LEEDS RHINOS’ veteran scrum-half/hooker Rob Burrow will miss Friday’s derby at Castleford Tigers after admitting a grade B headbutt in last week’s win over Hull.
Burrow was charged after the game was studied by the Rugby Football League’s match review panel and could have been banned for up to two fixtures if he fought the case.
Instead he opted to submit an early guilty plea, which meant he accepted a one-match suspension and avoided having to appear at today’s disciplinary hearing.
It is Burrow’s first suspension since 2011.
Hull’s Gareth Ellis and Steve Michaels also submitted early guilty pleas to grade B offences from last week’s game. Ellis was accused of making dangerous contact on Stevie Ward and Michaels was charged with striking Jack Walker. Both players will miss Friday’s home game against Wigan Warriors.
Jack Walker says he has no regrets about taking his time over signing a Leeds contract.
The highly-rated 18-year-old full-back initially rejected a three-year full-time contract, before deciding last month to put pen to paper on a deal which will see him join Rhinos’ senior squad next year.
He has made it clear he wants to play at full-back, but with Ashton Golding – Leeds’s No 1 – being on a long-term contract, there was a chance his path could be blocked.
“I think for anyone who was in the position I was in, when you’ve got someone who has got a five-year contract and has just signed the deal and has got the No 1 shirt – it is a smart option to see what’s out there and look at other career paths,” Walker said.
“But I feel I have made the right choice and I am just going to try and get the No 1 shirt here at the Rhinos.”
Catalans Dragons’ battle to avoid relegation from Super League has been dealt a blow with the imposition of a season-ending suspension on loose forward Greg Bird.
Bird has been given a four-match ban for a dangerous throw on winger Ben Heaton during his side’s 24-0 win over Halifax in the Super 8s Qualifiers on Sunday.
The former Australian Test player pleaded guilty to the offence but challenged the severity of the charge, which remained at grade D.
Bird will miss the Dragons’ three remaining Super 8s fixtures, plus the Million-Pound Game if his club are involved.
Meanwhile, Tigers latest financial figures show the club made an overall profit of £286,052 last year.
In a statement, the club confirmed: “Castleford Tigers are delighted to announce that their annual turnover was up over £0.5 million during the 2016 financial year, giving the club an overall turnover of £4.6 million which has given the club an overall profit of £286,052.
“This profit enabled the club to invest heavily in their 2017 playing and coaching squads.”
Tigers chairman Ian Fulton said: “This is the third consecutive year that Castleford Tigers has not received any financial assistance, as we continue to strive to being a lean and well run rugby league club.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our club staff, club sponsors, volunteers and of course I’d like to thank our supporters for helping us achieve this.”
Huddersfield’s former New Zealand international Sam Rapira is leaving the club at the end of the season to continue his career overseas.
The 30-year-old prop has been a virtual ever present since joining the Giants from New Zealand Warriors ahead of the 2016 season with 53 appearances so far.
Huddersfield managing director Richard Thewlis said: “Sam has been great to have at the club and leaves with our very best wishes for his future and thanks for his superb service to the claret and gold.
“He has an opportunity to continue playing which sounds a fantastic new adventure for him and his family and we sincerely hope that the move works out.”
Salford Red Devils have announced that former London Broncos front row forward Olsi Krasniqi will leave the club at the end of the season.
Krasniqi, who was born in Albania but raised in London, spent four years with the Broncos before joining Salford two years ago.
Red Devils coach Ian Watson said: “Olsi has been a great player for us and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed coaching him. You certainly can’t question Olsi’s commitment to the cause – he’s somebody you know will go out there and give 100 per cent.”