Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #109

Unwavering Wigan
Wigan are steadily going about their business on the field, despite the seemingly constant speculation linking key players elsewhere. Wests Tigers are said to be leading the race of the NRL teams to sign Oliver Gildart, while further fuel was added to the Sam Tomkins to Catalans talk when Dragons chairman Bernard Guasch was quoted in the French press as saying: “What I know is that the player and his family want to come to Perpignan and we want it. From there, you draw the conclusions you want.”

Russell saga rumbles on
Warrington are still trying to ship out winger Matty Russell, who is believed to be now training on his own having been frozen out by Steve Price. While there has been speculation linking him to Salford, their financial restrictions appear to have ruled out a deal, with Russell commanding a hefty salary at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, a fact that appears to have also put off other suitors. He has apparently refused to go out on dual-registration, with Warrington partnered up with Championship club Rochdale.

Another for the Wolfpack
Toronto haven’t even played a game in Canada yet this season and there’s almost a revolving door of ins and outs at the moment. James Laithwaite and now Jake Butler-Fleming have moved on from the Wolfpack, who are believed to be interested in Salford prop George Griffin.

New Huddersfield coach
Reports from Down Under suggest that Simon Woolford, a former Canberra and St George-Illawarra hooker, is coming to Super League to take up the vacant coaching job at Huddersfield. Rick Stone became the first coaching casualty of the season last month and the Giants are believed to have turned to Woolford. Sky Sports’ Brian Carney suggested that Huddersfield fans would be “underwhelmed” when he speculated over the identity of their new coach in his column this week.

NRL movements
Gone are the days when Super League clubs would have a sniff when it came to off-contract NRL speculation. Samoa prop Junior Paulo is on the move from Canberra Raiders to Parramatta Eels, having previously played for the Eels between 2013 and 2016. The anti-tampering deadline in Super League is May 1st, so perhaps we’ll see some movement after that date.

Heard anything on the grapevine? Let us know in the comments below.