Paper Talk: Chisholm appeal, Brough hip replacement & pro clubs should enter cup sooner

Rugby league paper talk joseph leilua

It’s the last rugby league paper talk before Christmas.

Chisholm appeals ban

The RFL will hear Featherstone half-back Dane Chisholm’s appeal against an eight-match ban in the New Year (League Express).

The Australian would miss six competitive matches, with two pre-season matches also being allowed to be attached to the ban.

He has strongly denied using a derogatory slur to an opposition staff member during the Championship win over Oldham in August.

The Daily Star revealed the exact slur used and to who, with Featherstone unhappy at the lack of evidence to support the allegation.

Brough set for hip replacement

Danny Brough is set to have a hip replacement, after announcing his retirement from rugby league. (League Express).

He made more than 500 appearances for Dewsbury, York, Hull, Castleford, Wakefield, Huddersfield and Bradford.

But he was forced to hang up his boots due to medical advice, having missed part of 2021 with a torn bicep.

He said: “Nobody wants to have to stop playing, but I have had no choice.”

A testimonial match will be played between Bradford and Hull in Brough’s honour on January 16.

Unsung hero praise at Wigan

New Wigan coach Matthew Peet has highlighted the importance of the player welfare role. (Manchester Evening News)

He reserved special praise for Tom Fitzpatrick, when asked who had impressed him most in Wigan’s pre-season so far.

Peet said: “I must pick up on head of player welfare Tom Fitzpatrick for how he’s looking after our players and new signings.

“Particularly with how he’s been involved with Cade Cust but also Bevan French. He has truly gone above and beyond, he does visits for families and puts activities on for the kids.

“He’s just relentless in his commitment for looking after them and that is exactly the sort of mentality we want at this club, people who are willing to go that extra mile to help people.”

Schofield wants Super League clubs to do more in Challenge Cup

Garry Schofield says he would like to see Super League sides enter the Challenge Cup earlier.

It would give amateur sides a better chance of facing them.

He said: “The big boys have enough advantages already, and one of the great things about any cup is that chance of a little ‘un facing a big ‘un.

“I’d like to see Super League sides involved at an earlier stage, fighting their way through more games to get to the final.”

Having sat through some painful games between full-time and part-time professional sides in recent years, it feels to me that the gulf between full-time and the rest is far too great for any sort of match to be a spectacle.

How to make Super League more competitive?

One from earlier this month that still deserves pondering; does Super League need more than a salary cap to make it competitive?

In Gavin Willacy’s latest Guardian column, he reflects on whether there ought to be a minimum salary cap spend.

A draft system and the disparity of the loop fixtures are also raised as issues preventing a levelling up.

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