Local links to Rugby League World Cup

Scotland captain Danny Brough
Scotland captain Danny Brough

The eagerly anticipated Rugby League World Cup kicks off this weekend, with five of the competing nations having links to the Heavy Woollen.

All eyes will be on England’s opening game against Australia in Cardiff on Saturday when three Dewsbury brothers could be set to feature in the same side.

Twins Tom and George Burgess, along with older brother Sam, began their rugby careers at the Dewsbury Moor amateur club and are now international stars, plying their trade at the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Australia’s NRL.

Sam Burgess, who broke into the Bradford Bulls squad before switching to Sydney, is being tipped as one of England’s biggest hopes of bringing success at the World Cup.

The opening ceremony in Cardiff will be followed by a double header of matches with Italy meeting Wales immediately after the England-Australia clash.

Dan Fleming spent time on dual registration at Batley Bulldogs in the early part of last season before returning to parent club Castleford Tigers and the success he had in Super League earned him a call into the Wales squad.

Paul Broadbent — who had a brief spell as caretaker coach at Dewsbury Rams before Glenn Morrison was appointed — is part of the Italy squad’s coaching team.

They raised a few eyebrows last weekend when Broadbent was part of the Italian coaching staff who masterminded a superb 15-14 victory over England in a warm-up match last Saturday.

Dewsbury-born Danny Brough, who won Super League’s Man of Steel and helped guide Huddersfield Giants to a first league leaders shield, will captain Scotland.

Their squad also includes Ben Fisher, who had a brief stint at Batley before signing for Catalan Dragons and relocating his family to Perpignan.

Gareth Moore, who played a major part in guiding Batley to the Grand Final, but has since joined Championship rivals Featherstone Rovers, was also part of the Scotland squad before injury forced him to withdraw.

Kane Bentley, who played the latter part of last season at Dewsbury, is in the France squad, along with another ex-Ram William Barthau.