Rumour Mill #42

The biggest rumours and gossip from the world of rugby league over the past week.

Burgess to return in 2021?

Rumours in Australia suggest we may not have seen the last of Great Britain and England legend Sam Burgess. The 30-year-old announced his retirement from the game last month following a chronic shoulder injury.

The NRL Lurker, however, is reporting that Burgess could make a return to the game in 2021, should a full year of rest and recovery fully repair the damage. The former Bradford star is set to undergo surgery in the USA and will have ample recovery time on the back of it. Fitness-wise he’s still got years left in the tank, so a return to the field isn’t completely inconceivable.

Four non-rugby league players still on Toronto radar

At least four non-rugby league players are still thought to be on the radar of the newly promoted Toronto Wolfpack. The Canadian club made waves across the world last week after confirming the signing of cross-code star Sonny Bill Williams and still have their eye on several players from outside of the 13-aside game.

Former Wasps and England winger Christian Wade (above), who is currently chasing an NFL dream with the Buffalo Bills, has long been touted as a target. Meanwhile, rugby union trio Manu Tuilagi, Danny Cipriani and Ben Te’o are also among the names believed to be on Toronto’s hit list. The Yorkshire Evening Post and League Express have also reported that Leeds prop Brad Singleton is set to become their second new recruit for next season.

England RU coach looking for league move

England rugby union coach Eddie Jones is eyeing up a coaching gig in the NRL, according to Sydney Morning Herald journalist Danny Weidler. Jones recently took England to their first World Cup Final since 2007 and is under contract with them until the end of 2021.

After that, however, his future remains unclear. Jones himself has refused to comment on his long-term future, however there is speculation that he is eyeing up the lead role at South Sydney when Wayne Bennett retires. He’s also been rumoured with roles in rugby union with Australia and Fiji, so it seems as if he has plenty of options.

Leeds set to tie up Aussie prop

Leeds Rhinos are close to securing a deal for Cronulla Sharks and New South Wales Origin prop Matt Prior for 2020, according to League Express. Journalist Matthew Shaw is reporting that Prior is set to replace Nathaniel Peteru, who left Headingley two weeks ago.

The only stumbling block is the Rhinos’ overseas quota currently being full. However, back rower Rhyse Martin is reportedly in the process of getting a Papua New Guinea passport, which would see him qualify as just a non-Federation trained player and free up a quota spot for Prior’s arrival.

Hull KR trio still on the market

The futures of Hull KR trio Jimmy Keinhorst, Will Oakes and Elliot Wallis remain up in the air, with none of them yet to secure a club for 2020. All three have been told by coach Tony Smith that they are free to either leave or go out on loan but currently seem to be struggling for potential destinations.

Keinhorst, the most high-profile of the three, was linked with a move to Salford, however that has since gone cold. Wing pair Oakes and Wallis are both likely to switch to the Championship or League 1, with York emerging as a potential destination for the former, after he spent most of last season on loan there.

Huddersfield boss to sign his own son?

League Weekly are reporting that Huddersfield Giants coach Simon Woolford could be set to sign his own son. Rumours continue to circulate that Leeds are targeting Giants hooker Kruise Leeming, after allowing both Matt Parcell and Shaun Lunt to leave the club.

Should that deal happen, Woolford would be significantly light in the that position and could add talented son Zac to the club’s ranks. Woolford Jnr has been on the NRL radar for the past few years, having spells with Canberra, Canterbury and Newcastle. He is yet, however, to make an NRL appearance but has been starring in the NSW Cup.

Make sure to buy the latest copies of League Express and League Weekly, available at most local newsagents and online at pocketmags.com.

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