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Ben Crooks To Return To Super League

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Ben Crooks To Return To Super League

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In a complex negotiation, Howes Etc has paved the way for 22-year-old centre Ben Crooks to cut short his contract with NRL club Parramatta Eels and return to Super League with a three-year contract with hometown Castleford Tigers.

Crooks, the son of Great Britain packman Lee, parted company with Hull FC in his third season of first grade rugby in 2014 to join the Eels on a two-year contract.

In 2013, goalkicker Crooks was crowned Super League Young Player of the Year and elected into the Super League Dream Team, having topped FC’s try chart.

The complexity of the latest deal involved Howes Etc gaining a release from the Eels contract, negotiating a transfer fee with Hull FC, who had retained Crooks’ registration with the RFL and agreeing the terms of the three-year contract with the Tigers.

A handful of Super League clubs showed interest in Crooks including Hull FC, Catalans Dragons and St. Helens.

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Howes Etc introduces NRL prop to Championship

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Howes Etc introduces NRL prop to Championship

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Howes Etc has been engaged by Melbourne Storm’s Dayne Weston and successfully negotiated the NRL prop’s move to Leigh Centurions on a two-year contract from the 2016 season. The 28-year-old is the last piece in ambitious Leigh’s recruitment programme for next season.

Weston, who has featured regularly for the Storm in 2015, has previously served Cronulla Sharks, North Queensland Cowboys and Penrith Panthers.

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Eorl Crabtree Appointed OZ17 Tour Ambassador

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Eorl Crabtree Appointed OZ17 Tour Ambassador

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Crabtree will join the OZ17 management team of Tour Leader David Howes and a Traveleads specialist travel executive.
There will also be a guest appearance by former Sky Tv pundit and award-winning Super League coach Shaun McRae, an OZ08 and OZ10 Tour Ambassador now resident on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Further OZ17 Tour Ambassadors will be appointed subject to the number of clients booked on the six, five, four and three week supporters tours.

The 2017 World Cup is to be staged in the autumn of 2017 in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea with the match itinerary due for publication midway through next year.
Howes, Great Britain Co-Manager on the 1988 Great Britain Tour and Manager of England in the 2000 World Cup, explained: “The presence of Rugby League personalities has been a hallmark of our previous four supporters tours Down Under dating back to 2006.

“Eorl, who has made more than 400 appearances for his native Huddersfield Giants, is one of the game’s larger-than-life characters on and off the field and thus a welcome addition to our OZ17 management team.”

To be added to the OZ17 database, please contact David Howes at david@howesetc.co.uk or on 07814-937642. The first OZ17 Newsletter was published in December 2015.

Fans considering a trip Down Under should visit www.howesetc.co.uk and click on to Events for a review of the previous four supporters tours mounted by Howes Etc and Traveleads for the 2006 Tri-Nations, the 2008 World Cup, the 2010 Four Nations and the 2012 State of Origin.

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Winter Training Camp Partnership

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Winter Training Camp Partnership

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Having staged four UK supporters tours to Australia and New Zealand since 2006, Howes Etc has now formed an association with one of Europe’s leading organisers of sports training camps.

HI Group Sport & Travel, established in 1989, have offices in the UK and Southern Spain. Clients include Premiership football clubs Arsenal, Aston Villa, Everton, Newcastle United, Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur, plus Super League clubs Hull FC, Hull KR and Salford City Reds.

As well as providing a full back up service for clubs undertaking a warm weather camp during the close season, HI and Howes Etc are also preparing a complementary supporters holiday package to create a unique bonding and new income promotion.

HI have secured a selection of training venues in Tenerife, Spain, Portugal and the Middle East for December 2013 and January 2014.

Each camp is tailor-made to suit a Club’s training programme and budget, supported by a wide choice of accommodation, from apartments to five star hotel.

Flights can be booked by the Club or within the HI package.

The optional supporters holiday package, marketed as an official club product, would be organised alongside the training camp but in a separate tourist destination hotel with limited and agreed interaction with the squad.

HI are represented by Gary Hobson, a former professional football player with an appreciation of the high standards required during a close season camp.

