Off the Record: Rugby League Rumour and Gossip #45

Cox move?
Word comes to us that Warrington forward Jordan Cox could be set for a loan move for the Super 8s. Bradford are interested in him, but there is talk that are not the only club with their interest piqued, as Wakefield may also want the prop for the rest of the season. Cox only just joined Warrington at the start of this year from Hull KR. It remains to be seen if Wire boss Tony Smith will let him go.

Hayne Plane Salford-bound?
Jarryd Hayne is weighing up his options after his Fiji sevens bid went south. It’s been reported that Leigh have made a cheeky bid for him for the rest of the season, but we’ve heard whispers they are not the only English club to do so. Apparently Salford have also made an offer for him for the Super 8s. Of course the Red Devils’ director of rugby Tim Sheens knows the Hayne Plane well, having coached to a World Cup win with Australia in 2013. It appears as though Hayne will either return to the NRL with Parramatta, or jump to Super Rugby with the NSW Waratahs, in 2017. But this leaves him a few months to kill before pre-season starts for next year. Does his dreams include having a stint in Lancashire?

Bradford bullish
The Bulls are out to strengthen their forward pack ahead of their crunch game this weekend and the start of the Super 8s. We’ve been told they want at least another forward to bolster their pack, and they’re looking at an Antipodean player. We also understand Bradford have secured Stuart Howarth on loan from Wakefield for the rest of the season. The hooker arrived at Odsal on loan for one month in late June, but that has been extended.

Sheffield strife
The whispers coming out of Sheffield are sadly not good. While the club is putting on a brave face, we’ve been told one of the potential new investors has walked away having baulked at the size of the repair job needed. There is speculation out there that the Eagles may need up to £400,000 to stay afloat before the end of the season. We hope finance and new blood can be found to keep Sheffield alive.

Propping Wigan
Who was the Championship front-rower that Wigan was keen to sign for 2017? This big unit is an impressive specimen not from the UK, who has mainly been used as an impact payer in his time in the second-division. We understand Wigan were all set to sign the prop, but for some reason the deal has now gone cold. It’s a shame as this forward could really wreak some damage to defences in Super League.

RFL attempt
Sadly Featherstone vs Bradford will not be shown on TV this weekend by Sky, even though it is undoubtedly one of the biggest games of the year. But credit to the RFL, as we hear they did their best to try and get Sky to show the game. There’s talk the RFL even enquired about live streaming the match themselves, looking into hiring camera and equipment cost, and televising it on their website but were knocked back by the broadcaster.

England‘s NRL face
Trent Hodkinson isn’t the only Aussie NRL halfback considering putting their hand up to play for England. We’re reliably informed another playmaker from down under, who may have an English grandparent, could soon declare his availability for Wayne Bennet’s team. This halfback is a talented player, who started his career with the Chocolate Soldiers, but it’s a move that will go down like a lead ballon with England fans.

Handley commits
Another of Leeds’ young guns is set to commit to the club. The grapevine tells is that Ash Handley will soon pen a new two-year deal with the Rhinos. The winger’s current deal runs out at the end of 2017, and this new contract will tie him to Headingley until the end of 2019. Handley is only 20 and has plenty of improvement left in him.

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