Rugby League Today: Salford star en route, John Bateman dream come true & free agents

John Bateman in action for England
John Bateman in action for England

John Bateman dream come true

John Bateman took to social media after captaining his country for the first time on Saturday. The Wigan forward helped England beat France in Perpignan.

John Bateman tweeted: “In sport you dream big and never think the biggest dreams will come true. I dreamed of only ever playing for my country – I did that this weekend as well as captaining my country and wow, what an honour that was!”

 

Salford star on his way

Salford’s star signing Brodie Croft is on his way to England. The Australian half-back has penned a two-year deal with the Red Devils. He made 65 NRL appearances for Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos.

He posted on Instagram: “As one chapter ends, a new one begins! Cannot wait to continue the journey with my little fam. It’s been a tough two years but above all has grown me as a person. We’re so blessed for the support from great friends and family! Here’s to the next chapter at Salford Red Devils, and to meeting the in laws.”

Abdull eyes World Cup spot

Hull KR half-back Jordan Abdull has set his sights on a World Cup spot after his ‘dream’ England debut. (Hull Daily Mail)

Abdull told Hull Daily Mail: “Whether I get a dig at the World Cup, that’s up to him (Shaun Wane) but I’d like to say I’ve given myself every opportunity to finish this year as a potential World Cup player. It just depends on how I can start next season and my form.”

Super League free agents

We’ve selected a dream team made up of Super League free agents who are on the hunt for new clubs following the conclusion of the 2021 season.

We made the list last Thursday and two players – Sitaleki Akauola and Pauli Pauli – have since been announced by Salford and York respectively. The other 11 players are currently without a club for 2022.

Leeming’s England pride

Leeds hooker Kruise Leeming was bursting with pride as he made his England debut against France on Saturday. (The Yorkshire Post)

Leeming told The Yorkshire Post: “It was class: a dream come true. I’m really proud of the year I’ve had and this just topped it all off. I really enjoyed the experience and the camp was first-class. I’m ready to go again now; I’m ready for next season already.”

Wigan’s bright future

Wigan assistant coach Sean O’Loughlin insists the future is bright for the club. (Wigan Today)

O’Loughlin will assist head coach Matt Peet alongside Lee Briers at the Warriors next season. He told Wigan Today: “The work ethic we are talking about with Waney driving that, it feels like we’re in a very good place. There’s a few new faces, a few people moving around but I’m really excited about it, excited to start the new season.”

Birthdays

Former England, Featherstone and London Broncos winger Ikram Butt turns 53 today (October 25).

Also celebrating; England Knights coach Paul Anderson (50), former Castleford favourite Dean Widders (42), ex-Leeds and Wigan winger Mark Calderwood (40), Leigh prop Adam Sidlow (34), Jamaica international Danny Bravo (31), Australia international Wade Graham (31) and Leigh hooker Matty Wildie (31).

Trivia

Bob Beswick, who announced his retirement over the weekend, won 25 caps for Ireland and played in two World Cups.

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