Off the Record: Rugby League Transfer Gossip #6

Soward seeking new home

Word around the NRL traps is that Penrith may be seeking to offload five-eighth Jamie Soward. The playmaker, who has spent time with the Roosters, Dragons and London Broncos in the past, joined the Panthers in 2014. Soward struggled this year, with injury and his best form eluding him. A classy half on his day, ‘Sowie’ is just 30 and has State of Origin and Indigenous All Stars experience.

Lillyman getting Wired up

Warrington will soon announce the signing of New Zealand Warriors prop Jacob Lillyman, OTR understands. Lillyman has starred for Queensland in Origin, playing in this year’s series, has made 11 appearances for the Maroons. The 31-year old front-rower, who can also play in the back row, spent six seasons with the Cowboys and seven with the Warriors. Lillyman, at 110kg and 183cm, will add some grunt to the Wolves’ pack.

Rhinos and Wolves enter Burgess hunt

Chatter in Super League grows that Leeds and Warrington will throw big money to lure Sam Burgess back to rugby league. The star forward is still contract to rugby union club Bath, but may want to return to his native code after England’s disastrous performance in rugby union’s World Cup. It is believed the Rhinos and Wolves are prepared to open their purse strings for Sam, with a £1 million offer being touted.

Roby roving to Newcastle?

Reports from Australia indicate that new Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown wants James Roby to lead his team around in 2016. Roby is one of the best players in Super League and integral to St Helens. But Brown will be hoping he can entice the England international hooker to NSW after coaching him for several seasons at Langtree Park. If Roby does decided to leave, and that’s a big if, it would be a big loss to both Saints and the whole competition.

Panther Puletua?

Tony Puletua was musing over a future in rugby league this week, after retiring from playing at the end of the season. The former St Helens, Salford and Hull KR prop was set to depart from the sport entirely, probably not least due to the effects of contesting a lengthy court case with Salford. It looks as though the big man is reconsidering though, and may now take up an off-field role at an NRL club. Penrith Panthers looks like it could be Puletua’s destination.