Rugby League Today: Hull step in, COVID concern ahead of cup final & what next for young players?

James Gordon

Danny Houghton (9) of Hull FC arrives at the totally Wicked Stadium

What’s on site

Hull will play Leeds in Super League tonight, after a dramatic late switch with Leeds’ opponents Castleford, who were struggling to raise a team after an outbreak of coronavirus cases, which has raised concerns over the potential impact it could have on the Challenge Cup final.

But Wigan’s game with Warrington will go ahead, despite the Warriors reporting a third case this week.

Jamie Peacock has raised almost £50,000 for the Rob Burrow fund by doing an ultra marathon.

The opening weekend of the NRL Finals didn’t disappoint, and Sam Harris has cast his eye over George Williams’ performance for Canberra, amongst the other talking points.

Ottawa Aces have signed yet another ex-Widnes player, in the shape of back-rower Adam Lawton from Newcastle Thunder.

What’s on social

Concerns that coronavirus could impact on the Challenge Cup final are valid, and it would be heartbreaking for any player who might be forced to sit it out due to something almost beyond their control.

Footage from the 1972 World Cup. Rugby league sure has huffed and puffed a lot since then.

Hat tip to the Forty20 boys for the wide variety of nostalgia they grace social with. Try getting to Nottingham on the M62.

What’s in the papers

MP Yvette Cooper has told The Guardian, “I’d like to see a joint plan between government and the RFL to make sure every club survives,” after setting up a petition regarding funding for the sport in light of the ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

Salford forward Tyrone McCarthy is facing a race to be available for their Challenge Cup final against Leeds, after being taken to hospital with an illness.

Warrington coach Steve Price has opened up to Matt Turner of the Warrington Guardian about the issues facing young players, particularly in light of the end of the dual-registration system, and with no return for the academy or reserves in sight. He said: “They work extremely hard through the week with nothing at the end of the tunnel.”


Super League’s current youngest permanent coach, Chris Chester, turns 42 today (October 8).

Also celebrating: Bradford hooker George Flanagan (34); Australian Kieran Kerr, who had a brief spell at Widnes in 2005 (41); Jamaica international Jon Magrin (26).

What’s on TV/radio

5.30pm – Live Super League: Huddersfield v Salford

7.45pm – Live Super League: Leeds v Castleford


199 different players have been named in the Super League Dream Team since it was launched in 1996 – how many can you name?