Warrington star Josh Charnley would love to see Eddie Hearn work on rugby league

JOSH Charnley admits it took time out of rugby league to realise what it is missing.

And he hopes Eddie Hearn is given a chance so the sport can realise its true potential.

Josh Charnley admits time out of rugby league opened his eyes to what it’s missing

Listen to many and the on-field product is perfect with many calling the 13-a-side code ‘the greatest game’ – it is a different story off it.

Hearn admitted he could not name a star after meeting Rugby Football League interim chief executive Ralph Rimmer – and therein lies the problem.

Charnley saw how it is done in rugby union, with a much bigger salary cap, sponsorship, promotion budgets and, most crucially, international presence.

Now he is back at Warrington, the one-time Wigan star admits his eyes were opened during 17 months out.

Eddie Hearn says he has opened talked with the team behind Deontay Wilder about getting the fight on with Joshua
Charnley feels Eddie Hearn should get the chance to work with rugby league
Rex Features

“It’s a shame with rugby league,” admitted Charnley. “If someone gets hold of it and gets a good grip of the sport, it will only be a good thing.

“So if maybe Eddie Hearn can come in, it can take rugby league to the next level. Look at what him and his dad have done for darts.

“That was the biggest thing for me during my time out of rugby league, just how small it is compared to other sports.

“It needs to be advertised and promoted more. I mean, when the Rugby League World Cup was on none of the union boys knew it was happening!”

Josh Charnley can give Sale a massive lift if he swiftly finds his feet in the 15-man game matche shis
Josh Charnley left Wigan for RU side Sale Sharks

Charnley is the same player and pretty much the same person who left league for Sale Sharks in 2016, the major difference being son Arlo, whose arrival means he can no longer muck in at a farm.

And he has revealed partner Zoe Cross’ pregnancy stopped him heading to the NRL.

But after spending time learning how to do things differently than he had done since he was six-years-old, he is back doing what he knows and does best.

And the only hard feelings he has are towards the people who say he only came back because he failed at the 15-a-side game, in which he only scored four tries.

Josh Charnley is looking forward to facing Pat Richards
Charnley has placed silencing Twitter doubters above England on his priority list

After scoring a try at what was home territory when Warrington beat Salford – who share the AJ Bell Stadium with Sale – 22-6, Charnley, 27, added: “Moving from Wigan had been in my mind for a while and the opportunity came up to have a different challenge.

“There were talks about moving to Australia but learning my partner was pregnant put a stop to them and heading to union was even bigger. I’d never played it, it was like being back at school.

“In league, wingers are told to go for it if they see a chance but union is about keeping the ball, so there were times when I couldn’t do what I’d always done, which was a bit frustrating.

“Sale signed internationals Denny Solomona, Marland Yarde and Byron McGuigan but in my last game against London Irish I had a stormer then I didn’t play for five weeks, which was mentally tough to take.

“But I never had any feelings of, ‘That’s it.’ I was always positive and when Warrington first came in last November, I turned them down as I’d not proved anything in rugby union. I didn’t feel ready to come back.”

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