Monday 23 December

Luke Gale says he isn’t getting carried away with his return to action with Leeds, but admits he does have ambitions of earning his England jersey back after a long injury lay off. He told The Yorkshire Post’s Dave Craven: “I’d be lying if I said I’d looked that far forward. I haven’t played a game of rugby for more than a year. That will be great and once the form comes and if, towards the back end of 2020, people are saying ‘he should be in the England team’ then I hope that’s true. But I’ll take things a lot slower and just focus on getting better week to week.”

***

Carlos Tuimavave believes that new signing Ligi Sao will light up the Super League in 2020 after joining Hull from the NRL. “I think Ligi is going to be a really good signing for us. I played with him back at the under-20s and he has a real big motor, he’s really strong and he’s got a good off-load game so I think our faster guys like Jamie Shaul are probably going to be benefit a lot from playing with Ligi and hopefully they can pick up a few off-loads from him,” he said to Hull Daily Mail’s William Jackson.

Article continues below the advert

***

Eric Perez believes it is now time to start re-building trust between Bradford Bulls and the club’s fans after a tumultuous 12 months. After helping bring the club out of special measures, the Bulls are now looking to the future and Perez wrote in his Telegraph and Argus column: “There is simply nothing more important for the club than to keep its promises and rebuild trust and esteem. All of that will take time for which there is no substitute or shortcut.”

***

Canberra Raiders head of recruitment Peter Mulholland admits that the club are keeping an eye on four or five of Wigan’s young stars. In an interview with Total RL’s Alex Davis, he said: “Wigan have got four or five really good young forwards coming through. Oliver Partington is a good kid, Morgan Smithies is a good kid, young (Jake) Trueman (at Castleford), the young centre at Wigan is a good kid and St Helens have a couple of really good forwards.”

***

Anesu Mudoti says that despite being deemed a ‘project’ by Tony Smith, he is confident in fighting for his Super League debut in 2020 after joining Hull KR from Bradford Bulls. He told Hull Daily Mail’s James O’Brien: “When I first sat down with Tony he said this would be a big step up for me but he thought I’d be able to break through into the first team. He told me I’m a project for him and I kind of liked that because it was straight to my face. I feel like I am a project and my challenge and my goal is to end up playing first-team rugby in Super League.”

***

Oliver Gildart admits that squad selection was a big factor in Great Britain’s disastrous recent tour, which saw the Lions lose all four of their matches. “I don’t know what went wrong. I think it was down to squad selection, we had something like 10 halfbacks, one centre, two wingers. I think it was destined that we were going to have injuries in positions that we needed. I got injured, so did Zak (Hardaker) and I think it disturbed the squad and we just couldn’t get that flow going,” he said to Wigan Today’s Phil Wilkinson.