Off the Record: Rugby League Rumour and Gossip #55

Retirement immenent?
Is Wes Naiqama about to retire? We’ve heard whispers, but no confirmation, that the London centre could be about to hang up his boots. Naiqama turns 34 next month and has been with the Broncos for the past two seasons. The Fijian has played for more than a decade and made over 100 NRL appearances for St George Illawarra, Newcastle and Penrith before his move to the UK. He’s also represented the Bati 14 times.

Brotherly love

While Wes could be about to call time, we also hear that his brother Kevin could be on his way to Super League in 2017. A centre like his bother, the 27-year old has been in great form for the Wests Tigers in the NRL in the past two seasons. Lightning quick and a handy try-scorer – bagging 36 in 70 games – he could be a real hit in Super League if he makes the move north. No word on which clubs want the Fijian.

Bungled trophy
Word comes to us that the RFL had egg on its face recently when Toulouse Olympique hosted Rochadale in the promotion play off in France. Toulouse were the heavy favourites to win the game because they were at home, are a full-time team and had not lost a league game all season. But Rochdale upset the apple cart and pipped the French club to secure promotion. Apparently there was blue ribbons on the trophy in anticipation of Toulouse winning the game. But the Hortnets didn’t read the script, taking home the trophy and a spot in the Championship with a famous victory.

Koukash’s plan
More on the rumour mill as Marwan Koukash’s future at Salford comes into question. The latest info we have is that if the Red Devils lose the Million Pound game, and go down, then the good Doctor will stay, as he doesn’t want to leave the club in the lurch. But if they beat Hull KR on Saturday and secure their Super League status for 2017, Koukash is off and won’t own the club any longer.

Sale-bound Solomona
Our informants tell us that wing wizard Denny Solomona is most likely off to Sale. The rugby union club, with lots of rugby league links, has come in with a huge bid for the Kiwi. Castleford weren’t able to turn the big money on offer down, and have decided to cash in on Solomona who is under contract. Sale should feature two rugby league flyers on their flanks next year in Josh Charnley and Solomona. It’s a real shame we won’t have the talented Tigers winger in our competition next year.

Sheffield departures

Several of the Eagles squad have already landed new deals away from cash-strapped Sheffield for 2017. Our sources tell us that Mike Knowles and Keal Carlile will be playing for Featherstone next year. Matt James is off to London, while fellow forward Scott Wheeldon is Australia-bound. We’ve been told that Wheeldon is either going to Queensland Cup sides Sunhsine Coast or Redcliffe.

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