Forty20 On or near the 13th every month
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Davy is an honest broker who can allow all to save face after a cost of separation the sport can ill-afford, yet there was disagreement among the respective owners and representatives of clubs that he should get the job, secured with a very narrow majority as suspicion and division among the power brokers continues to fester.
n Forty20knows of a radical restructuring plan – with new finance to bring it about – that has been proposed. But there is no unanimous approach to gain further discussion or acceptance, in complete contrast to what is happening with the newly set up North American NARL.
In contrast, the Six Nations has secured a five-year agreement with CVC Capital Partners for a seventh share in the competition, thought to be worth around £365m. The money and interest in rugby is out there.
n What the sport does well is look after its own – the weekend across the UK and Australia dedicated to supporting Hull KR star Mose Masoe raising more than £100,000.
And MND research is to receive a £5.7 million funding investment from the Motor Neurone Disease Association, including a cash boost from Leeds Rhinos’ Kevin Sinfield’s marathon challenge, which raised £2.2 million for the charity.
n Roosters co-captain and hooker, Jake Friend, has been forced to retire after repeated concussions. His decision came just as the NRL introduced the allowance of an 18th man from the originally named 21man match day squad to cover concussion injuries.
If there are three failed HIAs in a game, or if a player suffers a head injury owing to foul play and the perpetrator is either sin binned or sent off, the extra man can be used.
ARLC chair Peter V’Landys said: “The decision will provide a safety net for clubs and players in the rare
Game up: Jake Friend has retired instances of multiple HIAs, and also ensure a team is not disadvantaged when losing a player to foul play.”
In the UK, friend of Forty20, Stevie Ward, who is adapting to his enforced retirement, wants to see more done however.
“We’re so good at being reactive and responding to events in the game, like supporting Mose,” he said. “I just want to ask the question, how can we better proactively? The RFL haven’t yet been involved in the Government’s concussion in sport enquiry and I just question what more can be put in place instantly.
“There are high tackles that we could be harder on. We could limit contact in training to make sure players are healthy through their career. Let’s look at eradicating as much cause as possible.”
n Pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports has agreed a deal with rightsholder Sky to resume its French coverage of Super League with Catalans home games being made available to subscribers here.
And how good was it to see Google Doodle celebrate what would have been rugby league Hall of Famer Clive Sullivan’s 78th birthday?
“It is really humbling to see so many people, from former playing colleagues and opponents to fans of all clubs, showing their love to our family...” – Mose Masoe thanks fans for raising £100,000 over Easter weekend
Big call “I’m moving from one special club to another... it’s important to get it out in the open now, so I can focus on the year ahead...” – Daryl Powell confirms he will be Steve Price’s successor in 2022
“Gary [Hetherington] has never hidden the fact he wants Leeds to be the centre of the universe and the RFL, who were once in Leeds, to be the centre of his universe...” – Wigan owner Ian Lenagan picks a bad time to sow division n Much has been debated about the widening margins in results in both hemispheres, Phil Gould claiming it has been brought on by the game’s controversial decision to scrap the U20s in 2017 – with a warning for how clubs are run here.
“Clubs voted because we had CEOs that didn’t understand what it was going to cost the game. I said: ‘You’re going to save money now, but it’s going to cost you big time down the track’.”
n The Betfred Women’s Super League returns as this issue comes out, and the RFL - in association with In Touch productions, headed by former Sky producer Neville Smith will show one live game each week, via Twitch.
Thomas Brindle, WSL general manager and coach of the Welsh Women, said: “We have the National Lottery as a new commercial partner, published a report demonstrating the significant social impacts of Women’s and Girls’ rugby league – These Girls Can - and announced that October’s Grand Final will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
“We had a really encouraging response when we showed some games on Twitch in 2019 – it takes us to a new, younger audience, with 15 million daily active users and 76 per cent of viewers aged 18-49.”
n The National Lottery partnership will see their support acknowledged through a range of branding across the sport’s premier fixtures.
In addition, The National Lottery will be the title partner for England Women’s mid-season international v Wales on Friday 25 June at the Halliwell Jones, Warrington, KO 6pm.
There will also be a range of opportunities for National Lottery players to get tickets to fixtures including England’s double-header mid-season international with the Combined Nations All Stars.
n New International RL chair Troy Grant seems in bullish mood on both sides of the world – see page 7. As well as proposing the 2025 World Cup to be taken to France, he threw into the calendar mix that 9s could be a demonstration sport at the Brisbane Olympics in 2032.
n A document has been submitted to Leeds City Council re the site of the RFL’s Red Hall headquarters. It seems 380 homes, plus an orchard and play area are planned, although: “It should be noted that Red Hall House is in separate ownership and does not form part of the proposed application site.”