Rugby League Today: Previews, Poland and podcasts

Drew Darbyshire

There is plenty to read, watch and listen to ahead of the new Betfred Super League season starting this weekend.

What’s on site

Our latest ‘paper talk’ feature is probably the juiciest one yet! We have rounded up all of the latest talk from the papers on Nigel Wood, RLIF suing World Cup promoters, Zak Hardaker, Jermaine McGillvary and St Helens.

The new Betfred Super League season is just a couple of days away now so we have plenty of club previews on the site, including in-depth analysis on Hull FC, Huddersfield Giants, Hull KR, St Helens and Championship outfit Featherstone Rovers.

We have a Q&A feature with the Rugby Football League’s interim chief executive Ralph Rimmer, who talks about Rugby League expansion and Toronto, London and Gloucestershire in particular.

Canberra Raiders have decided to help the late Kato Ottio reach his dream of helping to buy his mum a house in his native Papua New Guinea.

We have taken a look through the games that have kicked off the previous 22 seasons in Super League – there are some crackers in this list! You may have even been at one…

What’s in the papers

The Mirror claim that Ben Barba is keen to repay Saints’ faith over cocaine ban with sparkling 2018 campaign.

Barba spent Christmas back in Australia with his family but he said he always had intentions to return to the UK with St Helens.

He told The Mirror: “I’d made a promise to the guys at Saints that I was definitely coming back.

“For them to take on my suspension last year, to sit out those 12 games and then be able to play again meant something to me.”

St Helens veteran Jon Wilkin told the Daily Star that Rugby League must stop coming up with gimmicks and stick to one long-term plan.

He told the Daily Star: “The game is in a state of flux and needs a sharp refocussing and we need to stop tinkering with it.”

Leeds Rhinos’ Poland-born prop Mikolaj Oledzki, who is an England Academy international, has been talking to The Guardian about his upbringing and introduction to Rugby League.

He told The Guardian: “I’m very proud to be Polish – so proud.

“This isn’t really heard of – a League player coming from Poland!”

What’s on social

Saturday’s first round tie of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup between Rochdale Mayfield and Crosfields was streamed LIVE on the BBC Sport website, but the game may be remembered more so for an intruder!

And on the back of it, the dog, named Buster, has been put on the naughty step!

There was a bit of transfer news yesterday, with Nabil Djalout swapping the South of France for Sheffield!

 What’s on TV/Radio

Not a live show, but make sure you check out the new Rugby League on talkSPORT 2 podcast hosted by Mark Wilson. Download now.

Monday’s Rugby League on Radio Yorkshire podcast is now available to download, hosted by Mark Wilson plus special guests.

The Final Hooter podcast is back on, hosted by Dave Parkinson and Adrian Jackson.

The Super League Show is back on the BBC ahead of the new season starting, presented by Tanya Arnold.

The Rugby League 5 Live podcast also returns, with BBC Sport commentator Dave Woods previewing the 2018 season with Leeds Rhinos ace Jamie Jones-Buchanan.

Love Rugby League Weekly was aired LIVE on Facebook last week but you can watch it here as James Gordon and Drew Darbyshire discuss the reserves, transfers and dual-registration.