Wednesday 29 January

Kristian Woolf has explained that all of his first team players who aren’t picked but are fit for selection will play for St Helens reserves against Salford reserves this week, as a means of getting vital game time and building match fitness. He told St Helens Star’s Mike Critchley: “All the guys who are in our top 30 squad, who don’t get picked on Friday will certainly get a run on Saturday. That is the idea behind reserves. From where I sit that makes it a really smooth transition and also helps those guys who don’t make round one find a way to be first graders.”

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Mahe Fonua believes his past experiences in the NRL have primed him to take on a leadership during his second spell with Hull FC. “I’ve been around a few clubs, I’ve been at Melbourne and I think that’s where a lot of my initial knowledge and discipline will have come from. ” I don’t mind having that leadership aura about myself and if that comes then I’m more than happy to act like a leader for those boys and even for my fellow team-mates who are the same age as me or older,” he said to Hull Daily Mail’s William Jackson.

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Shaun Kenny-Dowall admits that life and the style of rugby in the UK has taken some getting used to through pre-season with Hull KR, but he is confident in performing to a high standard. He told James O’Brien of Hull Daily Mail: “It definitely takes some adjusting to but we’ve been training in those sorts of conditions in pre-season. It is a bit different. I’m used to taking the tough carries out of yardage as a winger but over here there’s a lot more ball off yardage shifts and asking a lot more questions coming out of yardage which really suits my play.”

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Anthony Gelling says that he only had provisional discussions about return to Wigan, but quickly decided Warrington was the best fit for him after watching the Warriors go through a number of changes since he was last there. “There was a discussion about going back to Wigan but nothing really more than that. It’s kind of a different set-up there now. Shaun Wane has gone, a lot of players have moved on, they’ve moved facilities and stuff like that. It was kind of a different vibe I got when I went to talk to them, I’m happy to be at Warrington,” he said to Wigan Today’s Phil Wilkinson.

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Keegan Hirst has revealed that Catalans head coach Steve McNamara rang him before the Dragons signing of controversial rugby union star Israel Folau was announced. Hirst, who is openly gay, told BBC Breakfast: “He said he was giving me a call out of respect, but I kind of brushed that to one side, because if that was the case, he wouldn’t have signed him. I told him I felt there was two things going on. Either Catalans didn’t care what he said which was worrying, or they did care, but they were willing to put their values to one side for a few extra tries a year and a couple of extra league places.”

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Richie Myler admits he has taken to the new role assigned to him by Richard Agar well and is willing to do whatever is needed from him to help Leeds have a successful year in 2020. “It’s a little bit different to the role I have played most of my life, but I am enjoying it. The boys have been really good and I just want to play. If I am needed to play a back-up role at nine I’ll do that. It might be loads of different roles throughout the year, me and Rich (Agar) have been on a good page with that,” he said to Yorkshire Evening Post’s Peter Smith. 

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Sky Sports broadcaster Brian Carney has spoken out in disbelief at the news that Catalans Dragon have signed controversial rugby union star Israel Folau following his sacking from the game for homophobic comments posted on his social media. “The problem lies with the fact his views are publicly known and unchanged. The Catalans Dragons disagree with and distance themselves from those views but still sign the player, which I find astonishing. They were under no compulsion to sign Israel Folau, but the RFL were compelled to register the player once there was no legal inhibiting factor, theirs and Super League’s hands are tied,” he said.