Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #103

Ray Mour

The rumour mill has been pretty hectic recently.  

Purtill favourite for Leigh job

Kieron Purtill is the favourite to take over as head coach of Leigh Centurions on a permanent basis. Purtill is currently caretaker coach following Neil Jukes’ resignation last week and it is understood that Centurions owner Derek Beaumont is willing to give Purtill a chance in the roll. Purtill has had one head coaching position previously and that was as England Knights boss. There have also been rumours flying around that Darren Abram could get involved with the club again, but we aren’t sure in which capacity.

Golding going nowhere

There has been a lot of talk surrounding Ashton Golding’s future at Leeds Rhinos doing the rounds at the moment. The Jamaica international has been linked with a loan move to Castleford Tigers in recent weeks but it is understood that he is going nowhere just yet, either permanently or on loan. He wants to fight for the full-back role alongside Jack Walker at the Rhinos.

Cronulla stepping up interest in Barba

It is understood that Cronulla Sharks are still chasing the signature of Ben Barba. The former Dally M Medal winner is under contract at St Helens until the end of the 2019 season but with the way he is playing in Super League, a lot of people are expecting him to return to the NRL ahead of next season. Cronulla are believed to be very keen on bringing Barba back to the club.

Smith wants to fight for spot at St Helens

Matty Smith is willing to fight for his place at St Helens, according to reports. The 30-year-old is yet to make a Super League appearance in 2018 due to the impressive form of Danny Richardson. It is believed that Saints coach Justin Holbrook still has Smith in his plans and doesn’t want him to leave the club just yet.

Roosters silence SBW rumours

Sydney Roosters chairman Nick Politis has silenced rumours that superstar Sonny Bill Williams could make a return to the club in 2019. The dual-code ace has reportedly been told that he won’t feature for the All Blacks at the 2019 Rugby Union World Cup. Politis said: “As far as I’m aware, he’s contracted to play rugby union in New Zealand. We love Sonny and we’ll always love Sonny, but I’m not sure where this has come from.”

Frustrations building over structures

There are increasing frustrations over the failure to agree a format for the ongoing structure of the game. It is believed a number of proposals, including the two 10-team Super Leagues idea, have been backed by 10 of the Super League clubs – with the same two opposing on each occasion. These two clubs have a special bond via their representatives and are believed to be pushing for a return to the previous licensing system.

What rumours have you been hearing recently? Get in touch by commenting below.