Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #159

Is there a future for the State of Mind round? Who is the latest club eyeing up Chris Atkin? Will Israel Folau return to rugby league? Find out in the rumour and gossip column. 

State of Mind round dropped

The Super League State of Mind round is being replaced by a Wellbeing round, run by Rugby League Cares.

The State of Mind round has enjoyed great success since its inception in 2011, but the changes to Super League this season has brought a change to the themed round that was previously dedicated to the independent charity’s work.

Salford join race for Atkin 

Salford have joined the race to sign Hull Kingston Rovers playmaker Chris Atkin.

The half-back, who can also play at hooker and full-back, has been attracted interesting from several Super League clubs in recent weeks. It is thought that Wigan Warriors are also lining up an offer for the former Swinton Lions star, who hails from the Widnes area.

NRL duo against Folau return to rugby league

England international James Graham and former New Zealand star Benji Marshall would not like to see Israel Folau return to rugby league following his disgraced comments on social media.

Following homophobic social media comments made by Folau, there might not be a way back for him in rugby union, but he won’t be welcomed by the NRL. Marshall told NRL 360 on Fox League: “I’m all for freedom of speech but when you use your freedom of speech against hating – there was a whole list of things – but in particular homosexuals, I’m not for that.”

Graham added: “I really can’t see him being allowed to play rugby league for what he said.”

Goodwin not going anywhere

Bryson Goodwin is not leaving Warrington to re-sign for South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL.

Reports from Down Under suggested the Rabbitohs were keen on signing Goodwin as a replacement for the recently retired Greg Inglis. However, the former New Zealand international will be staying at the Wolves for this season at the very least.

Sheens turns down NRL offer 

Hull KR coach Tim Sheens has rejected the chance to join Cronulla Sharks as general manager of football, according to rugby league’s favourite rodent, The Mole.

Sheens has committed to staying with Hull KR, where he has recently penned a three-year deal. The Sharks are believed to be looking elsewhere now.

Warrington’s social game causes a stir

Warrington’s social media activity is causing a stir, and it seems to be working as their attendances are up this season.

They’re trying to encourage other clubs to get involved to raise the marketing for both clubs, and have had some positive responses from clubs – though one of their opponents refused, saying it wasn’t their style. The style of posting certainly generates debate over to what is official and appropriate – but then when selling tickets is the name of the game for rugby league in general, anything goes?