What’s on site
The RFL says it is starting to see some signs of recovery in recent months, after figures revealed the impact of coronavirus on participation – with numbers down 25% in 2020 compared to the previous year.
We’ve had a look at six candidates to replace Chris Chester as Wakefield coach, with recently departed London boss Danny Ward top of the list.
Re-structure talk and signings dominate the gossip column this week, with a lifeline being offered to League 1 clubs who fear being cut adrift by the proposed changes.
Castleford stand-off Jake Trueman is out for the rest of the season through injury.
A number of players return from suspension for this weekend’s Super League games, with the squad news starting to filter through ahead of the action which starts tonight as St Helens take on Castleford.
What’s on social
Can you imagine having the bottle do this, let along being able to execute it?
"If you are wizened and cynical, believe you've seen it all, think again – wheelchair #rugbyleague is something else" – this try and "perhaps the ultimate live experience" described in the current 10th anniversary @Forty20magazine – in all discerning outlets now https://t.co/ahbNVqS30x
— Phil Caplan (@scratchingshed2) August 11, 2021
No words needed.
— Rob Burrow MBE (@Rob7Burrow) August 11, 2021
Even when there’s nothing else left, rugby league will always have its heritage.
Tributes are being paid to Dick Huddart, who won the RFL Championship in 1959 and the Challenge Cup in 1961 with St Helens, and was a three-time Ashes winner with Great Britain in 1958, 1959 and 1962.
— Sky Sports Rugby League (@SkySportsRL) August 11, 2021
What’s in the papers
The structure of Super League will remain as is for 2022, meaning promotion and relegation will still go ahead as planned. Any changes proposed to the structure of the game will now take effect in 2023, with the plans still a long way from being agreed. (Hull Daily Mail)
Paul Cooke is tipping the current top two, Catalans and St Helens, to battle out the Grand Final in October, with the Dragons his favourites to take a first ever League Leaders’ Shield. (Hull Daily Mail)
Gareth Widdop is in contention to make his return from injury for Warrington against Wakefield at the weekend. Coach Steve Price said: “Gaz is doing really well. He’s flying at the minute and he will come into consideration, as will Matty Ashton.” (Warrington Guardian)
Featherstone are set to sign full-back Brandon Pickersgill from Championship rivals Bradford. (Yorkshire Live)
Following the signing of Sam Wilde earlier this week, Widnes are set to confirm two more additions for the 2022 season – in the shape of League 1 top try scorer Brad Holroyd and Sheffield loose forward Aaron Brown. (Manchester Evening News)
England and Wakefield winger Tom Johnstone turns 26 today (August 12).
Also celebrating: France international Gavin Marguerite (25); Barrow forward Callum Bustin (24); Australia international Matt Gillett (33).
What’s on TV/radio
10.50am – Live NRL: Melbourne v Canberra – Sky Sports Arena
7.45pm – Live Super League: St Helens v Castleford – Sky Sports Arena
Tom Johnstone scored a hat-trick on his England debut against France in 2018.