Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #178

Who will become St Helens’ next coach? What is the latest on Bradford? Which Widnes player are Halifax linked with? Find out in the gossip column.

St Helens turn to Woolf

St Helens have turned their attention on making Kristian Woolf their new head coach, with the original frontrunner Jason Demetriou expected to stay at South Sydney Rabbitohs.

We reported a couple of weeks ago that Demetriou was the favourite for the job that will be vacated by Justin Holbrook at the end of the season, but he is set to remain as Wayne Bennett’s assistant at the Rabbitohs. Woolf is the current interim head coach of Newcastle Knights following Nathan Brown’s departure earlier this week, while Adam O’Brien is expected to be announced as Newcastle’s new coach in the coming days. Woolf is also the coach of the Tonga national team.

Bradford splashing the cash

The Rugby Football League confirmed that Bradford Bulls are in special measures last week and the Bulls face yet another rocky road.

They have only got 12 players under contract for next season and they are not allowed to sign any new players because they are in special measures. They’ve got the second highest wage bill in the Championship, with promotion chasing Toronto Wolfpack being the only team spending more than the Bulls. John Kear’s side will have to promote plenty from within their academy next year as they play their home matches at Dewsbury’s Tetley’s Stadium.

Three clubs keen on Gigot

Tony Gigot has announced that he will leave Catalans Dragons when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Love Rugby League partners in France – Treize Mondial – understand that Huddersfield Giants, Toronto Wolfpack and St George Illawarra Dragons have all made their interest known in the France international. Gigot, 28, has scored 49 tries in 140 appearances for the Dragons, as well as kicking 54 goals and 13 drop goals. He has earned 12 caps for his country.

Patton future

There has been plenty of speculation regarding Dec Patton’s future at Warrington Wolves beyond this year but he will remain at his hometown club in 2020.

Some Warrington supporters have asked the question of whether he will be at the club next year due to the arrival at marquee man Gareth Widdop – but he wants to stay and fight for his place in the team. Patton impressed in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley on Saturday. Half-back Kevin Brown – who is currently on loan at Leigh Centurions – will officially leave Warrington when his contract expires at the end of the year.

Halifax linked with Widnes star

Tom Gilmore could switch the black and white colours of Widnes Vikings to the blue and white stripes of Halifax next season.

That was the rumour that was doing the rounds at Wembley on Saturday. Widnesian Gilmore came through the academy at the Vikings and has made almost 50 first-team appearances, while enjoying loan spells at North Wales Crusaders and London Broncos. Widnes are set for a squad revamp over the off-season, with plenty of incomings and outgoings expected.

Castleford receive stadium boost

There has been some positive rugby league news surrounding Castleford Tigers over the last couple of days.

The club have been given the green light to develop their new stadium. Developments on the ground have proven difficult in recent years but things are finally looking up for the Tigers. They have got enough commercial occupancy at their new stadium that they can now start to work on the site.


More on site

Newcastle replaces Cumbria as final venue to stage World Cup matches

1895 Cup should stay forever, insists Mark Aston

Fan favourite to leave Salford

Tony Gigot confirms he is leaving Catalans

St Helens to be presented with League Leaders’ Shield on Friday