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Rumour Mill: British duo keen on return from Australia, Leeds head coach latest and update John Bateman future

Rumour Mill

The Super League season has moved beyond its midpoint and sides are beginning to eye up the big games in the run in. With an international break on the horizon, sides are taking a breath before the long run to the finish line. Here is a round-up of the hottest news and gossip from the Rugby League Rumour Mill this week.

Leeds Rhinos are on the hunt for a new manager and also for short-term signings, while a British duo are eyeing up a return from the NRL.

Here is a round-up of the Rugby League rumour mill from the last week.

Super League Quiz: How many of these former players can you name?

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Leeds Rhinos scouring globe for new head coach

Super League

Credit: Imago Images

The Leeds Rhinos parted company with head coach, Rohan Smith, yesterday following an inconsistent first half of the 2024 season. Speaking in a club press conference earlier today, new Sporting Director, Ian Blease, confirmed that the club would be looking both domestically and internationally for their new head coach, with Chief Executive, Gary Hetherington stating they would leave no stone left unturned. Blease named Paul Rowley as a candidate and they are understood to be interested in bringing former NRL coach, Brad Arthur, to the UK as the next head coach. One thing is for sure, the Rhinos’ search for a head coach will dominate the rumour mill until it is resolved.

Rhinos interested in Connor

Jake Connor Huddersfield Giants

Credit: Imago Images

Before the news broke that Leeds had parted company with Smith, news had broken that they had enquired about the possibility of signing Huddersfield Giants’ Jake Connor on a short-term loan deal. Connor, who has found himself falling down the pecking order at the Giants in recent weeks, is available for loan in order to retain his match fitness. Huddersfield head coach, Ian Watson, confirmed in his press conference that Leeds had asked to take Connor on loan this week, however, the move could not be completed as Connor was due to travel with the Giants squad. But, just because the move did not happen this week does not mean it is completely dead. This is definitely one to watch after the weekend.

Leigh Leopards to sign rising star

Credit: Imago Images

Leigh Leopards are set to sign a rising star from the Championship, according to Yorkshire Live. Swinton Lions player, Andy Badrock who plays mainly as a centre, has earned the admiration of Leigh coach, Adrian Lam, following a string of impressive performances for the Lions. Badrock, who spent time in the amateur game before joining Swinton, is a product of the Leigh Miners club. He ended the 2023 season as Swinton’s leading try scorer having scored seven tries in 25 appearances. This earned him the club’s Young Player of the Year award. He has subsequently started this season in impressive form, which has caught the attention of the Leopards.

British duo eyeing return from NRL

Rumour Mill

Credit: Imago Images

Reports in Hull Live suggest that a duo of talented young British players, who currently play in Australia, could be set for a return to Super League. Riley Dean and Robson Stevens both currently play for the Queensland Cup side Mackay Cutters, where they have been developing their fledgling careers. Former Warrington Wolves player, Dean, has been particularly impressive, having created 12 try assists in total this season. Dean made his Warrington debut at the tender age of 17 before moving to Australia. Stevens, 22, had spells with Huddersfield Giants and Dewsbury Rams before moving abroad. Now, the rumour mill suggests they could both be set for a Super League return.

Salford Red Devils player set to sign for new club after just two appearances

Salford Red Devils

Credit: Imago Images

Salford Red Devils had high hopes for David Nofoaluma when he joined the club from the Wests Tigers. However, the former NRL star has failed to live up to expectations with the Red Devils, having made just two Super League appearances in his short spell with the club. Nofoaluma was reported to be on the verge of leaving the club in May and, now, he looks set to join another club. Nofoaluma will reportedly join the semi-professional side, Glebe Dirty Reds, who play in the Ron Massey Cup in the second tier of the New South Wales system. The move represents a significant fall from grace for a player who was once one of the best wingers in the NRL.

Latest on John Bateman’s Future

Rumour Mill

Credit: Imago Images

According to Love Rugby League, John Bateman will NOT be a Wakefield Trinity player next season. Bateman had been linked with a move to ambitious Wakefield. However, the report suggests that he will not be moving to the Championship side for 2025. Trinity have already signed two current England internationals for next season, with Mike McMeeken and Tom Johnstone set to join the club. Bateman, who currently plays in the NRL with the Wests Tigers, would demand a marquee salary, as he currently earns the equivalent of around £300,000. That figure is beyond Wakefield, despite their significant transfer outlays so far. As things stand, Bateman remains a Wests player and has not agreed a deal for 2025.

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