Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #82

Young full-backs causing a stir 

The sensational statement from Leeds Rhinos about their young full-back Jack Walker has caused quite a stir across Super League. Warrington are the apparent favourites to land him, though Leigh are believed to have made an offer too.

Warrington’s move for Walker may well have been accelerated by the news that one of their own, Will Dagger, has opted to move on, with Hull KR set to be his end destination amidst interest from a number of Yorkshire clubs, according to the Hull Daily Mail.

Super League gets an injection from St George

Two Dragons players have been released to pursue Super League opportunities. Mose Masoe, the Samoan international who is no stranger to Super League fans has linked up with Hull KR, while Kalifa FaiFai Loa hasn’t found a club yet but has permission to look overseas. Faifai Loa has played just twice this year (incidentally, both of them strong performances), but will make a handy addition to a lucky club’s backline.

If Faifai Loa also gets a Super League gig, it will bring the total number of Dragons players heading to the Super League this week to three. Tyrone McCarthy has signed with Salford, effective immediately.

Faifai Loa has been linked to Widnes in the past, and will be facing a race to beat the transfer deadline on Friday.

Newcastle Knights still bringing in the new names

After already bolstering their ranks significantly this season, the Knights are rumoured to be close to signing yet another big name. Young Roosters half Connor Watson, capable playing anywhere in the spine, is close to agreeing terms.

The promise of regular football is a strong incentive for Watson to exit Bondi, and rumour has it the number 6 jersey will be his in Newcastle. The Knights are also being linked to Bulldogs hooker, Michael Lichaa, a signing that will ease the loss of Rory Kstjason to retirement.

But may be losing one too

The addition of Watson could be offset by the loss of English workhorse, Joe Wardle, who looks set to leave Newcastle after just one season at the Sydney club. Despite signing a three-year agreement, Wardle appears likely to head back to the Super League to seek more game time in his familiar position in the second row. We suspect Huddersfield won’t be the only Super League club circling.

Swinton pain

It’s fight on all fronts for Swinton as they aim to keep the club from going out of business as well as out of the clutches of Championship relegation. Players were allegedly left unhappy by a number of cuts in various areas, including medical support, and issued an ultimatum not to play unless their requests were met – action was taken, and the Lions have been able to fulfil all of their outstanding fixtures to date.

Titans looking for experienced gun

With Nathan Peats and Jarryd Hayne locked up the Gold Coast Titans have turned their attention to signing a big-name, experienced forward to lead their pack. Sam Thaiday, off-contract at Brisbane after next year and Brenton Lawrence, the 32-year-old Sea-Eagle are the most likely contenders. However, we think at 32, Lawrence is more likely to land a two-year agreement in the Super League.

The Titans are also rumoured to be moving quickly to lock star half-back, Ash Taylor, into a longer deal.

Heard any rumours? Let us know in the comments below.

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