Paper Talk: Hull KR land Lui, Atkins set for Warrington exit, Leeds eye Thompson

Drew Darbyshire

Check out the latest news from this morning’s papers.

Hull KR snap up Lui

Salford Red Devils half-back Robert Lui will be a Hull Kingston Rovers player next season, report League Express.

After a prolonged pursuit of the Salford star, the Robins will finally land their man after he agreed to join the club ahead of the 2020 season, according to League Express. Hull KR’s half-backs could be set for a huge shake up next term, with Danny McGuire retiring, Chris Atkin reportedly turning down a new deal and Josh Drinkwater having yet to put pen to paper on a new contract.

Leeds eye Thompson

Leeds Rhinos are trying to lure NRL back-rower Joel Thompson to Super League for 2020, report League Weekly.

The Manly Sea Eagles forward is off-contract at the end of this season and League Weekly suggest he has been offered a long-term deal at Leeds. The Sea Eagles are reported to be keen on keeping Thompson, but may be unable to match the length of the contract on offer at Emerald Headingley. League Weekly also understands Wakefield Trinity also showed interest in Thompson, but did not pursue any further negotiations.

Demetriou open to Super League role

South Sydney Rabbitohs assistant coach Jason Demetriou has refused to rule out the possibility of returning to Super League in a coaching capacity, report League Express.

The 43-year-old joined the Rabbitohs ahead of the new season from Brisbane Broncos, alongside head coach Wayne Bennett. Demetriou, who was a fan favourite at Wakefield Trinity, admitted he would be open to returning to the UK one day. He told League Express: “I’m enjoying being an assistant in the NRL and that’s my main focus, but I loved my time in England. I’d come back in a heartbeat if the right opportunity came up. I’ve still got my house in England and I’ve got a lot of friends over there still.”

Turgut suspended and Salford probe racist spectator abuse

Salford Red Devils’ convincing away win at London Broncos on Saturday has been soured by separate investigations into player and crowd misbehaviour, report League Weekly.

Turkey international Jansin Turgut missed the match after being suspended for an unspecified ‘off-field breach’. He has been told down indefinitely pending the result of an investigation which is expected to be completed this week. League Weekly also report officials at the Red Devils received at least four complaints on Sunday regarding racist chanting towards Salford winger Derrell Olpherts.

Atkins to depart Warrington

Ryan Atkins’ nine-year spell with Warrington Wolves could be set to come to an end, after several Super League clubs expressed an interest in signing the former England international with immediate effect, report League Express.

The 33-year-old has played eight games in Super League so far in 2019, but Toby King seems to have solidified himself in Atkins’ favoured right-centre position, while Jake Mamo can play in the centre. Rugby union convert Luther Burrell is also arriving at the Wolves within the next couple of weeks. Atkins is out of contract at Warrington at the end of 2019, but League Express claim several clubs want to sign him as soon as possible.

Reserve plans making progress

Super League clubs have taken another step towards a proper reserves league for 2020, report League Weekly.

The 11 English top-flight teams met in Brighouse on Wednesday to discuss Rugby Football League proposals for a new competition next season. They were joined by Widnes Vikings and Bradford Bulls, who both run Category 1 academies, plus League 1 side Newcastle Thunder who have a Category 2 academy. The future of academy rugby was also on the agenda, with League Weekly understanding that the current Under-19s Academy League will be changed to an Under-18s competition in time for 2020.

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