Paper Talk: Scotland job, Betfred sponsorship and Reserves farce

Drew Darbyshire

The excitement for the 2018 season is building and there are lots of different topics in the paper’s this week.

No rush for McCormack successor

Scotland will begin searching for a new head coach in the coming weeks, according to Scotland Rugby League chairman Keith Hogg. Steve McCormack announced after the World Cup last year that he will be stepping down after 14 years in charge. However, with no internationals scheduled to take place until the end of the season, Hogg says there is no rush to appoint anyone just yet. He told League Express: “There isn’t an enormous rush, as we aren’t going to be playing any international matches until October or November time, so I believe we should use that to our advantage and ensure we come to a correct decision.”

Warrington want proper Reserves league

Karl Fitzpatrick, Warrington Wolves CEO, has called for the RFL to make reserve teams compulsory for Super League clubs. The Wolves and Hull FC have ditched their reserves in recent weeks, with the pair relying on their dual-registration partnerships with Rochdale Hornets and York City Knights in 2018. Fitzpatrick told League Weekly: “I’m a big advocate of reserve team rugby. We operated a reserves last year but we played just four games. With so few games this does not aid development and makes no commercial sense. There should be a bona fide competition with all Super League teams participating.”

Betfred to invest big in 2018

Last week, Betfred was confirmed as the new title partner of the Championship and League 1, with the UK-based bookmakers becoming main sponsors of all three tiers. Betfred still have two years left on their Super League sponsorship agreement. League Express have reported that the betting company invested £750,000 in their first year, which rises to £850,000 and £950,000 in 2019 – their final year on the agreement. League Express also claim that Betfred has agreed to pay an additional £150,000 to sponsor the Championship and League 1, with them pumping a total of £1million into the RFL this year.

Powell tips Trueman for huge 2018

Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell has tipped young half-back Jake Trueman for a huge year. The 18-year-old made his first team debut in fine fashion when he scored a hat-trick against Wigan Warriors in September, also grabbing an assist. He is expected to start the season as a back-up option for Luke Gale and Jamie Ellis but Powell thinks Trueman can have a big impact this season. Powell told League Weekly: “If I was telling him then I would say 10 to 15 games, I think that would be a real target for him. But he could easily play 25, I don’t know. It’s going to depend on who’s playing well.”

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