Paper Talk: More eyeballs than ever, Odsal improvements & injury shocker

Rugby league paper talk joseph leilua

There is growing positivity throughout rugby league ahead of Super League’s big kick-off this weekend, plus all the latest paper talk.

More excitement for more people

“More people are going to be able to see more rugby league than ever before.”

That’s the defiant, positive message from RFL chairman Simon Johnson in League Express.

The season has already enjoyed a kick-start live on Premier Sports, and Super League will hit terrestrial TV live for the first time ever this Saturday when Leeds face Warrington on Channel 4.

There is positivity throughout rugby league for the start of 2022, especially with the World Cup to look forward at the end of the year too.

Odsal improvements

Bradford are hoping to receive funds from the Government’s “levelling up” programme to improve Odsal.

General Manager Tracey Erby wrote in her Telegraph & Argus column: “Our commitment is to continue to invest in the stadium on a weekly basis.

“It may only be modest, but it is real and we are doing it.

“The bigger prize though remains a more substantial upgrade to at least start to build the kind of facility we believe everyone deserves in the 21st century.

“We listened with interest Michael Gove’s announcement on the government’s Levelling Up Agenda.

“We believe Odsal Stadium and its environs are precisely what the government has in mind as a project that will lift standards and opportunities for the people of Bradford.”

Offiah reflects

Martin Offiah, somewhat unsurprisingly, rates Wigan as the greatest rugby league team of all time.

Ahead of a return to the town during the club’s 150th year, he opened up in Wigan Today.

He said: “When you think of what I’ve achieved in rugby league, there’s no guarantee I could’ve done half of that in union. So I’m thankful for what happened. MBE, statues, three hall of fames, and being the top try scoring Englishman of all time, I can’t say it didn’t work out.”

O’Connor future

Young Leeds forward Jarrod O’Connor has expressed his desire to earn a new deal at Headingley.

The son of former Wigan and Great Britain prop Terry O’Connor, has made a handful of Super League appearances so far.

He told Leeds Live: “Obviously I want to impress and get a new deal.

“The key to that is playing regularly and we’ve already had a few chats, so I’m confident we will get something sorted pretty soon.”

Halifax injury shocker

New Halifax signing Brad Knowles suffered a horror injury on debut over the weekend.

Yorkshire Live reports: “After various tests, it has now been confirmed that the big-hitting forward has suffered a subluxation of his hip, a rupture of the hamstring which has come off the bone and a hematoma due to the excessive trauma caused by the injury.”

Ouch. All the best to Brad.

More rugby league paper talk

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Support rugby league in the media and subscribe to League Express & Forty-20 magazine, as well as checking out the regular coverage of the sport in The Mirror, The Sun, The Guardian and other national newspapers; the more you read, the more there’ll be. Rugby league paper talk appears on the site every Monday.

About James Gordon 7073 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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