RL Today: Joe Westerman issues apology & rule changes for World Club Challenge 

Joe Westerman. PA Images

Joe Westerman issues apology

Castleford’s Joe Westerman issued an official apology on Monday following a video shared on social media.

He wrote: “Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly apologise to my family and friends for my actions.

“I’d also like to apologise to the supporters, sponsors, staff, and directors of Castleford Tigers as well as my team-mates.

“I’d like to extend this apology to the game of rugby league, and I have realised that I need to work on my decision-making around alcohol.”

Joe Westerman has been issued a “substantial fine” by his club and will also be required to undertake community service to educate young people on the effects of alcohol.

Rule changes for World Club Challenge

High temperatures in Australia has forced the NRL to alter rules for this weekend’s World Club Challenge tie between Penrith Panthers and St Helens. (The Australian)

Saturday’s match, with a local 6pm kick-off, has been forecasted to have a high temperature of 37 degrees.

According to News Corp, rule changes will see 18 players per team, increased interchanges from eight to 10 and additional water breaks.

PNG star out for six weeks

Papua New Guinea star and Melbourne Storm centre Justin Olam is set to be sidelined for up to six weeks.

Olam, 29, will undergo surgery after suffering a fractured forearm in Melbourne’s pre-season trial match against Sydney Roosters.

Wakefield’s Lino on relegation talk

Mason Lino believes it’s up to Wakefield to prove people wrong as the Super League side enter the 2023 competition as favourites for relegation. (Yorkshire Post)

The 29-year-old half-back enters his third season with Wakefield, and also insists he is ready to “step up” following the departures of several senior players, including Jacob Miller.

Fiji star to captain Wests Tigers

Fiji international Apisai Koroisau has been appointed as Wests Tigers’ new captain for the 2023 NRL season.

The 30-year-old made the off-season switch from Penrith on a two-year deal.

“To be asked to lead this team in my first year at the club, means a lot,” Koroisau said. “From the moment I joined this club, my family and I have been made to feel so welcome.

“It’s been a great start to my time as a Wests Tigers player. I look forward to helping this team and this club be the best it can be.”

Litten’s England goal

Hull KR hooker Jez Litten has set his sights on an England call-up, having previously represented England Knights. (Hull Daily Mail)

Litten, 24, made two appearances for the Knights in 2022. And England could be on the search for their new starting hooker for the 2025 World Cup, with Michael McIlorum owning that spot at the delayed 2021 tournament.

He told Hull Daily Mail: “It’s a big goal for me, but plenty of other hookers have that dream. It would be amazing for me, and it’s a really good motivator heading into the new season. If you want to be an international, you’ve got to be consistent.”


Rugby league legend Brian Noble turns 62 today – Valentine’s Day! – (February 14).

Also celebrating; Ex-NRL and Super League utility Vinnie Anderson (44), former winger Justin Muprhy (45), ex-centre Chris Nero (42) and Oldham-born ex-forward Lee Jewitt (36).


Andrew Henderson picked up his first win as a head coach of York in 2023 – his side defeated Bradford 32-16 on Monday night.

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