Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #170

Ray Mour


Wigan Post go digital to cut costs

Last Saturday’s Wigan Post didn’t feature a report on Friday evening’s game between Wigan and Salford because “the majority of their audience now access reports of games on their website”.

To ensure the continued profitability of the paper, JPI Media have taken the decision to put the papers to print at an earlier time. A statement in last Saturday’s paper said: “This means that we are no longer able to include late sport in the printed product the day after an evening game.”

This comes as a huge blow to the Wigan Post, not only would the majority of Warriors coverage not reach the older audience of the Wigan borough – but Wigan Athletic’s midweek games will also not have report and reaction in the papers the following day. The coverage Wigan Post sports editor Phil Wilkinson gives to the game is impeccable and it’s a sad time for traditional print journalism.

Leigh look at Sa’u

Leigh Centurions are lining up a move to sign centre Junior Sa’u from Salford Red Devils on a deal until the end of the season.

Centurions owner Derek Beaumont is willing to throw a bit of money at their promotion push towards the back end of the season as they eye a return to Super League in 2020. The 32-year-old has only played three games for the Red Devils since May and has fallen down the pecking order at Salford. He is contracted to Salford until the end of the 2020 season but he is considering his options elsewhere. Leigh are believed to be interested in signing Sa’u.

Litten set for rival switch

Hull FC hooker Jez Litten is set for a shock city switch to rivals Hull Kingston Rovers for the 2020 season and beyond.

The 21-year-old has made 18 appearances for the Airlie Birds since making his Super League debut in 2017. He is off-contract at the end of the season and with Danny Houghton still producing 80-minute performances, Litten has decided that his future lies elsewhere from the KCOM Stadium. He will remain in Hull though next year as he will join the Robins in a cross-city transfer.

Super League clubs eyeing Green

Wigan Warriors and Salford Red Devils are interested in signing prop Chris Green from Hull FC.

It is unclear at this stage whether Wigan and Salford want to bring in the 29-year-old with immediate effect or from the 2020 season. Green is off-contract at the end of the year and FC coach Lee Radford has told him that he will not be getting a new deal with the Black and Whites. Green has made 138 appearances for Hull since bursting onto the scene back in 2011, but he has struggled with injuries in recent years.

Ah Van set for Widnes return?

Patrick Ah Van could be set to make a return to Widnes, following the end of the French rugby league season. The winger, who scored 91 tries in 118 appearances for the Vikings before leaving at the end of last season, has been playing for Villeghailhenc-Aragon alongside former Kiwi internationals Louis and Vinnie Anderson. It is believed he has been training with the Vikings this week. Widnes are short on wingers due to injuries to Ryan Ince, Owen Buckley and Jayden Hatton, and have been blocked from signing players for large parts of the season. Josh Ganson recently joined following a successful trial period, but only after Widnes released Dom Speakman.