Paper Talk: Barrett to Wigan, Huddersfield sign Bradford ace, Minikin on market

Drew Darbyshire

We’ve had a flick through the latest copies of League Weekly and League Express. 

Wigan linked with Barrett

Following what looks like a u-turn by Shaun Edwards to take the Wigan Warriors coaching job from next season, another former favourite at the club has been doing the gossip rounds in upper circles over the past few days – Trent Barrett, report League Weekly.

The former Australia and New South Wales representative played 60 games for Wigan in the 2007 and 2008 seasons, scoring 29 tries. Whether this is to come in as an assistant to Adrian Lam, or on his own, time will only tell. League Weekly claim Barrett to Wigan on a three-year term.

Minikin up for grabs

Castleford Tigers centre Greg Minikin could be one of the hottest free agents on the market at the end of this season after Super League clubs were alerted to his availability for 2020, report League Express.

The 24-year-old, who joined the Tigers ahead of the 2016 campaign from York City Knights, will be out of contract at the end of the season. Castleford declined to comment on whether they were in talks with Minikin when contacted by League Express, but Minikin would be available to speak to other clubs at the beginning of next month if no deal has been agreed by then.

Winger set for Salford stay

Salford winger Derrell Olpherts appears likely to stay with the Red Devils in 2020, report League Weekly.

Off-contract at the end of this year, Olpherts has yet to begin talks with the club over a new deal. But League Weekly understands the Red Devils are keen to keep him, and the outside-back wants to stay at the AJ Bell Stadium. The 27-year-old has scored five tries in nine games this season and his management are expected to start negotiations in the next fortnight.

Huddersfield snap up Bradford forward

Huddersfield Giants are set to break the bank to sign highly-rated England Academy prop Oliver Wilson from Bradford Bulls, report League Express.

The Giants have had a six-figure fee accepted by the Bulls and are close to securing his services on a multi-year deal, according to League Express. Wilson was seen at the club’s training centre last week as negotiations entered an advanced stage. The 20-year-old was part of the England Academy side that defeated the Australian Schoolboys last year.

Super League clubs eye NRL centre 

Melbourne Storm centre Cheyse Blair has been linked with a move to the UK, report League Weekly.

Blair is believed to be contracted with the Storm for next season, but has been unable to secure game time in 2019. The outside-back made only eight NRL appearances in 2018. League Weekly understands  number of Super League sides are interested in the 27-year-old, one is believed to be Castleford Tigers. Daryl Powell’s side are also considering a move for a three-quarter from Manly Sea Eagles.

Wakefield stuck on wingers

Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester admits the club is struggling for a new signing in the outside-backs, although they remain in talks with a number of prospective targets, report League Express.

Discussions remain ongoing with regard to to reinforcing Trinity’s backline following injuries to Tom Johnstone and Bill Tupou, according to League Express. Wakefield coach Chris Chester said: “Michael [Carter] and I have both been ringing around agents and seeing what’s out there. There’s not a great deal though, and there are no clubs willing to lose any players with Easter on the horizon.”

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