Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #196

Ray Mour

How much is Israel Folau on at Catalans? What is the latest on Ben Murdoch-Masila’s future? Who is Hull KR’s star man? Find out in the gossip column. 

Folau’s wage revealed

Catalans Dragons’ controversial signing Israel Folau will earn around £200,000 during his one-year contract with the French club.

Folau signed on the dotted line with Catalans last week after being sacked by Rugby Australia for homophobic comments, with the Dragons receiving a lot of criticism from other Super League clubs and the game’s supporters.

Joe the key for Hull KR

It is believed that Hull KR would have started new recruit Joe Keyes against Wakefield last week if he had been fit to play.

The Ireland international sustained a medial collateral ligament injury in training back in early January, which saw him ruled out for the opening game of the season. Hull KR are thought to have been really impressed with Keyes over pre-season.

Thompson replacement at St Helens

St Helens will scour the transfer market to seek a replacement for prop Luke Thompson, who will link up with NRL side Canterbury Bulldogs at the end of the season.

The club have made no secret that they will look everywhere to find a suitable replacement – but they are also confident in youngsters Matty Lees and Jack Ashworth stepping up to the plate. Saints coach Kristian Woolf has previously hinted that he is keen on bringing some of his Tongan players over to the UK.

Why Dugan rejected Catalans

Cronulla Sharks centre Josh Dugan turned down a move to Catalans Dragons because he wanted to stay with the NRL club.

Dugan is reportedly on around £400,000 per year, which is considerably more than what the Dragons were willing to pay. If he was to move away from the Sharks, then it would have to be on a similar wage to what he is earning at Cronulla.

Warrington confident of BMM stay

Warrington Wolves are confident that bulldozing forward Ben Murdoch-Masila will stay at the club beyond this season.

The Tonga international, who is a fan’s favourite at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, is off-contract at the end of the season and reports Down Under have linked him with a move to New Zealand Warriors in the NRL for 2021. It’s understood that Warrington officials are pretty hopeful Murdoch-Masila will extend his time with the club.

No ill feeling at England

Although there was a feeling that Wayne Bennett could have stayed on as England coach, the Rugby Football League felt the availability of Shaun Wane was the correct decision for the nation to move forward.

Bennett took the decision in a professional manner and accepted that he would be replaced by Wane. The RFL thought Wane’s appointment was what the majority wanted and they believe Wane can have a positive influence on the attendances of the Ashes series this autumn.