Columnist JACK CONLON brings you the biggest rumours and gossip from the world of rugby league over the past week.
Folau to Super League
Rumours are circulating that controversial dual-code star Israel Folau could be on his way to Super League. The former Melbourne and Brisbane outside back was sacked by Australian rugby union authorities over the weekend following a discriminatory social media post in which he said “hell awaits” gay people.
Super League has not closed the door completely on Israel Folau playing in England:
Statement: “Player registrations are a governing body issue and we will continue to work with the RFL to ensure the integrity of the competition is maintained.”
— John Davidson (@johnnyddavidson) April 14, 2019
The NRL have already confirmed that Folau will not be accepted back into the competition, however, Super League are yet to officially confirm their stance on the matter, stating that “player registrations are a governing body issue”. Warrington are the first club to be linked with the 30-year-old, with Steve Price reportedly targeting him as a replacement should Bryson Goodwin leave for the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Goodwin’s future uncertain
Warrington centre Bryson Goodwin has been linked with a move back to former club South Sydney Rabbitohs. The Bunnies have been monitoring a number of centres for the past week and are now set to increase their recruitment efforts after club captain Greg Inglis confirmed his retirement on Monday morning.
Inglis was one of Souths’ highest earners, meaning they effectively have no limits on his replacement. Goodwin is still among their top targets but is keen to see out his contract with the Wolves, while Steve Price is reportedly on the brink of offering him a new contract.
KR after a prop
Hull KR coach Tim Sheens is desperate to sign a prop, according to League Express. Mose Masoe is the latest forward to join an extensive injury list and Sheens is keen to bolster his options ahead of the busy Easter period.
Rovers have already been forced to hand debuts to youngsters Adam Rooks and Harry Bardle, while back rower George Lawler has had to fill in at prop on numerous occasions. Toronto forward Olsi Krasniqi is believed to have been one of Sheens’ top targets, however the club failed to secure the deal.
Barrett NOT heading to Wigan
Former Wigan star Trent Barrett will not be returning to the club as head coach. The 41-year-old was linked with the role amid speculation about Shaun Edwards’ commitment to the club. Wigan have, however, now confirmed Edwards will not join as head coach in 2020, after deciding to stay in rugby union.
Barrett won’t be his replacement, though, after it was reported in Australia that he is set to take up a coaching role with former club St George Illawarra Dragons. Barrett played over 150 games for the Dragons after spending seven years at the club and will reportedly join as Paul McGregor’s assistant. With Barrett and Edwards now out of the picture, current Wigan boss Adrian Lam is expected to extend his contract with the club.
Hull in the market
After offloading three players last week, Hull FC are scouring the transfer market in the aim of bolstering their squad. Veteran winger Fetuli Talanoa retired, while Hakim Miloudi and Danny Langtree left for Toronto and Oldham respectively.
The former two have left the Black and Whites particularly light in the outside backs, with Lee Radford now having just two fit wingers at his disposal. Free agent Mason Caton-Brown is a potential target, however he is close to re-signing with Wakefield, while former Hull KR centre Thomas Minns returns from his drugs ban in June. Former FC favourite Curtis Naughton is another name being mentioned on fan forums. Hull are also believed to be one of a number of Super League clubs interested in Manly forward Joel Thompson.