Columnist JACK CONLON brings you the biggest rumours and gossip from the world of rugby league over the past week.
Sao set for SL
New Zealand Warriors forward Ligi Sao is the latest NRL player to be linked with a move to Super League. The 26-year-old has been in and around the Warriors’ squad this season but is out of contract at the end of the year, with a new deal not looking likely.
Hull FC are one of the clubs reportedly interested in his services, according to the Hull Daily Mail. However, Castleford have also expressed their interest and see Sao as a potential replacement for Mitch Clark, who is set to join Wigan.
Wigan flyer to stay
Despite being out of contract at the end of the year, Joe Burgess won’t be leaving the DW Stadium this season. The former Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs winger is one of a number of notable names yet to sign new deals, however he is reportedly the Warriors’ number one retain target.
Burgess previously stated his desire to return to Australia one day, but it seems as if that’s still a bit premature. Him, along with centre Dan Sarginson, are both due to sign new deals very soon and secure their immediate futures with the club.
Hastings has options
Reports in Australia are suggesting Salford superstar Jackson Hastings could be on his way back home. The halfback has been a revelation for the Red Devils since arriving from Manly in July last year and, as a result, has attracted much attention from top clubs in both Super League and the NRL.
Wigan have long been touted as the favourites for his signature, however it seems interest from down under could potentially scupper the move. Adrian Lam is still keen on bringing in Hastings as a replacement for Canberra-bound George Williams but may have to step up his bid to ensure the 23-year-old stays in the UK.
Bird considering future
Catalans’ Greg Bird is pondering his future as a player, after picking up another serious injury. The Dragons confirmed that the 34-year-old suffered a torn bicep in their win over Wigan at the Nou Camp, with Bird not due to return until the back end of the season.
The five-year contract he initially signed in 2017 stated that he would take up a coaching role in Perpignan for the final two seasons, however that may be brought forward if Bird decides not to play on after recovering from his injury.
Clubs chase Sharks forward
Cronulla Sharks second rower Kurt Capewell is another of the NRL out-of-contract contingent being pursued by a number of English clubs. The 25-year-old has racked up over 50 appearances for the Sharks since making his debut in 2016 but has already been offered to Super League clubs for next season.
Leeds are one of the clubs interested with both Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Carl Ablett set to either retire or leave, while Toronto see him as a strong signing for if they make it to Super League. Catalans could also put in a bid for him should Greg Bird decide to retire.