Paper Talk: Ban Australia for next two World Cups, Catalans TV deal ends & Wakefield COVID blow

Your Monday morning look at what’s in the papers.

Ban Australia if they don’t play ball

Great Britain legend Garry Schofield says Australia should be banned from the next two World Cups, if they refuse to properly participate in the 2021 tournament. He said: “Quite simply, there’s no way the Aussies should be dictating to the rest of the rugby league world. I think we should give them a helping hand by telling them if they don’t send their strongest possible squad to this World Cup, they will be banned from the next two tournaments.”

How that would go down with Australia and the NRL, who provide a large proportion of players for virtually every competing nation, remains to be seen. (League Express)

COVID blow for Trinity

Wakefield will be without in-form loose forward Joe Westerman for their game against Wigan on Friday, after he was forced to self-isolate. Members of his close family tested positive for COVID, and that made him withdraw from the defeat to Salford on Friday.

Surely now more efforts need to be made to get players double-jabbed as soon as possible. (Wakefield Express)

Saints success

St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus was on the pitch enjoying their Challenge Cup final success at Wembley, the latest in an increasing line of achievements since he took over the debt-ridden club and turned it around over the past two decades. His honours board now includes five Challenge Cups, four Super League titles, eight League Leaders’ shields and two World Club Challenge victories. (St Helens Reporter)

Kyle Amor (16) of St Helens hold the challenge cup up for the fans

A legacy

Kyle Amor says it is a special time to be a St Helens player, after they added to their Super League dominance for the past three seasons by winning the club’s first Challenge Cup since 2008. He said: “For us as a playing group, to finish top in 2018 and 2019, win the Grand Final for the last two years and then win today. I’ve no doubt if we can add to that, then we will cement this legacy.” (The Guardian)

Catalans TV blackout

Catalans games are set to disappear from TV once again, unless a new deal can be reached ahead of this weekend’s visit of Castleford. A contract between club president Bernard Guasch and beIN Sports, where the Dragons finance the production costs of around £15,000 per game, expired after Friday’s game with Leeds. Sky Sports pick up that feed and broadcast live in the UK. Perhaps the money saved from the cut in Leigh’s central funding could go towards footing the bill, eh? (League Express)

Support rugby league in the media and subscribe to League Express, as well as checking out the regular coverage of the sport in The Mirror, The Sun, The Guardian and other national newspapers; the more you read, the more there’ll be.

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