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OZ12 State of Origin Tour

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OZ12 State of Origin Tour

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State of Origin Supporters tour

For the first time, Howes Etc, Rugby League’s leading event management company, and sports travel specialists Traveleads, staged a four-week State of Origin supporters tour.

OZ12 encompassed the second 2012 Origin spectacular in Sydney and the third and deciding Brisbane clash – rated the best ever.

Sandwiched inside the three weeks between Origin fixtures was attendance at eight NRL fixtures, invites to watch Origin and club training sessions, exclusive meetings with players and coaches and a few days of sunbathing and sightseeing in Cairns.

OZ12 was the fourth supporters tour Down Under staged by the partnership of Howes Etc and Traveleads.

OZ06 followed Great Britain on the 2006 Tri-Nations in Australia and New Zealand, OZ08 supported Great Britain in the 2008 World in Australia, while OZ10 backed England in the Four Nations in Australia and New Zealand.

A dozen UK Rugby League aficionados joined OZ12 for two, three and four week trips, led as usual by David Howes, Managing Director of Howes Etc and former Manager of England in the 2000 World Cup in England and Great Britain on the 1988 British Lions tour of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

The 10-match itinerary featured the second and third State of Origin encounters, St George Illawara Dragons v Canterbury Bulldogs, Cronulla Sharks v New Zealand Warriors, Wests Tigers v Sydney Roosters, Manly v Melbourne Storm, St George Illwara Dragons v Gold Coast Titans, Penrith Panther v Parramatta Eels, Sydney Roosters v Manly and Brisbane Broncos v Cronulla Sharks.

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Other Rugby League personalities who joined the elite OZ12 tourists included Tim Sheens, Paul Langmack, Gavin Miller, Loti Tuquiri, Paul Sironen, Curtis Sironen, Ellery Hanley, Garry Schofield, Ryan Hoffman, Gareth Widdup, Chris Lawrence, Chris Heighington, John Dorahy, Peter Wynn, Graham Murray, Tonie Carroll, Adrian Vowles, Paul Charlton and Tony Rea.

Each of the NRL fixtures was extended into a day’s tour, visiting local attractions en route. Non-match days in Sydney featured organised trips to Parramatta and Doyles restaurant at Watson’s Bay. The week’s stay in Brisbane included days on the Sunshine Coast as far north as Noosa and the Gold Coast as far south as Tweeds Head.

Three full days in Cairns in North Queensland were highlighted by organised trips to the Rainforest, Kurunda, Green Island and an Aboriginal cultural evening.

Exclusive events included:

  • Invitation from Head Coach Mal Meninga to watch a private training session by Queensland at their Sunshine Coast resort hotel in the build up to the deciding Origin match
  • Preview to the second Origin match in Sydney at the famous Iceberg Club on Bondi Beach, presented by New South Wales assistant coaches Trent Barrett and Glenn Lazarus and hosted by NSW Chief Executive Geoff Carr
  • Matchday VIP hospitality in a private executive box at Leichart Oval courtesy of Wests Tigers Chairman Dave Trodden
  • Attendance at a Melbourne Storm matchday bonding session prior to their game at Manly
  • Visit to Concord Oval in Sydney for a Wests Tigers skills session led by Head Coach Tim Sheens
  • Invitation to join the Sydney Roosters club on their private cruise from Darling Harbour to Homebush for the Sydney State of Origin
  • Staging of a private drinks party organised by England and Wests Tigers star Gareth Ellis, attended by a host of Tigers players led by Benji Marshall, plus Luke Burgess from South Sydney Rabbitohs, former Leeds Rhinos packman Matt Adamson and Kangaroo legends Benny Elias and Steve Mortimer
  • Access to the Former Origin Greats fund-raising lunch at Suncorp Stadium on the eve of the third Origin match, attended by a host of ex-Queensland greats plus the 2012 coaching team
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OZ10 Supporters Tour Down Under

BY: buffalo / 0 COMMENTS / CATEGORIES: event

OZ10 Supporters Tour Down Under

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Supporters Tour Down Under

Howes Etc, in partnership with sports travel specialists Traveleads, continued their successful Rugby League supporters tours Down Under with nearly 100 fans touring Australia and New Zealand for the 2010 Four Nations tournament.

