Rumour Mill: Former Leeds star agrees explosive switch; Brisbane Broncos speedster heading to Super League; axe falls on ex-Rhinos coach

Josh McAllister
Rumour Mill: Jack Walker, Tristan Sailor

This week’s Rumour Mill includes the next career move for former Leeds full-back Jack Walker plus two current NRL names have been linked to Super League switches. 

England’s NRL-based players

England boss Shaun Wane says that Jackson Hastings has not been in touch about a potential call-up for the first ever test series against Tonga at the end of the year.

Hastings, 27, qualifies through his grandmother and represented Great Britain in 2019 during their unsuccessful tour Down Under.

Asked if the former Man of Steel had been in touch, Wane simply answered “No.”

Kristian Woolf’s Tonga will travel over at the end of October for fixtures in St Helens, Huddersfield and Leeds, with all games confirmed to be live on the BBC.

And there will be a host of NRL players returning home for Wane’s camp, with the likes of Newcastle Knights record-breaker Dom Young and Brisbane Broncos star Herbie Farnworth expected to play.

Wane, 58, held a press conference at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Tuesday. Speaking to media, he said: “Dom is playing really well in the NRL, he didn’t have one of his best games in the semi-final when we got beat so there’s things he needs to improve on.

“But his form in the NRL in a really good competition, him and Herbie, is outstanding. Tom [Burgess] is still doing it when he’s on the field, so we’ve still got some good NRL players coming over.”

Wane also confirmed that veteran back-rower Elliott Whitehead will be involved.

Brisbane Broncos flyer to Super League

Brisbane Broncos speedster Tristan Sailor has attracted interest from Super League clubs about a potential move for 2024, reports Examiner Live.

The 25-year-old, son of former dual-international star Wendell, made his NRL debut in 2019 with St George Illawarra Dragons but has only gone on to feature a further eight times at first grade.

Capable of playing at full-back or in the halves, Sailor joined Brisbane Broncos in 2023 with four appearances to date, alongside 14 in the Queensland Cup.

Catalans have been named as a potential destination, with the French outfit set to lose playmakers Sam Tomkins (retirement), Mitchell Pearce (retirement) and Tyrone May (Hull KR) at the end of the year.

Ex-Leeds boss axed by NRL club

David Furner has been shown the door at NRL strugglers Wests Tigers, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The 52-year-old, who was relieved of his duties with Leeds Rhinos just six months after he succeeded Brian McDermott, has become the latest victim at the Tigers following the departure of Tim Sheens.

The assistant coach was expected to remain with the club and work alongside rookie head coach Benji Marshall, only to be told there is no future for him for 2024.

Former South Sydney assistant John Morris will join the club next season, while Robbie Farah is expected to continue his role.

Jack Walker to Hull

Hull have signed former loan full-back Jack Walker for the 2024 campaign, according to Hull Live.

The 25-year-old made a swift return to the top flight with Hull KR from Bradford Bulls earlier this season, impressing at Craven Park with his six appearances to date.

Jamie Shaul looks likely to leave the MKM Stadium outfit at the end of the year, with Walker having made six appearances for the Black & Whites on loan in 2022, scoring twice.

Australian full-back Tex Hoy will remain the number one man, with competition from Walker and rising youngster Davy Litten.

Anthony Milford linked with Super League move

Renowned Australian journalist ‘The Mole’ has reported that Dolphins playmaker Anthony Milford is close to securing his future with Leigh Leopards in Super League, via Wide World of Sports.

The 29-year-old represented Samoa at last year’s World Cup, and joined Wayne Bennett’s side ahead of their inaugural NRL season on a two-year deal.

However, after a disappointing personal season that included just 11 appearances, the former Brisbane and Newcastle man could see his stint cut short to replace Ben Reynolds at the Leigh Sports Village.

PNG star set to pen new NRL deal 

Papua New Guinea international star Dan Russell is set to re-sign with St George Illawarra Dragons, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Kumuls representative made his debut in Round 19 aged 27 and went on to make a further seven appearances in the 2023 NRL campaign.

He won the 2020 NRL Nines competition with North Queensland Cowboys and represented PNG at last year’s delayed World Cup in England, featuring in three group fixtures and the quarter-final clash against the hosts.

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