in 1908, winning 9–8 at Aberdare. Since Wales have played England, since 1935 France, as well as welcomed the touring Australia and New Zealand teams, although they toured themselves, not playing a match in the Southern Hemisphere until 1975.
For 26 years Wales competed against their two biggest rivals and France, in the European Nations Cup, winning the trophy four times. Wales has competed in the World Cup on five occasions, the first time being in 1975. In 1995 and 2000 they had their most successful tournaments to date, making the Semi-Finals on both occasions before being beaten by England and Australia respectively. Wales failed to qualify for the 2008 World Cup, being the second highest ranked side not to do so, having lost to Scotland on points difference over two matches, they qualified for the 2013 World Cup but failed to win a game, including losing 32–16 to low ranked Italy in their opening game at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. In recent seasons, Wales has taken massive strides under former player Iestyn Harris who had coached Wales to back to back European Cup successes, which culminated in a Four Nations appearance in 2011. In 2014 former England and France coach John Kear became the new head coach after Iestyn Harris left the post to concentrate on his new job as head coach at Salford Red Devils.
On 5 April 1904, England played an international match against the "Other Nationalities", a team of Welshmen and Scotsmen, in Wigan. Of the twelve players who played for the Other Nationalities team, as it was a 12-a-side game, ten of them were Welshmen coming from Northern English clubs. At the turn of the century many Welshmen made the switch from rugby union, wanting to be paid for playing, although the numbers switching were increasing, the Northern Union did not think that a Welsh side would be strong enough for England. After 80 minutes however, the Other Nationalities had beaten England 9–3; this team carried on for another two years, playing England annually in 1905 and 1906, losing 26–11 and drawing 3–3 respectively. From 1905 to 1910 Rugby League as a sport enjoyed growth, not just in Wales and England, but on the east coast of Australia and in northern New Zealand; when Albert Henry Baskerville's NZ All Golds with their guest Australian star Dally Messenger arrived in Britain for the inaugural tour by a southern hemisphere side, the first full international was against Wales on New Year's Day 1908.
The Welsh rugby league team were contesting their first national fixture, managed to beat the touring Kiwis 9–8 in Aberdare in front of 20,000 spectators. This was the first international match played under new "Northern Union" rules, which would be changed again, but these rules were a small departure from traditional rugby union rules, used in previous international matches; the New Zealand team, or the "All Golds" as they were being called by the New Zealand newspapers, had never played rugby by these rules before but did have a week of preparation and training sessions leading up to the match. With this Welsh victory and large crowd, Wales played their second fixture in Tonypandy, managed to win that match too recording a 35–18 win against what would soon become their main rival, the England Lions. At the end of 1908 Wales played their third and final fixture of the decade, playing England again, but this time in Broughton, Lancashire; this time they lost 31–7. However, in 1909 another victory was to occur for Welsh Rugby League, with a Welsh League XIII made up of players still playing in Wales beating a touring Australian side 14–13 in Merthyr.
In the years before the outbreak of the war, Wales played England. The two national teams played each other every year, including 1914. Due to Rugby League only extensively being played in the two countries in the whole of the Northern Hemisphere, touring Australia and New Zealand teams were the only chances to play someone different. Although the two matches against the English played in Wales were played in Ebbw Vale in Monmouthshire, the Welsh travelled around England for away matches, playing in Coventry, Plymouth and St. Helens. Collectively those seven matches in Wales and England produced six defeats for the Welsh team, although there were signs of improvement, in the last match in St Helens the Dragons narrowly lost by just four points, the match ending 16–12. On the 7 October 1911 Wales played Australia for the first time; the match, held at Ebbw Vale again, drew 7,000 people to watch Wales go down 20–28. The match was significant though because throughout the next few decades Australia would play the Dragons in Wales whenever they toured Great Britain.
During and after the First World War many sports suffered, rugby league in Wales was no exception, the team didn't play a match again until 1921. After a seven-year hiatus Wales once again played England and continued to
France national rugby league team
The France national rugby league team represent France in international rugby league tournaments. They are referred to as les Chanticleers or less as les Tricolores; the team is run under the auspices of the Fédération Française de Rugby à XIII and is made up of players from Super League and the Elite One Championship. The French rugby league team first played in 1934 on a tour of England, they have taken part in all World Cups, twelve in total, with the first being held in 1954 in France. They have never won the title but finished runners-up in both 1954 and 1968; these are considered the glory years of French rugby league as from the 1950s to the 1970s the team were strong and beat Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain. Since those days, les Chanticleers have not done as well, not managing to win a single match in the 1995 World Cup, but doing better in the 2000 World Cup with wins over Tonga and South Africa before losing to eventual finalists, New Zealand. In 2006, the Perpignan based team Catalans Dragons entered Super League Europe, have since produced a number of top-class French players.
