Paper Talk: Toronto want Wilkin, Leeds sign former Castleford man, Barba future

Drew Darbyshire

There are plenty of interesting stories in this week’s newspapers.

Toronto want Wilkin

Toronto Wolfpack are understood to be among the clubs that have offered Jon Wilkin a deal after he confirmed he would leave St Helens at the end of the season, report League Express.

Wilkin announced last week that he would be leaving Saints at the end of the season after 16 years of service. League Expressreport that the Wolfpack have offered Wilkin a deal to join them in 2019.

Leeds snap up former Castleford starlet

Leeds Rhinos have signed former Castleford Tigers half-back Callum McLelland from Edinburgh Rugby Union, report League Weekly.

Dave ‘Nosey’ Parker picked up the scoop back on July 2. McLelland, 18, has made a return to rugby league with Leeds. The Scotland RU Under-20s international turned down offers from Castleford and Warrington Wolves to pen a deal with Leeds, according to League Weekly.

Wigan youngster ecstatic

Ollie Partington used to be a ball boy at Wigan, but on Friday he made his professional debut for his hometown club, report League Express.

The 19-year-old front-rower came off the bench to help the Warriors beat Castleford Tigers in the opening round of the Super 8s. Partington told League Express: “It was everything that I wanted to do since I was a kid. I had a season ticket when I was growing up for quite a few years and then I was a ball boy. I even remember being a ball boy when a few of the lads who are still here were playing!”

Springer to return to France

Castleford Tigers front-rower Gadwin Springer is set for a return to Catalans Dragons next year, report League Weekly.

The France international left the Dragons after making just four appearances in 2015 to join Castleford, where he has played almost 60 games. He is currently out-of-favour at the Tigers though and League Weeklyreport that he will return to the South of France in 2019.

Lam to honour Newton

Incoming Wigan coach Adrian Lam has promised to honour the memory of former Warriors great Terry Newton after fulfilling the promise he made to return to the club one day, report League Express.

Lam has revealed how Newton urged him to return to Wigan one day. He told League Express: “He said I should come back here one day and coach at Wigan, because I’d make a great coach. I told him I might just do that – and here we are. I absolutely feel like I’m honouring his memory.”

Barba future to be confirmed shortly

Justin Holbrook expects Ben Barba’s future to be resolved within the next fortnight, report League Weekly.

Reports in Australia over the weekend claimed that Saints have agreed to give the full-back an early release so he can re-join the NRL. Holbrook told League Weekly: “There has obviously been lots of speculation for a long time now. The club are looking at it now, so hopefully it can all get resolved in the next couple of weeks and we will know what’s going on.”

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