Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #207

The rumour and gossip column is back.

Widdop future

Gareth Widdop is set to become the latest in a list of Warrington half-backs to end their contracts early in recent years.

The marquee signing looks to be heading back to the NRL, with his family already having returned to Australia. The Wolves have seen Tyrone Roberts and Chris Sandow do similar in recent years and although they’ve remained coy about the rumours, Widdop will likely be off at the end of the Super League season.

Covid restrictions

Covid-19 has made things very difficult in the sporting world this year and it will no doubt have an impact in 2021 as well.

Canadian side Ottawa Aces will enter League 1 for their inaugural season in 2021, but they could play some of their ‘home’ matches in England due to Covid restrictions. There is talk of them playing some ‘home’ games at the Leigh Sports Village and being based in the North West for some of it.

Wigan half-back situation

Parramatta’s Jai Field has confirmed in reports Down Under that he has signed for Wigan for next season, so the Warriors will have plenty of options in the halves.

Tommy Leuluai’s contract with the club is up at the end of the season – but there is a possibility he could yet sign an extension. Jackson Hastings is contracted to Wigan for next year, while hot prospect Harry Smith remains on the books at the DW Stadium. Bevan French’s future remains up in the air but Wigan will have a number of options in the halves for next season.

Championship and League 1 signings

There has been plenty of Championship and League 1 clubs doing business over the last couple of weeks – and there is more to come.

Lower league clubs have been signing young players from the reserve teams of Super League clubs because there is no Reserves League for 2021. There’s still business to be done.

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  1. Why were Wigan allowed to cancel their match against Catalans when allegedly only 1 person had tested positive for covid? I thought the threshold was 5+, or 7+ persons.

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