Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #134

Widnes are the centre of attention in the rumour mill at the moment.

London looking at Acton

London Broncos are believed to be considering a move for Leigh Centurions front-rower Jamie Acton for 2019.

The 26-year-old, who picked up a five-match ban in Leigh’s Championship Shield defeat against Featherstone Rovers, is understood to be on his way out the Centurions because of a big revamp at the club. Acton hails from London and after spending eight years in the north, he could possibly be moving back down south to be with Danny Ward’s Broncos next year.

Whitley destined for Perpignan

Matt Whitley has left Widnes Vikings and is understood to be on his way to Catalans Dragons after penning a lucrative deal with the Challenge Cup winners.

Whitley, 22, will play for England Knights on their tour of Papua New Guinea this autumn and is set for a move to the south of France next year. The Vikings have confirmed that he has left the club following their relegation from Super League because he wants to stay in the top-flight.

Dudson set for Salford

Wales international Gil Dudson is another player to have confirmed his departure from Widnes Vikings and he is set to be joining Salford Red Devils.

Dudson, who has 15 caps for his country, has left the Vikings after spending four seasons at the club, making almost 100 appearances. Salford coach Ian Watson is looking to bolster his pack for 2019 and it is understood that Dudson is on Watson’s wish list.

Widnes coach search drags on

Widnes Vikings report back for training in just a couple of weeks and they are yet to announce who their head coach will be for 2019.

It is understood that they are considering coaches from Australia as well as England. Love Rugby League understands that Richard Agar is not in the running for the job, while Brian McDermott, Andrew Henderson, Richard Marshall and Alan Kilshaw are potential candidates for the job. Time is running out for the Vikings.

Wigan scouring the market for half-back

Wigan Warriors have made no secret of the fact that they want to bring in a new half-back for next season.

Warriors executive director Kris Radlinski recently revealed that the club had made an offer to Jackson Hastings, who then decided to sign a new one-year deal with Salford Red Devils rather than the two years that Wigan had offered. Lachlan Lam, the son of Wigan’s new coach Adrian, will not be joining the club after deciding to stay at Sydney Roosters.

Josh Drinkwater is currently without a club after leaving Challenge Cup winners Catalans Dragons at the end of the season. Given Drinkwater’s impressive form in Perpignan this year, could he be an option for the Warriors?

League 1 south on the horizon

Clubs are awaiting confirmation on the plans for a proposed League 1 South / Southern Premier League.

Applications closed earlier in the week with clubs seeking guarantees that there will be a pathway for them to progress up the rugby league pyramid, potentially to Super League.