Paper Talk: The RFL CEO role, Salford ownership and Sky Sports future

The 2018 season is just a couple of weeks away now and we have checked out the latest talk in this week’s papers.

Who is up for the vacant RFL CEO position?

One of the biggest stories in Rugby League last week was Nigel Wood stepping down from his role as chief executive of the Rugby Football League. Following the news, talk followed about who will fill the void. Blake Solly and Sally Bolton were the two names that came to mind near enough straight away. Solly is a former general manager at Super League and now chief executive of NRL giants South Sydney Rabbitohs and Bolton was in charge of running the 2013 Rugby League World Cup and is now head of corporate affairs at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Solly was quoted as saying “I’m loving the role at the Rabbitohs and the lifestyle back in Sydney,” in League Weekly while the paper also claimed that Bolton was more than happy with her role in Tennis. With those two potential candidates now ruled out of the job, it is still unclear who will take charge at the RFL.

Catalans games to return to Sky Sports

Catalans Dragons’ home games are set to be shown LIVE again on Sky Sports in 2018. Originally, the matches were not listed as televised hen the fixture list was released but League Weekly have reported that Super League is close to confirming a new broadcast contract with beIN Sports this week, covering the rights to show the games in France. Once the deal is done, Sky Sports will use beIN Sports’ live feed to show the games in the UK.

Salford ownership expected to be confirmed this week

The change of ownership at Salford Red Devils is close to being confirmed. It is yet to be approved by the Rugby Football League but League Express report that a new company registered to the same address as the current parent company of the Super League club has been created. The Companies House website shows that a new company called Salford RD Holdings Ltd was incorporated last month and their registered address is the AJ Bell Stadium.

Powell ready to be Wigan’s number nine

Sam Powell feels as though he is ready to take over Micky McIlorum’s number nine shirt at Wigan Warriors this season. After a 13-year stay at the DW Stadium, he left the Cherry and Whites to join French outside Catalans Dragons for the next two years last week. Powell has been McIlorum’s interchange hooker for a number of years now and he feels as though he is ready to be a starter. He told League Weekly: “It was good to see Micky back last year after such a bad injury, though it meant I had to find a different way to get into the team. But the season I played there we won the Grand Final and we also won the World Club Challenge last year and I played hooker then, so I definitely feel ready for it now.”

Support rugby league in the media and subscribe to League Express or League Weekly, 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.

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