World Club Challenge off?
The World Club Challenge is set for a continued absence following silence in Australia. (Leeds Live)
Super League champions St Helens had hoped to travel Down Under to face NRL premiers Penrith Panthers, but their attempts to communicate with the NRL and Penrith were not acknowledged, according to Leeds Live.
New Salford signing excited
Salford’s new signing Shane Wright says he jumped at the chance to take up an opportunity with the Super League club. (Sky Sports)
The Australian back-rower told Sky Sports: “I always thought at some time in my rugby league career I’d want to come over and play in Super League; so I’m excited for the opportunity and willing just to jump in, have a crack and see what happens.”
Newman excited for Fusitu’a partnership
Leeds centre Harry Newman says he can’t wait to play alongside Tonga winger David Fusitu’a for the Rhinos this season. (The Yorkshire Post)
Newman told The Yorkshire Post: “I am looking forward to having Fusitu’a play outside me, he is a big body and can obviously finish a try so having a winger you know can do that is exciting, especially one of his quality.”
Abbas Miski hailed
Wigan coach Matt Peet has been full of praise for Abbas Miski. (Manchester Evening News)
The Lebanon winger has impressed during pre-season training. Peet told the Manchester Evening News: “He’s an outstanding athlete, a bit of a freak in the gym, and if we can just enhance some parts of his game he’s going to be a fantastic asset for us to have at our disposal.”
Willie Poching pleased
Wakefield boss Willie Poching is upbeat as the clock ticks down to the Super League season, with his side in good shape. (Yorkshire Evening Post)
Trinity returned to pre-season training on Monday after a week off over the festive period. Poching told Yorkshire Evening Post: “They have all come back in pretty good shape and looked after themselves; and that’s indicative of how they’ve been throughout pre-season.”
On the hunt for clubs
There are still several free agents as we head into the 2022 campaign. We’ve taken a look at six players that could still be signed up for the upcoming season – including former Wakefield full-back Ryan Hampshire.
Former Castleford and Wigan coach Stuart Raper turns 57 today (January 5).
Also celebrating; ex-Warrington forward Gary Chambers (52), former Great Britain international Mike Forshaw (52), Batley legend Danny Maun (41), Papua New Guinea international Rod Griffin (35), New Zealand international James Fisher-Harris (26), Salford hooker Amir Bourouh (21) and Castleford youngster Cain Robb (19).
Sydney Roosters are the current holders of the World Club Challenge, having defeated St Helens in 2020. The WCC didn’t take place in 2021 between St Helens and Melbourne Storm due to the pandemic.