Columnist JACK CONLON brings you the biggest rumours and gossip from the world of rugby league over the past week.
Leeds still in for England halfback
Leeds Rhinos are reportedly still in the race to sign Castleford scrum-half Luke Gale (above), according to League Express. The Rhinos have been linked with the 31-year-old for a number of months now, however there is no indication from either the Tigers or the player as to whether a deal will happen.
The Rhinos seem keen on recruiting a new halfback, despite having Richie Myler and Rob Lui contracted for next season. There’s a good chance one of those may have to move on to allow Gale to join, however the club wouldn’t likely be too disheartened if the deal doesn’t materialise.
Toronto favourites for Luke
Toronto Wolfpack are believed to be leading the race, among Super League and Championship clubs at least, for New Zealand international star Issac Luke. We reported earlier this week that the 32-year-old was considering a move to the Northern Hemisphere, with the Wolfpack now reportedly on high alert as they look to bring in big names.
NRL clubs Manly, Canterbury and Wests Tigers are also understood to be interested in the veteran hooker, however Toronto are likely to offer him big money to make the move to Canada. Should they secure promotion to Super League for 2020, Luke could be the first of several high-profile signings to link up with the Wolfpack.
Catalans pair heading for Huddersfield
Catalan Dragons duo Tony Gigot and Kenny Edwards are both set to line up for Huddersfield in 2020, report League Weekly. The Edwards deal has been fairly common knowledge for some time now, with the Giants delaying the announcement of his signing until the club have secured their Super League status.
It now appears, however, that teammate Gigot is set to join him at the John Smith’s Stadium. The French international fullback confirmed last week that he will leave the Dragons at the end of this season and had been linked with Toronto Wolfpack and St George Illawarra Dragons. It is now understood, though, that he will line up for the Giants in 2020.
Warrington chase third Widnes player?
Warrington Wolves could make a move for young Widnes halfback Joe Lyons for next season. We revealed a few weeks ago that the Vikings are set to lose several top stars next season, with Lyons among the most sought after.
A move to the Wolves could certainly make sense for the 21-year-old, with current teammates Anthony Gelling and Keanan Brand already due to make the switch. Wire are revamping their halves in 2020, with Kevin Brown and loanee Matty Smith making way for Gareth Widdop, while Dec Patton is also said to be on the outer. Lyons could, therefore, emerge as the perfect candidate to back up for Widdop and Blake Austin.
Albert looking for move
Young Catalans halfback Lucas Albert is reportedly considering a move elsewhere in Super League for 2020. The 21-year-old is arguably one of the most highly-rated youngsters in the competition since bursting onto the scene in 2015.
He has since gone on to make over 50 appearances for the Dragons but has become frustrated with his lack of playing time this year, starting just five games. With coach Steve McNamara even preferring to move the likes of Greg Bird and Tony Gigot out of position ahead of him. With such huge potential, the Frenchman is likely to have plenty of suitors from top clubs.