Rumour Mill #36

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

Merrin heading home?

Several reports from both the UK and Australia have suggested that Leeds captain Trent Merrin could be set for a move back to the NRL. The 29-year-old has reportedly been given permission by the Rhinos to speak to other teams should he choose to return home for family reasons.

His former club St George Illawarra Dragons and Newcastle Knights are understood to be interested in his services. If he does leave, Leeds would have space on their overseas quota to potentially recruit from down under, with Richard Agar recently returning from a scouting trip to Australia.

Sammut on the move

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Wigan halfback Jarrod Sammut is being shopped around to other Super League clubs, according to League Express. The 32-year-old has played 14 times for the Warriors this year, primarily coming off the bench, but has struggled to hold down a regular spot.

As a result, it is understood that Wigan are willing to let him go next season, despite signing him on a two-year contract at the start of 2019. Several clubs are in the market for a halfback but have already started negotiations, so Sammut could struggle to find a club in the top flight.

Bukuya on Super League radar

Cronulla back rower and Fiji international Jayson Bukuya is the latest NRL player to be linked with a move to Super League. The Sharks are looking to move several players on, including star outside back Josh Dugan, to ease current salary cap pressure.

Reports in Australia suggest that Bukuya is also likely to be told to leave, with a move to Super League a viable option. Several European clubs are looking to recruit in the forwards, so the 30-year-old could prove a handy pickup. As reported earlier, there are also a further 13 NRL players who have been offered to Super League clubs.

Featherstone line up new head coach

Featherstone have reportedly held talks with James Webster to become their new head coach next season, report League Express. Current boss Ryan Carr is expected to leave the position to take up a permanent coaching role with Leeds, which he has been doing this year on a part-time basis.

Webster is currently on the coaching staff at Hull KR but has previously been in charge of Wakefield in 2014/15 and KR on two occasions on an interim basis. He has yet to be confirmed as the new Fev boss, but is the leading candidate should an appointment be made.

Huddersfield duo on the outer?

Huddersfield pair Matt Frawley and Akuila Uate could be on their way out of the club. The Australian duo both had tough first seasons in Super League, with Frawley struggling to hold down any consistent form and Uate suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

On the back of the Giants’ 10th place finish, Simon Woolford is keen to make changes and Frawley and Uate could both suffer as a result. Frawley has already been the subject of much speculation, while Uate’s place in the side has been threatened by the superb form of Louis Senior.

Super League prop set for Championship move

Recently released Super League prop Anthony England is now set for a move to the Championship. The 32-year-old was let go by Wakefield after a four-year spell at Belle Vue, in which he made over 80 appearances.

He is now expected to sign for a Championship side and is believed to have a number of parties interested in his services. Among them are his former club Featherstone, while Bradford and Leigh have also made enquiries.

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