Off the Record: Rugby League Rumour and Gossip #34

QLT a Wolf?
We hear that Sheffield Eagles fullback Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e is the latest player to have been approached by the Toronto Wolfpack. ‘QLT’ has been with Sheffield since 2011 and has played more than 150 games for the club. He has been a big part of the Eagles success over the years and would be a loss if he decides to sign up. It shows the Canadians mean business as they are targeting several top Championship players.

Changing minds
All the League 1 clubs voted unanimously to have Toronto in the competition next year. But a source tells OTR that at least one club has had second thoughts and wishes it had spoken out against the entrance of the Canadian club. There is concerns about how some of its players, who are teachers, will get the time off to travel to Toronto for games. There’s also been questions raised just how the Wolfpack will be able to have a full-time squad under the League 1 salary cap of £250,000. We look forward to the explanation on that one.

A brave new hope
Oldham have been one of the surprise packets this year in the Championship and their forward Will Hope is attracting admirers. The back-rower was once on Salford’s books but has played for Sheffield and the Roughyeds in the past two seasons. Hope has done well at Bower Fold this season, after joining the club late last year, and the Irish international could be on the move again in the months ahead.

The Samoan struggle
The move by Wayne Bennett to stop Anthony Milford from playing for Samoa this weekend caused a huge ruckus in the rugby league world. But we’ve been told it’s all a ploy from the master coach, who is protecting his young player. Milford doesn’t want to play for Samoa and has his eyes on an Aussie jumper in the Four Nations and a Maroons shirt in Origin next year. But the 21-year old Brisbanite doesn’t want to offend or disappoint his heritage, so Bennett is taking the heat in the media and saying it’s his call. It’s water off a duck’s back for Wayne.

Eastern dawn
Is Tom Armstrong headed north-east next season? There’s talk that Bradford want to bring Leigh centre Armstrong to Odsal in 2017. Armstrong is off-contract at the end of the year and could be on his way out of the Centurions. Once with St Helens, the 26-year old has been with Leigh for the past two and a half seasons.

Kostjacyn UK-bound?
North Queensland hooker Rory Kostjacyn is considering a stint in Super League starting next year. The 28-year old rake, who debuted with Melbourne in 2010, has been with the Cowboys since 2013. With a number of North Queensland teammates set to stay in Townsville, such as James Tamou, Antonio Winterstein and Lachlan Coote, Kostjacyn may be forced out. He has mostly been appearing off the bench, with Jake Granville preferred as the starting number 9. With an Irish passport, Kostjacyn would not take up a visa spot in Super League.

NRL rumour mill
The latest down under has Warriors centre Konrad Hurrell linked to a move to Manly. Hurrell’s Warriors future has been undecided for a while and his part in the recent partying night out, where painkillers were mixed with energy drinks and six players were disciplined, may see the Kiwi club cut him loose. Meanwhile, the Sea Eagles have a battle on their hands to try and keep back-rower Tom Symonds. Parramatta outside back Ryan Morgan is not headed to Super League and has instead landed at Melbourne. Cronulla are looking to lock down Paul Gallen and Luke Lewis both to extensions next year, which would see them finish their careers in the Shire.

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