Off the Record: Rugby League Rumour and Gossip #39

Clydesdale to England?
Young Canberra hooker Adam Clydsdale is on the outer at the Raiders and could land in Super League. Stuck behind Josh Hodgson and Kurt Baptiste, Clydsdale has little choice but to look elsewhere. The 23-year old former Newcastle Knight has made 40 appearances in the NRL but not played a first-grade game this year in Canberra.

Cool hand Luke
Word spreads that St Helens and Catalans are after Cronulla’s Luke Lewis. The veteran is on big dollars on the Sharks and his current club won’t be able to offer him similar money for next year. Saints see the Aussie and NSW rep as the ideal man to lead their pack, while Canberra’s prop Frank-Paul Nu’uasusala will add some grunt.

Visa issues
The recruitment of Australian and Kiwi players to England is taking a hit with the tightening of visa rules. Many of the NRL contingent who want a stint in Super League won’t be able to unless they have played in 50% of available NRL games. The stricter regulations are a blow to many players keen on a move, and who don’t have British or EU passports, and to several clubs with targets in their sights.

Mead to Super League?
Gold Coast flyer David Mead is one player who could be plying his trade in the UK in 2017. A noted finisher, Mead is off contract and wants a shot at playing fullback. The 27-year old is in demand in both hemispheres and won’t be short of options. According to Aussie media, Castleford has already made a bid for him.

Get Gubb
Along with teammate Thomas Leuluai, Wigan are trying to entice New Zealand Warriors prop Charlie Gubb to the DW Stadium. The 26-year old made his NRL debut in 2013 and has been in and out of the Warriors side this year. A bit more Kiwi grunt to the Wigan pack?

Overdrive
The silly season of player moves and agent deals is in full swing. Along with it are rumours think and flying. The latest include Jamie Soward to retire next year, Brett Stewart to replace Zak Hardaker at Leeds, and Hardaker to land at Penrith. The Rhinos are being linked with every NRL player and his dog, as they seek to turn around their ailing form. Robbie Farah, James Segeyaro, Morgan Escare – you name it, Leeds are apparently considering. Some of the rumours are far-fetched but others we believe are right on the money. Let the chatter commence.

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