RFL and Betfred issue statements following Eddie Hemmings’ controversial Dom Young comments

Betfred say they have apologised to England winger Dom Young after controversial comments by Eddie Hemmings in an interview on their platform with Shaun Wane.

The former commentator said of England-born Young in a question to Wane: “He could have played for Jamaica, as his brother is, so he’s not English in the strict sense of the word either.”

Then Hemmings said of another NRL-based player, Herbie Farnworth: “He’s as English as you or I, there’s no problems with him.”

The comments received a sharp backlash with Leeds Rhinos coach Chev Walker saying that it “screams institutional racial bias”, while Jamaican international James Woodburn-Hall called it “scandalous”.

Betfred said in a statement that they have “apologised in person to both Shaun Wane and Dom Young with regard to a recent interview”.

They added: “As a partner we would like to reaffirm our commitment to all staff and players in all of the England squads, and we are extremely proud to be involved in the most inclusive World Cup ever.”

Meanwhile the RFL said: “The culture, identity and heritage of our players and staff representing England at this year’s World Cup is a source of pride for Rugby League in this country.

“The Rugby League community is diverse, and we feel strongly about using the Rugby League World Cup as a platform to celebrate that diversity.”

It comes a week after outgoing RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer made controversial remarks about the Fiji international team.

He said at an awards dinner: “Fiji have already arrived. We don’t think anybody has been arrested yet, do we? No, we’re all right, so we are going pretty well then.”

The RFL say they are investigating a complaint about Rimmer’s remarks.