Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #99

Ben Roberts. Castleford Tigers 42 v. Wakefield Trinity 24 - Betfred Super League XXII Round 9 - 14th April 2017

The season has kicked-off now, so surely you don’t need rumours to entertain you?!

Back to number one for Castleford
After their first round thumping at St Helens, it seems Castleford coach Daryl Powell is already questioning the full-back plan he has been so confident in since losing Zak Hardaker in October. Ben Roberts had a night to forget at the Totally Wicked Stadium and Powell is considering changing things for this weekend’s match against Widnes. Could one option be to delve in to the loan market? Some perhaps hopeful rumours have already started in Cas Vegas that Leeds number one Ashton Golding should be targeted, given the ominous form shown by Jack Walker last week.

The Price is right for Barba
A mischievous journalist reckons they have Ben Barba saying that if Steve Price was Warrington coach when they approached him last year, he would have joined them. It’s irrelevant now mind, because he’s at Saints, and the way he played on Friday he could be head and shoulders the best player in Super League this year. The big challenge for Saints isn’t Warrington – it’s keeping him away from the NRL.

Hull KR still on the hunt
Despite making two signings at the back end of last week, Hull KR are still not finished recruitment wise. The Monday morning papers reported they had a bid rejected for Widnes’ Rhys Hanbury, the second rival club they had approached with a deal in the past 10 days. Once the first few games are out of the way, it will become clearer who is out of favour and potentially available. Matty Smith, anyone?

Structure update
Worringly, there’s not even much in the way of rumours when it comes to the structure of the game, which in itself suggests not much is happening. With key figures Down Under for a few weeks, that’s not likely to help the situation. There is still a stand-off between the clubs wanting to increase to 14, and those wanting to remain at 12. The allocation of TV money to the lower league clubs is also a thorny issue.

Super League to Australia?
We’ve already had French and Welsh teams join the party, with a Canadian one on their way and much talk about further North American outfits joining them. But now Wigan supremo Ian Lenagan says he wouldn’t be surprised to see a team from Perth, Australia in Super League. Hopefully this is just a publicity stunt for this weekend’s game against Hull in Wollongong, but if it’s not, then the game’s finally gone mad.

Heard anything on the terraces this week? Let us know in the comments below.

2 Comments

  1. ” …..then the game’s finally gone mad.”

    What an odd item to base this on! TGG has always been mad. What an insane idea to leave the Union in London and go it alone! How absurd to change the number of players to 13! And as for the crazy play the ball and playing in Summer !!!

    “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” Marylin Monroe

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