Paper Talk: Fox rejects Wembley honour, Reserves arguments, Huddersfield want NRL duo

Drew Darbyshire

We have had a look through the morning’s newspapers.

Rimmer to get French fans on board for final

Rugby Football League chief executive Ralph Rimmer admits the game will have to implement its ‘Plan B’ for the Challenge Cup final after Catalans Dragons reached Wembley on Sunday afternoon, report League Express.

There has not been an attendance lower than 60,000 for a Challenge Cup final since 1946 and with fears that it could be lower due to the French side being involved this year, Rimmer is confident that they will still get a good crowd. He told League Express: “Let’s not forget the Catalans do have a very big following. There will be some logistical issues but we tend to chase them up a bit. The next challenge is mobilising a lot of French fans and they [Catalans] understand that. And don’t forget how many French there are in London.”

Fox rejects Wembley honour

Great Britain and Wakefield Trinity legend Neil Fox MBE has turned down the RFL’s invitation to present the Challenge Cup to the winner at the final on August 25, reveal League Weekly.

Dave ‘Nosey’ Parker says that Fox rejected the honour because he felt his presence on the day in the guest seat at Wembley would bring up brother Don’s misfortune of missing ‘that’ kick in the 1968 Watersplash Challenge Cup final when Wakefield lost to Leeds. The RFL are now looking to find someone else to present the trophy.

Wakefield want reserves next year

Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester has insisted that the club are fully committed to running a reserve side in 2019, report League Express.

The future of reserves is back on the agenda, with RFL boss Ralph Rimmer releasing his statement on his support of the system. Chester told League Express: “We’ve had a discussion between us all at the club. As a club, it enables us to keep a closer eye on our players rather than them going on dual-registration. We want it to happen and hopefully a few more clubs do, too.”

Huddersfield target NRL pair

Huddersfield Giants are looking to strength their roster for 2019 and have been linked with Australian half-backs Corey Norman and Brock Lamb, report League Weekly.

Lamb and Norman are set to leave Newcastle Knights and Parramatta Eels respectively at the end of the season. Both players are attracting interest from other NRL clubs but League Weekly report that the duo are on Huddersfield’s wish list.

Hetherington hits out at Rimmer statement

Gary Hetherington has challenged Ralph Rimmer to explain his endorsement of the reserve-grade model after revealing he is against the return of a fully-fledged competition, report League Express.

Rimmer released a statement declaring his support for the second-string concept last week, but Hetherington believes the reserve-grade could damage the game. He told League Express: “He shouldn’t be allowed to just make a statement like that without challenge and a convincing argument that implementing a new competition that would cost money and threaten Academy and community clubs. If every club has to find another 25 to 30 players, it will inevitably have to start pilfering the community game and the Championship.”

Drinkwater hints at Catalans stay

Josh Drinkwater has hinted that he could stay at Catalans Dragons next season after helping the Perpignan outfit to a Challenge Cup final appearance for the first time in 11 years, report League Weekly.

The former London Broncos and Leigh Centurions half-back told League Weekly: “I am loving my time here. Everyone has been really good to me. I am grateful to Catalans for giving me a chance. I am very happy here.”

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