Despite improved professionalism, France finished 10th in the 2008 World Cup in Australia. The team reached the quarter-finals of the 2013 World Cup; the team is ranked fifth in the world. In Europe alone they are ranked second, ahead of Ireland and Lebanon, but behind their main rival, England. On New Year's Eve 1933, England and Australia played in Paris – the first game of rugby league football in France; the match was one-sided, with Australia winning 63-13 in front of a crowd of about 5,000, but the seed was sown. French rugby union players, disgruntled that France had been suspended from the Five Nations Championship, formed the "Ligue Francaise de Rugby à XIII" on 6 April 1934. Jean Galia, a former rugby union international and champion boxer, led France on a six-match tour of England in 1934 and they recorded their first win in Kingston upon Hull; the national team's first game was in Paris on 15 April 1934, losing 21-32 to England in front of a crowd of 20,000. By 1939, the French League had 225 clubs and the national side won the 1938–39 European Rugby League Championship where they became the first French team in any sport to beat England at home.
The game of rugby league suffered in France during the Second World War, as administrators within French rugby union worked with the collaborating Vichy regime to have rugby league banned. Some players and officials of the sport were punished, whilst the total assets of the rugby league and its clubs were handed over to the union. After the war the French game was re-established and the French became one of rugby league's major powers, competing in the Rugby League World Cup and in major international series against Great Britain and New Zealand, despite continuing persecution. In 1949, they became the first French sporting team to win at Wembley Stadium. In 1951 France embarked on their first tour of Australasia, coached by Bob Samatan and led by the legendary chain-smoking fullback, Puig Aubert, their flamboyant style of unorthodox attacking rugby attracted huge crowds. When the two nations met for the first Test, the match became the first "all ticket" international to be staged at the Sydney Cricket Ground, attracted a crowd of over 60,000.
On Saturday 30 June 1951, Australia secured a hard-fought second Test victory over France in Brisbane by 23 points to 11. The third Test took place at Sydney Cricket Ground three weeks before a crowd of 67,009. Late tries from Duncan Hall and Brian Davies could not prevent the Kangaroos from suffering an embarrassing 35-14 defeat. France played 28 matches during the three-month tour, winning 21 matches, drawing twice and losing just five times. In November 1951, France met "Other Nationalities" in an International Championship match at the Boulevard, Hull which became known as the "Battle of the Boulevard". Other Nationalities won 17-14 but the match centred on the behaviour of Edouard Ponsinet, involved in most of the violence that happened at the game; the Other Nationalities were down to eleven players at one stage, with Arthur Clues being the most serious casualty, hospitalised with head injuries. Ponsinet was sent off, ten minutes from time after breaking the nose of Jeff Burke. Despite this defeat France went on to retain the title with home victories over Wales.
In the 1954 World Cup, the first of either rugby code and was instigated by France, Les Tricolores defeated both Australia and New Zealand, drew with Great Britain to reach the final. This was the closest they went to getting their hands on the World Cup, going down narrowly, 16-12, to Great Britain in the final in Parc des Princes. France donated the original World Cup trophy. France repeated the success of their 1951 tour in 1955, with bigger attendances greeting the team. Puig Aubert did not tour. Despite this, France played splendidly to win the second test in Brisbane and the third test at the SCG; the 1951 and 1955 French sides that toured Australia are still regarded as two of the strongest sides to tour that country. In the 1957 World Cup, held in Australia, the winner was decided by finishing top of the table with no final being played. France finished winning one match against New Zealand. History was made when the returning French and British squads visited South Africa and played a series of exhibition matches in
Australia national rugby league team
The Australian national rugby league team have represented Australia in senior men's rugby league football competition since the establishment of the'Northern Union game' in Australia in 1908. Administered by the Australian Rugby League, the Kangaroos are ranked first in the RLIF World Rankings; the team is the most successful in Rugby League World Cup history, having contested all 15 and winning 11 of them, failing to reach the final only once, in the inaugural tournament in 1954. Only four nations have beaten Australia in test matches, Australia have an overall win percentage of 67%. Dating back to 1908, Australia are the fourth oldest national side after England, New Zealand and Wales; the team was first assembled in 1908 for a tour of Great Britain. The majority of the Kangaroos' games since have been played against Great Britain and New Zealand. In the first half of the 20th century, Australia's international competition came from alternating tours to Great Britain and New Zealand, with Australia playing host to these teams in non-tour years.
