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Latest News


9 Aug, 2022


Swinton Lions RLFC is set to host a World Cup warm-up match, with Wales and Lebanon scheduled to meet at Heywood Road, Sale, on Saturday 8 October, with a 3pm kick-off.  Lions’ CEO Steve Wild revealed, “At Swinton we are absolutely thrilled and honoured to be hosting this incredibly attractive pre-World Cup warm-up match between Wales and Lebanon. Firstly I want to thank our stadium hosts Sale FC Rugby Club for their enthusiasm and co-operation in making the game a reality. This event underlines the fantastic relationship we enjoy at Heywood Road.  “Going back to our Station Road days, Swinton Lions has a long tradition of hosting international matches, and it’s a great pleasure to be able to resurrect that tradition at Sale. Perhaps we’ll even see a couple of Swinton lads in the Welsh line-up, with Rhodri Lloyd and Mike Butt hopefully making the squad.  “We also hope that the Greater Manchester public, including of course the Lebanese community and those with a Welsh affiliation, will take this opportunity to see some top class international rugby league at Heywood Road, which is only 4 miles from Old Trafford, the venue for the World Cup Final itself. Both competing nations have been a pleasure to deal with in the build-up, and I’ve no doubt that we will see a wonderful celebration of our sport on 8th October.”  Chair of Wales Rugby League, Brian Juliff, said, “Wales Rugby League is eagerly looking forward to the pre-World Cup fixture against Lebanon Rugby League on 8 October.  “Lebanon are a quality team, coached by former Australian Rugby Union stalwart Michael Cheika, and populated with a core of experienced Australian NRL players. This will provide us with a perfect match as we prepare our squad to face very similar opposition in the qualifying rounds at the finals.  “Our opening game at the World Cup is against the Cook Islands who are of a similar player group to Lebanon, so this game will be formative to our preparations. We anticipate a tough and entertaining encounter against Lebanon, and we will field our strongest team in front of a big crowd at Heywood Road, Sale.  “Wales Rugby League is very grateful to Swinton Lions RLFC for hosting the game, whilst we also greatly appreciate the support of Sale FC Rugby Union Club for allowing us the use of their fantastic facilities.”  Nayef Abi Said, speaking on behalf of the Lebanese Rugby League Federation, added, “We are very much looking forward to playing Wales at the Swinton Lions home ground. The Dragons are a very tough opponent, but we are excited for the challenge. In the larger picture, this match will aid toward our preparedness and hopefully another successful World Cup campaign.”  “Underlying all, Lebanon has always held an unwavering respect towards and for the Welsh team, fans and nation as a whole, and it will prove another great honour to face them on the field.”  Admission will be by ticket only, with seats available at £15 for adults and £5 for under 16s. Meanwhile regular ground tickets are priced at just £12 for adults and £3 for under 16s, with under 5s going free. Corporate Hospitality tickets are also available at a bargain £35 for adults and £25 for under 16s. All ticket options are now on sale via the Swinton Lions website at Match Tickets & Fan Info — Swinton Lions RLFC 

3 days ago


7 Aug, 2022


IAN RIGG Heywood Road, Sunday In possibly the best game of League One Rugby of the season Keighley Cougars fought back from being behind at the break to show their championship credentials to take the victory against a Lions side who fought from the off to try to win the game. Cougars started the game brightly and took the first attack to the Lions, but Kyle Trout lost the ball in a good position, but they did take the lead on six minutes when the Lions were penalised in their own thirty and Jack Miller converted. They could have added more points on nine minutes but a Dane Chisholm stab kick over the line ran dead and the chance went. Louis Brogan was held up for the Lions but from the next tackle the ball moved right, and Rhodri Lloyd went close and from the play the ball Dan Abram fed the supporting Jordan Case and he dived in to put the Lions in front with Dan Abram adding the conversion. Charlie Graham almost added the first cougars try on fifteen minutes, but it was the Lions that increased their lead when they launched a high kick towards the line, but Lewis Young fumbled it and Max Kirkbright collected it to score in the left corner, but Abram was unable to convert. Nathan Roebuck and Jack Hansen then each had chances but lost the ball and then the Lions lost centre Max Roberts to a head injury on the half hour never to return. Deane Meadows thought he had scored a couple minutes later but was pulled back for a forward pass but try of the game came on thirty-three minutes when George Roby took on the Cougars defence to dummy his way to the line on the left and Abram missed the conversion from wide out. Lewis Else then scored the next try when again a kick through was fumbled by Young and he trapped the ball on his foot and picked it up to score under the posts and Abram converted again. Cougars hit back to open their try account in the dying seconds of the half when Graham went in at the left corner and Miller converted from the touchline. Whatever Rhys Lovegrove said to his team during the break certainly was still ringing in their ears when they scored next following a Lions error in goal and from the goal line drop out Toby Everett found a gap by the posts to score, and Miller converted to bring them within six points, but Abram landed a penalty goal on fifty-one minutes to give them an extra cushion. From this point onwards it was Cougars to took control with Junior Sa’u scoring in the left corner after some pressure from a penalty and Miller converted from the touchline. Three minutes later they were in again when a super passage of passing saw Kyle Trout cut inside to score and again Miller converted. The Lions then tried to hit back, and Roby was firstly held up and in the next tackle they forced a goal line drop out and from this Nick Gregson lost the ball in the Cougars twenty and the chance went. Abram then made a mistake which could have lost the Lions a score when he fielded a ball near the touchline and tried to take on the winger but was tackled into touch. Cougars then had a chance with seven minutes left but lost the ball near the line and then Lions substitute Jordan Brown was held up with five minutes left and in the dying seconds Hansen tried to kick through near the line, but a Cougars player dropped on it as the hooter sounded. MATCHFACTS LIONS   1 Dan Abram 32 Max Kirkbright 31 Max Roberts 12 Mitch Cox   5 Richard Lepori   6 Lewis Else   7 Jack Hansen 16 Louis Brogan 30 George Roby 23 Jordan Case 13 Nick Gregson 11 Rhodri Lloyd 17 Jack Spencer Subs (all used) 14 Matty Wilkinson 20 Deane Meadows 18 Paddy Jones 24 Jordan Brown Tries: Case (11), Kirkbright (17), Roby (33), Else (37) Goals: Abram 3/5 COUGARS 30 Lewis Young   5 Mo Agoro 27 Nathan Roebuck   2 Charlie Graham 23 Junior Sa’u 20 Dane Chisholm   7 Jack Miller 17 Eddie Pettybourne 36 James Feather 11 Dan Parker 38 Kyle Trout 12 Aaron Levy   9 Kyle Kesik Subs (all used)   8 Brenden Santi 13 Scott Murrell 14 Billy Gaylor 35 Toby Everett Trie: Graham (40), Everett (44), Sa’u (55), Trout (58) Goals: Miller 5/5 Penalties: 7-8 Half-time: 20-8 Referee: Michael Mannifield Attendance: 1090 SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-2,6-2,10-2,14-2,20-2,20-8,20-14,22-14,22-20,22-26

