Off the Record: Rugby League Rumour and Gossip #51

Mamo on the move?
Whispers from down under tell us that Newcastle fullback Jake Mamo could be on his way to Huddersfield in 2017. The 22-year old debuted in the NRL in 2014 and knows Huddersfield coach Rick Stone well from his time at the Knights. The Giants are certainly on the lookout for a fullback with both Jake Connor and Scott Grix departing. There is also speculation that Stone wants to entice Newcastle hooker Tyler Randall to Yorkshire as well.

Part-time Sir Kev
The move by the RFL to appoint Kevin Sinfield as a rugby director was praised by pretty much everyone as a good decision. Apparently Sinfield is to spend half his time in the performance and development department at Red Hall, and the other half with the commercial, marketing and comms teams in Media City. He will also be working on a plan for the 2021 World Cup and reviewing England‘s performance in this year’s Four Nations. Only problem, we’ve been told, is that Sinfield’s job is only for two days a week. Which begs the question, how much impact can he have on a part-time basis?

Coal train derailed
Staying with the RFL and we’ve still had no word on Dave Taylor and whether the Aussie forward will face any sanction or rebuke for his conviction in his homeland. Taylor has pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing cocaine in Queensland, and will be sentenced in November. Catalans gave us a firm ‘no comment’ when asked for their reaction to the news of Taylor’s guilty plea. But the RFL is staying silent for now.

England assisting
The grapevine is alive with news that Francis Cummins will be joining Wayne Bennett’s coaching staff as an assistant. Cummins had a long career as a player, representing both England and Great Britain, and has previously worked as an assistant at Leeds and as head coach of Bradford. Mostly recently he has been working with rugby union’s Doncaster Knights, but our info is that he will be Bennett’s skills/attack coach for the upcoming tournaments.

NRL manoeuvres
The drums are beating in Australia as the wheeling and dealing hots up. We told you weeks ago that Tony Williams is a strong chance of landing in Super League in 2017, as there appears little interest in him in the NRL, while Leeds hooker James Segeyaro could also be heading the other way. Talk is growing about a potential NRL return for the man from PNG. Definitely one to watch. There’s also Canberra halfback Sam Williams, once of Catalans, who is contemplating a move back to Super League.

Under-20s remodelled
We hear a shake-up is on the cards in the NRL with the Under-20s National Youth Competition undergoing change in 2018. Under the new system the Under-20s will no longer be run by NRL clubs, instead a feeder club will take charge of both the Under-20s and reserve-grade sides. NRL clubs will now field just one team, their first-grade outfit, and in the future feeder clubs, like Manly’s new model concept with Blacktown, will run both the NYC and second-tier squads.

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