Rugby league represented in New Year's honours

Three people with close links to Rugby League were named in the Queen's New Year Honours' List revealed last night (Friday),

Saturday, 1st January 2022, 10:06 am
Updated Saturday, 1st January 2022, 10:08 am
Adam Hills.with St Helens women's captain Jodie Cunningham. Picture: SWPix

Adam Hills will receive the OBE and both Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Emma Rosewarne the MBE in recognition of their work for the 13-a-side code.

Hills has been awarded the OBE for services to Paralympic Sport and Disability Awareness. The Australian presenter of Channel 4’s The Last Leg, a life-long supporter of South Sydney Rabbitohs, has been instrumental in the development of Physical Disability Rugby League since playing for Warrington Wolves in the first-ever fixture in this country against Leeds Rhinos Foundation in 2018.

A documentary made to follow Warrington’s trip to Australia to play Souths won in the television / digital documentary category at the British Sports Journalism Awards in 2019, and Adam is an official ambassador for the Rugby League World Cup, which will be played in England in the autumn of 2022.

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Jones-Buchanan has been awarded the MBE for services to Rugby League Football and the community in Leeds.

Jamie was one of the golden generation who were mainstays in a uniquely successful period for the Leeds Rhinos club, playing in seven of their eight Super League Grand Final victories from 2004-17, and also in one Challenge Cup triumph at Wembley and three World Club Challenges in a career which lasted two decades.

He also made 14 England appearances, and one for Great Britain, and was a member of Paul Anderson’s support staff on the England Knights tour of Papua New Guinea in 2018. He is now on Richard Agar’s coaching team at Leeds, and is a trustee of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation, the Leeds 2023 Year of Culture and the Red Ladder Theatre Company as well as a Patron of Inspire North.

Emma has been awarded the MBE for services to Rugby League Football after a distinguished career of almost four decades with the RFL and Rugby League Cares in a wide range of roles, including as a pioneering Head of Welfare who was respected across sport and beyond.

Tony Adams MBE, who worked closely with Emma as his Sporting Chance charity established close links with Rugby League, said on her retirement in 2020: “Emma Rosewarne embodies all that has been good in the development of player welfare in sport over the last two decades.

“I have no hesitation in suggesting that this unsung hero has been one of the most influential women in sport in my lifetime. Her work has not only changed lives; it has saved them.”

Emma joined the RFL in the Operations Department in 1983, going on to work as Head of Player Personnel, Administration Executive and focusing on the implementation of the salary cap, and the development of the RFL’s Safeguarding policy, and also to drive the sport’s recognition of the importance of Equality and Diversity.

She was added to the RFL Roll of Honour last December.

Ralph Rimmer, the RFL chief executive, said: “These awards are fitting recognition for three wonderful people who have given so much to the sport of Rugby League.

“Jamie Jones-Buchanan embodies the best qualities of the sport – a fearless competitor on the field, immensely respected by all who played with and against him, and continuing since retirement as a magnificent servant and ambassador for Leeds Rhinos, his hometown club, as well as for the city itself.

“Emma Rosewarne has been a trailblazer both as a woman in sports administration, and also in the range of roles she filled with such distinction, culminating in her outstanding work on player welfare, both with the RFL and Rugby League Cares.

“Adam Hills has also been a trailblazer in our sport, in his case for Physical Disability Rugby League. He’s taken the inspirational stories of the players involved to a national and international audience – and the great thing is he’s continued to play himself, despite the odd setback, with his unmistakable love for the sport proving both uplifting and infectious.

“I’m so pleased Jamie, Emma and Adam have been recognised in this way, and I’m sure many others across Rugby League and well beyond will feel the same way.”