Rugby League Today: An omen for St Helens, legend falling out of love with game & the gossip

Bill Sayer, the St Helen's hooker ends up in mid air after attempting to stop Wigan's left centre three-quarter and skipper Eric Ashton during the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium. Other Wigan player in the picture is front row forward Danny Gardiner. 1966

What’s on site

Ray is back with the weekly gossip column, and there’s speculation of a possible departure from Warrington.

Lachlan Coote’s speculated move from St Helens to Hull KR has been confirmed, with the Scotland and Great Britain international signing a two-year deal from 2022.

Should the rest of Toulouse’s home games be cancelled to protect the integrity of the Championship relegation battle? That question is pondered in our new column, Champ Chat.

Another extraordinary feat for Kevin Sinfield to mark Rob Burrow Day, as both Leeds legends are appointed patrons of the MND association.

It’s always great to get comments on stories, but particularly ones like this – on our recent feature piece about East Anglian club Eastern Rhinos from an Australian based reader who remembers visiting the club back in the 1990s.

What’s on social

There is no way whatsoever that you can pick 12-14 clubs who should be full-time and scrap promotion and relegation. Simply replace half of Super League with half of the Championship and the equivalent central funding, and you wouldn’t see a great deal of difference.

Imagine telling clubs that they have nothing to aspire to.

A great tribute to my honorary president of the vertically challenged society – here’s to the next one.

Great to meet Haroon and his son, who was at his first ever live sporting event, at the game on Sunday

What’s in the papers

Leon Pryce has opened up to Yorkshire Live about the thrill of watching son Will make his Super League debut last week. The four-time Super League champion and six-time Challenge Cup winner said: “I’m having just as much fun watching William play as when I played.”

Matty Lees will look to force his way in to the reckoning for St Helens’ Challenge Cup final against Castleford when he makes his return from a broken ankle against Wakefield on Friday night, reports the St Helens Star. Coach Kristian Woolf said: “He gets an opportunity to go out on the field and fight for a spot in a bigger game the next week.”

Garry Schofield, in his League Express column, says he hopes recent comments made by Hull chief Adam Pearson about the state of the game will prompt other high profile figures to acknowledge “what a mess” that rugby league is in. He wrote: “I’m sad and sorry to say I’m falling out of love with the game, mainly due to the way is being run from top to bottom.”

Birthdays

Australia legend Mal Meninga, who played for St Helens on these shores, turns 61 today (July 8).

Also celebrating: Castleford prop Liam Watts (31); France and Catalans forward Julian Bousquet (30); Halifax and Wales forward Daniel Fleming (29); former London hooker Mark McLinden (42); ex-York half-back Jonny Presley (37).

What’s on TV/radio

10.50am – Live NRL: Manly v Canberra – Sky Sports Arena

Trivia

The last time the England football team reached a major final – St Helens won a league and Challenge Cup double; they finished two points clear of Swinton at the top of the table, beat Halifax 35-12 in the play-off final and beat Wigan 21-2 at Wembley.

5 Comments

  1. It’s rare I’m in agreement with Schofield, but in this instance he’s right. The game is dying a slow death as it’s run now. It couldn’t be run worse if those in charge were selected by the RFU in Twickenham.

  2. I also have to agree with Garry Schofield.The game has been speeded up too much and a lot of the ball skills have been lost.Individual player skills are what spectators need to see and will bring fans to games.

  3. There is nobody playing the game now that I can honestly say I really want to watch,they have coached all the skills out of the,no crafty scrum halve,no speedy centres and stand off’s,no ball playing forwards,very few fast wingers,all because of the way the game is run.

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