Great Britain dominated in the early years, Australia did not win a Test against the Lions until 11 November 1911 under captain Chris McKivat. Australia did not win a series at home against Great Britain until 1920 or abroad until 1958. Since 1908, the team has been nicknamed the Kangaroos. Only used when touring Great Britain, France, this has been the official nickname of the team since 7 July 1994. In 1997 Australia was represented by a Super League Australia team, drawing on players from that year's Super League competition. While in the past players for the side had been selected from clubs in various leagues around the country, in recent years the side has consisted of players from clubs of the National Rugby League. Rugby football has been played in Australia since the 1860s. In 1863 Sydney University became the first rugby club to be formed in Sydney, played games amongst themselves or against the crews of visiting British ships; the Sydney Football Club and the Wallaroos followed, inter-club competition commenced.
By 1880, there were 100 clubs across the country, rugby became the dominant winter sport for Sydney. In 1888 an English team visited Australasia, playing rugby rules in Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand, Australian rules football in Victoria and South Australia. In 1899, an Australian team was formed for the first time using players from Queensland and New South Wales, they played a series of Tests against a British team. By 1907, Sydney club rugby games were attracting up to 20,000 people, with all profits going to the Southern Rugby Football Union, as the sport at the time was an amateur one; this caused discontent among players, in 1908 the New South Wales Rugby Football League and Queensland Rugby League were formed. An Australian national rugby league team was first formed during the first season of rugby league in Australia, the 1908 NSWRFL Premiership season; the team, made of players from the NSWRFL with a few Queensland rugby rebels added, first played against the "professional All Blacks" on the return leg of their tour of Australia and Great Britain.
That year the Australian team arranged to go on a tour of its own. The first Kangaroos arrived in England on 27 September 1908, played their first test against the Northern Union in December in London, it finished 22 all in front of a crowd of 2,000. The second test in Newcastle in January 1909 attracted a crowd of 22,000, the Northern Union won 15–5; the third test was played at Villa Park, the Northern Union winning again 6–5 before a crowd of 9,000. The Australians suggested that the series should be named'The Ashes' after the cricket series of the same name. In 1909, when the new "Northern Union" code was still in its infancy in Australia, a match between the Kangaroos and the Wallabies was played before a crowd of around 20,000, with the Rugby League side winning 29–26; the first British tour of the Southern Hemisphere began on 4 June 1910, when the Northern Union played New South Wales in front of 33,000 spectators in Sydney, losing 28–14. But they won the first test in Sydney against Australia 27–20 in front of 42,000.
They won the second test in Brisbane 22–17. In Auckland, on 30 July, they defeated New Zealand 52–20; the 1910 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand was the first and Australia were beaten for the Ashes in two tests, faring better as "Australasia" with two Kiwis added to their squad. The 1911–12 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain was undertaken by an'Australasian' squad which included four New Zealanders, they won the Ashes for the first time and for the next half a century no other touring team did do so on British soil. The 1914 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand was the second time the British toured down under; the Australians, captained by Sid Deane for all three tests, got one victory but lost the series in the famous decider, the "Rorke's Drift Test". Australia went on a tour of New Zealand in 1919; the 1920 Great Britain Lions tour saw. The 1921–22 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain included a New Zealander and was ostensibly an Australasian side. In January 1922, an "England" side defeated Australia 6–0 at The Willows, Salford, to win back the Ashes, lost in 1920.
They did not lose again until 1950. The Australian national team first wore green and gold in a hooped design, on Saturday 23 June 1928, when they met Great Britain in the first Test at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground. Britain led 10–2 after 25 minutes, 13–7 at half time and, after a nervous second half claimed the Test 15–12; the England team won both the 1928 series in
Samoa national rugby league team
The Samoa national rugby league team represents Samoa in rugby league football and has been participating in international competition since 1986. Known as Western Samoa prior to 1997, the team is administered by Rugby League Samoa and are nicknamed Toa Samoa. Western Samoa has particip in the Pacific Cup, World Sevens, Super League World Nines, World Cup and Pacific Rim competitions. Since 1998 the team has been known as Samoa. Western Samoa made their debut in the 1986 Pacific Cup. Joe Raymond coached this side to a final. Joe Raymond went on to coach them again in 1988 and would return again to coach them 10 years in 1998 in a one off game against a Samoan team of Samoan resident players at Carlaw park. Suani and Lyndsay Stowers operated Samoa Rugby League out of their North Shore home in Auckland and from the Richmond Rugby League Club house where Lyndsay ran the canteen; this resilient couple were known to have put a mortgage on their home to assist with funding the thirty men representing Samoa in the Pacific Cup held in Tonga, 1990.
