Paper Talk: Toronto owe Salford fee, Koukash to form Liverpool team, Thompson future

We’ve had a flick through the latest trade papers.

Salford launch legal action against Toronto

Salford Red Devils have launched legal action against Toronto Wolfpack to recoup the transfer fee for full-back Gareth O’Brien, report League Weekly.

The Red Devils are still owed £20,000 for the transfer of O’Brien to the Championship outfit in March 2018, according to League Weekly. Salford have been trying to claim the money the club is owed from Toronto for many months. They have now started legal action in a bid to recoup that fee.

RLPA demand duty of care

The head of the Rugby League Players Association has admitted that reducing both the number of players and the stresses being put on players is high on the union’s agenda moving forward, report League Express.

Garreth Carvell believes players are not being given enough time off during the off-season and thinks the recent injuries to Luke Gale and Kevin Brown were caused by the gruelling schedule. Carvell told League Express: “I feel the players aren’t given enough time between the Grand Final and round one to recover and build strength in order to prevent injury, especially if the players are selected for international duty. I have no doubt the recent injuries sustained to two prominent half-backs last month have been influenced by the number of games these players have played over the years.”

Latest on Thompson future

St Helens claim they have had no approaches for their prop Luke Thompson, as speculation about NRL interest intensifies, report League Weekly.

Several NRL clubs, including Newcastle Knights and Manly Sea Eagles, are interested in signing the England international. But, according to Saints chief executive Mike Rush, the Super League club has no contract from any NRL side. Rush told League Weekly: “I was unaware of any interest from any club. We haven’t had any approach from anyone at all.”

Rich backer ditches union for Catalans

One of the richest men in France has turned his attention to rugby league by announcing an historic sponsorship deal with Catalans Dragons, report League Express.

Mohed Altrad, the owner of the global construction group Altrad, has entered into an official partnership with the Dragons, bringing a major blue-chip sponsor into Super League and boosting the profile of the game in France. According to League Express, Altrad is a major supporter of rugby union and his decision to invest in the Dragons follows on from the recent acquisition of another sponsor from the 15-aside code, Bpifrance, who recently ditched Perpignan’s union side to support the Dragons.

Koukash among trio forming Liverpool team

Marwan Koukash has joined forces with two other wealthy businessmen in a pioneering bid to form a professional rugby league team in Liverpool – and take it all the way to the top, report League Weekly.

The former Salford Red Devils owner has partnered up with Liverpool-based property magnate Luke Backhouse and Andrew Mikhail, the founder of St Helens-based Mikhail Leisure The millionaire trio were behind a recent bid to take control of Widnes Vikings but no deal could be agreed. League Weekly claim that tentative talks have already been held with the Rugby Football League about admitting a new Liverpool team into the game’s semi-professional structure – and with Liverpool City Council over a possible new purpose-built stadium.

Salford forward joins Championship side

Rochdale Hornets have signed Salford Red Devils front-rower Adam Lawton on a one-month loan deal, report League Express.

The former Widnes Vikings has now received clearance to play in the country after a delay in paperwork following his return from Australia. Rochdale coach Carl Forster told League Express: “He has that one-handed grip that means he can offload when he wants, and he’ll add some size and experience to the pack, which we’ll really need.”

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