Paper Talk: Makinson going nowhere, swap deal delayed, Toronto unhappy with RFL

Drew Darbyshire

We have rounded up the latest news from the trade papers.

Makinson going nowhere

St Helens are ‘not entertaining selling’ Tommy Makinson to the NRL, report League Weekly.

Saints chief executive Mike Rush has reiterated the club’s position ahead of the England winger’s return to training this week. It follows a claim by Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown that Makinson wants a switch to the NRL for 2020. Rush told League Weekly: “Tommy might want to go to the NRL, as do a lot of other players, but Tommy is contracted here until 2021. We are not entertaining selling him. Unless something significantly changes, Tommy will be here until that time.”

Noble disappointed with RFL

Brian Noble has expressed his anger at the RFL after the governing body demanded a bond in the region of £750,000 to accept Toronto or Toulouse’s entry into the Challenge Cup, report League Express.

The two overseas Championship sides will not take part in next year’s competition after being asked to come up with a six-figure sum that the RFL sees as an insurance against either side reaching next year’s final. Noble told League Express: “We’re very disappointed that we’re not in the Challenge Cup. The RFL asked us to guarantee a certain amount of money to underwrite the final and we thought that was disappointing, to say the least.”

American dream fading away

Rugby league’s American dream for 2025 appears to be in tatters after the RLIF confirmed it has put the tournament out to tender again, report League Weekly.

The world governing body said the decision had been taken because promoter Moore Sports International was no longer in a position to bankroll the event. League Weekly understands that the RLIF could receive a separate bid to take the competition to the USA and Canada as intended. However, it is looking likely that the 2025 event will be staged Down Under.

Clubs excluded from Yorkshire Cup

Doncaster chief executive Carl Hall has confirmed that both his club and Sheffield Eagles were not invited to partake in the newly formed Yorkshire Cup, report League Express.

The revival of the competition will take place in pre-season, commencing on January 5, with it ending on January 20. Batley, Bradford, Dewsbury, Featherstone, Halifax, York, Hunslet and Hunslet Club Parkside will all compete in the competition. Hall told League Express: “The long and short of it is that we were never asked, simple as that. My only opinion is how can they call it the Yorkshire Cup? Good luck to them. It’s not an RFL thing; the said clubs arranged it between themselves. They won’t be playing for the original Yorkshire Cup.”

Challenge Cup could prove costly for Catalans

Retaining the Challenge Cup could cost Catalans Dragons half-a-million pounds after the holders agreed to cover the Rugby Football League’s potential losses in the event of them getting to Wembley in 2019, report League Weekly.

The Dragons will compete in the competition next year and have agreed to pay the RFL a six-figure sum if they are to reach the final again in 2019. League Weekly understands the RFL’s expected receipts from last year’s Wembley event were down by more than half-a-million pounds.

Swap deal halted

Negotiations between Castleford Tigers and Huddersfield Giants over the proposed swap deal between Joe Wardle and Sebastine Ikahihifo remain ongoing, report League Express.

No deal has been reached between the two clubs, but both players have completed their medicals ahead of the potential deal. League Express reports that the Tigers and Giants will now negotiate further in the hope of completing a deal, although there has been little development in the past seven days.

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