Rugby League Today: Crowds for concern, Austin set for Leeds & Williams debut

Blake Austin (6) of Warrington Wolves in action during the game

What’s on site

Catalans continue to march on at the top of Super League, after a 40-20 win over Wakefield which was inspired by the return of James Maloney from suspension.

Leeds’ good run of form continued as they came from behind to win 22-12 away at Hull FC, who hosted their first game without crowd restrictions since March 2020.

Championship strugglers Swinton have parted company with head coach Stuart Littler. The Lions have lost all 14 of their league games this season and are odds on favourites for the drop.

Sam Tomkins says he hopes player power will help to save the World Cup, and says that concerns over player welfare were not genuine from NRL chiefs in calling for the withdrawal of Australia and New Zealand from the tournament.

World Cup chief Jon Dutton fronted up to the press to provide an update on the situation, which remains 50/50 as to whether the tournament goes ahead.

Talks are also ongoing as to who might replace Australia and New Zealand, with Indigenous and Maori teams amongst those being lined up.

What’s on social

You can’t say they haven’t tried.

Love to see this from players clarifying incidents in games.

Just going to leave this here.

What’s in the papers

Hull chairman Adam Pearson is worried about the game’s future if they can’t entice fans back following the pandemic. He said: “We are going to need to call on each and every supporter tonight and beyond as we continue to navigate the significant effects of the pandemic on our club and the sport.” Maybe they ought to try sorting the shambles that goes on off the field out, and maybe fans wouldn’t be turning away. (Hull Daily Mail)

Warrington’s Blake Austin is set to make the move to Super League rivals Leeds, reports Yorkshire Live. The Australian is out of contract at the end of the year, and had been linked with Hull KR, but is now set to be the second half-back to make the move to Headingley, following the Rhinos’ capture of Aidan Sezer from Huddersfield.

George Williams is set to make his Warrington debut against Leeds on Sunday, reports Leeds Live. He said: “I’ve got to do a few more protocols and runs but hopefully I’ll be putting my hands up to play at Leeds, it’s one of the best grounds to play at.”

Birthdays

Former Australia and Warrington half-back Allan Langer turns 55 today (July 30).

Also celebrating: Wigan winger Deon Cross (25); Featherstone powerhouse Junior Moors (35); dual-code international Jason Robinson (47)

What’s on TV/radio

9am – Live NRL: Wests Tigers v New Zealand Warriors – Watch NRL

10:50am – Live NRL: Brisbane Broncos v North Queensland – Watch NRL

0:30am – Super League Show – BBC Two

Trivia

Australian Blake Austin has won international caps for Portugal, England (9s) and Great Britain.

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