Rugby League Gossip Column: September 1

Which Championship star is set for a move to Super League? Who is the favourite for the Wigan job? Find out in the gossip column…

Championship star set for Super League move

Whitehaven’s flying winger Lachlan Walmsley will be landing in Super League for 2022, after signing a three-year deal with a “top” Super League club.

The Australian has made an impression in Cumbria since arriving ahead of this season. Wakefield have previously been linked with him and it remains to be seen what other options he might have attracted – Warrington might be a surprise choice, but they are set to lose Tom Lineham and Jake Mamo from their outside backs.

Who next at Wigan?

Adrian Lam will leave Wigan at the end of the season

The confirmation of Adrian Lam’s departure at the end of the season has fanned the flames of the rumour mill in Wigan, with increasing noise that Shaun Wane could be making a return to the club, albeit in an alternative role to his previous one as head coach. That would leave a gap to be filled by Matthew Peet, a long-serving member of their coaching staff and youth department, to be assisted by Sean O’Loughlin.

Super League structure change

The two divisions of 10 is “99% certain” to be implemented for 2023, but it remains to be seen what happens to those who don’t make the cut.

One of the more extreme suggestions was to completely overhaul rugby league on the whole, and introduce four quarters to each game, as well as an American-style conference system for all 36 clubs currently in the professional game.

Brexit impacts rugby league

Every club has faced difficulties with recruitment this year, due to injuries and COVID, but Brexit is also now starting to impact after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Players coming from Down Under have to have played a minimum number of NRL games, which provides difficulties for Super League teams at times, let alone those in the Championship. Even having a European passport doesn’t make that process any easier; and clubs have also not been able to recruit players from France following the end of their season; with only players who have played a certain number of international matches able to move to the UK now. Moves are being made to try and reclassify the French Elite Championship as a top tier competition for the purpose of work permits.

Hingano set for Salford stay

Ata Hingano is set to stay at Salford

Salford are likely to take up the option to retain Tongan half-back Ata Hingano. The 24-year-old arrived earlier this summer and could fill the shirt that is being vacated by Tui Lolohea’s departure to Huddersfield at the end of the season.

Lilley future

Bradford star Jordan Lilley says a decision on his future will be made within the next two weeks. The 24-year-old says he has been offered a two-year contract by the Bulls but has not signed anything yet, with other clubs also keen on landing his signature. (The Telegraph & Argus)

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