This commitment lead to a historical win over the Maori team for the first time and won the 1990 Pacific Cup. Coached by the Richmond Bulldogs Head Coach, Steve Kaiser, the Western Samoan team put Samoan rugby league on the map. Samoa won the 1992 Pacific Cup over Tonga in an action filled thriller that went into two overtimes and sent the NZ Rugby League and Polynesian rugby league public into a frenzy; the 1992 Tournament showcased all of NZ Rugby league talent and Australian Rugby league scouts were booked to witness the 1994 Pacific Cup held in Fiji. In 1993 Western Samoa were invited to the International Coca-Cola Sevens in Sydney. With Auckland based Samoan players such as Mark Elia, Tony Tuimavave, Tony Tatupu, Faausu Afoa and Des Maea followed by a group of up and coming players such as Matthew TuiSamoa, Lionel Perera, Aleki Maea, Paki Tuimavave, Joe Vagana, Sefo Fuimaono and Peter Lima, the team beat the Canberra Raiders and the Great Britain International team. Coached by the Richmond Bulldogs' Head Coach Steve Kaiser, this team gave Samoa the status to create the strong foundation Western Samoa Rugby League needed to move forward.
Below this strong foundation however was the strength and commitment of two people: Suani and Lyndsay Stowers. These two held together the concept of Samoa Rugby League and without their dream, Samoa RL will not be where it is today. Steve Kaiser in his sixth year as the Samoan Coach had an array of NZ based quality players for the 1994 Pacific Cup with the likes of Se'e Solomona, Tony Tatupu, the Tuimavave brothers Paki and Tony plus the loyal players of Mike Setefano, Matthew TuiSamoa, Alex Tupou and Mark Faumuina. Henry Suluvale and Rudy David led the contingent of first class players from Canterbury however this arsenal were well contained by the Tongan stars Jim Dymmic, John Hopoate and Albert Fulivae; the 1995 Samoan team had the benefit of ex-All Blacks John Schuster and Va'aiga Tuigamala in their backline. When rugby union went professional players such as Apollo Perelini and Fereti Tuilagi left rugby league to return to the 15-man game. Samoa lost the Pacific Cup in 1996; the 1998 Pacific Cup team saw a old talent.
Joe Raymond, one of the first Samoan Rugby League Rep coaches returned after coaching Tonga and the NZ Maori, the late Eddie Poching managed the team and the introduction of Francis Meli to Samoan Rugby League and Junior Papalii a loyal American Samoan Representative. Pati Tuimavave from the 1992 squad and Matthew TuiSamoa, the only survivor from 1990 Pacific Cup champion team returned. Samoa battled Tonga for the 1998 Pacific Cup again at Carlaw park and again Samoa regained the Pacific Champions Title; the Pacific Cup was taken to Australia's Gold Coast in 2000 where Auckland coach John Ackland took over the reins. Ackland added another dimension to Samoa Rugby League and introduced rising stars, Wayne McDade and Itikeri Sapau-Citran, Tino Brown, Johnny Baker, Louie Talamavoa and bought Matthew TuiSamoa back into the Pacific Cup arena. Samoa took on Ireland and the Aotearoa Māori in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup pool stages, they would lose to'the Irish' in their opening game, but they'd beat NZ Maori, Scotland in their next two games, sealing a place in the knock-out stages.
They would take on Australia in the quarter-final. They ended their tournament with a thrashing 66-10 defeat, sealing an end to a respectable World Cup Campaign. Samoa played in the Pacific Pool of the 2008 Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers, they lost to Tonga. On a points difference, Samoa had to play USA in the Repecharge Semi Final. Samoa won this match 42-10 and played Lebanon on 14 November 2007 in the Repecharge Final to see who would take the 10th and final World Cup place. Samoa came out eventual winners of the 10th and final 2008 Rugby League World Cup place beating Lebanon 38-16 at the Chris Moyles Stadium, Featherstone. For the 2008 Rugby League World Cup tournament Samoa's main jersey sponsor was the Samoa International Finance Authority. Samoa took on Ireland in the Tournament's pool stages, they beat their pacific rivals in a traditional tight pacific match-up, but they lost to'the Irish' by 34-16. This big losing margin, sent the Samoans into battle against the French in the Tournament's 9th place play-off.
Samoa won, winning 42-10 and capping off an undesirable World Cup Tournament. In April 2013, Samoa took on Tonga in the'2013 Pacific Rugby League Test' at Penrith Stadium; the International was created as a World Cup warm-up match. Tonga targeted Samoa's weak defence, it