Off the Record: Rugby League Rumour and Gossip #61

Skint Scotland
Word reaches us that England, Australian and Kiwi players are on around £15,000 a game for their Four Nations campaign. Scotland, in contrast, are being paid ‘pocket money’ and are forced to rely on voluntary work from coaches, conditioners and adminstration/management types in order to keep the squad going. England hired a cyrotherapy chamber for post-game at the Ricoh – it cost almost the same as Scotland‘s entire budget for the tournament. Scotland also wanted to play an international before the Four Nations but weren’t able to because of a lack of funds. While England took on France and Australia played New Zealand, the Scots had 80 minutes against a Cumbrian Select XIII. Worth knowing next time you want to attack the Bravehearts for being ‘plastic Jocks’ – they are playing for Scotland for love of the game, not the money.

Solomona saga
The Denny Solomona transfer saga to Sale just keeps getting murkier. We’ve heard that Solomona has been advised to say he is retiring from rugby league and walk away, to break his contract with the Tigers and force his move to the rugby union club. The winger is under contract and Cas don’t want him to go. Cas are smartly playing this one by the book and have enlisted the RFL in their battle to keep the player. This is getting messy.

Zak’s choice
Despite a close relationship with Salford owner Marwan Koukash, Zak Hardaker chose Cas as his new club. Hardaker is from Pontefract and knows Cas coach Daryl Powell well, after giving him his first chance in rugby league at Featherstone. Hardaker’s arrival poses questions how Powell will juggle his backline for 2017. One rumour has Ben Roberts at fullback, Hardaker on one wing and then Greg Eden on the other. Michael Shenton, Greg Minikin, Jake Webster and Joel Monaghan can vy for the centre spots, with Rangi Chase and Luke Gale in the halves. Whichever way he goes, it’s a good problem for Powell to solve.

Morley ends Salford stint
Adrian Morley‘s contact as a club ambassador with Salford has finished. A source tells us that Morley’s deal ran out a few weeks ago and at this stage won’t be renewed. ‘Moz’ is a legend of rugby league and we hope a role can be found for him somewhere in the game.

Manu move?
We’ve heard a whisper thank Frank Pritchard might not be the only Pacific Islander at Hull FC on the move. Apparently Manly are trying to lure Sika Manu back to the NRL. Trent Barrett has identified the Tongan forward as someone who can add some grunt to his back. The issue is Manu is contracted to Hull FC for 2017 and has not asked for a release as yet, we understand.

Adding experience

One Super League club is looking to bring in a director of rugby to help their head coach for 2017. This club wants to add a coaching director, an old hand, to assist their coach with recruitment and the running of the first-team. This club not in a rush to make the right appointment and will take its time to find the appropriate candidate.

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