Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #164

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Speculation is rife throughout Super League and beyond as clubs begin the scramble to build their squads for 2020.

Leeds re-build

Player recruitment seems to be the priority at Leeds currently, with Richard Agar seemingly in the hot seat for the remainder of this campaign, despite him having no interest in the role moving forward. The general feeling is that the squad simply isn’t up to it. Luke Gale and Joe Westerman are believed to be targets for the Rhinos, who will be active in the transfer market ahead of 2020. Concerns are growing that full-back Jack Walker may be tempted by an NRL move sooner rather than later.

Toronto boosted by Skolars

London Skolars’ unlikely rise to the top end of League One could be useful for Toronto Wolfpack if they go up in to Super League. The Wolfpack have a high turnover of players and have began to struggle to offload highly-paid players that are deemed surplus to requirements. Ryan Brierley is one such player, who has recently gone on loan to Leigh, but remains under contract for next season. If partner club Skolars get promoted to the Championship, that could provide an avenue for the Wolfpack to move players on and create the room on the salary cap that they will desperately need to improve their squad for 2020 if they are promoted.

Gelling set for Warrington

Warrington are confident that Anthony Gelling will be a Wire player in 2020, but Widnes are still confident of retaining him and he hasn’t expressed a desire to leave. Given their increased social media activity this season, Gelling will no doubt be worth it off and on the pitch, though he has been missing for Widnes through injury recently. It is believed the two clubs are also discussing a possible dual-registration link-up.

Strained relations

The changes to the Super League set-up have done little to improve media relations, with special treatment afforded to an invited national newspaper journalist at the Nou Camp over the weekend. A preview event for Magic Weekend only included four of the 12 Super League coaches as things remain peculiar in the hunt for a way forward.

New coach for Hull KR?

Speculation is growing that Tim Sheens could be departing Hull KR at the end of the season. The Robins are currently second bottom in the Super League table, though have recently appointed Danny McGuire as the club’s new head of recruitment. Several off-contract players are still waiting to hear what the future holds.

Burgess to stay with Wigan

Winger Joe Burgess will be at Wigan next season, despite being on the out of contract list circulated recently. Oliver Gildart is expected to remain with the Warriors, despite reports linking him to the NRL, though George Williams’ deal with Canberra appears rubber-stamped. Captain Sean O’Loughlin told reporters that he feels keen to carry on next season, but will wait until later in the year to make a firm decision.

Heard any gossip on the terraces? Let us know in the comments below.