We feel like dubbing our issue this week the ‘New Beginnings’ edition – after a pivotal week for the sport of rugby league.
Toronto’s big debut saw them run Hull FC mightily close at the KCOM Stadium while, after being liquidated earlier this month, the newly-reformed Bradford put in a gallant effort in vain against Huddersfield.
As always, there’s reports and reaction from both of this games – as well as all of this:
- We speak exclusively to Toronto CEO Eric Perez following their first-ever game and the future of the Canadians ahead of their inaugural year in a hugely-exciting interview.
- Acting Bradford coach Leigh Beattie offers his thoughts after the young Bulls put in a valiant effort in their first match as a new club as we produce a special extended feature on the past, present and future of rugby league in Bradford.
- On Bradford, there’s a staunch defence from the RFL over their decision to put the new club back in the Championship rather than into League 1 – it’s a must-read interview.
- Former Bulls half-back Dane Chisholm hits out at the new regime however, in an explosive interview after he was not offered a new deal at Odsal.
- New Bradford co-owner Graham Lowe offers an intriguing insight into who is backing the Bulls financially in 2017 in an exclusive interview.
- Leeds winger Tom Briscoe speaks out about a frustrating couple of years – and how he’s targeting an England recall this year.
- St Helens hooker Tommy Lee opens up on his move to the club in an exclusive interview – and reveals how he’s keen on pushing one man all the way for a starting spot in 2017.
- There’s also a blow for the Saints – catch up with all the latest on Matty Smith’s injury following his second debut for the club.
- Josh Griffin talks his move to Hull FC and his England aspirations.
- Meanwhile, Salford coach Ian Watson discusses the huge capture of Todd Carney last week.
Plus there’s all the reaction and reports from the weekend’s pre-season games, as well as so much more.