Rugby League Today: Lee Briers sends heartfelt message & St Helens ace set for Championship

Lee Briers
Lee Briers will be assistant coach to Matt Peet at Wigan

Lee Briers sends heartfelt message to Warrington

Lee Briers has paid tribute to Warrington following his move to Super League rivals Wigan. (Warrington Guardian)

The Wales legend has departed the Wolves after a 25-year association as a player and coach. He has joined the Warriors as assistant coach to Matt Peet.

Lee Briers told the Warrington Guardian: “I do, obviously, wish them well because I am a Warrington supporter and that will never leave me because of what we’ve been through for 25 years. I’ve got friends for life through the club.”

St Helens ace set for Championship move

St Helens hooker Aaron Smith is set to join a Championship club on a season-long loan in 2022. (Manchester Evening News)

The 25-year-old has made 35 appearances for Saints since making his first team debut in 2018. With James Roby playing on next season and the club signing Australian Joey Lussick, it could see Smith move down the pecking order. The MEN say the reigning champions are keen for Smith to find regular game time so he can potentially be the long-term successor to club legend Roby. He has previously spent time on loan at Hull KR, Featherstone and Leigh.

Women’s game on the rise

Caitlin Beevers of Leeds and Jodie Cunningham of St Helens
Caitlin Beevers of Leeds Rhinos women and Jodie Cunningham of St Helens women stand with the Women’s Super League trophy

Jodie Cunningham is keen to take women’s ruby league to the next level ahead of this weekend. (Mirror)

Women’s rugby league has enjoyed a meteoric rise since the launch of the Women’s Super League in 2017. Cunningham, who was recently crowned Woman of Steel, wants to help inspire the next generation when England face France on Saturday live on the BBC.

She told the Mirror: “We’re the first ones to get that media exposure and the opportunity to play on Sky and the BBC. That brings added pressure because we need to make sure we perform for the benefit of the women’s game and all the girls coming through. Hopefully there will be young girls watching that are picking up rugby balls after we’ve hung up our boots.”

Championship movement ramps up

It is that time of the year again when there is a lot of chopping and changing in the lower leagues. There seems to be a number of signings being announced daily in the Championship and League 1.

Last night, York announced the signing of Scotland international winger Will Oakes from Dewsbury. This morning, Featherstone unveiled the signing of half-back Morgan Smith from Championship rivals York.

Featherstone’s announcement comes just days after they picked up full-back Brandon Pickersgill from Bradford.

Transfer talk

Yesterday was Wednesday, which means it was gossip day! There is plenty of Super League and NRL transfer talk in this week’s gossip column.

What is the future of the Ottawa Aces? What is the latest on academy funding? Krisnan Inu’s future? Who are Leigh looking to recruit? Which NRL stars are linked with moves to Super League? Find out in the gossip column.

Captain Bateman

John Bateman in action for Wigan
John Bateman will captain England this weekend

Shaun Wane says he is hoping that John Bateman will be revitalised by having the honour of being made England captain. (Wigan Today)

The 28-year-old forward will lead England in this Saturday’s test match against France in Perpignan. Wane said: “His form for Wigan has not been to his standard – or my standard – and he needs to re-discover that form that made him one of the best back-rowers in the game before he went to Australia. I’m hoping this will bring the best out on him come Saturday.”

Birthdays

Former Great Britain, Leeds and Halifax prop Roy Dickinson turns 65 today (October 21).

Also celebrating; former Wigan and Huddersfield utility Martin Aspinwall (40) and France international Stanislas Robin (31).

Trivia

The last time England played France in a women’s international test match came in 2018, when they ran-out 50-4 winners in Carcassonne.

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