Off the Record: Rumours and Rugby League Gossip #131
Super League to have two referees in 2019? Danny Walker off to Warrington? Nathan Ross coming to Super League? Find out more in the gossip column.
Two referees in Super League in 2019
Super League are set to follow in the steps of the NRL and have two referees on-field next from 2019 and beyond.
The main referee will control the play from within the 10-metre zone and the other will monitor the play-the-ball, with the aim of introducing another referee to speed up the ruck and make the game more exciting. It is expected that it will be trialled for next season and then a decision will be made to see whether it stays at the end of 2019.
Warrington favourites to sign Walker
Warrington Wolves are close to agreeing a deal for Widnes Vikings’ promising hooker Danny Walker.
The 19-year-old made his first-team debut for Widnes last year and has made almost 30 appearances already. Warrington are the frontrunners to secure his signature for 2019, but Wigan are refusing to give up the fight for the England Academy international.
One player the Wolves won’t be signing is Krisnan Inu, though they are looking for an outside-back to replace the unfortunate Mitch Brown.
Ross heading to Super League
Newcastle Knights winger Nathan Ross could well be on his way to Super League next year, according to The Mole.
The Knights have alerted clubs in the NRL and Super League that he is available for 2019, despite him having two years left to run on his contract. His natural position is at full-back but he can also play at full-back or centre. He could be a solid and smart buy for a Super League club.
Hampshire set for Wakefield stay
Ryan Hampshire will be a Wakefield player in 2019.
The 23-year-old has been in very good form for Trinity this season and is attracting interest from a couple of clubs but Wakefield want to keep him. It is understood that Hampshire is close to agreeing a new deal with his hometown club.
League 1 facing divide row
Speculation over a League 1 South is leading to some uncertainty over the make-up of the division next season.
With an extra two teams joining the Championship, League 1 is already down to 12, and if a south league is created and the likes of Hemel opt to drop in to that, then numbers could be low. Coventry have already suggested they would resist the creation of a South division to remain in the existing League 1, with many believing that playing against the stronger heartlands clubs is the only way that they can improve long-term.