Happy Monday! We’re all looking forward to the start of the Super League (Thursday) and Championship (Friday) seasons, but it was the Challenge Cup that got underway this weekend. Here’s your daily welcome to the rugby league world.
What’s on the site
Catch up with all the Challenge Cup first round results – the draw for the second round is on Wednesday (5pm).
One game didn’t get played over the weekend, Valley Cougars forfeiting their game against Hunslet Parkside due to a player’s wedding.
Toronto have moved to sign two players having been left light by the high profile departures of Ryan Bailey, Dave Taylor and Fuifui Moimoi recently.
You’re likely to see a lot more coverage of women’s rugby league this year and beyond, and Featherstone appointed Jonny Payne as their ladies coach over the weekend.
Don’t forget to catch up with Love RL Weekly, as we discuss multiple issues including the reserve grade, Toronto and last week’s season launch.
And in the build-up to the new campaign, we look at how being the underdog is helping Super League champions Leeds earn even more success.
What’s in the papers
The Daily Star’s Julie Stott has taken aim at the “rudderless” RFL following last week’s briefing with Ralph Rimmer that left us with more questions than answers.
There was a good spread in the Sunday Mirror looking ahead to the new season, Gareth Walker catching up with Man of Steel and Castleford star Luke Gale.
What’s on social
Big up to Alex Simmons and the team at RugbyAM who will be bringing rugby league to 18m+ homes this season.
** Rugby AM signs three-year deal with @FreeSportsUK **
We will broadcast to 18 million UK homes on terrestrial sports channel FreeSports for the next three years. This allows us to showcase the players, personalities & grassroots of rugby to a national free-to-air audience. pic.twitter.com/1v6LanUGGG
— Rugby AM ? (@RugbyAM) January 28, 2018
Critics, including myself, of the Super League launch video have bemoaned the lack of profile it gives to our own stars. Former Warrington captain Lee Briers showed just why we need to make more of rugby league players with this incredible gesture.
@briers6 I'm the husband of the lady you took to her wedding in Warrington at the end of sept. Sadly she passed away earlier this month and her funeral was yesterday. Just wanted to thank you again for making the best day of my life even more special.mike pic.twitter.com/nz8S4WoR1l
— Mike Allison (@mikeall112) January 26, 2018
What’s on radio/TV
You can watch a re-run of the Challenge Cup first round tie between Rochdale Mayfield and Crosfields via the BBC Sport website – click here.