Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #130

Which NRL forward are Leeds linked with? Which Widnes star are St Helens looking at? Where will Danny Walker be at next year? Find out more in Ray Mour’s gossip column.

Leeds in for Fensom

Leeds Rhinos are being linked with a move for North Queensland Cowboys back-rower Shaun Fensom for the 2019 season.

Fensom played under soon-to-be Leeds coach David Furner at Canberra Raiders for four seasons between 2009 and 2013. He has played 35 games for the Cowboys since moving there last year but the club has confirmed he will be moving on at the end of the season. Fensom will be a free agent and the Rhinos are currently the frontrunners to sign him.

Kavanagh in demand

Hull Kingston Rovers forward Ben Kavanagh is attracting a lot of interest from Super League and Championship clubs at the moment.

The Scotland international is out-of-contract at the end of the season but it is understood that Rovers have made him an offer for him to extend his stay. However, they might just have to improve their offer to Kavanagh, with Salford Red Devils and Toronto Wolfpack rumoured to be targeting him.

Barba and Holmes in line for swap deal

Ben Barba and Australia star Valentine Holmes are set for a swap deal, but the latter will not be going to St Helens.

With Barba believed to have signed a deal with North Queensland Cowboys for next year, it is understood that Cronulla Sharks utility-man Holmes will swap with Barba ahead of the 2020 season.

The Mole, who reports for Wide World of Sports, reckons negotiations are underway for Barba to move back to Cronulla in 2020, allowing Holmes to return closer to his family in North Queensland.

St Helens eyeing Whitley

St Helens are lining up an offer for Widnes Vikings ace Matt Whitley for next year, Love Rugby League understands.

It is looking likely that the Vikings will be relegated to the Championship this season and therefore all contracts will be deemed null. Widnes interim coach Francis Cummins hinted last week that some clubs have already been in touch with his players over their futures.

Whitley, who has played over 100 games for Widnes, can play in the back-row or at centre and is understood to be on Saints’ radar for 2019. He used to be on Saints’ scholarship system, before joining the Vikings.

Lussick to remain at Salford

Salford Red Devils hooker Joey Lussick is set to sign a contract extension with the club for 2019, according to League Express.

The 22-year-old joined the Red Devils from Manly Sea Eagles ahead of The Qualifiers and has become a fan-favourite, alongside Jackson Hastings, in his time at the AJ Bell Stadium so far. League Express report that Lussick will be a Salford player next year, but it is still unclear where Hastings’ future lies.

Walker to Wigan a no go

Widnes Vikings hooker Danny Walker will not be joining Wigan Warriors ahead of next season, Love Rugby League understands.

The rumour appeared on a rugby league fan site last week and it has created a lot of gossip over the last couple of days, but we are told that Walker will not be signing for Wigan. Instead, Warrington Wolves are the club who want to sign him for next year and with it looking like Widnes will be a Championship club in 2019, the opportunity of representing hometown club Warrington might just be the deciding factor for him.