Rumour Mill: Konrad Hurrell St Helens lift; Warrington Lodge links cleared up; NRL half-back tipped for Super League

James Gordon
Rugby league rumour mill Townsend Coote Hutchison

Here’s what is rumbling around the rugby league rumour mill over the past few days, with NRL players linked with moves to Warrington and Leigh and a potential dilemma facing Konrad Hurrell and St Helens.

Townsend shoots down Super League rumours

North Queensland Cowboys half-back Chad Townsend has scotched talk linking him with a move to Super League.

Townsend, 32, was subject of speculation amidst the planned half-back merry-go-round expected to be triggered by Luke Brooks’ impending departure from Wests Tigers.

He said: “It’s a little bit frustrating when you can see a journalist throw a hand grenade on a news program in prime time and create a bit of a mess. My future is here in North Queensland.”

Veteran journalist Phil Rothfield had said on the NRL 360 programme on Fox Sports that Townsend had been shopped around to Super League clubs, as well as some in the NRL.

That was confirmed by Matt Shaw, who reported that Super League clubs had been offered the half-back.

No brainer for Hurrell

Konrad Hurrell’s future is up in the air once again, but surely lies at St Helens.

Hurrell has been out of contract in each of the past three seasons, first when he was coming to the end of his time at Leeds, and then last season at Saints when he was linked with a possible return to the NRL.

Saints boss Paul Wellens told Love Rugby League: “It’s a no-brainer on our part and I think it’s a no-brainer on his.”

Swift to Huddersfield

It appears Huddersfield have won the race to sign Hull FC winger Adam Swift.

The former St Helens man has been looking for a move closer to home, with Yorkshire Live now reporting the Giants is his likely destination.

Salford had thought to have shown some interest in him.

No Lodge in Warrington

There’s nothing in the talk of Warrington being a possible destination for Sydney Roosters prop Matt Lodge.

An Australian site mentioned the Wolves in five suggested clubs he could move to, which was then picked up elsewhere and ran as a headline.

Although Warrington are actively in the market for forwards, sources say Lodge is not on their radar.

Ex-Leigh man on Super League clubs’ radar

Former Leigh utility Drew Hutchison is one of seven players expected to leave Sydney Roosters at the end of the season, according to The Mole.

Hutchison, 28, played 35 games for Leigh in 2018 when their expensively assembled team failed to make the Championship top four.

He has since played more than 60 games in the NRL for Sydney Roosters, and has featured at centre this year.

Centre Billy Smith, hooker Jake Turpin, winger Jaxson Paulo, prop Matt Lodge, utility Connor Watson and forward Nathan Brown are also all off contract.

Concerns over Coote

Hull KR’s injury problems are forcing them in to the market, and it may become an even bigger pressure depending on the situation surrounding Lachlan Coote.

The former St Helens Grand Final winner is retiring at the end of the season, but has suffered numerous concussions that are raising questions over his long-term health, and whether it is worth the risk of playing again.

Hull Live reporter Joe Appleyard writes: “The big question is still when or if Coote will return. If he does want to play again, happy days. If he doesn’t, Rovers could really do with bringing in a quota in the here and now.”

The Robins signed Catalans full-back Tanguy Zenon on a short-term loan, and have Peta Hiku arriving to play full-back for 2024.

More transfer talk

“Stay in France!” – NRL captain urges Mitchell Pearce to stick to Super League

Wigan Warriors linked with NRL Grand Final winner

“The Aussies are coming!” – ‘Sensational’ English winger attracting NRL interest