A quiet one this week, but here are a few rumblings from the rugby league world.
There is no Cumbrian presence in the Championship this season, and one of the clubs that were relegated last year is already feeling the affects. Dreams of a new stadium feel a lifetime ago for Whitehaven, with some insiders concerned that they may not be able to last the whole season. New revenue streams are desperately being searched for to keep the team on the pitch competitive and preserve the club long-term.
Youngster Declan Patton has been singled out by Warrington coach Tony Smith for criticism this season, resulting in him being dropped from the squad, and that may be the catalyst for the half-back to seek a move elsewhere. Some fans were disappointed at the way he was treated to accommodate Chris Sandow at the back end of last season, while the arrival of Kevin Brown has done little to help Patton’s prospects, with centre Harvey Livett preferred in the halves at times in recent weeks.
Denis Betts has led Widnes to two top eight finishes in the last three seasons, but finds himself under pressure after a poor start to the season. Their fortunes haven’t been helped by an increasing injury list, though not replacing Kevin Brown in the off-season has also backfired. There’s unrest among the fans and social media murmurs are that some players aren’t too happy either, with a relative of one player saying it was about time the players were listened to.
One of the victims of Bradford’s off-season woe was Australian half-back Dane Chisholm, who has been turning out for Sheffield in the Championship. Former team-mates have been trying to keep his name on everybody’s lips, with Chev Walker attempting to link him to Widnes, in light of the Vikings’ failed bid for Rangi Chase.
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