Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours & Gossip #104

Ray Mour

A surprise club were in for Liam Watts while there are a couple of rumours surrounding Salford Red Devils at the minute.

Etihad Stadium to stage Rugby League again

It is rumoured that the Etihad Stadium will play host to Rugby League again in the near future, but we are unsure whether that means the return of Magic Weekend, a venue switch for the Challenge Cup Final or an international fixture. It was confirmed earlier this month that the Rugby Football League will be relocating to the Etihad Campus in Manchester. The RFL have a good relationship with the City Football Group and Manchester City Council and there are discussions ongoing to get the sport back at the Etihad soon.

Evalds linked with Castleford

Salford Red Devils star Niall Evalds has been rumoured with a move to 2017 League Leaders Shield winners Castleford Tigers. The 24-year-old nearly played 100 games for Salford after making his debut back in 2013 but Castleford are interested in signing the full-back or winger. The Tigers are understood to be searching the market for a full-back and Evalds is believed to be at the top of their list at the minute.

Manly join Cronulla in race for Barba

It has been well-documented for quite a while now that NRL side Cronulla Sharks are interested in re-signing St Helens ace Ben Barba. However, the Sharks aren’t the only Australian club chasing his signature. Manly Sea Eagles are also keen on the full-back and will monitor him closely for the rest of the 2018 Betfred Super League season.

Toronto wanted Watts

There were a couple of posts on social media suggesting that Championship side Toronto Wolfpack had actually agreed a fee with Hull FC star Liam Watts. However, Castleford have managed to sign the prop forward on a lucrative three-year contract. It is believed that FC coach Lee Radford lost patience with Watts after he picked up his fourth red card in 12 months against Warrington Wolves a couple of weeks ago.

Henderson looking at Scotland job

It is thought that Andrew Henderson is interested in becoming the next Scotland head coach. The 38-year-old is currently assistant coach at Warrington Wolves and it’s understood that he would stay on as Steve Price’s right-hand man if he was to take charge of the Bravehearts. Henderson was head coach of Championship side London Broncos between 2015 and 2017, winning 54 games out of his 92 in charge. He also played for Scotland during his playing career, scoring four tries in 22 games. Alan Kilshaw and Phil Veivers are also believed to have applied for the position left by Steve McCormack.

O’Brien sale gives Salford breathing space

Salford’s sale of Gareth O’Brien gives them some much needed cash to get through the season as they plot their future path. Administration in the off-season, to clear the lingering debts, was deemed pointless as they would have seen all players’ deals null and void. But questions still remain on whether the club can sustain itself even without the burden of debt.