Paper Talk: Catalans eye marquee moves, NRL calls Holbrook, RFL in Channel 4 talks

There is plenty of juicy gossip in the latest editions of League Weekly and League Express newspapers.

Catalans eye big money signings

Steve McNamara expects ‘one or two significant signings’ at Catalans Dragons amid speculation linking them with England prop George Burgess and Penrith Panthers playmaker James Maloney, report League Weekly.

South Sydney Rabbitohs boss Wayne Bennett last week confirmed Burgess will not be offered a new contract when his existing deal expires at the end of the season, while New South Wales star Maloney has said he would be open on a switch to Super League in 2020. When asked if the Dragons were interested in either player, McNamara told League Weekly: “I think every team is recruiting heavily for next year and we won’t have too much movement at our club – but there will be one or two significant signings as we move forward.”

RFL chat to Channel 4 for TV deal

Channel 4 have expressed an interest in broadcasting Championship rugby league, report League Express.

RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer confirmed in a Championship and League 1 meeting held last week that the free-to-air broadcaster were one of three companies they had held discussions with about a future broadcast deal post 2021, with Sky Sports and BBC thought to be the other two, suggest League Express. Specific details of the discussions remain unclear.

Holbrook wanted Down Under

Justin Holbrook’s name is all over the papers and on the lips of people on radio and television in Queensland right now following Garth Brennan’s sacking by Gold Coast Titans on Sunday, report League Weekly.

Maroons boss Kevin Walters appears to have ruled himself out of the running, despite being a big mate of Mal Meninga, who has conducted a review of the Titans’ football department. Various outlets in Australia claim Saints head coach Holbrook is ‘the hottest thing’ in coaching right now but the Titans face tough competition for Holbrook, with Canterbury Bulldogs having already flown over to England to hold talks with Holbrook, according to League Weekly. Saints are very keen to keep Holbrook, but face a clash against the Titans and Bulldogs.

Edwards confirms Catalans exit

Kenny Edwards will leave Catalans Dragons at the end of the season after an 18-month introduction to Super League which has left him hungry for more, report League Express.

Huddersfield Giants are favourites to land the 29-year-old Kiwi, with a three-year marquee-player deal waiting to be finalised. Edwards insists he hasn’t signed anywhere yet and is currently weighing up offers from Super League, NRL and rugby union. The back-rower told League Express: “I haven’t signed a thing yet. But I definitely won’t be here next year. I realised about a month and a half ago that I was going to move on and I’ve made my decision.”

Warrington play down move for Test prop

Warrington Wolves have moved to play down talk of a swoop for George Burgess, insisting they have ‘no interest’ in the England forward – yet, report League Weekly.

The 27-year-old will leave South Sydney Rabbitohs at the end of the year and Parramatta Eels are believed to remain keen on the prop, despite him rejecting a move there earlier this year. The Dewsbury-born middle has also been linked with a return to Super League with the Wolves or Catalans Dragons. Warrington chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick told League Weekly: “We’ve no interest in him at this stage. At present, we wouldn’t have the cap space to make it happen.”

Hull FC in talks with London star

Hull FC have held talks with London Broncos playmaker James Cunningham about a potential return to the club, report League Express.

The London half-back or hooker has held discussions with the Black and Whites as they look to finalise their squad for 2020, according to League Express. With Jez Litten set to leave the club in order to join city rivals Hull KR, Hull coach Lee Radford is in need of someone to cover mainstay hooker Danny Houghton. Hull aren’t alone in their interest in the England Knights international though.

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About Drew Darbyshire 8345 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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