Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #186

What is the latest on Bradford? Which Toronto man is attracting interest? Which Wigan forward could be loaned out? Find out in the rumour and gossip column. 

Perez and Wood relationship

There will be some clubs keeping a close eye on the relationship between Eric Perez and Nigel Wood.

Concerns were raised over Wood’s involvement in the Rugby Football League process for clubs wanting to join League 1, despite his apparent departure as chief executive together with a £500k pay-off, but they fell on deaf ears. Clubs asked to stump up a sizeable fee to join the competition learned that Perez had allegedly been granted the RFL licence via Hemel for considerably less than was being asked of others.

Toronto ace attracting interest

Toronto Wolfpack half-back Blake Wallace could leave the Canadian club in the off-season and there are a believed to be a number of suitors for the Australian.

The 27-year-old has been at Toronto since the start and has scored 50 tries in 78 games for the club. A number of Championship sides are interested in signing the half-back, including Widnes Vikings.

Richardson’s replacement at St Helens

St Helens were pretty willing to let understudy half-back Danny Richardson leave the club to join Castleford Tigers.

The 23-year-old joined the the Tigers on a three-year contract last week after falling out of favour in Justin Holbrook’s squad earlier this year. Saints were well-prepared to let Richardson leave the club though, as they believe youngster Lewis Dodd is more than capable of stepping up to the plate if they need him next year. The highly-rated Dodd has represented England and Wales at youth level.

Yorkshire clubs wanted Newcastle return

The vote to take Magic Weekend back to Newcastle United’s St James’ Park was voted for by seven Super League clubs, while five opposed to the decision.

The league’s six Yorkshire clubs voted in favour of taking the concept back to the North East, while the Lancashire clubs wanted to keep it at Liverpool FC’s Anfield.

Wigan forward could be loaned

Wigan Warriors utility-forward Jack Wells could spend the 2020 season on loan at another Super League club.

The 22-year-old came through the ranks at the Warriors and made his Super League debut back in 2016. He has played 16 games for the club’s first-team so far but has not played in the last two seasons. Wells spent the majority of 2019 at Swinton Lions via dual-registration – but it is understood that he wants to test himself in Super League and could even go out on loan if he is struggling to break into Adrian Lam’s Wigan team.

James Rule’s no shame

Former Widnes Vikings and Hull FC chief executive James Rule is now offering talks as a motivational and business coach. But an upcoming event in Coventry has been cancelled, after Widnes fans caught wind of it, and registered to attend.

The Institute of Healthcare Management, the organisers of the event, blocked multiple Widnes fans on Twitter who had voiced their displeasure at their decision to hand Rule an opportunity. Rule’s website for “The Lonely Leader” includes testimonials from former RFL executives Nigel Wood and Brian Barwick but neglects to mention his two-year ban from the sport for the Martin Gleeson incident at Hull and his putting Widnes into administration.


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Featherstone promote five players to the first-team