Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #124

Ray Mour

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Who is the next one out of Leigh? Where does Josh Drinkwater’s future lie? Will there be another battle for Hastings? Find out more in this week’s gossip column.  

Warrington poaching Purtill

Warrington Wolves are interested in bringing Leigh Centurions head coach Kieron Purtill to the club for next season.

League Express report that no deal for Purtill to go to the Wolves has yet been agreed, but the club want Purtill to work alongside head coach Steve Price and current assistant Andrew Henderson. Purtill’s future at Leigh remains unclear, with the Centurions not yet making a decision as to whether they will be a full-time or part-time club next season.

Drinkwater to stay at Catalans

Josh Drinkwater is set to sign a new and improved deal at Catalans Dragons for next year and beyond, Love Rugby League understands.

The former London Broncos and Leigh Centurions has been a revelation since his move from Wests Tigers earlier this season. He is out-of-contract at the end of the campaign and several Super League clubs are interested in securing his services for next year, but it is understood that he will pen a two-year deal with the French club.

Bradford join race for Webster

Bradford Bulls are the latest club to show interest in Castleford Tigers centre Jake Webster.

The 34-year-old is out-of-contract at the end of the season. It is understood that Webster has been in talks with the Tigers over a deal for next year, but there are a number of clubs interested in taking him on for next season and beyond. Bradford are keen on bringing him to Odsal, while Catalans Dragons are also looking at the former New Zealand international.

Cecchin considering Super League switch

Australian referee Matt Cecchin is considering a switch to Super League, according to Dave ‘Nosey’ Parker in his column for League Weekly.

The 44-year-old match official, who was a referee at last year’s World Cup, called time on his professional career last week. Cecchin will not be returning to referee in the NRL but it is believed that he is currently considering a move to come over to officiate in Super League.

Leeds lining up Hastings move

There have been rumours floating around suggesting that Leeds Rhinos are preparing an offer for Salford Red Devils star Jackson Hastings for the 2019 season.

Last month, Hastings joined the Red Devils on a deal until the end of the season, but his impressive debut for the club has grabbed the attention of others. There is speculation that Hastings could make a switch to Leeds in the off-season if Salford go down. It seems to be only a rumour yet, so you would expect there would be more to come from this story. Could he be a good replacement for the departing Joel Moon?

Smith switch to Catalans up in air

Matty Smith’s move from St Helens to Catalans Dragons looked to be nailed on this this time last month, but his future now hangs in the balance.

With the Dragons set to retain star half-back Josh Drinkwater for next year and beyond, it looks unlikely that Smith’s move to Perpignan will go ahead. Catalans have already signed Sam Tomkins for next season, so it is expected that Tony Gigot will move into the halves alongside Drinkwater, with Samisoni Langi then being used as a utility option.