Rugby League Today: RL’s inclusivity crisis, plea to Government & mental fitness

What’s on site

There’s not much rugby going on at the moment, so we’re having to keep ourselves entertained with stuff like this – there are plenty of decent half-backs to choose from, see what you think of our team of players to have played in Super League with surname beginning with B.

To mark World Mental Health Day, Robbie Hunter-Paul has been named as a mental fitness ambassador for the 2021 World Cup.

Salford have forged a partnership with Wales Rugby League to provide a pathway for players to Super League, through a national development academy.

Can Catalans go all the way to the Grand Final? That was a question posed in The Morning After the Super League at the weekend.

You might have missed this one – former Man of Steel Rangi Chase has signed for League One side West Wales Raiders for next season, linking up with rugby union legend Gavin Henson.

George Williams helped Canberra end Sydney Roosters’ NRL reign over the weekend, scoring a try and creating the decisive score for Jack Wighton as the Raiders won in the semi-finals.

It’s the week before Wembley – but does how a team fares in their league game immediately before the cup final impact on the day itself?

What’s on social

Fingers crossed this is a positive step for the game.

Some positive news out of Hull KR over the weekend too.

A be positive hat-trick.

What’s in the papers

British rugby league has an inclusivity crisis, reports The Guardian, with just 11 British-born black players featuring in Super League this season. Leon Pryce said: “The numbers are worrying. There’s a need to tackle this now before it gets worse.”

Leeds forward James Donaldson will be using his brother as motivation and inspiration for this week’s Challenge Cup final. He told the Daily Star: “My brother Craig was paralysed from the chest down 10 years and does not live an easy life. I am able to do things that he’s not and I’m trying to make him proud in every game I play.”

The RFL has urged the Government to consider the physical and mental wellbeing benefits of playing sport, before it introduces its latest wave of restrictions to combat the coronavirus.

Birthdays

Former Leeds and Great Britain winger Francis Cummins, who coached Bradford and Widnes, turns 44 today (October 12).

Also celebrating: France international Cyril Stacul (36); ex-Leeds and Bradford outside back Graham Mackay (52); Welsh international winger Dave Halley (34); St Helens hooker Aaron Smith (24).

What’s on TV/radio

00:30 – Super League Show – BBC One

Trivia

Today (October 12) marks 125 years since the first ever home game at the current Widnes ground – a 15-5 defeat to Liversedge on October 12 1895. The ground went on to be called Naughton Park and then Halton Stadium (with some sponsorship variations), after it was partially re-built in the late 1990s.

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