OZ10 followed on from OZ06 for the 2006 Tri-Nations and OZ08 for the World Cup with the option of four, three and two week trips in the autumn of 2010, following England in their three qualifying matches in Wellington, Melbourne and Auckland and staying on for the Australia v New Zealand Final in Brisbane.

With stays in eight different venues, the month-long OZ10 tour was led by Rugby League personality David Howes, Managing Director of Howes Etc, accompanied by Tour Ambassador Shaun McRae, Head Coach of Salford City Reds and Sky Tv pundit, plus Danny Hope from Traveleads.

To provide maximum variety, OZ10 had stays in Christchurch, Wellington, Sydney, Melbourne, Rotorua, Auckland, Cairns or the Gold Coast, and Brisbane, mainly using Rydges and Accor hotel groups. Long haul flights were with Emirate and Singapore Airlines, internal flights on Air New Zealand and Qantas.

More than 20 social events and excursions were organised for the OZ10 tourists, who included parties mainly from Hull, Castleford, Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Rochdale, Manchester, St Helens, St Helens, Widnes, Wigan and Cumbria.

Highlights of this programme of events, all privately organised for OZ10 included:

  • Full day tour of Christchurch, including harbour cruise and gondola ride
  • Coach tour of Wellington and district
  • Cruise of Wellington harbour
  • Six-hour open top bus tour of Sydney city and the Eastern beaches
  • Day trip to Manly, outward by coach and return by ferry
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge climb
  • Four-hour cruise of Sydney Harbour, including all food and drink
  • Coach tour of Blue Mountains, including tour of Penrith Panthers RLFC
  • Derby Day at Melbourne Races
  • Duck tour of Rotorua, including gondola and luge rides
  • Visit to Polynesian Spa in Rotorua
  • Maori cultural evening, including dinner
  • Visit to Te Puia in Rotorua, home of the Pohutu Geyser
  • Exclusive invitation to the International Board Awards dinner in Auckland
  • Coach tour of Auckland, including tour of Auckland Warriors RLFC and the NZRL Museum
  • Happy Hour attended by former Kiwi players who had graced the UK club scene
  • Six-hour Auckland cruise including tour of Waiheke Island
  • Full day tour of Kurunda region, out by train and back by cable car
  • Full day cruise to Barrier Reef
  • Dinner at Brisbane Broncos Leagues Club
  • Full day visit to Australia Zoo
  • Full day coach tour of the Gold Coast, including tour of Gold Coast Titans RLFC

A trademark of supporters tours organised by Howes Etc and Traveleads is guest appearances by personalities from the world of Rugby League.

OZ10 was graced by a host of Rugby League stars of today and yesteryear, including:

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  • The Four Nations squads from Australia, England, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea
  • Makali Aizue (PNG and Halifax)
  • Malcolm Alker (Salford Assistant Coach)
  • Vinnie Anderson (NZ and Salford)
  • Phil Bailey (Australia and Salford)
  • Dean Bell (Former NZ and Wigan Captain)
  • Frank Endecott (Former NZ and Wigan Coach)
  • Stanley Gene (PNG Coach)
  • Dean Holdsworth (Salford Captain)
  • James Leuluai (Former NZ and Hull FC)
  • Jimmy Lowes (England Assistant Coach)
  • Mike McClennan (Former Coach of St Helens)
  • Graham Murray (Former Coach of NSW and Leeds)
  • Dane O’Hara (Former NZ and Hull FC)
  • Feka Palea’aesina (NZ and Salford)
  • Jessie Joe Parker (PNG)
  • Luke Patten (Salford)
  • Mick Potter (Coach of Bradford)
  • Dave Redfearn (Former GB and Bradford)
  • Frank Stanton (Ex Coach of Australia)
  • Kevin Tamati (Former NZ and Warrington)
  • Joe Vagana (Former NZ and Bradford)
  • Adrian Vowles (Man of Steel and ex-Castleford)

Plus television commentators Ray French, Eddie Hemmings and Mike “Stevo” Stephenson.

