Adding the extras #3 – Toronto, takeovers, site improvements and referees

Photo belongs to Toronto Wolfpack

Our Saturday morning look at a few extras from your rugby league week.

No ref, no game
People talk about growing the game in all sorts of places, but a big requirement for being able to do that is through education and match officials. Five match officials from across Europe joined the RFL’s full-time match officials department during the recent England and New Zealand test series. Ben Casty (France), Quentin Boissonnade (France), Guido Bonatti (Italy), Andrew Pilkington (Spain) and Jaroslav Bzoch (Czech Republic) were selected by the RLEF after excelling in domestic competitions, progressing through the RLEF’s education programme, and because of their performances at this summer’s U19 European Championship in Belgrade.

Toronto – worth it?
There’s lots of talk over what may happen to travelling teams visiting Toronto next season, in what it is fair to assume is a bit of a blow to the Wolfpack. They probably didn’t expect to still be in the Championship and as such, are attempting to cut down on the hospitality afforded to their opponents by shortening the trip. Before long, it may well become more cost effective for clubs to forfeit the game and take the fine, rather than go all the way to Canada to get spanked. This video from a Rochdale fan on his trip there last season is well worth a watch.

Continuing improvements
We hope you’ve enjoyed the 13 years of Love Rugby League series we’ve been running recently, with a few more weeks still to come. We’ve done a few tweaks to the site this week, most notably the menu and sidebar, to make the best content as accessible as possible. There are still some bits with the stats side and Fantasy RL to get ironed out, and we also have some exciting new features in the pipeline for next season. Any suggestions or feedback warmly received as always.

Widnes takeover interest
An interesting interview with Widnes sponsor Luke Backhouse, who talks about his involvement with the Vikings and the possibility of launching a takeover bid for the club.