Tuesday 7 January

Wellington Albert admits he wanted to stay at Leeds in 2020 and says he’ll do all he can during his latest loan spell with Featherstone to secure another opportunity at the Rhinos. He told the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Peter Smith:I wanted to stay with Leeds, but I will go to Featherstone and play good footy with them and prove myself and I might come back.”

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Saints legend Keiron Cunningham has reflected on his ill-fated spell as head coach of the club, admitting that his spell in charge between 2015 and 2017 took its toll. He told the St Helens Star’s Mike Critchley: “The first couple of years were great but the third year was tough for myself and my family. I gave it my heart and soul, but coaching is one of the most frustrating things you will ever come across.”

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Daryl Powell is excited by how quickly new Castleford half-back pairing Danny Richardson and Jacob Trueman have bonded during pre-season. Powell told the Yorkshire Post’s Dave Craven: “Those two guys are knocking about together on a regular basis now which is a great sign. They are both young, British and have got things in common.”

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Meanwhile, Richardson claims to have never received his Grand Final winners’ ring following St Helens’ Grand Final triumph last year. He told Sky Sports: “Justin came up to me and said they had no rings left, they had given them out to all the other lads. So I didn’t end up getting one. Rushy has told me I will get one but whether I will or not, I don’t know. I’ll wait for the call.”

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However, Saints chief executive Mike Rush says there is a ring available for Richardson and that the new Castleford half-back simply needs to stop by his former employers to collect it. He told Sky Sports: “Danny was told the rings were ordered and his is waiting at the club to be collected.”

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Wigan boss Adrian Lam says the club prides itself on surprising NRL imports with the intensity of their preparations. Stars like George Burgess and Bevan French are experiencing a Warriors pre-season for the first time. And Lam told the Wigan Observer’s Phil Wilkinson: “When you speak to new players and staff who come to this club, they’ll often tell you much more intense it is, and it’s forever been like that.”