Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #154

Ray Mour

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Is there going to be a Manchester reserves team? Is Chris Thorman returning to rugby league? Where is Krisnan Inu’s next destination? Here are the rumours and gossip… 

Manchester Reserves application

A Manchester Reserves team that would have enabled the likes of Salford Red Devils, Swinton Lions, Oldham and Rochdale Hornets to utilise having a second team was rejected by the RFL in the off-season.

It would have been operated effectively as Salford’s reserve team, but the registration rules allow players from other clubs to play. It could have acted as a pre-cursor to a potential joint Greater Manchester side, with Manchester Rangers having recently had their application to join League One rejected.

Segeyaro might yet be without a club

Former Leeds Rhinos hooker James Segeyaro is back working in a coffee shop in Australia after he was cut from Cronulla Sharks’ 30-man playing roster to ensure the club were cap compliant before this week’s NRL opening round clash against Newcastle Knights.

The Papua New Guinea international has signed a training contract with the Sharks as he hopes to continue his NRL career, but the club need to offload another player to allow him to actually play.

Sharks prop Ava Seumanufagai has been heavily linked with a move to Leeds in Super League, but he is reluctant to take his young family over to England at this moment in time. In the meantime, Segeyaro is effectively a free agent and could be worth a punt for a couple of Super League clubs.

Thorman linked with return to North East

Could a return to the North East be on the cards for Chris Thorman? It could genuinely happen at some point in 2019.

The former Huddersfield Giants assistant coach is currently being investigated by the Rugby Football League after allegations were made against him by his ex-partner, which he has since been found not guilty of. Until the RFL’s risk assessment has been completed, he is unable to work in rugby league, but it has been rumoured that Thorman will join Newcastle Thunder in some capacity once he is available to return. He hails from Wallsend, North Tyneside.

Inu training with Super League side

Krisnan Inu is trying to get a deal in Super League following his release by Widnes Vikings.

Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell said ‘never say never’ when asked about the centre, while The Sun’s Gary Carter reports Inu is training with Salford. London Broncos are also believed to be keen on the former New Zealand and Samoa international.

Clubs squabble over Albert

Leeds Rhinos and Toronto Wolfpack are still squabbling over the services of departed Widnes Vikings prop Wellington Albert.

The Wolfpack thought they had got their man until Leeds came in with an improved offer, which Toronto are now believed to have beaten. The ongoing legal advice that Albert and former team-mate Adam Tangata are receiving regarding their release from Widnes may impact the Papua New Guinea international’s ability to sign a deal elsewhere.

No more leaving Widnes

Despite rumours being spread by a rugby league fan site over the last couple of days linking Widnes Vikings players with moves away, the club have categorically denied the rumours.

In a statement published by the club on Monday, it read: “With rumours circling in the last day or so about further changes to the club and squad, we felt it was important to keep our supporters fully updated.

“Therefore, given the level of support from the club’s supporters, as well as the investment from the consortium now involved with the club including VIQI, we can confirm that there are no planned departures from the club regarding the first-team squad.”