The Sporting Year to Come Part 4: The World Cup comes to England!

Australia and New Zealand contested the last World Cup final - will they do so again?
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Well, the rugby league version, but it's still a World Cup goddamit! Eliot Pollak runs through the highlights of October-December 2013

"Take away NZ's win in 2008, and every Rugby League World Cup since its inception has been won by Australia or Great Britain (although our home teams now compete separately)."

Men's tennis has hogged the headlines over here in Blighty for some time now, due to the dual factors of an astonishingly competitive (and high standard) at the top, as well as the shock of watching a British man capable of winning Majors.
This could be the year when that begins to change, however. While only someone who doesn't like money would back against Murray doing the whole Major thing at least once more in the next nine months, women's tennis could begin to (tennis) elbow the men from the back pages.
Both Laura Robson and Heather Watson will be expecting breakthrough years, involving tournament wins and deeper penetration into Grand Slams. By the time the WTA reaches the Tournament of Champions in Sofia on October 28, either woman could have cracked the top 20.
A relatively quiet sporting year on UK shores (with only a home Ashes series for competition,) peaks in November with the Rugby League World Cup arriving in England & Wales. While League arguably induces far greater interest in its club game, Rugby Union draws the bigger coverage with its internationals. But if Steve McNamara's young England side could put together a run to the final, all that may change.
They won't win it however. Even the reigning world champions New Zealand would acknowledge (although possibly not publicly) that Australia are heavy favourites at 1.24 for a reason. 
If you're a fan of outsiders, probably give this one a wide berth. Take away NZ's win in 2008, and every competition since its inception has been won by Australia or Great Britain (although our home teams now compete separately.)
So if you can't wait to watch USA vs the Cook Islands on October 30, 2013 in Bristol, tickets are very much available right now. And probably still on the afternoon of the 30th... 
Eighteen months or so before a General Election is typically when parties begin to 'gear up for it' as we in politics must say. Governments traditionally unite, defend their record in office, and hope that their final full year in power provides enough bribes to the electorate, in the vain hope that they will forget all about what has come before.
This time around, all that is simply impossible, The Liberal Democrats will be under enormous pressure to map out their own distinct priorities, and if anything, actually attack the government's record, in particular the austerity measures of George Osbourne.
Quite how Nick Clegg will ride out this storm is pretty tough to imagine. Which is why attention turns in December 2013 to the market for the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.
Vince the Cable has effectively been running a Fifth Column from his office in Government ever since he joined, so should have the set-up to run an effective leadership campaign. Look nowhere else than the 3.05 on offer.

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