Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #182

Which English club tried to sign Ben Barba? Where are the Tomkins brothers off? What is the latest on Swinton? Find out in the rumours and gossip column. 

Leigh tried to sign Barba

We revealed last week that Leigh Centurions tried to sign Jackson Hastings from Salford Red Devils for the rest of the season and we now understand that they made an ambitious move to sign current Man of Steel Ben Barba.

The 30-year-old is currently out of the game after being sacked by North Queensland Cowboys following an altercation with his partner at a Townsville casino before the start of the NRL season. Leigh tried to bring him to bring him to the Leigh Sports Village but the full-back wasn’t interested in coming back to England.

Smithies was considered for GB

Wigan’s hot prospect Morgan Smithies was going to be selected in the Great Britain squad for their tour of the southern hemisphere this autumn – but selectors wanted to be careful due to him being in his debut season.

The 18-year-old only made his debut earlier this term but has already played 22 games for the Warriors. Smithies has been in sensational form and Great Britain selectors considered taking him Down Under but decided against it because it’s his first year as a professional. Lions coach Wayne Bennett is believed to be a big fan of Smithies.

Tomkins reunion at Catalans

The word on the terraces is that Joel and Logan Tomkins will join brother Sam at Catalans Dragons in 2020.

Joel has recently left Hull Kingston Rovers after agreeing a release from his contract on compassionate grounds, while Logan will leave Salford Red Devils when his contract expires at the end of the campaign. Salford wanted to keep Logan but they couldn’t afford his wages. Joel and Logan are both believed to be heading to Perpignan in 2020.

Myler not going to Hull KR

Leeds Rhinos half-back Richie Myler has been linked with a move to Hull Kingston Rovers for 2020 but that will definitely not be happening.

The 29-year-old has also recently been linked with a move to Ospreys in rugby union but he is expected to leave Leeds over the course of the off-season, with Luke Gale coming in from Castleford to partner Rob Lui in the halves. We have been told that he will not be joining the Robins for next season though.

Lions staying as Swinton

We have had a couple of people get in touch with us regarding the latest goings on at Swinton Lions and their plans for 2020.

Well, not much has changed over the last week or so but the club is up for sale and is currently on the market. They will not be rebranded to Manchester Lions now and will stay as Swinton and play at their Heywood Road home in Sale for the foreseeable future. The board who resigned have made sure the club is financially stable for next season.

Hampshire wanted more money

Wakefield Trinity last week confirmed that star half-back Ryan Hampshire will leave the club after both parties failed to agree on a new contract.

The 24-year-old was believed to be on around £60,000 per year at Trinity but he felt like he deserved more, given the fact that he was the club’s top try scorer in 2019 and was an ever-present for the club in 2019 as he played 31 games for the club. His next destination is not yet known.


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