Rugby League Gossip Column: July 7

Ray Mour

All the murmurings from the rugby league rumour mill this week.

Leeds are hoping to make Aidan Sezer their new half-back, with coach Richard Agar confirming to Sky Sports their interest in the Australian. Sezer is set to depart Huddersfield, where he is a marquee player, at the end of the season with Ian Watson bringing in Tui Lolohea and Theo Fages to be his first choice six and seven for 2022.

Warrington forward Sitaleki Akauola is set to move to Salford, and the deal could even go ahead this season to create more salary cap room at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. The 29-year-old Tongan has played 62 times for the Wolves since arriving in 2018 and has also spent time with Rochdale.

Warrington prop Sitaleki Akauola has been linked with Salford

That salary cap room is of course needed to accommodate England international George Williams, who remains a free agent after being released by Canberra Raiders. Williams is widely expected to link up with the Wolves on a long-term deal from 2022, but they’re trying all they can to get him on the cap for the remainder of this year and enable him to play ahead of the World Cup. The release of Greg Inglis has created some room and there may be movement in the coming weeks.

Wigan are closing in on a prop from the NRL, as they step up their recruitment for 2022. London winger Abbas Miski and Leigh centre Iain Thornley are already believed to be on their way to the DW Stadium. (Wigan Today)

Abbas Miski has won nine caps for Lebanon

Canterbury Bulldogs powerhouse Renouf Atoni is being heavily linked to Wigan, with reports Down Under saying that the Warriors are keen to make a statement signing in the pack. Atoni has been interesting North Queensland and Cronulla, while the Bulldogs have also made him an offer to stay. (The Mole)

Leigh are still no closer to appointing a permanent successor to John Duffy, as Kurt Haggerty continues to hold the reins for the Super League season. The Centurions are believed to have sounded out both Shaun Wane and Tim Sheens about taking over. As heavy favourites for relegation, and with little movement in the player market for reinforcements, some coaches appear reluctant to have that on their CV. Former favourite Paul Rowley is not interested in a return.

Danny Ward is being linked with both Wigan and Leeds following his shock departure from London Broncos. The former Rhinos player gained many plaudits for getting the Broncos to Super League and almost keeping them up, and was part of the Great Britain coaching staff at the end of that year. A move to Leeds could see Richard Agar move upstairs, filling the void left by the impending departure of legend Kevin Sinfield.

It remains unclear just when London Broncos will complete their move to Plough Lane, the new home of Wimbledon football club. The change in government restrictions has contributed, but there has also been a hold up with the paperwork. Fans are getting frustrated at the uncertainty, particularly as popular coaching pair Danny Ward and Jamie Langley have both left in the meantime, as well as their indifferent form on the pitch. Their game at home to Widnes at the end of this month had previously been lined up to be the first game at their new home.

Plough Lane, the home of AFC Wimbledon

Former Great Britain international Mike Ford, who has forged a distinguished coaching career in rugby union since his retirement, has been working with Salford and could be open to a permanent return to rugby league. He has recently left Leicester Tigers and has worked internationally with England, Ireland and the British Lions in the 15-man code (Yorkshire Live)

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