Paper Talk: Thompson future, doping disgrace & Whizzy Rascal still in the news

Cars, drugs and moving abroad are all covered in this week’s rugby league paper talk.

Toulouse are in the market but one player who won’t be joining them is Hull full back Jamie Shaul. (Hull Daily Mail)

The French club reportedly enquired about Shaul’s services and held preliminary discussions.

But talks broke down over contract status should Toulouse get relegated.

Sylvain Houles is desperate to add bodies to a squad hit by the departure of two key players ahead of the season.

Shaul started at full-back for Hull in their defeat to St Helens in the absence of the suspended Jake Connor.

Former St Helens prop Luke Thompson says he is happy at Canterbury Bulldogs.

His future was called in to question after he originally stated he did not want to take the COVID-19 vaccination.

He told Fox Sports: “I love it here. The club originally gave me two weeks off so I set up a gym at home to train and was doing all right.

“Then the government put the date back and I couldn’t afford to sit out another couple of weeks so I just got the jab which is what I said I’d do all along if it was going to affect the team.”

Hunslet Hall of Famer Steve Pryce wants nothing to do with the legal action against the RFL. (League Express)

The 52-year-old has recently been diagnosed with signs of early-onset dementia, but has no intention of seeking damages from the club or sport.

He said: “Everyone knew the risks inherent in playing rugby league from the minute they first laced on a pair of boots.

“For them and for me, it would be wrong now to pretend otherwise.

“We were all aware of the potential injuries but we just got on with it.”

St Helens look to have another hot prospect fresh off their production line in the shape of Josh Simm.

Paper Talk: Thompson future, doping disgrace & Whizzy Rascal still in the news

The 20-year-old winger, grandson of Saints legend Geoff Pimblett, scored a brace of tries in the win over Hull.

John Yates says in the St Helens Reporter: “He will have given boss Kristian Woolf food for thought after a two-try display on Humberside and the way he executed his chances.”

Whizzy Rascal is still hitting the headlines since its debut at Warrington’s game on Thursday night.

After appearances on virtually every news outlet, including BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky Sports, the Wolves sponsorship activation piece even made it on to Sky News this morning.

Such has been the success of the viral hit, some have questioned whether it was an intentional balls up.

Wolves chief Karl Fitzpatrick told The Mirror: “I can’t disclose that! But the original plan was that ‘Whizzy Rascal’ was going to drive onto the pitch, drop the ball off to the referee, and drive off the other side.

“So when we did the debrief she said ‘I didn’t see the man in the green so I just thought I’d do some free-wheeling’ and she enjoyed the experience.”

Daily Star Chief Sports Writer Jeremy Cross packs no punches in response to the doping story that broke last week.

Oliver Wilkes and Jamie Acton both revealed they were involved in widespread doping during their careers.

Six weeks into his first season after taking performance-enhancing drugs, former Scotland captain Ollie Wilkes says he was picked by Wigan, a club he had always dreamed of playing for

— ITV News (@itvnews) February 15, 2022

Cross wrote: “Wilkes and Acton have called into serious question the integrity of an entire sport, tarnished the good names of all those who remain clean…

“If Wilkes wanted to be brave he should have admitted being a cheat while he was still playing. We might have had more respect for him then. Being honest after the event sort of defeats the whole point…

“All Wilkes has done is cheat the system, then decide to expose it now he doesn’t need it anymore because he’s retired. He should be stripped of all those Scottish caps he won.”

More eyeballs than ever, Odsal improvements & injury shocker

Calls for Batley to host RL museum, clubs missing local talent & Des Drummond tribute

Kheirallah latest, Woolf coach link & Fev’s NRL capture

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