Paper Talk: Bevan French, Jamie Peacock’s debt to RL, more re-shaping & Toronto crunch

James Gordon

We’ve had a look through the Bank Holiday weekend papers.

Toronto to outline plans to Super League

The prospective new owners of Toronto Wolfpack will speak with Super League chief Robert Elstone on Tuesday, according to reports in League Express. The Wolfpack are due to provide details on their future plans ahead of the decision on whether they will remain in the competition next year. Chairman Bob Hunter said: “We have to understand that there could be… a penalty. If there is, we need to understand that, but really it comes down to staying in Super League and getting distribution.”

Bevan French speaking out on racism

A remarkable and very much relevant story in The Sun with Wigan star Bevan French, who wants to see racism eradicated back home in Australia after being a victim of it himself. A documentary called the Australian Dream is bringing light to the problems indigenous people down under face. French said: “The majority would have experienced something like that in their life. I’ve not been one to bring it out as before the Adam Goodes documentary, you learned to hold it in and deal with it. The things he talks about are definitely not news to indigenous Australians at all. It is to non-indigenous ones, though, and that movie’s done a great job.”

Peacock’s tribute to rugby league

One of rugby league’s modern greats, and one of its most decorated players, Jamie Peacock says he owes the sport a huge debt of gratitude. Writing in his column in The Mirror to mark the RFL’s 125th anniversary, Peacock said: “Rugby league taught me about hard work and being honest both with myself and other people. It taught me how to be resilient, and that if you push yourself beyond what you think is physically and mentally possible, then you can achieve great things. It allowed me to meet a wide range of diverse people that I wouldn’t have done without rugby league. But the main thing it taught me, through all the times I was part of a team that won against the odds, was that there’s no such things as problems in life, only solutions.”

More changes afoot?

Rugby league needs to take a “good, hard look at itself” according to RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer, who threatens yet another “re-shaping” of the game, as reported across all the nationals over the weekend. This report in The Guardian says the game must decide what it wants to be like in 2022, off the back of not only the fall-out caused by coronavirus, but by whatever new TV deal comes to fruition at the end of next year.

Tackling rugby’s great split

One of a number of articles to mark the 125th anniversary of rugby’s great split, The Independent delves in to the division between the two codes and why it runs much deeper than broken time payments. It references a number of instances where rugby league was persecuted against and individuals banned – but how maybe, the animosity between the codes has waned considerably even if being reunited as one sort of hybrid rugby will never happen.

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