RL Today: World Cup chief to revitalise game, Newcastle fall-out & Leeds exit

Jon Dutton World Cup chief executive SWpix
Photo: Paul Currie/SWpix

World Cup boss on the Love Rugby League podcast

With less than 60 days to go until the World Cup, chief executive Jon Dutton joins us on the Love Rugby League podcast.

He talks about his hopes for the tournament and how it can revitalise international rugby league.

You can listen to the podcast below, or find it on Apple, Spotify or wherever you download your podcasts.

No discounts

Dutton responded to claims that tickets had been discounted for the opener between England and Samoa at St James’ Park.

Organisers have been keen to re-affirm the message that there won’t be big cuts in price in the build-up to the tournament; something which has become commonplace in rugby league.

Instead, they’ve said that the changes are because some areas of the ground have been re-categorised.

Thompson leaving Leeds

Leeds coach Rohan Smith has confirmed Bodene Thompson will leave the club at the end of the season.

He is out of contract and won’t be renewed.

The former Toronto man will follow Brad Dwyer, Muizz Mustaha, Tom Briscoe, Jack Broadbent and Liam Sutcliffe out the exit door.

Salford have been having a good time on the pitch of late, and there are signs of positive moves off the pitch.

This piece in Yorkshire Live speaks to Sebastian Gerrard, the man looking to buy the AJ Bell Stadium and secure the Red Devils’ future.

He said: “In my view, if they go down to Moor Lane, that could be the death of the club.”

Newcastle go part time

Newcastle have announced they will be reverting back to part-time status for 2023.

It’s led to some worries about Thunder’s future, especially after their bullish claims of reaching and winning Super League.

One fan said: “A very wise decision by the club in my opinion. I always had doubts full time was the way forward for thunder and it only benefited certain people definitely not the players.”

Another commented: “This season has felt like we don’t have a team to follow? Too many loan players coming and going, just a collection of individuals who change every week and are not up to the challenges of this division!”

Women in rugby league

On the World Cup, an exhibition of women in rugby league is being held in Warrington.

It will document the path taken by pioneers of the women’s game, to coincide with the women’s World Cup.

The exhibition will run from September 17 to September 25.

Local councillor Tony Higgins said: “Warrington is proud to have a strong rugby league heritage, so it is fitting that this exhibition, which showcases what women have done for the sport, is coming to the town ahead of the RLWC in October.

“Hearing stories and memories from pioneering sportswomen is a fantastic way to see how these people have made the sport what it is today, and contributed to the biggest and best women’s RLWC tournament yet.”


A man who’s caused quite a storm by opting for Samoa over Australia for the World Cup, Brian To’o, turns 24 today (August 18).

Also celebrating: Super League winner Tevita Vaikona (48); well-travelled winger Jy Hitchcox (33); Wigan and Ireland forward Liam Byrne (23); Newcastle youngster Sam Halsall (21); former Widnes skipper Mark Smith (41).


Tevita Vaikona won two Super League titles, two Challenge Cups and two World Club Challenges at Bradford – and is also in the Hull FC Hall of Fame.

About James Gordon 7161 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.


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