Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #166

Who is the favourite to become Hull KR’s next head coach? Which England star did Leeds try to sign? What is the latest on Kallum Watkins’ future? Find out in the gossip column. 

Ford favourite to take over at Hull KR

James Ford has been approached to take charge at Hull KR from next season, as speculation continues to grow around Tim Sheens.

The Australian is set to depart at the end of the year but reports this week linked him with an immediate exit. Whether Ford would be tempted to leave York early remains to be seen.

Gale wanted by Leeds

Leeds have made multiple attempts to lure Luke Gale from Castleford in recent months.

The Rhinos are desperate to bring a new half-back to Emerald Headingley as soon as possible. It has well-documented that they wanted to bring legend Danny McGuire back to the club for the rest of the season, but failed in their attempts to do so. The Rhinos tried to sign England international Gale a couple of months ago, and made another effort to sign him recently.

Forward to depart Hull KR

James Greenwood has not signed a new contract with Hull KR and is set to leave the club at the end of the season.

The 27-year-old has scored 22 tries in 93 appearances for the Robins, but he suffered an ACL injury in March and was ruled out for the rest of the season. He impressed in the first quarter of the year, but will leave the club at the season’s end.

Castleford in for Wigan forward

Castleford are interested in signing Wigan front-rower Taulima Tautai for the 2020 campaign.

The 31-year-old is contracted to the Warriors until the end of next season, but the Tigers are looking to security his services ahead of 2020. Tautai has fallen down the pecking order at Wigan over the last 18 months and Wigan would be open to letting him go if Castleford came in with a suitable offer. Mitch Clark has agreed a deal to join the Warriors from next year, too.

Gelling offered to clubs

Widnes are reluctantly offering Anthony Gelling around to other clubs as they continue to battle funding withdrawals.

They have had £70k of academy funding withheld, along with the parachute payment, and were hit with a further bombshell recently with the news that they will have to run a reserve team next season due to them having a Category 1 academy. Gelling wants to stay at Widnes, and is under contract next year, but it appears the club simply cannot afford him for another year.

Watkins move imminent

Super League sponsors Betfred aren’t taking bets on Kallum Watkins’ next club, with an announcement apparently due imminently.

That could point to Wigan, who have been building up to an announcement on Thursday; though comments from Watkins’ wife saying they hope Leeds finish top of Super League next season would appear at odds with that. There hasn’t yet been a scramble from NRL clubs for his signature, while Warrington have naturally been linked to the centre who played his junior rugby for local side Latchford Albion.

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