The Challenge Cup in numbers
There were some impressive numbers and performances from Saturday’s Challenge Cup final at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Rugby Football League)
Try-scorer Ricky Leutele made 224 metres from 19 carries and proved to be a handful for the Wigan defence. He came second in the voting for the Lance Todd Trophy.
John Bateman made 186 metres from his 17 carries in an impressive 80-minute performance in the back row.
Morgan Smithies made 61 tackles throughout the 80 minutes. England World Cup hopeful Liam Farrell made 39 without missing a single tackle.
Duo banned following Challenge Cup
Wigan’s Smithies and Huddersfield captain Luke Yates have both received bans following the Challenge Cup final.
21-year-old Smithies faces a four-match ban for two separate incidents during the clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Yates, 26, will miss games against Catalans and Leeds after receiving a two-match ban.
14-team Super League?
Championship heavyweights Featherstone and Leigh believe Super League should expand to 14 teams after Saturday’s thrilling 1895 Cup final.
When asked if he thinks Super League should go to 14 teams, Featherstone coach Brian McDermott replied: “I think so.
“It makes sense to me that if you’ve got 14 candidates for players to aspire to play for, then it is better than 10 candidates.”
Liam Byrne wants to play for Ireland at World Cup
Wigan prop Liam Byrne says it would be a proud moment for himself and his family if he made Ireland’s World Cup squad at the end of the year.
“My dad is absolutely chuffed to bits when I played for Ireland,” Byrne told Love Rugby League.
“They are from Belfast and my family see themselves as completely Irish. From the whole of my dad’s side of the family it is huge for them to see me pull on that shirt.
“I think my dad will be (holding back the years if I play in the World Cup); and my grandma as well!”
Sione Mata’utia extends St Helens stay
St Helens have re-signed back-rower Sione Mata’utia to a new 12-month contract for the 2023 season.
State of Origin Game 1 squad announced
Queensland and New South Wales have named their squads for the first State of Origin clash of the 2022 series.
New Queensland coach Billy Slater has included four debutants in his squad. Game one is set to be played at Accor Stadium, Sydney, on June 8.
NRL and Tonga powerhouse Jason Taumalolo turns 29 today (May 31).
Also celebrating; Ex-NRL and Toronto centre Chase Stanley (33), free agent forward Matt Lodge (27), New Zealand international hooker Brandon Smith (26) and Sydney Roosters utility Connor Watson (26).
Swinton winger Mike Butt is edging towards his 150th career appearance. He will also be hoping to represent Wales at this year’s World Cup in England.