4 days ago


4 Aug, 2022


As part of Swinton Lions’ ongoing support for their community partner clubs and wider contribution to develop the sport of rugby league, Director of Development Damian Ridpath recently arranged a ground-breaking player and coaching development weekend with Belfast Eagles. The Eagles are a well-run and popular community club in the heart of the city and are eager for opportunities to develop their club, as well as to promote rugby league in Northern Ireland. Gareth Pratt, Swinton Lions Youth Player Development Coach, along with Mark Robinson, Swinton Lions Community Development Coach, flew over to Belfast and provided various coaching sessions across a fabulous weekend of rugby league for Eagles players ranging from the age of 5 right through to the seniors and masters. Around 100 participants in total benefited from the weekend’s sessions, which included core skills development e.g. catch, carry and pass, tackle technique, correct play-the-ball technique, kicking practice, transition from offence to defence, specific player position roles, and responsibilities around the ruck area. Core skills development was also enhanced and supplemented via modified games, team building exercises, and methods for improving communication skills. Belfast Eagles Trustees and co-founders Peter Robson and Lisa O’Connor, and all of their club’s coaches, officials and volunteers provided logistical support such as balls and training equipment. The hospitality from the Irish club was fabulous, and the bond between the two clubs grew beyond all expectations over the course of the weekend. The training facilities in Belfast were immaculate and perfect for the weekend of coaching sessions. Club volunteers also provided food and drinks for all of the people participating in the sessions and made sure everyone was well hydrated through the hot weather. In addition to coaching the players, Gareth and Mark also took time to assist the Belfast Eagles coaching staff with their own development. They explained the session plans and methods for coaching core skills, and supervised the Eagles coaches whilst they in turn coached the players. Also in attendance on the Sunday was the Chairman of Rugby League Ireland, Jim Reynolds. Jim enjoyed the sessions provided by the Swinton Lions coaches and thanked the Belfast Eagles club representatives on a fantastic weekend of rugby league and fun. He also complimented the Eagles on being a tremendous leader in driving rugby league development in the area. The Lions’ Development Director, Damian Ridpath, said, "The weekend had been planned for some time and it was fantastic to see it prove such a success. We have now laid the platform within Ulster to support Rugby League activity, and will be using this experience to assist the creation of more opportunities for people to enjoy rugby league with Belfast Eagles in partnership with Swinton Lions Rugby League Club, and continue to develop an ongoing relationship between the two clubs to grow rugby league in a non-traditional area for the sport." On behalf of Belfast Eagles, Peter Robson and Lisa O’Connor added, "We would like to say a huge thank you to Swinton Lions for their support, not only in respect of the player, coach and club development weekend delivered by Gareth Pratt and Mark Robinson who shared some of their amazing experience and wealth of knowledge around rugby league, but also for the support and guidance shown to us over the last few years during which time we have been affiliated with them. “Both Gareth and Mark came to the Belfast Eagles RLFC club last weekend without knowing a great deal about us and they fitted right in. They shared their huge appetite and love for rugby league with us through some really professional, engaging, interactive training sessions that left us as coaches, volunteers and players inspired and with a new thirst to learn and continue to grow as a community club so we can build something great for the future of rugby league in Northern Ireland. The proof is in the images from that weekend, they speak a thousand words! “The biggest and most positive outcome for us over the two days is that we have seen a 10% uplift in players for our Bald Eagles Masters (over 35's), and a 25% uplift in our Belfast Eagles RLFC Minis (U5's - U10's) and Youth Teams (U12's - U16's). This is all down to their dedication and hard work.  “We also had Jim Reynolds, Chair of Rugby League Ireland, who travelled all the way from Galway to see visit Belfast Eagles RLFC and see the session for himself. He also thought the work that both Gareth and Mark delivered was amazing.   “We are a huge family at the Belfast Eagles RLFC and that is how we have managed to grow and stay relevant in this ever-changing world in which we live in. We now consider both Gareth Pratt and Mark Robinson from Swinton Lions RLFC as part of that family now too, and we do hope to work with them both again in the not too distant future." 

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