Off the Record Rugby League Rumour #77

Gossip, intrigue and secrets from the big wide world of rugby league.

Myler’s homecoming?
Former England half-back Richie Myler is out of contract at the end of the season, and looks likely to return to England following a two-year stint with Catalans Dragons. One possible location is a return to his hometown club Widnes, with whom he made a couple of first team appearances before forging his career first at Salford and then Warrington. A feature in the Vikings matchday programme hinted that the 26-year-old may be open to a return to the Select Security Stadium, with Denis Betts on the lookout for a half-back following the sale of Kevin Brown in the winter.

Salford progress
For all the posturing during the Koukash reign, Salford now seem to have started making progress under the stability of coach Ian Watson and new CEO Ian Blease. Their recent efforts locally, in both the business world and the community, have received widespread praise. They are also set to announce an eye-catching Magic Weekend shirt and partnership that is likely to get widespread acclaim.

Warrington worry
It’s not just on the field that Warrington have had a worrying start to the season, with some fans and long-standing sponsors of the club voicing concerns that they are being alienated in the post-Roger Draper era. Rumours were rife in the winter that the club had a few holes to fill, and while money is unlikely to be an issue under Simon Moran, the goodwill of the town’s people and businesses is something that needs to be considered.

Professional club reduction?
Talks are already underway regarding the future structure of the game, with a scheduled review analysing the impact of the Super 8s. There is no doubting that the Middle 8 element has been a success, but either end of that has not provided the desired impact. Not only that, with League 1 increasing to 16 teams, the professional structure now encompasses 40 clubs. The thinking is that this is too many, particularly with commercial and TV revenue nowhere near as much as it should be, and League 1 clubs could be made to pitch to convince the RFL that they deserve a place in the new structure. With supposed expansion teams like Hemel and Oxford now largely based in the traditional heartlands, there could be change afoot.

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