Paper Talk: Castleford eye NRL flyer, Leeds target Demetriou, 16-team Championship

Drew Darbyshire

There continues to be plenty of transfer talk in League Express and League Weekly.

NRL winger set for Castleford

Castleford Tigers are looking for a winger, with Sosaia Feki in their sights, report League Express.

The tigers are keen to add a front-line outside-back to their ranks for 2020, with Feki on their shortlist, report League Express. The Cronulla Sharks speedster is keen for a new challenge in Super League and the 28-year-old had been offered to Super League clubs, with several showing interest. However, the Tigers would need to offload some players because they are near the cap at present.

Leeds look at Demetriou

The number one target for Leeds Rhinos to replace Dave Furner as head coach is understood to be South Sydney’s assistant coach Jason Demetriou, report League Weekly.

Demetriou, who is the understudy to Wayne Bennett at the Rabbitohs, is on Kevin Sinfield’s wish list. League Weekly report there is a strong link between Bennett and Sinfield that has catapulted him into the position as favourite to be the next head coach at the Rhinos.

Championship could be extended

The Championship could potentially expand in size again next season, after League Express learned of a growing appetite to increase the number of teams playing in the second-tier in 2020 to 16.

With the new TV deal that is being pinpointed as a critical moment for the sport’s future now just over two years away, lower-league clubs are taking action to ensure their competitions are in the strongest position possible when it comes to taking them to the market for tender. That could potentially involve making sure the biggest and strongest clubs are in the Championship as soon as possible, according to League Express.

Gleeson liked with rugby union

Salford Red Devils assistant coach Martin Gleeson is set to follow in the footsteps of close pal Sean Long by swapping rugby league for rugby union, report League Weekly.

The former Great Britain centre has been lined up to join the coaching staff at Gallagher Premiership outfit Wasps. Ex-St Helens team-mate Long recently quit as Justin Holbrook’s assistant to join Harlequins and Gleeson is now poised to make the move to Wasps, according to League Weekly.

Warrington eye Championship star

Warrington Wolves are closing in on the signing of highly-rated Widnes Vikings youngster Keanan Brand, report League Express.

Brand’s impressive performances have caught the eye of several top-flight sides in recent weeks, who were keen to land his signature for next season and beyond. And, despite numerous offers, centre Brand is ready to sign for the Wolves in 2020, according to League Express. His team-mate Anthony Gelling has also been linked with a  move to Warrington next season.

Salford keeping busy

Salford are holding off announcing two new signings for 2020 as director of rugby Ian Blease calls for Super League rivals to show “a bit more class”, report League Weekly.

Wigan’s Dan Sarginson and Hull KR’s Chris Atkin are both now understood to be heading for the AJ Bell Stadium, while the Red Devils have been linked with the likes of London duo Rhys Williams and Luke Yates and Castleford’s Jamie Ellis. Blease revealed Salford are holding off announcing their signings just yet though, he told League Weekly: “We’ve got a couple [of new signings] over the line already. But I just think, with what’s happened to us in the last couple of weeks, with people doing interviews and parading the shirt, I’m not sure it’s in the best taste. I’m a bit more respectful than that.”

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