Bradford Bulls, Wakefield Trinity recruitment, Jake Connor: Love Rugby League Q&A as your questions answered

Aaron Bower
Daryl Powell, Jake Connor and Eamon O'Carroll

Covering everything from transfer news across Super League and the Championship to the biggest issues dominating the sport, it’s time for another Love Rugby League Q&A.

We asked you to send your questions in about anything rugby league-related and perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s transfer news that’s high on the agenda. We’ve picked out the best questions and attempted to answer them based on the understanding we have of the game at present.

Without further ado, let’s start at Bradford..

We revealed last week that the Bulls were on the brink of tying up a deal to re-sign Halifax Panthers half-back for 2025. That deal is, I’m told, pretty much done now.

Keyes and Jordan Lilley looks like Bradford’s preferred half-back pairing for 2025, which could have ramifications for more members of their current first-team squad.

Jake Maizen is another player the Bulls are intent on signing, and as has already been mooted, Halifax’s Matty Gee is another who is high on the agenda at Odsal. The wheels are already turning at the Bulls for 2025 – but they are bracing themselves to lose some key players. Mitch Souter is one I’m told who has interest from a higher level; unsurprising, given his form.

The Bateman rumour can be comprehensively put to bed, as we revealed last week. However, I’m told Trinity have at least one more ‘major’ signing lined up for 2025, and I’d wager they’re waiting until closer to the time when the IMG gradings are announcing before finalising it.

They do, however, have the budget to do more business and indeed, they also have cap space. But I understand they may even wait until the 2025 season begins before using that quota spot: with players often becoming available from Australia late into pre-season.

Matty Russell and Oliver Russell, as well as Cam Scott, are still to be announced by Trinity.

The smart money, given developments in the last 24 hours, would suggest Leeds in the short-term – but the international break which is coming up provides all parties with an opportunity to reset and work out the best course of action.

Connor’s future certainly isn’t over at Huddersfield but he needs game-time, and there needs to be a decision. If the Rhinos’ interest remains post-break, that could be where he moves next.

Incidentally, one club who are in the market for a player like Connor, who can play multiple positions, is Salford: but I’m told they’ve no interest in a loan deal for Connor right now.

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Wellens would, I’d wager, be the coach of St Helens in 2025. I’d actually imagine a fairly low-key rotation at the Saints: yes, they’ve lost Makinson and yes, they’re active in the market trying to find an outside back.

But the British market in particular is incredibly quiet right now: all of the better players are signed up, and it may well be that the Saints are biding their time. Blake’s form has at least played him into a position where the Saints are holding talks.

Not one I’ve chased (but now will), to be honest. Sutton’s immediate concern is returning from a hip problem which has sidelined him indefinitely and that would alert potential suitors in England too.

However, Sutton is two things: he’s English, and he’s a prop. Clubs are desperately sourcing the market for players who tick both of those boxes, so if he became available, there’d definitely be interest.

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