RL Today: Friday night Super League preview plus all the day’s top stories

Drew Darbyshire
RL Today Super League

We’ve got two Super League matches to enjoy this evening, with Hull KR’s home clash with Leeds being televised by Sky Sports.

The Robins and Rhinos have had a similar start to the 2023 campaign, having both won three and lost three, so tonight’s match has all the ingredients to be a try-fest.

Hull KR are boosted by the returns of Jordan Abdull, Frankie Halton and Dean Hadley after the trio completed their return to play concussion protocols.

However, off-season recruit Tom Opacic misses out due to a minor groin injury, while skipper Shaun Kenny-Dowall continues to be sidelined.

Leeds have been handed a major boost ahead of their trip to Hull KR this Friday with England international Mikolaj Oledzki named for the first time in 2023.

Ireland international James Bentley also returns from his one-match suspension for the Rhinos.

Hull KR: Coote, Ryan, Hall, Abdull, Sue, Parcell, King, Halton, Linnett, Minchella, Litten, Kennedy, Batchelor, Storton, Lewis, Milnes, Hadley, Senior, Wood, Johnson, Luckley.

Leeds: Myler, Fusitu’a, Newman, Macdonald, Austin, Sezer, Oledzki, Tetevano, Bentley, Martin, Smith, O’Connor, Lisone, Olpherts, Sangare, Holroyd, McDonnell, Walters, Roberts, Johnson.

Super League: Friday night lights

Elsewhere in Super League, winless Wakefield face the small task of travelling to the world champions St Helens.

Saints youngster George Delaney could be given his first appearance of the year for St Helens after Paul Wellens revealed the forward has every chance to make his final 17. He has made five appearances with Championship side Swinton in 2023 on dual-registration.

Sione Mata’utia misses out after failing his head injury assessment in the opening minute against Huddersfield.

As for Wakefield, new recruit Will Dagger has been included in Mark Applegarth’s squad after making the move from Hull KR in a swap deal for Corey Hall.

The loan signing of Innes Senior completes Trinity’s 21-man squad. The Ireland international joins on an initial two-week loan deal from Huddersfield.

St Helens: Welsby, Makinson, Hopoate, Percival, Bennison, Lomax, Dodd, Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Knowles, Lussick, LMS, Sironen, Paasi, Bell, Royle, Hurrell, Ritson, Delaney, Buckley.

Wakefield: Taufua, Lyne, Lino, Battye, Whitbread, Ashurst, Pitts, Crowther, Kay, Kershaw, Proctor, Smith, Langi, Butler, Bowes, Eseh, Butterworth, Pratt, Forber, Dagger, Senior.

Today’s top stories

World Cup boss bids farewell to rugby league

Another home World Cup has been and gone, and the man who led the team behind it is leaving rugby league for pastures new.

Jon Dutton confirmed via his Twitter account that he is leaving the sport following the end of his contract as chief executive of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

He said: “Today is the end of my professional journey in rugby league, an adventure which began in March 2011. On my final day at RLWC2021, I would like to thank all of those that have put their faith in me and the many wonderful people I have worked with and met along the way.”

European Championship schedule confirmed

The European Championship final is set to be staged in France, after the schedule for the 2023 tournament, which will also act as a World Cup qualifier, was announced.

Eight nations were drawn in to two groups earlier this month, with England grouped with Ireland, Scotland and Serbia.

England will make a historic first ever trip to Serbia on November 4 as part of the schedule, following a home game with Ireland on October 21 and a visit to Scotland on October 28.

Click here to see the European Championship schedule in full

Warrington confirm prop’s exit

Warrington have confirmed they are actively in the market looking for a replacement for forward Thomas Mikaele, after his departure was confirmed.

Mikaele, 25, will make his final appearance for the Wolves this weekend against Hull FC at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

It was reported earlier this week that he was set to leave and the club have now granted permission for him to leave on “compassionate grounds”.

NRL side Gold Coast Titans have agreed an undisclosed fee to sign Mikaele for the rest of the season.

Justin Holbrook thrilled to welcome ‘one of the in-form forwards in Super League’ to the Gold Coast

What’s in the papers

From a united rugby code ‘seems inevitable’ to Warrington’s record chase, our weekly Paper Talk is on site now.

It also features the end of St Helens’ World Club Challenge hangover as well as Love Island.

A united rugby code ‘seems inevitable’; St Helens hangover and Wire’s record chase – Paper talk

Adding the extras

Former Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton wasn’t out of the game for the game. His new role sees him head up the integrated operations of Championship club Widnes.

A club statement from the Vikings read: “During the past three months, the board has evaluated and assessed all elements of our organisation in order to align the club with the expectations of the Rugby Football League and its partner, IMG.

“We were hugely impressed with the extent of interest in the role and held discussions with an exciting range of candidates from a variety of organisations, including individuals from within rugby league, the FA and other sports. Chris Hamilton was the stand-out candidate.”

Speaking of IMG, clubs will next week receive details of amendments that have been made to IMG proposals to introduce a grading system to the professional game ahead of the 2025 season.

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