Episodes
Salford Red Devils back, Ryan Brierley is this week's guest on The Bench with Jenna and Jon. Ryan speaks about Salford's realistic aims for the 2024 Super League season, his personal ambitions and his relationship with head coach, Paul Rowley. Plus, 'Set of Six' and 'On the Bench, Off the Bench' are back for another week!
Published 02/19/24
Published 02/19/24
Jenna and Jon are back for another season, and their first guest of 2024 is Leigh Leopards' new signing, Matt Moylan. Matt tells us about his move to the UK from Cronulla in Australia, how he's getting used to wearing leopard print clothing and how he's looking forward to hearing the chants of English crowds. Plus, as 'On the Bench, Off the Bench' makes its return there's also the debut of a new feature - 'Set of Six'.
Published 02/12/24
Jenna and Jon are back to take a look back on the first full season of The Bench. Amongst the highlights are Kyle Amor's revelation that he's ridden an ostrich, Sam Tomkins' excellent 'Off the Bench' idea to introduce lie detectors into rugby league and Dan Sarginson's plea to bring back streakers! Thanks for listening to The Bench with Jenna and Jon in 2023 and we'll be back in the New Year!
Published 12/18/23
Jenna Brooks and Jon Wilkin are joined by Wigan Warriors head coach Matt Peet ahead of the Grand Final against Catalans Dragons at Old Trafford. Looking at the in and outs behind coaching at the top level, Matt reveals the key findings he’s made in his career, as well as why his personality matches with who he is as a coach. Purpose and culture are also discussed and does he have a future in the NRL?
Published 10/12/23
Jenna Brooks and Jon Wilkin are joined by Kyle Amor and Jodie Cunningham this week on the day of the Women's Super League Grand Final. Kyle talks passionately about Cumbrian rugby league and his plans to grow the sport in his home county, while Jodie discusses how London and Cardiff could be key areas to help grow the women's game. Plus, there are more ideas for things we want to see more of and less of on 'On The Bench, Off The Bench'.
Published 10/10/23
Barrie McDermott steps in for Jon this week as he and Jenna are joined by Salford head coach Paul Rowley. They discuss his nomination for Super League Coach of the Year, the challenges he faces at the club, and Brodie Croft's future. They also reflect on how the game has changed over the years, and Paul explains the story behind an amusing photoshoot from his playing days! Plus, this week's 'on the bench, off the bench' debate includes a 'creative' idea to improve the standard of refereeing!
Published 10/03/23
Jenna Brooks and Jon Wilkin are joined by former Leeds Rhinos forward, Danika Priim who discusses social media slogans and reveals a tattoo which leaves Jon reeling! Plus, Danika chats about her move into the media and there are some 'interesting' ideas put forward in 'On The Bench, Off The Bench'.
Published 09/29/23
Jenna Brooks and Jon Wilkin are joined by Warrington Wolves' George Williams as he discusses what it's like to be a dad, his time in the NRL with Canberra and how it came to an end, and what to expect from Warrington moving forward.
Published 09/20/23
Jenna Brooks and Jon Wilkin are joined by St Helens centre, Konrad Hurrell to discuss everything from his family life at home in Tonga to his food guilty pleasures. Plus there's a pretty epic edition of 'On the Bench, Off the Bench' that cannot be missed!
Published 09/12/23
This week Jenna and Jon are joined by Dan Sarginson who makes his second appearance on the podcast! The trio catch up with Dan on how retirement is going, discuss the benefits of yoga and meditation and why it's not always good to be known as 'the rugby player'. Jenna also reveals how her number one broadcasting rule was put to the test by Wigan's Liam Byrne.
Published 09/06/23
This week Jenna and Jon are joined by Director of Operations and Legal for the Rugby Football League, Rob Hicks. The trio look over the role of a referee and reflect on Rob's officiating experiences. Would the game be more interesting if referees were mic'd up? And what kind of conversations go on amongst officials and players?
Published 08/29/23
This week Jenna and Jon are joined by the legendary Australian commentator Andrew Voss. They discuss his brief stint in a band, his second career in the scented candle business and alternative names for rugby league! Plus Jon has his say on the quality of fans' chants and the panel debate the best way to eat a pie!
Published 08/21/23
This week on The Bench, Jon and Jenna are joined by Leigh Leopards owner Derek Beaumont. The trio discuss a variety of topics including Derek's forward approach with leopard print branding and pre-match entertainment, as well as his hopes for Leigh this season ahead of the Challenge Cup final.
Published 08/08/23
This week Jenna Brooks and Jon Wilkin are joined by Catalans Dragons' Sam Tomkins. They discuss his imminent retirement, the legacy he'll leave behind, and his life in France. Plus Jon quizzes Sam on his famous beard and there are some creative suggestions to freshen up the sport - including lie detectors and trips to space!
Published 07/19/23
Ben Westwood joins Jon and the returning Barrie McDermott on The Bench this week to discuss life after retirement, picking fights with the opposition, awkward text messages you wish you'd never sent and selfies with fans.
Published 07/10/23
This week Jenna Brooks and Jon Wilkin are joined by Adrian Morley - the only British player to win both NRL and Super League Grand Finals. They discuss his reputation for tough tackling, the risks involved in the game and players faking injuries. Plus Jenna has her say on drinks queues at stadiums and Jon has some unique ideas to spice up the game!
Published 07/03/23
With no Jon this week, Jenna is joined by Barrie McDermott and Hull FC's Scott Taylor. The trio discuss the art of making a good tackle and name the players they find hardest to tackle. Scott also gives an update on his fitness, as well as looking at what life holds for him after the game.
Published 06/26/23
Jenna and Jon were joined this week by the only player to win consecutive Man of Steel awards (and Jon's aunt's heart) Paul Sculthorpe... We discuss the time he went round Richard Branson's house to discuss terms, the infamous Saints-Wigan Good Friday fight back in 2004 and whether salary caps are a good thing for the game.
Published 06/14/23
Jenna Brooks and Jon Wilkin are joined by Barrie McDermott at Magic Weekend in Newcastle for the latest episode of The Bench. We discuss dealing with social media criticism and whether a UK version of the State of Origin could work. Is a Lancashire vs Yorkshire series viable?
Published 06/09/23
Jon Wilkin is joined by Courtney Winfield-Hill this week to find out what it's like being an Australian who ends up representing England and to discover how she has adjusted to life in Yorkshire. Plus, Courtney gives her opinions on how the Women's Super League can grow and try to compete with the NRLW.
Published 05/30/23
With Jenna still away, Barrie McDermott joins Jon to chat with special guest Stevie Ward about the mentality of a top level rugby league player and how dealing with pain becomes part of the game. Marathon beers are also on the agenda and the boys answer the age old question, which animal would be the worst to enter a rugby league pitch?
Published 05/22/23
On Mental Health Awareness Week, Dan Sarginson joins Jenna and Jon to discuss his career and decision to retire. The trio take a closer look into the importance and understanding of mental health issues within the game, and how people may be suffering in silence.
Published 05/15/23
Gareth Ellis joins Jon and Jamie Jones-Buchanan (while Jenna's away) to discuss 4G pitches, shoulder pads, tight kits, longevity in sport and what it takes to be an elite player.
Published 05/09/23
Jenna Brooks and Jon Wilkin are joined by Mitchell Pearce on the latest episode of The Bench. The Catalans Dragons stand-off talks about the differences between playing in Super League to NRL and how he deals with pressure and criticism. Plus, Jon reveals his true feelings towards groundsmen and Jenna's hoping for a trip to Las Vegas!
Published 04/25/23