Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #142

Which Super League forward are Leigh chasing? Which NRL star has caught Huddersfield’s eye? What is the latest on the future of Junior Sa’u? Find out in Ray Mour’s gossip column.

Super League forward on Leigh’s radar

Leigh Centurions are on the cusp of signing promising back-rower Joe Cator from Hull Kingston Rovers for 2019, Love Rugby League understands.

The 20-year-old is seeking more game-time and with Rovers looking to free up wages, it appears that this is a move that suits all parties.

Cator has played 17 games for KR’s first-team since making his debut in 2016. He is a back-rower, who can also play at loose forward and centre, so he will add a lot of versatility to Leigh. He has already trained with the Centurions.

Huddersfield hunt NRL star

Huddersfield Giants have made an offer to sign winger Nathan Ross from Newcastle Knights ahead of next season, according to The Mole.

Ross is contracted to the Knights until the end of 2020 but the club will allow Ross to leave if any suitable offers arise for him. Newcastle have plenty of options on the wing next year after signing Edrick Lee and Jesse Ramien from Cronulla Sharks as well as Hymel Hunt from South Sydeny Rabbitohs.

Huddersfield’s starting wingers in 2019 are expected to be Jermaine McGillvary and Akuila Uate, but Fiji international Uate is equally as comfortable at centre.

No return for Naughton

It seems as though the rumours were false – Curtis Naughton will not be coming back to the UK anytime soon.

There have been murmurs linking him with a move back to Super League ever since he left Hull FC at the end of the 2016 season.

Naughton has found happiness in a ‘normal’ job now and seems to be enjoying life back in Australia with his family and friends. He made 29 appearances in his time at Hull, scoring 17 tries. He also enjoyed loan spells at Doncaster and Leigh Centurions.

Drinkwater future update

Hull KR remain the frontrunners to sign free agent Josh Drinkwater for the 2019 season, Love Rugby League understands.

The 26-year-old is currently without a club after being released by Catalans Dragons at the end of last season.

It is believed that Rovers are currently in negotiations with Drinkwater’s representatives over a deal for next year and beyond. KR are also looking to free up some wages so they can bring in Drinkwater, hence why Cator could make the move to Leigh.

Sa’u set for Salford stay

Junior Sa’u will be a Salford Red Devils player in 2019, Love Rugby League understands.

It has been reported in recent months that Castleford Tigers are interested in signing the centre, but we are told that he will be a Salford player in 2019.

The former New Zealand and Samoa international has been at the Red Devils since 2014. He has scored 59 tries in 134 appearances for the club. No doubt the news will come as a delight to Salford supporters.

New job on the horizon for Barrett

Trent Barrett putting his house up for sale has sparked speculation that he has landed a job elsewhere in the NRL.

The former Australia and New South Wales star officially parted ways with Manly Sea Eagles recently. However, he can’t start a new job until his contract with Manly expires in July.

Barrett putting his house up for sale indicates that he must have another job to go to. It is reported that Barrett is moving his family back to NSW, so could he join the coaching staff at Cronulla Sharks or St George Illawarra Dragons? It will be interesting to see where his next destination is.