Thursday 2 January

John Bastian believes both Hull clubs are at risk of losing out on a number of talented local youngsters if they are prevented from topping up their scholarship squads. Rovers head of youth told Hull Daily Mail’s James O’Brien: “The next big thing for ourselves and Hull FC is to get the scholars up to 20 players in each age group. We’ve certainly got a talent pool that can cater for that and hopefully we can work on that with the Rugby Football League and the community game.”

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Ben Flower says he is determined to earn a new deal with Wigan with his contract due to expire at the end of the 2020 season. The Welsh international has become a veteran of the Cherry and Whites but will prioritise his performances in order to earn an extension. “My goal is to get a new contract and stay at the club. I’ve got a family to look after, there’s not long left in my rugby career so I want to make the most of it and play every season as it comes,” he said to Wigan Today’s Phil Wilkinson.

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Brian Noble MBE thinks Toronto Wolfpack can have a big impact on Super League and turn it into a competition with enough pulling power to bring in the very best NRL and rugby union stars. He told NRL.com’s Brad Walter: “If we get half of a half of one per cent of the market in Toronto, you watch the Super League explode. If we can just capture some of that enthusiasm and bring that across to the UK, that kind of money, then we go to the NRL and say ‘I’d like someone from the top shelf, not the bottom shelf.”

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Jack Owens has admitted his delight at being named the captain of his hometown club Widnes ahead of the 2020 season. “It’s a proud moment for myself and my family. All I wanted to do growing up was to play for Widnes, for my hometown club. So to get the opportunity to be club captain of Widnes Vikings, it’s something I’m immensely proud of, and I’m really looking forward to the season ahead now,” He said to Mike Critchley of Runcorn and Widnes World.