Rumour Mill #33

Columnist JACK CONLON brings you the biggest rumours and gossip from the world of rugby league over the past week.

Giants target Hoffman

After a deal to sign Tony Gigot from Catalans fell through, Huddersfield have turned their attention to Parramatta Eels outside back Josh Hoffman (above). Simon Woolford is still keen to recruit a new fullback for 2020 and is set to pursue the former New Zealand international.

The 31-year-old is out of contract at the Eels and has been out of favour at times this year, making just 10 appearances with injuries and form stunting his season. Like several deals across Super League, a deal won’t come to fruition until the Giants have secured top-flight status but unlike some of their rivals, Huddersfield still have overseas quota space free.

Turner back on the radar

South Sydney Rabbitohs forward Kyle Turner is being monitored by several Super League and Championship clubs. The 27-year-old almost made the move last year, with Leeds and London competing for his signature, but he eventually chose to sign a new deal with Souths.

He’s out of contract again this season, though, with little to no sign of the Rabbitohs being keen on retaining him, which could force a move to the UK. The Broncos would probably still be keen however they’re yet to secure top-flight status, while the Rhinos no longer need a back rower after signing Rhyse Martin and Alex Mellor.

Gigot heading down under

Tony Gigot has signed a contract to play with St George Illawarra Dragons for next season, report League Express. The fullback rejected a new contract with Catalans earlier this season and had been linked a move to Huddersfield.

However, it now seems he will look to test himself in the NRL in 2020. He has had one spell in Oz in the past, spending a season with Cronulla, but failed to make a single appearance for the Sharks. The Dragons, however, are looking to revamp their back line and believe Gigot could be a part of that.

Wakefield and Catalans keen on Tasi

Warrington prop Lama Tasi will leave the club at the end of the season, with two clubs currently leading the race for his signature. Wakefield and Catalans are both looking to strengthen in the forwards and see the former Samoa international as someone who can provide some extra bulk up front.

Trinity are looking for someone to replace the outgoing Pauli Pauli, who joined Salford last week, while Catalans are keen to establish a regular front row, after using several different combinations this season.

Escaré to stay put

Wakefield fullback Morgan Escaré could be set to stay in West Yorkshire following the completion of his loan deal. The Frenchman is still contracted to Wigan but is unlikely to get a chance under Adrian Lam with both Zak Hardaker and Bevan French above him in the pecking order.

Since making the temporary move to Trinity in August, the 27-year-old has found some impressive form and been one of the club’s stand-out players. He has reportedly been enquiring about properties in the area with the view of making a permanent move. Wakefield have already signed London fullback Alex Walker ahead of 2020 but could be set to have two players now battling for the number one jersey.

Fev, Batley and Widnes all set for new signings

League Express have reported that Featherstone, Batley and Widnes are all set to announce new signings in the near future. Rovers will follow up the signing of Thomas Minns with Barrow Raiders’ Australian prop Alec Susino, while Batley will bring in former Leeds and Halifax halfback Ben White, also from Barrow.

Widnes are set to compete a quadruple swoop that includes St Helens back rower Liam Cooper (above). Cooper has been on loan at Halifax this season, making 11 appearances. The Vikings have also been linked with current ‘Fax forward and former player Shane Grady, Leigh stand-off Martyn Ridyard and Barrow outside back Deon Cross.

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