Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #151

Is Sonny Bill Williams coming back to league? Who is set for a rugby union switch? Which NRL trio have been offered to Super League? Find out in the gossip and rumour column.

SBW set for return to league

Is Sonny Bill Williams set for a return to rugby league, but this time with Toronto Wolfpack? That certainly seems to be the hot rumour flying round at the moment.

At a recent fans’ forum, Toronto owner David Argyle revealed the Wolfpack are looking to make a high-profile rugby union signing later this year. He said: “Before the Rugby Union World Cup in Japan later this year, we will have one of the top five rugby players in the world [coming here].”

Although Argyle didn’t reveal the player, Williams is the obvious player who springs to mind. The 33-year-old is regarded as a legend in both codes, having played for Canterbury Bulldogs and Sydney Roosters in the NRL, while spending most of his career in union. It would be one hell of a coup for Toronto and rugby league in general if it is Williams.

Caton-Brown to cross codes

Former Wakefield Trinity and Toronto Wolfpack flyer Mason Caton-Brown is set to cross codes as he hopes to represent England in the World Rugby Sevens Series this year.

The 25-year-old, who hails from London, scored 26 tries in in 27 appearances for Trinity between 2017-18, before moving to Toronto Wolfpack ahead of the Qualifiers last term, where he scored two times in seven games.

Caton-Brown is now set for a move to rugby union, where the speedster is hoping to get go for England in the World Rugby Sevens Series, which is being placed in the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, England and France.

Leeds sniffing around Wakefield

Leeds Rhinos are rumoured to be interested in a couple of Wakefield players, with England international Tom Johnstone being at the top of their wish list.

The 23-year-old, who bagged a hat-trick on his Test debut for England last year, only signed an extended deal with Trinity last year and is contracted to the club until the end of the 2022 season, so Leeds would have to stump up a substantial transfer fee for the winger.

Johnstone has previously stated that he loves the Wakefield club and is happy where he is, so it looks like Leeds face an uphill battle to sign Trinity’s treasure.

Melbourne trio offered to Super League

Melbourne Storm have offered prop Sam Kasiano, utility-back Cheyse Blair and Tonga international Patrick Kaufusi to Super League clubs, according to rugby league’s favourite rodent, The Mole.

It has been reported that Melbourne have salary cap problems heading into the 2019 NRL season and are looking to offload the three players to free up space.

Super League clubs were notified of their availability last week, but it looks unlikely that any of the moves will come off. Super League sides are close to their cap and the clubs who aren’t close to the cap simply can’t afford them.

Widnes in financial crisis

Widnes players and staff are battling on despite not being paid this month.

A key player in a consortium that had been in talks to buy the club pulled out after further debts were uncovered. There is hope that the situation can be resolved but it would require some existing debts to be paid off by the current directors.

It is also believed that moves to sign two players on loan have been blocked by the RFL while the financial issues are ironed out.

Fifita to extend Wakefield stay

There has been a lot of talking surrounding David Fifita’s future this week, and he is set to sign a new two-year deal with Wakefield.

The 29-year-old has been at Trinity since 2016, playing 76 games for the club to date. He is a fan favourite at the Mobile Rocket Stadium and has recently been linked with a move to Leeds Rhinos.

He is off-contract at Trinity at the end of this season and it is no surprise to see Fifita linked with moves to Leeds and the NRL because he has been sensational in his time for Wakefield. The club are confident he’ll put pen to paper on a new two-year deal.