Your most read rugby league stories in 2022

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Another year is in the books and it was yet another eventful one for rugby league on and off the pitch.

Here are the top stories that attracted the most attention from you in 2022.

RIP Inga the winger

The death of Inga Tuigamala rocked both codes of rugby when he passed in February this year. The former All Black switched codes to become part of the dominant Wigan team of the 1990s.

The most poignant tribute came from Kris Radlinski, the Warriors executive director, who said: ““Every now and then a player comes along who touches the heart and soul of every single fan, player, coach and administrator – Inga was one of them.”

World Cup bans

You didn’t have to go far in 2022 for a story on bans or the disciplinary. That continued in to the World Cup too, as Samoa’s Anthony Milford and Lebanon’s Adam Doueihi found themselves sidelined.

Milford was sinbinned against England, while Doueihi was sent off for foul and abusive language towards a match official against New Zealand which put a halt to any hopes of a comeback for the Cedars in that game.

How Tonga could line up at the Rugby League World Cup

Jason Taumalolo’s Tonga breathed life in to international rugby league in between World Cups, and they entered this tournament as genuine contenders.

Of course, it didn’t work out for them, as they went down to Samoa in the quarter-finals, but certainly the excitement of how they would be lining up at the World Cup captured your imagination.

Mark Kheirallah will never play for Toulouse again

It proved to be a disappointing one-year stay for Toulouse in Super League, their almost two decades worth of work to get there being practically undone in pre-season.

Long-serving star men Mark Kheirallah and Johnathon Ford departed the club, due to conflicts caused by COVID protocols in France, and it created a big cloud over the start of the season, as well as a big hole in the Toulouse team that Sylvain Houles simply couldn’t fill quick enough.

We’ll never know just how Toulouse might have fared with their stars from previous seasons.

Zak Hardaker’s car share and travel u-turn

Leigh grabbed the club headlines in the off-season with an interesting re-brand and some eye-catching signings.

Nonemoreso than Zak Hardaker, who less than a year after leaving Wigan citing travel, was back in the borough with the Centurions.

But he explained to our Josh McAllister that a car share is key.

Hardaker’s release by Wigan earlier in the year was also in the top most read stories.

Gelling leaves Cook Islands camp early

Controversial centre Anthony Gelling had left Leigh and club rugby league in 2021, but made a return to one of his old stomping grounds in Warrington for the World Cup, starring for Cook Islands against Papua New Guinea.

It turned out to be his last ever match, as he revealed afterwards that he would be departing the tournament before the final group game.

Coach Tony Iro said: “Anthony been an outstanding servant for Cook Islands rugby league. He’s always put his hand up. It doesn’t matter where he is in the world, he’ll turn up and play.”

Greece and Jamaica’s first ever World Cup squads

The World Cup provided some memorable moments, and one of those was the participation of Greece for the first time.

Their first ever squad announcement got attention too, and was one of the most read stories of the year, as Billy Magoulias and Lachlan Ilias were among the call ups.

They played against England, France and Samoa, a significant step just a few years after playing rugby league was illegal in the country.

In a similar vein, Jamaica made their World Cup debut too – and their squad announcement was also a popular story.

Bennett’s Tomkins regret

Wayne Bennett admitted that he made a mistake in not selecting Sam Tomkins for the ill-fated Great Britain tour in 2019.

He said: “I had to make some decisions and I let him go back to England. I know now I made a mistake.

“He was a player that brought a helluva lot to you guys in his own way. He didn’t make big line breaks but he just told everyone what to do and bossed them around and played his heart out. It was very special.”

What were your stand out stories of the year? Let us know in the comments below.

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