The LU Blog: 4-10 January 2021

Embed from Getty Images

Throughout the off-season, keep up to date with our weekly blog scooping up all the news in one easy spot for you to digest.

Click through on any item to go direct to the story.

Thu 7 Jan, 9am: 7News' Michelle Bishop reports that Canterbury are set to sign Corey Allan from the Rabbitohs for 3 years, effective immediately.

Up in the Hunter, Mitchell Pearce has addressed the media after he stood down as captain, expressing regret for the issues in his personal life and its impact on the team.

Wed 6 Jan, 4pm: Newcastle confirm Mitchell Pearce will stand down as captain following recent events.

In the UK, Leeds have announced the retirement of former captain Stevie Ward. Ward is just 27 and has a recent history of ongoing concussion symptoms, only playing one game during the disrupted 2020 season. He debuted in 2012, winning the Challenge Cup in his first season.

Wed 6 Jan, 8am: Following Monday's announcement of another lockdown by the UK Government, the RFL has released a statement detailing the following:

  • Community rugby league is suspended along with Academy and Scholarship programmes
  • Women's Super League, Men's Championship and League 1 clubs have been asked to pause training programmes for a fortnight
  • Fixtures for these competitions along with the first two rounds of the Challenge Cup will be delayed
  • Super League clubs will work with the RFL to ensure protocols are up to scratch for continued training.

Meanwhile, reports Brisbane centre Xavier Coates is the focus of interest for the Gold Coast for 2022.

Tue 5 Jan, 11am: The Wests Tigers and North Queensland Cowboys have swapped players in the first player movement since the New Year. The Tigers have sent Kane Bradley to Townsville and signed Tuki Simpkins.

Mon 4 Jan, 9am: The Warriors have arrived. They're now basing themselves once again in Tamworth ahead of the kickoff to the 2021 NRL season.

Meanwhile, Parramatta say weekend reports that Eels forward Junior Paulo could miss the entire pre-season are false after News Corp reports he wanted to be excused from training til mid-February so he could partake in a boxing match with former NRL star Neville Costigan.