Paper Talk: Radford linked to Australia, RL legend declared bankrupt & star’s retirement hint

James Gordon
Rugby league paper talk joseph leilua

There’s plenty of paper talk over the Castleford coaching vacancy.

Could Lee Radford’s next destination be Australia? The now departed Castleford coach is said to have impressed during his stint with Samoa. The Mirror reports that speculation started when Radford headed to an extended break to Samoa in December.

Yorkshire Post reporter James O’Brien also reported that Radford had told Castleford he didn’t want to extend his contract beyond the current term, which could suggest he has something else lined up beyond 2023.

READ MORE: Andy Last gets audition for Castleford job as new favourite emerges

Last year for Mata’utia?

Peter Mata’utia started in the back-row in Warrington’s win over Salford last week, and he’s admitted this year could be his last.

The former Castleford man followed Daryl Powell to the Halliwell Jones Stadium ahead of last season, and his contract is up at the end of the year, when he turns 33.

Mata’utia told the Warrington Guardian: “I don’t even know what I’ll do after this year. I trained this pre-season like it was my last one.”

Legend goes bust

Former Great Britain and Wigan scrum-half Andy Gregory has been declared bankrupt, according to a report in Wigan Today.

Gregory was the joint-director in a festival company that went bust after it postponed a planned event at Ewood Park, home of Blackburn Rovers FC. The report says that thousands of ticketholders have been left out of pocket having not received refunds, and bankrupty means they are unlikely to ever get their money returned.

“The bankruptcy order against Mr Gregory, made on October 26 2022, states that his assets were zero, while his total liabilities amounted to £411,955.05p. There is not a prospect of money being returned to creditors.” Ouch.

M62 trouble

There was a packed house to welcome world champions St Helens back home for their Friday night thriller against Leeds. Unfortunately, the away end wasn’t so full – and that’s led to the local press suggesting new initiatives to fill the space with the local community.

Mike Critchley writes in St Helens Star: “Seeing three sides of the TWS ground packed but the East Stand sparse with visiting Leeds fans again shows how challenging it is to get folk to cross the Pennines on a Friday night. It is probably time to stop designating the East Stand as the Away end.

“The club should explore different avenues with sponsors, partners, schools and the community game on how they could incentivise the selling of tickets into that end.”

Feel good factor at Wigan

Wigan have reported a five-year high of season ticket sales for the 2023 season. The Warriors enjoyed Challenge Cup success in Matt Peet’s first year in charge.

They have been working to improve their match day experience via the Robin Park fanzone, while they have opened their doors to the media recently to provide insight to the inner workings of the club.

Peet told Wigan Today: “It’s a positive reflection for the whole club.”

More paper talk

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