Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #81

We’ve been on a break for a while, but we’re back with a look at some of the rumours floating around in rugby league circles.

New Catalans coach

The Hull Daily Mail say that the new Catalans coach will be Steve McNamara, though there is still nothing official from the Dragons. Since leaving the England job, he has quietly been getting on with things as an assistant Down Under. It’s a bold move for the Dragons, given McNamara flopped at Bradford and some might say could only manage to lead England to third in a three horse race.

Catalans’ top choice was always Warrington’s Tony Smith, who might appreciate a trip to the south of France given the Wolves’ current woes, but that doesn’t seem to have come off. Widnes assistant Brett Hodgson, whose family live in the south of France, was another option for the Dragons.

Sims to go in Warrington rebuild?

Warrington still have some worrying on the field to do before they look at re-building for 2018, but one man who might not be part of those plans is Ashton Sims, linked this week with a move to Toronto Wolfpack.

The Wolfpack are shoe-ins for the Championship next season and are already sounding out several high profile players about making the move. They will be wanting to build a team capable of winning The Qualifiers in 12 months time.

Leigh look to the future

Another one for the exit door at Warrington could be centre Rhys Evans, reportedly set to make a move to Leigh, who have already announced Bryson Goodwin for next season. Although their Super League future is at risk thanks to the current structure, they are still recruiting aggressively to ensure improvements next season.

Myler’s return home?

The uncertainty at Catalans has made it even more likely that English half Richie Myler will be returning home in 2018. As reported in this column earlier in the season, he has a number of suitors.

The latest rumour, stoked further by Garry Schofield this week, is that Leeds are taking a look at the former Salford and Warrington man. Leeds are in the market for half-backs with both Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire reaching the end of their careers.

End of the road for Lomax?

The arrival of Ben Barba at St Helens could spell the end for Jonny Lomax, who has worked incredibly hard to get back to form and full fitness following a horrendous injury run. With St Helens coach Justin Holbrook likely to want to have a clear out and make space for new signings, Lomax looks most at risk.

He is the most high profile player out of contract at the end of the season at the Totally Wicked Stadium, along with Dominique Peyroux and Jack Owens, who has already been farmed out to Sheffield.

Clubs struggling to recruit

The old argument against promotion and relegation was that it left the promoted side too long to recruit new players. The problem with the new system is that it now means as many as five teams can’t be sure where they’ll be next term.

That puts them behind the eight ball, especially compared to those already secure in the top eight. At least one Super League club has reported troubles with players not wanting to commit due to the uncertainty over their Super League status – whether there is a clause included or not.

Heard anything on the grapevine? Let us know in the comments below.

7 Comments

  1. All refs need to go back to basic. Give them a rule book. Because none of them have got any balls to use red cards. Linesmen need to earn the wage and help the refs. Wigan get away with too many things. Always complaining to refs and getting decision

  2. Are you all watching the same Wigan games I watch cause the last three games I’ve seen of Wigan refs and line men give them nothing and if you have watched the game against Warrington on Saturday Warrington should of been down to 12 men twice so don’t say Wigan get away with anything and I only ever see a lines man on the pitch when he’s seen something Wigan have done

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