Howes Etc and Traveleads offered a two-week OZ10 Tour, valued at £3,250, as a raffle prize for three year-long official RFL Testimonials. The winners were:

  • Eorl Crabtree Testimonial: Donald Stephenson, of Huddersfield
  • Matt Diskin Testimonial: Thomas Oldroyd, Dewsbury
  • Richard Horne Testimonial: David Muflahi, Hull

OZ10 marketing features included specially produced eight-page sales brochure, an events & excursions guide and a tip sheet, plus the OZ10 discount card.

An OZ10 Reunion was organised for May 2011.

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OZ08 World Cup Tour Down Under

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OZ08 World Cup Tour Down Under

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World Cup Tour Down Under

The 2008 Rugby League World Cup in Australia was graced by more than 230 England fans travelling round the world on OZ08 supporters’ tours.

Organised and operated by David Howes, the former Great Britain and England Manager, and Traveleads, the official RFL travel specialists, OZ08 packages catered for five, four and three week trips.

Accompanying the lifetime experiences were OZ08 Tour Ambassadors Shaun McRae, the current Salford City Reds Coach; Garry Schofield OBE, most capped Great Britain player and former Test captain; and Mick Morgan, ex-England International and Man of Steel. Plus OZ08 tour leaders David Howes and James Rowan, from Traveleads.

The OZ08 tours followed England in the 10-team World Cup qualifiers and took in both semi-finals and the Final between Australian and against-the-odds victors New Zealand.

Sanctioned as The RFL’s official Supporters Tours, OZ08 had exclusive access to the England squad. A highlight of the tour was a two-hour meeting with Coach Tony Smith and the England players at a barbeque on the riverside in Newcastle in the build up to their qualifying game with New Zealand.

The OZ08 tour bases were Townsville, Melbourne, Sydney, a choice of Manly or Cairns for a chill out break and Brisbane, with roughly a week at each venue.

Top class Rydges and Novotel hotels were utilised, along with Australia’s leading bus company Murrays and highly rated airlines Emirates and Singapore.

Events and excursions, a keynote experience on Howes Etc/Traveleads tours, included:

  • A tour of Townsville and Magnetic Island
  • A private tour of Melbourne sporting venues, including guided tours of Melbourne Cricket Ground and Melbourne Storm
  • A private cruise on the River Yarra
  • A day at the Melbourne Derby at Flemington Racecourse
  • Melbourne Cup day at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney
  • Private Sydney Harbour Bridge climbs
  • A visit to Blue Mountains
  • Private guided tour of Sydney’s Olympic Stadium
  • Private four-hour cruise on Sydney Harbour, including food and drink
  • BBQ at Lake Macquerie Yacht Club and tour of Newcastle
  • Tour of Sydney’s Eastern Beaches
  • Surf training and OZ08 Volleyball Challenge on Manly Beach
  • Private tour of Manly Sea Eagles facilities
  • Day tour of Kurunda, including train and cable car trips
  • Day cruise to Great Barrier Reef
  • Day tour of the Sunshine Coast, including Mooloolaba and Noosa
  • Day tour of the Gold Coast, including visit to Gold Coast Titans’ new stadium at Robina and evening dinner at Titans’ supporters club
  • Day trip to Australia Zoo
  • Private photo session with the World Cup
  • OZ08 Farewell party

Another Howes Etc/Traveleads calling card is the presence of Rugby League stars from the world of Rugby League making personal appearances throughout the tours. OZ08 was graced by a galaxy of big names including:

