RL Today: New Zealand eyeing up four tests & ex-Wigan junior handed doping ban

New Zealand. PA Images

New Zealand eyeing up at least four tests

New Zealand Rugby League are eyeing up at least four tests in 2023, including a home and away series against Australia. (NZ Herald)

The Kiwis have also been linked with a series against England in 2023 following the World Cup. New Zealand were knocked out of the delayed 2021 tournament by the Kangaroos in the semi-finals at Elland Road.

Josh Drinkwater on Catalans exit

Josh Drinkwater has discussed his exit from Catalans as the Australian half-back joins Warrington for 2023 on a two-year deal. (Examiner Live)

The 30-year-old had one year remaining on his contract with the Dragons, but was told his services were no longer required for next season, pushing the move to Warrington. Drinkwater has made 143 Super League appearances to date, including 21 last year.

Former Wigan junior handed ban

Former Wigan junior and ex-Rochdale half-back Ryan Forshaw has been banned from all sport for three years by UK Anti-Doping after he tested positive for two banned substances. (BBC)

He admitted the use of anabolic agents 19-norandrosterone and metandienone, and received a reduced three-year ban.

Castleford granted elite academy license

Castleford Tigers have been granted an elite academy license from the Rugby Football League until the end of the 2027 season.

It comes just 18 months after being left out of the licence for the period of 2022 through to 2027. However, the club has managed to secure the status thanks to ongoing work in their youth development and pathways. They had been granted a probationary elite licence for 2022 and 2023 seasons. 

Italy international signs new deal

Italy international Richard Lepori has signed a new extended deal with Swinton Lions for the 2023 Championship season.

The 31-year-old has scored 19 tries in 39 appearances for the Heywood Road side since signing in 2019. He also represented Italy at the recent World Cup in England.

St Helens favourites once again

St Helens are favourites to lift their fifth successive Super League title, according to the bookmakers.

The side made history in 2022 by becoming the first-ever club to win the Grand Final four times in a row.

Birthdays

St Helens prop forward and Tonga international Agnatius Paasi turns 31 today (November 30).

Also celebrating; Featherstone recruit Chris Hankinson (29) and former Hull younger Reece Dean (26).

Trivia

The iconic Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona is the last new venue to host a Super League fixture back in 2019, and became the 69th stadium to do so.

More Super League content

Rating every Super League club’s transfers so far ahead of 2023

It’ll stick with me forever: Kevin Sinfield on “emotional” Rob Burrow moment

Every stadium that has hosted a Super League fixture

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About Josh McAllister 2282 Articles
Journalist. Joined the Love Rugby League team full time at the start of 2022 having been a freelance reporter for several years. Previously media manager for Swinton and Rochdale.

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