Paper Talk: Wigan boo boys, hybrid model boosts Newcastle & where to fit Williams

A bit of a mix to look at in the Monday papers, including a training model that could well pave the future for further expansion clubs to grow in a sustainable way.

Say no to booing

Willie Isa has asked fans not to ‘boo’ Wigan, after they snapped their five game losing streak by beating Huddersfield 16-12.

He tweeted: “Great to see our club win today. Lads have been working at it everyday. Hop on the train, keep believing & “cut out the boos” please.” It garnered support from team-mates Oliver Gildart and Jackson Hastings, though some fans were keen to point out the boos were directed to the match officials. (Wigan Today)

Hybrid training approach suits Newcastle

Newcastle Thunder’s upturn in form in the Championship is partly due to a new “hybrid” training system, revealed director of rugby Denis Betts. He said: “We weren’t training enough. To take away travel time, we are getting players to stay over. It was Wednesday, Friday; now it’s a full day Wednesday, stay over, half a day Thursday and then prepare on a Saturday for a stay over for a game.” (League Express)

Leigh close in on NRL duo

Leigh are set to sign Nene MacDonald and Sam Stone from the NRL. McDonald, a 6’4″ centre or wing, scored 27 tries in 46 games for St George-Illawarra Dragons, though has struggled with injuries in recent years at North Queensland and Cronulla. Back-rower Stone is currently at Gold Coast Titans, and has made four NRL appearances this season. (Manchester Evening News)

Johns backs Williams move

Australia legend Andrew Johns has given his approval to Warrington’s signing of England international George Williams. The much speculated move was finally confirmed last week with Williams taking the shirt number 31, worn by Johns during his brief three-game stint back in 2005. He said: “I loved my time in Warrington and seeing George playing there will bring back great memories.” (League Express)

Conducting the Warrington orchestra

Speaking of George Williams, Garry Schofield has his own ideas as to how Warrington are going to accommodate him in their line-up alongside Gareth Widdop and Blake Austin, for the rest of this season at least. Writing in his League Express column, he said: “While Widdop and Austin have played alongside each other, neither seem to be happy in a support role, but that’s what one of them might have to do alongside Williams. It could be that Widdop gets the nod in the halves and Austin switches to fullback.”

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