Happy New Year to all of our readers! As the countdown to the season continues, we take a look at what’s creating discussions in this week’s papers.
Who’s saying yes and no to the NRL?
League Express are reporting that Huddersfield’s Oliver Roberts is set to sign a new five-year deal with the Giants after impressing for Ireland during the World Cup, and catching the eye of NRL clubs, most notably Canberra Raiders, who have form for snaring stars from these shores. One man they, and others, may have a better chance of landing is big St Helens prop Alex Walmsley, who League Weekly report as not knowing where he’ll be in 2019.
Warrington’s pre-season plan
We’re surely all too long in the tooth now to read too much in to pre-season, but new Warrington coach Steve Price came out with one of the more peculiar quotes following their 26-22 defeat at Widnes last Friday. The Australian told the Warrington Guardian that “going into the trial games tired is part of our plan” after a game in which they had trailed 26-0 in the second half before a late rally.
McIlorum to Catalans talk continues
It feels like this should have happened already given all the talk, but League Express report that Michael McIlorum could yet still make the switch from Wigan to Catalans, following in the footsteps of former team-mate Lewis Tierney. The Dragons have been relatively slow in piecing together their 2018 squad, though the recent signing of David Mead shows they mean business.
Championship clubs kick-up TV storm
Yet another sorry saga is brewing regarding the proposed coverage of Toronto Wolfpack on Premier Sports, of which their fellow Championship clubs claim they know nothing about. Leigh owner Derek Beaumont is leading the disappointment at lack of transparency, with clubs frustrated at perhaps the preferential treatment and also the potential impact on ticket sales that the deal has.
Support rugby league in the media and subscribe to League Express or League Weekly, as well as checking out the regular coverage of the sport in The Mirror, The Sun, The Guardian and other national newspapers; the more you read, the more there’ll be.