Rugby League Today: British RL future, brothers ban appeal fails & what France needs

Sione Mata'utia joined St Helens ahead of this season

What’s on site

We’ve dissected the much-publicised plans for British Rugby League that feature in a paper produced by former Super League board member and NRL head of strategy Shane Richardson.

It’s State of Origin this morning – and while the first two of the series haven’t been classics, it at least gives us something to have on in the office on a Wednesday.

Toulouse have bolstered their squad further with the signing of forward Romain Navarrete, who was released by London to enable him to return home to France.

Barrie McDermott says he would like to see a combined Celtic nations team face England, rather than the Combined Nations All Stars. Who would make your 13?

There’s a French revolution ongoing, with Catalans and Toulouse top of their respective divisions – Ed Anderson outlines five things French rugby league needs to achieve before it hosts the World Cup in 2025.

One-armed Castleford PDRL captain Nicholas Kennedy is cycling more than 200 miles to Wembley to raise money for the foundations involved in Physical Disability rugby league.

What’s on social

One of the big narratives around this weekend’s Challenge Cup final between St Helens and Castleford has been extinguished, after Sione Mata’utia’s ban was upheld by the RFL. The governing body has got a bit of flak for the ban, though it wasn’t them that made two needless tackles in a Super League match against Wakefield…

Thoughts on this incident, that has seen Jackson Hastings banned?

Good to see players speaking out about this.

What’s in the papers

Hull KR could benefit from not having to re-arrange some of their outstanding games due to the points percentage system. The Robins have games against St Helens, Hull, Catalans and Warrington to squeeze in, with the reality that at least one of those matches won’t happen. Their scheduled games see them take on the current bottom six. (Hull Daily Mail)

York are waiting on the fitness of two-time Challenge Cup winner Adam Cuthbertson, ahead of their Wembley date with Featherstone at the weekend in the 1895 Cup final. (Yorkshire Post)

Bradford forward Anthony Walker says they should have nothing to fear ahead of their league clash with Featherstone in a fortnight. The Bulls might be considered outsiders for promotion from the Championship, but Walker said: “If we play how we know we can play and put in an 80-minute performance, then we can beat anybody.” (Telegraph and Argus)

Birthdays

Melbourne Storm half-back Cooper Johns, son of Matthew and nephew of Andrew, celebrates his 22nd birthday today (July 14).

Also celebrating: former Leeds duo Jimmy Keinhorst (31) and Mitch Achurch (33); ex-Hull KR forward Cory Paterson (34).

What’s on TV/radio

10am – Live State of Origin: New South Wales v Queensland – Sky Sports Main Event & Arena

7pm – NRL Try Time – Sky Sports Arena

Trivia

The last time two brothers played against each other in a Challenge Cup final was Paul (St Helens) and Danny (Wigan) Sculthorpe in 2004. Prior to that, it was Albert (Warrington) and Johnny Naughton (Widnes) back in 1950.

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