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Issue 432 (Apr ’17) pictured is on sale from Friday 31st Mar 2017

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Issue 432 (Apr ’17) pictured is on sale from Friday 31st Mar 2017

We’ve got Frank-Paul Nu’uausala bursting out of our front cover this month, and inside you can read about the big man’s thoughts on all aspects of life in Wigan, including the quality of the pies.

Is Rugby League a sport that’s going up or going under in terms of the numbers playing the game? We investigate the details behind the headlines in the great participation debate.

Former Bradford Bulls, Wigan, Salford and Great Britain coach Brian Noble is currently leading the pioneering charge in Toronto with the Wolfpack, but he has some trenchant views on how the game should be securing its future. He argues that it is time to ditch the salary cap and believes Rugby League just isn’t ‘sexy’ enough these days. Is he right?

We take a trip back in time to the days when Widnes ruled the world as ‘cup kings’ culminating with their World Club Challenge victory over Canberra Raiders in 1989, and revisit the ghostly remains of Huddersfield’s old Fartown stadium in a brand new feature.

Former Hull KR star Paul Fletcher tells us what he’s up to these days and casts his mind back to the remarkably unsentimental way he was shown the door by the Robins at the end of his career.

Gareth Ellis (Hull FC) and Ben Westwood (Warrington Wolves) reminisce about the big break they both first got at Wakefield during a time of financial crisis and how their careers have gone since those early days at Belle Vue, and we catch up with Jarrod Sammut who is aiming to re-establish himself as one of the most exciting players in the game at London Broncos.

We take a look at how Featherstone Rovers are rebuilding their image by utilising their own community heritage, and former Polish junior diving champion Mikolaj Oledzki talks to us about his conversion to Rugby League with Leeds and Bradford.

Down under, we hear about the British stars leading by example in captaining their clubs in the NRL and on the international front, we take a trip to wonderful Copenhagen, discover the growing talent pool across the Irish Sea and there’s a welcome return for Treiziste Diary too.

North Wales Crusaders have had a tough year or two, but they are fighting their way back to stability and we hear from those who have made it possible, while former York City Knights players Kriss Brining and Greg Minikin tell us about their transition from the lower tiers to Super League and other hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Halifax’s Shane Grady is our latest Working Class Hero, Luke Broster of Cockermouth Titans is our Rising Star and we catch up with Cas’s lasses who are making it big in the women’s game.

There are plenty of stories of players overcoming adversity to return to action, but when you read Zac France’s story in this issue, it’ll make your jaw drop.

All this and Dave Hadfield too!