Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #106

What would a gossip column be without Toronto, Leigh and Salford at the moment?

Smith to return to Salford

It is believed that Salford Red Devils are keen on bringing half-back Matty Smith back to the club on a loan deal. The 30-year-old has yet to make a first team appearance for Justin Holbrook’s St Helens side this term due to the impressive form of Danny Richardson. He could possibly feature for Saints on Easter Monday, but it is looking increasingly likely that Smith’s future lies away from the Totally Wicked Stadium. With Salford interested, does this mean Robert Lui’s time at the club is coming to an end? Time will tell…

Nobody interested in Leigh job

There have been many names linked with the vacant coaching position at Leigh Centurions in recent weeks, but everyone who Leigh have approached so far has not been interested in taking the job on, confirmed head of rugby Derek Beaumont. In Sunday’s programme notes, Beaumont said: “It has been a very difficult period these last few weeks and it has taken its toll on everyone at the club. There has been no real interest shown in the coaching role and people we have approached have not been interested.” Make of that what you will.

Hull KR to make improved offers for Hutchison and Lui

Hull Kingston Rovers are set to make improved bids for Salford Red Devils ace Robert Lui and Leigh Centurions half-back Drew Hutchison, but it is believed Rovers only want one of them. It is looking like it may come down to who has the cheapest transfer fee and they will have to barter with both clubs to get the prices down. Leigh are apparently looking to offload a couple of players, so Hutchison might be the more likely move to happen.

Ferguson to sign new deal with Huddersfield

Scotland international Dale Ferguson is close to agreeing a new deal with Huddersfield Giants. The 29-year-old’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season, but it is reported that he wants to stay at the John Smith’s Stadium beyond 2018. Ferguson has been one of Huddersfield’s better players this season and it is believed that he wants to get the deal confirmed quickly rather than waiting around.

Toronto and Leeds chase Manly forward Lussick

Toronto Wolfpack and Leeds Rhinos are believed to be in talks with Manly Sea Eagles prop Darcy Lussick. The 28-year-old is set to be granted a release with the Sea Eagles to join a club that competes in the Rugby Football League. Lussick will become the first player to leave the club after Manly received a salary cap penalty earlier this week. The NRL club were fined $750,000 after breaches of approximately $1.5million since 2013. Toronto are understood to be the frontrunners to sign Lussick, but Leeds are keen on bringing a forward to the club.

Salford join Widnes in race for Russell

Warrington are trying to offload Matty Russell to ease their salary cap concerns, but are still waiting for firm offers, though several clubs have been in contact. We understand that Huddersfield Giants are not interested in him while question marks still remain over whether Salford Red Devils have the required funds to sign anybody due to their ongoing financial concerns. The interest is there from the Red Devils though, while Widnes are still monitoring Russell’s situation.