Weekly news wrap: 7 February 2020

NRL 2020 MAIN 1000px
Embed from Getty Images

A quick look at what's made news this week in the rugby league world.

Integrity Unit delivers verdicts... sort of.

On Friday the NRL handed down its verdict on the immediate futures of four players.

Josh Reynolds is free to play while his court case plays out, while recently sentenced Tyrone May will miss up til Round 5 and cops a fine.

Curtis Scott and Maika Sivo's decisions have been held over pending more information.

Captains challenge locked in, anthem canned at All Stars

The ARLC meeting this week saw the NRL lock in the Captain's Challenge concept which will be trialled in the All Stars and at the upcoming Charity Shield trial match.

The same meeting also resolved that the National Anthem would not be played ahead of February 22's Harvey Norman NRL All Stars clash between the Indigenous All Stars and Maori Kiwis.

Folau fallout continues 

Earlier in the week Super League club Hull KR led what appeared to be a game-wide revolt against Catalans' signing of controversial former rugby player Israel Folau.

KR's owner Neil Hudgell wrote to the French club putting them 'on notice' if his club was adversely impacted financially.

On Thursday, the Super League themselves released a statement outlining their position and indicated measures were being instigated to avoid such a situation recurring.

Meanwhile, on the field...

St Helens started the competition with a bang, thumping Grand Finalists Salford 48-8 in their season opener, but have since fallen 19-0 to Warrington in the second round opening game.

At Headingley on Sunday, Toronto signing Sonny Bill Williams came in for a whack of public scrutiny as the Castleford Tigers comfortably shaded the Super League newcomers and the former All Black appeared to struggle. Huddersfield, Leeds and Hull KR picked up wins over the first round alongside Wigan.

The full season fixtures can be found here, while the Round 2 squad lists and officials are here.

Dressed to the Nines

A number of clubs have unveiled celebrity or retired players to take the field at next weekend's NRL Nines tournament in Perth. Among them are Brisbane's Corey Parker, Gold Coast's Michael Gordon, Wests Tigers 2005 premiership legend Pat Richards, and 2004 premiership-winning Bulldogs captain Andrew Ryan.

Check out what's known so far here, including the full Broncos and Dragons NRLW squads. All squads must be submitted by 5pm AEDT this Tuesday.

Junior reps washouts

This weekend was supposed to see hundreds of young players kick off the NSWRL Junior Representative season, but torrential rain across most of the Greater Sydney region has forced at least four venues to postpone matches, with the bulk of the fixtures likely to move to the Easter weekend.

Full draws for the SG Ball, Harold Matthews and Tarsha Gale Cup seasons can be found on our Quick Links page.

Women's central contracts confirmed

The NRL confirmed early on Friday the list of marquee players for the 2020 Women's season. Check out the list here.

Other tidbits

A few other bits of news:

  • The Wests Tigers confirmed Benji Marshall and Moses Mbye will share the club's captaincy honours in 2020;
  • South Sydney re-signed Liam Knight;
  • Parramatta announced a five-man leadership group, headed by captain Clint Gutherson;
  • The NRL launched the 2020 State of Origin series at Adelaide Oval, with tickets now on sale; and
  • The RFL confirmed Shaun Wane would replace Wayne Bennett as England's international coach;