Off the Record: Rugby League Rumour and Gossip #33

Booze bust
Which club was supposedly hitting the pints hard before an important away game? We can’t name tthem, but we’ve been told the players at this side were at the pub the night before the game, and went out to lose that match the following day. They were the heavy favourites in the away fixture as well, with the result a big upset.

Toronto turn
The Toronto Wolfpack were officially unveiled yesterday and word comes to us that they are keen on Leigh halfback Martin Ridyard. The Wolfpack are obviously coached by former Centurions coach Paul Rowley and Ridyard would give them some needed direction and creative spark in the halves. If will be interesting how Leigh respond and if they are set on keeping the 26-year old, a local lad who has spent his whole career at the club.

Payten coming home
Jason Taylor is on life support at the Wests Tigers and Todd Payten is being lined up as his replacement. Now an assistant at the Cowboys, Payten had a long career as a prop at the Tiges and won a comp there in 2005. He also has a good rapport with most of the club’s roster, having coached the Under-20s successfully for two years before becoming an assistant to the first-grade side.

The new Solly
A few names have been thrown into the mix to take Blake Solly’s old job, including former World Cup executive Sally Bolton and Warrington CEO Roger Draper. Our source tells us that both aren’t in with a chance, with Draper also recently re-signing with the Wolves. We’ve been told that an Aussie administrator with NRL experience has thrown his hat in the ring, becoming a bit of a wild card selection. Whoever gets the job will have to have a good rapport with RFL chief executive Nigel Wood, who is clearly calling the shots.

Recruitment idiocy
Which English club signed a player because they thought he was the relative of a famous rugby league international? We’ve been sworn to secrecy on the team, but this club apparently recruited this player because they thought he was the son of a 1980s great, which he isn’t. Unsurprisingly it didn’t work out well. You can’t make this up.

More biting
Toulouse aren’t the only club recently caught up in a biting allegation. Leigh’s Richard Whiting was allegedly nibbled on at the weekend in their win over Featherstone. The sorry episode was put on report, but our insider tells us there was some pressure for Whiting to play down the whole incident as it could get swept under the carpet. We’re not expecting any disciplinary action.

Hammy horror
It looks like Joel Moon is set for another two weeks out with a tricky hamstring injury, apparently known as a neural hamstring. It’s down to tension in the nerves, that connect to the hammys, and can affect the central nervous system. We’re no House, that’s for sure, but it’s down to adverse neural tensions. It’s a wait and see act for the Leeds centre and one the Rhinos hopes heals quickly, they certainly need him back on the park.

Eels slayed
Salford lost six points for salary cap cheating and Parramatta will lose much more – that’s what one of our NRL operatives tells us. The Eels cap rorts were much more sophisticated and systemtic, going over several years, and they will lose a lot of points, maybe 10 or more. Our source is adamant that Parramatta won’t be playing finals football in 2016 once the punishment is dished out by the NRL.

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