OTR understands ex-Widnes centre Cameron Phelps has resurfaced in rugby league, landing with NSW Cup side Mounties. Phelps left the Vikings at the end of 2015 after eight years in Super League with Wigan, Hull and Widnes. After recovering from surgery, the 31-year old is back in Australia with the feeder club to the Canberra Raiders. While his chance of an NRL return is long, if injuries bite the Raiders this season then he could be a handy back-up for Ricky Stuart to call on.
Red Devils loans
We hear that two Salford outside backs are set for loan moves. Mason Caton-Brown could be on his way out of the club, with Huddersfield one club interested in the ex-London man. Jake Bibby will also the leave the AJ Bell for a loan spell in the Championship with Oldham. With no reserve team Ian Watson is keen for his extended squad to stay fit and fresh, not idle on the sidelines.
Shannon McDonnell is off-contract at the end of this season and is keen to stay in Super League. The Aussie veteran knows he is under pressure to be re-signed at St Helens, with fullbacks Jack Owens and Jonny Lomax already on the books. We hear McDonnell has been training the house down and is itching to get back on the pitch, maybe even in a week and half’s time ahead of schedule. McDonnell wants to remain in the UK in 2016, with another Super League club if Saints decide not to keep him on.
Talk with a non-Super League player recently turned to his potential eligibility for countries other than the one he currently represents. The player was asked to play for Italy last year, but opted to remain with the country of his birth. His view of the Italian set-up: “They just try and pick anyone who sounds Italian.” Not a great look for a country which is emerging from a damaging domestic split in recent years, and comes under frequent criticism for being too focused on picking heritage players.
Things appear to be getting ugly between Wigan Warriors and Wigan Athletic. Our spies tell us that the Wigan vs Salford home game on February 26 could be moved away from the DW Stadium. The football club are annoyed with the impact on the pitch and they have a crucial League One match, against Bury at home, on February 27. The Latics are gunning for automatic promotion and are just one point behind second-placed Gillingham. The Salford match is set to moved, with the RFL to decide on the new venue. You would think the Leigh Sports Village is a big chance for that fixture.
The Gold Coast Titans appear to have gone cold on bringing Catalan Dragons winger Krisnan Inu back to the NRL. But the Titans, still in desperate need of some backline strike with James Roberts departing, are interested in ex-Catalans centre Ben Pomeroy. A free agent after finishing up at Perpignan at last year, Pomeroy is only 32 years old. And surely he doesn’t want his professional career to end on the note it did in France last year, with back-to-back red cards and suspensions. Gold Coast are also interested in centres Bryson Goodwin and Peter Mata’utia, while Shannon Walker is trying to get back into the club permanently.
Godinet to Manly
Former Wakefield half/hooker Pita Godinet has made the move to the Manly Sea Eagles. Godinet was clubless after leaving Belle Vue and had trialed with the Silvertails. The 28-year old impressed Trent Barrett, and in a recent trial against Cronulla, and has won himself a full-time deal with Manly. With no established five-eighth partner at Brookvale for Daly Cherry-Evams, Godinet has the opportunity to throw his name into that mix. Not too shabby.