The Daily Wrap on RL News brings you the best comment and speculation from across the Rugby League media.
Friday 1 November
John Bateman admits he would be happy to finish his career in the NRL despite originally struggling with homesickness. The former Wigan man joined Canberra on a two year deal, helping them to their first Grand Final in 25 years, and now says he could see himself staying in Australia. He told totalrl.com’s Aaron Bower: “I originally just wanted to come here and see my two or three years out, but I’m enjoying life over here, and I call Canberra home now. Maybe one day I’ll come back to Super League, but genuinely if I played out the rest of my career here, I think I would be happy to do so.”
Lee Radford acknowledges that although it never bothered him as a player, squad numbers can give a psychological boost to some of his players. Hull return from pre-season on Monday and their boss admits he won’t decide on numbers until further down the line. He told Hull Daily Mail’s William Jackson: “Some players want a squad number and some aren’t that bothered. There’s no psychology behind it, it’s just literally that we haven’t got round to it.
Stevie Ward admits he can’t wait to rip into Leeds Rhinos 2020 pre-season after a horror season with injury. Ward missed the majority of the 2019 campaign with a serious knee injury and is chomping at the bit to get back into the swing of things. He told the club website: “I’ve had a good break and now I’m feeling fit and ready to go. I spent a lot of time in rehab but played the last two games of 2019 and ticked some boxes, I think we can do something special with this team next season and it’s exciting.
George Lawler believes Hull KR have put together a squad to make big strides in 2020. The Robins narrowly escaped relegation, but a host of new names coming through the door have given the young forward confidence the club can avoid a repeat of this season. He told Hull Daily Mail’s James O’Brien: “We want to be up there with the best teams and we’ve got a squad to challenge those big teams and cause a few upsets along the way.”
Totalrl.com’s Matt Shaw reports that Huddersfield Giants are frustrated by missing out on young Bradford talent Matty Storton. The Giants made a significant bid to sign the rising star, but the Bulls instead accepted an offer from Hull KR for the 20-year-old and four other Bradford players. Shaw writes: “That has frustrated the Giants, who thought they had made a more than competitive offer given the figures they had offered compared to the eventual deal struck with the Robins.”