Paper Talk: Expand Super League & huge $6m deal for Australia star

·4-min read
Rugby league paper talk joseph leilua Credit: PA Images
Rugby league paper talk joseph leilua Credit: PA Images

Some big talking points raised over what IMG should address in their review of rugby league and if a move to expand Super League should be on the cards.

Huge deal for Australia star

Melbourne half-back Cameron Munster is edging closer to a $6m move to new NRL side the Dolphins. (Triple M)

Rumours Down Under suggest he will pen a four-year deal from 2024, making him the highest paid player in the NRL.

Former England and Bulldogs captain James Graham said: “I think for Munster to go onto the open market, to go to a new franchise team … he’ll be the highest paid player in the game.”

The Dolphins join the NRL in 2023 and have been busy recruiting a team from scratch. Arguably their stand-out signing so far is Anthony Milford from Newcastle Knights.

Expand Super League?

Some interesting points made by League Express editor Martyn Sadler in his weekly column, looking at things IMG should consider when reviewing the game.

Amongst other things, a suggestion that Super League at 12 teams is too small – and a move to expand Super League to 16 would help widen interest and the footprint of the competition.

Sadler writes: “We currently have 12 ‘elite’ clubs, with varying degrees of eliteness, in our top competition. I’m convinced that that number is too low and that it’s hard to promote much greater interest in a competition with so few participants.

“The NRL has 16 clubs playing in their elite competition, to be increased to 17 next year, and in my view widening the geographical footprint of Super League is essential if we are to widen interest.”

IMG will hopefully look at a number of issues with the long-term interests of the game at heart, rather than the current self-serving set up.

There are other debates around the competition structure, promotion and relegation and the length of the season to consider too.

Do you think IMG should expand Super League to 16 teams? And would that spell the end of promotion and relegation? Let us know in the comments below.

Youngsters could get Hull KR chance

Hull KR could be forced to recall some of their youngsters from loan deals elsewhere ahead of the trip to St Helens this week. (Hull Daily Mail)

Five of their brightest prospects featured for League 1 clubs over the weekend – outside back Max Kirkbright (Swinton), prop Nathan Cullen, half-back Adam Rusling (both Cornwall) and forwards Bailey Dawson and Tom Wilkinson (both Midlands).

Robins coach Danny McGuire joked he might have to come out of retirement after admitting he was struggling to name a 17 for the Saints clash.

Life ban for celebrating fan

A New Zealand Warriors fan has been handed a life ban for doing a so-called “shoey” in celebrating a try at the weekend. (The Mirror)

The 31-year-old fan opted to down a beer out of his shoe during the Warriors’ 42-18 win over Canterbury Bulldogs on Friday.

He was ejected from the game and told he wouldn’t be welcome back – and such has been the fall out following the incident, a petition has been launched to get the ban overturned.

Not sure who is taking credit for this one, but the man is now being dubbed “Roger Shoey Vasa-Shack” after the former Warriors and New Zealand star. Groan.

Early finish?

Hunslet coach Alan Kilshaw has suggested that the League 1 season should finish earlier to help clubs with consistency. (League Express)

Leauge 1 clubs started their campaign in the Challenge Cup back in January, and the play-offs don’t finish until the end of September.

In amongst all that, they’ve had several weekends off due to the cup schedules, as well as two weeks off due to the league having an odd number of teams.

Kilshaw said: “The breaks throughout the year don’t help. I wouldn’t see anything wrong in League 1 finishing before the other leagues. That would also give the teams that go up a decent crack of playing in the Championship because they’ll have a little longer to prepare for it.”

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