Paper Talk: Catalans ban, Grace off to France & Lancashire v Yorkshire?

Rugby league paper talk joseph leilua

Plenty to mull over in both the UK and France in paper talk at the start of this week.

Ban for Catalans owner

Catalans president Bernard Guasch has been handed a four match ban for an incident involving referee Chris Kendall.

He was absent from the win over St Helens at the weekend, believed to be the second of his ban.

The incident with Kendall happened in the tunnel following Catalans’ defeat to Huddersfield.

But according to League Express, there is some confusion over the ban – with the RFL saying the ban isn’t yet in place after the Dragons appealed.

Grace off to union?

The talk in France is that St Helens winger Regan Grace is going to switch codes and join Top 14 rugby union club Racing 92.

While it’s an undoubted blow for Saints and rugby league, the lure of the international game in union will always provide that extra incentive.

Whether an unlimited salary cap or any amount of money could replace the chance to run out for Wales at the Millennium Stadium is up for debate.

Dean and Nicholson in Wire reserves

New Warrington signing Matt Nicholson scored two tries for the club’s reserves against London at the weekend. (Warrington Guardian)

It was his first showing in the Primrose and Blue with Ellis Longstaff also impressing with a hat-trick of tries.

Riley Dean also featured following his recall from a loan spell at Newcastle.

Some fans questioned why Dean didn’t feature for the first team against Salford, particularly in the absence of George Williams.

Powell told the Warrington Guardian: “He’s had a couple of strong games but his last game against Wigan wasn’t so great. I thought he played really well with the reserves yesterday and he’s back with us now.”

Players must take responsibility for Hull KR situation

England international Jordan Abdull says Hull KR’s players have let Tony Smith down following the head coach’s departure.

Smith had left with immediate effect following a run of one win in eight games.

He was due to leave at the end of the season to be replaced by Willie Peters.

Abdull told Hull Live: “Since he came to Hull KR, the club has gone forward massively so to not finish the way that he wanted to is a real shame for him.”

Lancashire v Yorkshire?

Willie Isa has called for a return of Lancashire v Yorkshire in a passionate plea to promote the positives of rugby league (Wigan Today)

He said: “If you want to talk about the international game, I genuinely think there should be a week for games.

“They have it in the NRL, and I’d love to see England, Ireland and Wales down there.

“Two international weeks, send them all over because if you want them to be competitive they need to play those teams.

I’d love to see Lancashire v Yorkshire back, why not? Why are we shying away from that?”

Play to your strengths, rugby league.

Flight risk?

St Helens’ decision to fly out on the day of the game to face Catalans was met with some criticism by supporters.

Despite the fact the Dragons do it, and win, regularly some weren’t happy at the champions’ decision.

Due to the agreement with Toulouse, clubs don’t have any real say in when they travel to face the other French club.

The St Helens Star makes the pertinent point though: “Although it never sounds ideal it had its merits over the previous journey to Toulouse which saw countless hours in transit and plenty of standing around.

The way Saints started the game did not really show that they were struggling to find their feet after the long flight and there were probably other reasons that made a bigger contribution to the defeat.

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About James Gordon 7116 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.

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