Taukeiaho arrives at Catalans
Tonga captain Siosiua Taukeiaho has linked up with his new Catalans team-mates in Perpignan.
The goal-kicking prop has joined the French Super League club on a two-year deal, with the option for a third.
Taukeiaho made 168 appearances for Sydney Roosters across eight seasons. He has won 15 international caps for Tonga.
Bienvenue à Perpignan, 𝐒𝐢𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐮𝐚🟡🔴 pic.twitter.com/ujpU1Z4Kqu
— Dragons Catalans (@DragonsOfficiel) January 2, 2023
Hodgson leaves England RU
Former Hull FC boss Brett Hodgson has left his role with England rugby union following the departure of England head coach Eddie Jones. (Planet Rugby)
Hodgson, a former Man of Steel, only joined the England RU set-up in November as defence coach, working closely alongside Jones.
But there’s been a big change in staff at England since the exit of Jones. Since then, Leeds legend Kevin Sinfield has been appointed as England’s defence coach ahead of the 2023 Six Nations and World Cup in France.
Salford’s added spark
Scotland international Ben Hellewell has put his electrician job on hold so he can go full-time with Salford in 2023. (Yorkshire Live)
The 30-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the Red Devils after enjoying a spell on loan from Featherstone last season.
Hellewell told Yorkshire Live: “I really enjoyed that two-week loan spell last year and the whole environment around the club.”
Wigan prop Ethan Havard says winning the Challenge Cup last year has made them even hungrier to get their hands on silverware again in 2023. (Wigan Today)
The Bulgaria-born told Wigan Today: “Winning a Challenge Cup makes you even more hungry to do it again. You want to recreate it or do it better.”
Leeds’ utility man
New Leeds recruit Derrell Olpherts says he is open to playing pretty much anywhere for the Rhinos this season. (Yorkshire Evening Post)
Olpherts told the YEP: “I am happy to play anywhere in back-field for Leeds – left side, right side, centre, wing, full-back – back-row if they need me to.”
Wakefield squad numbers
Wakefield have confirmed 30 squad numbers for the 2023 season.
Trinity released a squad number per day in December as part of their social media advent calendar.
Mark Applegarth’s side have made a number of new recruits prior to next season getting underway, including Kiwi forwards Renouf Atoni and Kevin Proctor from the NRL. They will wear 17 and 19 respectively.
Samisoni Langi, who has represented Tonga and France internationally, has joined the club following his release from Catalans. He will wear 21.
Another new face at Belle Vue is former Warrington half-back Morgan Smith, who has been plying his trade in the Championship in recent seasons. The 24-year-old has received the number 20 jersey.
Tonga captain and new Catalans Dragons signing Siosiua Taukeiaho turns 31 today (January 3).
Also celebrating; USA legend David Niu (57), former Great Britain international Stuart Spruce (52), Fiji coach Wise Kativerata (46), ex-New Zealand international Ben Matulino (34), recently retired prop Chris Green (33), Newcastle Knights back Dane Gagai (32), former France international Thibaut Margalet (30), Scotland international Oscar Thomas (29), Canberra Raiders prop Corey Horsburgh (25), Keighley’s new recruit Lloyd Roby (24) and Melbourne’s new signing Eliesa Katoa (23).
The biggest win at a Rugby League World Cup came in 2000, when Australia thrashed Russia 110-4 at The Boulevard in Hull.