Paper Talk: Value of Championship TV deal, Leeds coach rumour & World Club hope

Rugby league paper talk

What caught our eye for this week’s rugby league paper talk.

Naiqama could be tempted to play on

Harry Sunderland Trophy winner Kevin Naiqama could be tempted to change his mind on his decision to retire. The Fijian has decided to return home with his family and while that decision won’t be reversed, he has left the door open for NRL clubs to enquire.

He said: “I guess if someone called I wouldn’t say no straight away. I’d definitely explore it and maybe have a big conversation. But as it stands, I’ve got no club.”

The Championship TV deal

The deal for Premier Sports to televise Championship rugby league on Monday nights is worth more than £200,000 per season, according to League Express editor Martyn Sadler. Their investment will be greater than that too, given the production costs of broadcasting the matches. The first 50% of planned televised matches will be announced as part of the fixture list release in November.

Leeds coaching change?

Leeds could replace Richard Agar as head coach with former Featherstone coach Ryan Carr, according to League Express.

If Carr was to return to Yorkshire, where he led Featherstone to the Million Pound Game in 2019, Agar would move upstairs to a football director role. The Rhinos have denied any talks have been held with Carr, who spent last season with Parramatta.

World Club Challenge hopes

After winning a third successive Super League title, St Helens are keen to have a crack at NRL counterparts Penrith Panthers.

The World Club Challenge didn’t happen in 2021 due to the COVID pandemic, and big question marks hang over the revival of the event for 2022. Saints forward Morgan Knowles said: “Covid robbed us of the World Club Challenge last year but it would be good to get a chance to play them.” (The Guardian)

French derby plans

Toulouse chiefs are convinced that their derby against Catalans will sell out the 19,000 capacity Stade Ernest Wallon, and already have plans in place to take it to the 33,000 capacity Toulouse football ground the following season.

Cedric Garcia said prior to the win over Featherstone: “The whole area has a population of about one million people. When you have big ambitions, Super League is the competition you need to be in.” (The Sun)

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