RL Today: Featherstone put on a show & PNG ace arrives at Bradford

Drew Darbyshire
Luke Briscoe and Caleb Aekins Featherstone Fev SWpix

Featherstone put on a show

It was the first Monday night Rugby League of 2023 last season, live on ViaPlay Sports, with promotion favourites Featherstone running riot.

Sean Long’s Featherstone side performed in front of the TV cameras as they thrashed newly-promoted Keighley 50-0 at Cougar Park.

PNG star arrives at Bradford

Papua New Guinea international Keven Appo has arrived at Odsal following his move to Bradford on a one-year deal.

The 23-year-old forward impressed for the Kumuls at the World Cup last autumn.

Born in the Eastern Highlands Province in Papua New Guinea, Appo has plied his trade for the PNG Hunters in the Queensland Cup.

 

The Lathums to headline Warrington’s opener

The Lathums will headline Warrington’s Super League opener against Leeds on Thursday, February 16.

The indie rock band, who hail from Wigan, had their debut album How Beautiful Life Can Be go straight to number one in the UK charts last year.

Warrington chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick said: โ€œWeโ€™re really excited to have one of the UKโ€™s hottest rock acts headline our season opener. We want to make a real statement on and off the field in the opening round. Iโ€™ve no doubt The Lathums will enhance the spectacle and atmosphere at The Halliwell Jones Stadium next Thursday night.”

Saints’ World Club Challenge jersey

St Helens have unveiled a special edition shirt that they will wear in the World Club Challenge.

The Super League champions will take on their NRL counterparts Penrith Panthers in the World Club Challenge on February 18.

The shirt features the match details added in gold to commemorate the historic showdown.

The jersey features the club’s brand new 150th year crest, with its gold edging. It also celebrates the club’s past World Club Challenge victories in 2001 and 2007 with two gold stars above the crest.

Macdonald injury update

Leeds coach Rohan Smith has confirmed that star signing Nene Macdonald will not be fit to start the season. (Leeds Live)

The towering centre suffered a quad injury when representing his beloved Papua New Guinea against England at the World Cup.

Smith told Leeds Live: “He’s flying with what he’s been asked to do in training but it’s just a staged progression and he hasn’t done the work to be ready for round one so he won’t be playing in round one.”

Commons Speaker pays tribute to Ian Laybournย 

The Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, has paid tribute to the late, great rugby league journalist Ian Laybourn.

Laybourn died over the weekend aged 67, shortly after his retirement after covering almost 2,500 games for the Press Association.

The Speaker, also president of the Rugby Football League, said: “We were only wishing him well on his retirement a few months ago after five decades as a sports reporter, so news about his death is shocking.

โ€œHe was an outstanding journalist who loved rugby league and elevated it as the Sport of Kings. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Susan.โ€

Birthdays

Former New Zealand, Samoa and Warrington centre Nigel Vagana turns 48 today (February 7).

Also celebrating; former USA international David Myles (45), North Queensland Cowboys hooker Jake Granville (34), Tonga powerhouse Ben Murdoch-Masila (32), Salford half-back Chris Atkin (30), Greece international Jake Vrahnos (28), Lebanon international Anthony Layoun (26), Gold Coast Titans full-back Jayden Campbell (23) and Scotland international Kyle Schneider (23).

Trivia

Ben Crooks hold the record for fastest try in a Super League, having scored for Hull KR against Huddersfield in April 2021.

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