Off the Record: Rugby League Transfer Gossip #22

Richo Souths saviour

OTR understands it was a personal plea from Souths’ Hollywood owner Russell Crowe that lured Shane Richardson back to the Bunnies. ‘Richo’ had helped turned South Sydney around from 2012 to 2015, as they romped to the 2014 premiership and to financial and membership growwth. But things have fallen apart since he departed to the NRL, with several key players like Isaac Luke and Dylan Walker leaving, other off-field issues and rumours of player discontent. Adam Reynolds has asked for a release, there is speculation on Greg Inglis‘ future and the tiff between Luke Keary and Crowe was ugly. Crowe has tuned to the veteran administrator to help get his beloved Bunnies back on track. He used all his acting charm to convince the former Hull FC boss to return and knock back a big salary from the NRL.

Naughton move off

Hull FC went cold very quickly on the loan deal that would send Curtis Naughton to the injury-hit Huddersfield Giants. The move would have been perfect for Naughton, who was sighted at the John Smith’s Stadium on Monday, with the Giants in desperate need of some fit bodies. But injury concerns at the KC Stadium have left the Black and Whites hitting the pause button. The loan could still go through, but that is looking like a long shot the longer Huddersfield are kept waiting. They need players now.

Bring back the biff

There has been interesting stoush going on social media between Gareth Hock and Keith Mason. Leigh firebrand Hock and former Huddersfield prop Keith Mason have been going at it on Twitter since Hock slammed the now actor/model as being soft in his book. Mason has challenged the ex-Wigan and Salford forward to a fight, either for charity or in the street, but Hock appears not so keen on that idea. Which is a shame, as it would leave Fury vs Klitschko to shame.

International tug of war

Our spies tell us that a Canterbury Bulldogs player faces an interesting international tug of war at the end of this year. This player is eligible for both New Zealand and Scotland and looks likely to be called up by both countries for the Four Nations. Which way will he go? The choice will be key, with the World Cup on next year he won’t want to burn his bridges.

Lovegrove leaves

Word comes to us that London forward Rhys Lovegrove has left the Broncos for personal reasons and returned to live in Hull. Lovegrove’s departure from the Championship club is an amicable one after he asked for a release. The ex-Hull KR leaves the Broncos on good terms and is now a free agent. Lovegrove’s future plans are unknown, but if he can’t secure a new club then he may be forced into retirement. Any Championship and Super League sides interested in the 28-year old Aussie?

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