Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #97

The international game and Toronto dominate this week’s collection of rugby league gossip.

All Betts off?
If Wayne Bennett decides not to commit to the next four years as England coach, it looks likely that Denis Betts will get the nod. The Widnes boss is one of the longest serving coaches in the club game and has been assistant to Bennett over the past two seasons. Following the relative success of the World Cup, the RFL are keen to retain some continuity even if Bennett moves on.

Bull Bailey
Ryan Bailey could wind up at Bradford following his departure from Toronto Wolfpack. The former Leeds forward, very much in the twilight of his career, is now looking for his fifth club in three years having played for Hull KR, Castleford and Warrington before moving to the Wolfpack last season.

Two-way Toronto
Meanwhile, Toronto’s partnership with the Bulls could be seen as a bit insurance if their assault on the Championship doesn’t go as planned. There is likely to be a two-way relationship in terms of player movement, while rumour has it a joint reserve team could be fielded, meaning young Canadian players could come over to the UK to get a taste of rugby league.

Another Wolfpack exit?
It’s an eventful time for the Wolfpack at the moment, and they’re dominating this week’s gossip. We hear another player could soon be heading for the exit door. Paul Rowley will be desperate to get some fresh faces in before they kick-off the Championship season, live on Premier Sports, against Leigh on Sunday week.

Media woe
One Super League club opted against holding the traditional media day for the press, instead opening their doors only to photographers, much to the frustration of journalists wanting to cover them ahead of the new season. They will at least be present at the Super League launch on Thursday. Meanwhile, another Super League club recently sent a sharp reminder that all interview requests must go through their media manager. Handing out players mobile numbers perhaps not the best idea, then.

Keen Koukash
Rumours that a hastily arranged press conference at Bradford on Monday was to announce the involvement of a certain Marwan Koukash were premature, and instead a bewildered Gregg McNally and the partnership with Toronto was announced. Although Koukash is adamant he will simply be a Salford fan in 2018, it is understood he’s already itching to confirm his next involvement in the sport, wherever that may be.

Cordner to remain a Rooster

Australia star Boyd Cordner is set to sign a new deal with NRL giants Sydney Roosters. Coach Trent Robinson has recently revealed that the New South Wales representative is on the verge of penning a new contract with the club.

Heard anything? Let us know in the comments below.

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