SPORTS NEWS IN BRIEF
LONDON - Four Rugby League World Cup 2013 match officials are warming up for the tournament by taking charge of local student fixtures. Match officials were announced ahead of Sunday's Opening Ceremony and double header, and several referees have flown over from Australia to blow off the cobwebs by taking charge of games in the North West.
LONDON - Italy Coach Carlo Napolitano said his side had planned a 2013 campaign through to the final on 30 November. Few predicted Italy would complete a shock win over hosts England on Saturday, but Napolitano claims Italy, appearing in their first ever RLWC, have reason to believe they can hold their own against any side in the competition.
LONDON - An attempt to resolve the dispute over the re-structuring of domestic rugby league was thwarted on Wednesday when representatives of six European Super League clubs walked out of a meeting in Leeds. The league meeting to discuss a proposal to cut the number of top-flight clubs from 14 to 12.
LONDON - Gareth Hock has told the BBC that he does not think his breach of discipline was serious enough for him to be removed from England's World Cup squad. The forward, 30, said he and some team-mates went on a night out after the Italy game. Hock overslept the next morning, missing a recovery session, and was informed of his dismissal by phone.
LONDON - Cameron Smith can still remember what it feels like to lose to a British team in an international. In 2006 the Kangaroo captain played for the first time against what was then Great Britain — suffering a 23-12 Tri-Nations defeat. "I came off the bench and got a bit of a hostile welcome," he recalls. "A slap around the head from Terry Newton."
Test for Tonga
LONDON - The Tongans have declared their intentions on going after the 'big three' at the 2013 World Cup. Like most nations in this year's tournament they're fielding their strongest ever line-up, with coach Charlie Tonga selecting a squad with ample NRL experience. Tonga first appeared at the RLWC in 1995, just seven years after their first ever official international match.
Boost for league
LONDON - Scotland coach Steve McCormack believes Rugby League World Cup games in Cumbria is "huge" for the sport in the region. McCormack, previously coach at Barrow and Whitehaven, held his squad's pre-tournament training camp in the region. Scotland play both their group games, against Tonga and Italy, at Derwent Park in Workington.
LONDON - Leeds Rhinos have terminated the contract of prop Richard Moore by mutual consent. Moore, 31, who still had one year remaining on his deal, started his career in the club's academy and re-joined them from Crusaders in 2012. Coach Brian McDermott said: "He has been a great servant to Leeds over the last two seasons and always prepared to help out team."