Off the Record: Rugby League Rumour and Gossip #31

Tickling the Robins
Word comes to us that injury-hit Hull KR have shown some real interest in former Widnes back-rower Danny Tickle. The one time England international is looking for a new club after leaving the Vikings. The Robins are in desperate need of strengthening their squad, particularly a forward pack that lacks punch. Tickle and Hull KR would appear to be a good fit.

Keeping your enemies close
Marwan Koukash had some interesting guests at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday night, with RFL boss Nigel Wood and Leigh owner Derek Beaumont in attendance. Koukash and Wood, often sparring partners, were deep in conversation, while Beaumont was having a good chat with rugby director Tim Sheens. Salford’s salary cap tribunal is coming up and maybe there was a truce being declared between the RFL and the good Doctor. Beaumont signed half of the Red Devils squad at the end of last year, is he planning another raid?

Crosby eyes down under
Wigan have lost a steady stream of players to the NRL in recent years – Dan Sarginson, Joe Burgess, Sam Tomkins, Eddy Pettybourne etc. Is prop Dominic Crosby about to join them? One of our spies brings us word that Crosby wants to have a crack at the NRL when his current contract runs out in a year and a half’s time. The big unit would be in his prime as a front-rower and has already played in three Super League grand finals.

Danny boy
The rumour mill has been overdrive that Danny Brough wants out of Huddersfield. The man himself has denied it while Adam Pearson, the man in charge of Hull FC, supposedly Brough’s next destination, says his club isn’t in for the playmaker. But a source tells us that the conflict is between Brough and coach Paul Anderson. The two strong-willed characters don’t see eye to eye, with Brough losing the captaincy and a recent sin-binning against the Airlie Birds not helping matters. If the Giants’ losing run continues, one of them will surely be leaving the John Smith’s Stadium this season.

Winging Red V
St Helens are on the hunt for some outside backs to boost their ailing backline. Saints have Dominique Peyroux, Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival and Adam Swift all sidelined right now, leaving them very thin on the ground. Nineteen year-old Jack Spedding made his debut against Warrington last Friday. The speculation is that St Helens have their eye on an experienced back at a nearby Super League to join in a loan move. The signing could be announced very soon.

Busy Dragons
St George Illawarra are struggling right now and are out of add some firepower to their roster for next year. While they may have missed out on Cooper Cronk, who is close to re-signing with Melbourne, they are after forwards Matt Gillet and Greg Eastwood. Both are internationals and would be handy additions to their pack. The Dragons also want Luke Keary to partner Gareth Widdop in the halves next year, with Benj Marshall leaving Kogarah.

We need to talk about Kevin
Kevin Locke has been out of rugby league since the disgraceful end to his time in Super League last year, but he wants back into the NRL. Locke, who originally moved back to Wellington, has been shopped round to several clubs, including the Broncos, Cowboys and Titans, by his new manager Scott Hill. A former Australia and NSW rep, Hill played for Harlequins in 2007 and 2008. Locke has been working on his fitness and conditioning with trainer Keegan Smith, the son of his old Wakefield coach Brian Smith. Rugby league is a funny world some times.

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