Off the Record: Rugby League Rumour and Gossip #48

Matterson a Robin?
Our sources tell us that a new name has emerged in the shortlist for the Hull KR job – Terry Matterson. The former Cas coach, now an assistant with Gold Coast, is a new candidate for the Robins role joining the likes of Steve McNamara and Justin Morgan. Matterson is certainly qualified and the Aussie knows English game, having coached the Tigers from 2005 to 2011. The 49-year old was very successful with the USA team at the last World Cup, and has been working wonders with the Titans under Neil Henry this season.

Mortimer stays
Still on Hull KR and word comes to us that Daniel Mortimer definitely won’t be at Craven Park next season. The Titans half/hooker has yet to sign on the dotted line with the Robins and is chasing a new deal in the NRL. He apparently has a few options to mull over there, not just the Wests Tigers. It’s a blow for Hull KR as the former Parramatta man would have been a great addition with his utility value. There’s also been talk that Dane Tilse might be departing the red and white come October.

Purtell to depart?
He’s contracted for 2017 but we’re hearing that it’s likely Adrian Purtell won’t be at Odsal next year. Purtell joined Bradford in 2012 and has made more than 80 appearances for the Bulls. The big centre has had his injury problems to contend with this season and turns 32 in January.

Samoan strike
Speculation grows that Samoan international Jesse Sene-Lefao could be at Castleford in 2017. The Cronulla back-rower, who previously was at Manly, has found games sparce since landing in the Shire. Shane Flanagan’s high-flying Sharks team is difficult to break into right now. The New Zealand-born 26-year old middle, who grew up in Western Sydney, has two caps for Toa Samoa to his name.

McDonnell waits
Tough going for St Helens fullback Shannon McDonnell, who is off contract at the end of the current campaign. McDonnell is set to leave Saints and at this stage has no offers from other Super League clubs. The Aussie has made 16 appearances this season, but has been frozen out recently and not played since July 8. It appears at this point that he will be headed back home in 2017.

Staying put
David Mead has said no to a Super League switch as he wants to stay in the NRL. The PNG flyer is on his way out of the Gold Coast, a move already in the works before Jarryd Hayne‘s arrival. Mead seems headed to Sydney, with Manly and the Bulldogs his strongest suitors. Manly need outside backs, especially in the wing position, while Mead would be a handy replacement for the retiring Sam Perrett. Also Chris Heighington looks set to remain down under, despite attracting interest from Warrington and Wakefield. Heighington is speaking to a few NRL clubs, but we’ve been tipped that he will probaby re-sign with Cronulla.

Wolfpack grows
Toronto are amassing some squad for their debut campaign. The Wolfpack have already snared a number of Super League and Championship players, and the gossip grows that they’ve landed a few more. These incude forer Leigh prop Jake Emmitt, Bradford’s Steve Crossley and London prop Toby Everett. It’s going to be scary for the likes of Hemel and Oxford.



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