Below is a round-up of all the latest news from the world of rugby league over the last 24 hours.
Trinity make five signings in one day
Wakefield Trinity have been making plenty of mid-season signings but today they’ve gone above and beyond with four signings announced by four o’clock. Among them was the return of a former academy product, a new loanee and then two triallists. The big move of the day came later on with the much-anticipated return of the Big Bopper being confirmed. There is however a wrinkle in signing Fifita with the club now over their quota of overseas players.
McDonnell ban overturned
James McDonnell was controversially sent off and then subsequently banned for two games for an alleged punch during Leeds Rhinos clash with St Helens. The Rhinos have since successfully appealed that, but there’s more questions to be answered. The Operational Rules Tribunal have determined that Jonny Lomax, who confirmed he’d been punched, was bleeding prior to the event and also that the touch judge may have been “genuinely mistaken”, which caused the Rhinos man to see red. A full explanation to the events can be found here.
Huge slate of TV games
This week’s televised fixtures got underway early with game one of State of Origin this morning, but there’s still a whopping 10 other games to be seen on UK TV. That includes all six fixtures from Magic Weekend for a bumper weekend of sport.
Super League attendance and viewing figures spike
Last Friday’s TV game of Leeds and St Helens was packed with drama and it’s now been confirmed that it was watched by a record Sky TV audience for this season. Similarly a Championship game at the Summer Bash hit another peak, whilst the attendances across Super League round 13 all grew a significant percentage from the last time the fixtures were played.
Hull FC lose key duo
It’s been announced today that Hull FC will lose two key men at the end of the season with Brad Dwyer and Chris Satae set to leave the MKM. There’s already been confirmation as to where Satae is headed, with another Super League side the destination for the forward in 2024.
Wire man to face MRP on Monday
Josh McGuire’s first game against Leigh, and first as a Warrington player, saw him hit with a seven game ban for the use of discriminatory language. He’s since played them again last weekend and was put under investigation for unacceptable language, dependant upon Leigh providing evidence which has now happened. As such McGuire’s case will be heard next week, meaning he can play at Magic Weekend.
“Aged” side in relegation trouble
Castleford Tigers have had a season far below what they were expecting and now former player Graham Steadman has questioned the team’s effort. Kevin Brown has labelled them as looking “aged”, whilst also suggesting that they’re in a relegation battle.
Worrying Summer Bash attendance
The Championship hosted their Summer Bash this past weekend with all seven games being played over two days at York’s LNER Stadium. Whilst the action on the pitch was great, what was an issue was the number of fans watching. A figure under 7,000 attended across both days which has sparked concern. There will however be a huge attendance this weekend as one side are offering free entry and could end up with a record crowd.
Rowley bullish on holding Dupree
Tyler Dupree has been the subject of bids from multiple Super League sides per reports with Salford announcing that they’ve refused his transfer request. When asked Paul Rowley has made a statement of intent about keeping the forward. Meanwhile one of the key pursuers, Hull KR, have had their head coach speak on the talents of the England international.
Championship side recruit former Super League and NRL star
London Broncos made waves just recently when they recruited former Catalans Dragon man Dean Whare, who scored on debut, and now they’ve made another big splash in the market. The Broncos have recruited another former Super League and NRL star to try bolster their side for a playoff push.
Leigh backed for Wembley
With the Challenge Cup quarter finals coming up soon, some are already predicting who will end up at Wembley and Barrie McDermott is backing a surprise side. He’s picked Leigh, who went all the way to Wembley for the 1895 Cup last year, to be challengers this year. Another pundit in Jamie Jones-Buchanan has admitted he was wrong to question their survival prospects.