RL Today: PNG push for NRL team & Kumuls star given Dolphins opportunity

Rodrick Tai Papua New Guinea PNG SWpix
Photo: Olly Hassell/SWpix

PNG team in the NRL?

Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has backed the idea of a Papua New Guinea franchise entering the NRL competition. (The Age)

“I’m very keen to see a rugby league team participate in the NRL that would be based in Papua New Guinea and involve our Pacific Island friends,” Albanese told The Age earlier this week. 

Kumuls star given Dolphins opportunity

Papua New Guinea international Rodrick Tai has been handed a train-and-trial deal with the Dolphins ahead of their inaugural NRL season. (Loop PNG)

He is joined by PNG Hunters players Emmanuel Waine, Sherwin Tanabi and Judah Rimbu in given the chance under Wayne Bennett for 2023. 

Tai, 24, had previously been linked with a move to Bradford.

Bradford on the market for Super League prop

Bradford Bulls are on the market for a Super League prop to bolster their side ahead of the 2023 Championship season. (Yorkshire Live)

Mark Dunning confirmed his 2023 squad numbers earlier this week, including Jack Walker (31), Bodene Thompson (13) and Michael Lawrence (10).

From Wigan to Swinton via Australia

Championship club Swinton have offered a trial to Wigan-born Joe Lowe, who has spent most of his life in Australia.

For the last three years Lowe has been playing in the Queensland Cup for the Sunshine Coast Falcons, who have an affiliation with NRL giants Melbourne Storm.

The full-back or half-back still has family in the Wigan area and was looking to develop his career in England.

Walmsley eyes 2025 World Cup

St Helens powerhouse Alex Walmsley says he is aiming to represent England at the 2025 World Cup in France.

The 6ft 5in prop will be 35 by the time the next World Cup comes around, but he would love to be part of it having missed last year’s tournament through injury.

Walmsley told St Helens Star: “Missing out – and how much it meant to me missing out and how gutted I felt – has re-ignited that aim to play in the next World Cup.”

Jones-Bishop commits to Cornwall

Jamaica international Aaron Jones-Bishop has signed a new 12-month extension with League 1 side Cornwall for the 2023 campaign.

The 32-year-old joined the club from Hunslet in June 2022. He has won six caps for Jamaica and represented the Reggae Warriors at last year’s World Cup.

Birthdays

Ireland international and new Leeds recruit James McDonnell turns 23 today (January 12).

Also celebrating; Ex-USA international Ryan McGoldrick (42), former Papua New Guinea forward Luke Page (32), former NRL hooker Matt Srama (32) and new Sheffield recruit Jack Hansen (26).

Trivia

The last time a Super League side won the World Club Challenge was back in 2017 as Wigan defeated Cronulla Sharks 22-6 at the DW Stadium.

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About Josh McAllister 2277 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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