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  • Graham Murray, former Coach of New South Wales, North Queensland Cowboys, Sydney Roosters and Leeds Rhinos
  • Four North Queensland players, headed by former Bradford Bulls centre Ben Harris
  • Ian Millward, Assistant Coach of Canberra Raiders and formerly serving North Queensland Cowboys, Wigan Warriors and St. Helens
  • Sky Tv presenters Eddie Hemmings and Mike Stephenson
  • Melbourne Storm staffmen Robbie Kearns, Greg Brentnall and Frank Ponissi
  • South Sydney and former Hull FC Chief Executive Shane Richardson
  • Brian Noble, former Great Britain and current Wigan Warriors Coach
  • Justin Morgan, Coach of Hull Kingston Rovers
  • Stuart Raper, former Coach of Cronulla, Wigan Warriors and Castleford Tigers
  • Russell Smith, ex-Test referee
  • Malcolm Reilly, former Coach of Great Britain and Newcastle Knights, Leeds, Castleford and Huddersfield
  • Newcastle Knights stalwarts Paul Harrogan, Danny Buderas, Mark Glanville and Brad Godden
  • Max Krilich, former Captain of Australian and Manly Sea Eagles
  • Frank Stanton, ex-Coach of Australia, Manly Sea Eagles, Balmain Tigers and North Sydney
  • Bradley Clyde, former Australia, Canberra Raiders and Leeds Rhinos
  • Adrian Vowles, Man of Steel and formerly with Castleford Tigers, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Leeds Rhinos
  • Tommy Bishop, former Great Britain and St. Helens scrum half
  • Gold Coast residents and former players, Graham Eadie, Steve Martin, Bob Arnold and Keith Neller

Innovations for OZ08 were the production of a pre-tour Social Diary brochure and flat pan, Tip Sheet and personalised OZ08 identity cards, which obtained discounts at selected bars, restaurants and shops throughout the tour.

By demand, an OZ08 Reunion dinner was organised for 28th March 2009 at the Cedar Court Hotel in Bradford.

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OZ06 Supporters Tour Down Under

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OZ06 Supporters Tour Down Under

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Supporters Tour Down Under

“Trip of a lifetime!” …. the unanimous verdict of the 80 British Rugby League supporters who travelled Down Under on the OZ06 Tri-Nations supporters tour.

Organised and operated by Howes Etc, whose Managing Director David Howes is a former Great Britain Tour and England World Cup Manager, and Traveleads, current official travel specialist for The Rugby Football League, OZ06 was chosen by the RFL as the official fans’ tour package with exclusive access to the Great Britain squad.

The OZ06 supporters party were aged from 14 to 75, coming from right across Rugby League territory including Hull, Leeds, York, Castleford, Huddersfield, Cumbria, Widnes, Wigan, Rochdale, Leigh, Oldham and Bradford, plus London and Toronto.

Two-thirds of party chose to travel Down Under for the full four weeks, flying with Emirates from Manchester to Sydney via Dubai and return, taking in three Great Britain matches in Sydney, Wellington and Brisbane, plus the Sydney Final between Australia and New Zealand.

The remaining third spent three weeks in New Zealand and Australia, flying from Manchester with Singapore Airlines to watch Great Britain in Wellington and Brisbane, plus the Final in Sydney.

Nearly half of the full group chose an optional four-day stay in Cairns in Northern Australia, enjoying a full day cruise to the Outer Barrier Reef.

The OZ06 tour provided the perfect vehicle for Rugby League fans to experience every aspect of a trip Down Under, from Test match Rugby League, to visiting Rugby League grounds, to meeting Rugby League legends, to enjoying sightseeing trips, utilising free time and making a host of new friends.

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Of the 80 fans on the OZ06 tour, there was a group of six, four groups of three including three parents and child, 26 pairs of travellers either married couples or friends and 10 singletons.

A basic policy in the planning for the four weeks Down Under was to base the supporters in the venues for the weekend Test matches. It can be seen from the OZ06 daily planner that any flight and subsequent change of hotel takes a full day out of the trip. The more changes of base hotel, the more leisure time lost while in transit and the more time spent living out of a suitcase! Thus flight and coach transfers were kept to a minimum, allowing for a regular diet of organised days out to experience the hinterland of each base city.

One of the hallmarks of the OZ06 tour was the bonding which quickly established itself among the 80 tourists, spanning age groups and club allegiance, cementing friendships which resulted in a unanimous demand for an OZ06 Reunion the following January.

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