It has been a while since the last In and Outs and there has been plenty of movement around the Super League clubs over the festive season.
The World Cup seems a distance memory now but some players from the Tournament are continuing to reap the rewards of their good performances. Ireland captain Liam Finn, has secured himself a Super League contract for 2014 after making the short 5 mile trip to Castleford from Featherstone. Cas fans will be waiting to see if Finn can go some way towards filling the void left by Rangi Chase’s move to Salford.
Saints have been busy recruiting this year and although the likes of Kyle Amor, Mose Masoe and his Penrith team-mate, Luke Walsh have long been confirmed as Saints players for this year, fans will surely have been pleased with the news that one of their local heroes was going nowhere. James Roby has been rewarded with a new five year deal at Langtree Park, meaning he will probably finish his career being a one club man.
There has been plenty of talk surrounding both Bradford and London over the close season and both announced news of changes to personnel this week. First was the news from Broncos that ex-Saints legend Sean Long had been appointed as Assistant Coach to Tony Rea. Hopefully for the Broncos and their fans Long will be able to add some skills to the team and maybe dip into his contacts book for some players. Bradford continued to make the wrong kind of headlines this week, firstly announcing that, due to on-going cost cutting, new signing Frank Winterstein was being released from his contract before even pulling on a shirt for the club. This was then followed up with the news that a trio of Warrington youth players, would be joining the club on a short term basis to provide cover during upcoming warm up games. There is likely to be more news coming out of Odsal over the next few weeks, hopefully with a positive outcome.
Wigan confirmed they signed up former England Academy captain and Bradford youth product John Bateman on a three year deal towards the end of last year. Shaun Wane will be hoping Bateman can continue his development under his tutelage and make an impact in a Wigan side with a few changes from 2013 double winning team. The likes of Tomkins, Richards, Mossop, Tuson and Hansen being replaced by Matty Bowen, Eddy Pettybourne, Dan Sarginson and Tony Clubb.
And finally, Super League says “au revoir” to Thierry Alibert this year as he hangs up his whistle and returns to his native France. Alibert will be heading up the Match Officials department for the French Federation. Alibert spent 5 years officiating in Super League taking charge of his first match back in June 2008 as well as reffing in the 2000, 2008 and 2013 Rugby League World Cups.