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Rumour Mill: England star set for big move, Super League side eye centre and Fusitu’a future update

Below is a round-up of all the biggest rumours and gossip from the world of rugby league over the past week.

Leeds star adamant he’s happy despite rumours

David Fusitu’a has spoken out with confusion about the reports from Australia that he’s unhappy in England.

It had been reported by respected Australian journalist, The Mole for WWOS, that Rhinos’ talented winger Fusitu’a is unhappy at the Super League club and would prefer a return back to the NRL.

The Mole then provided an update that he’d likely see out his contract, however, the Rhinos’ star has spoken with the Yorkshire Evening Post to quash any claims of upset.

“I am still scratching my head, trying to figure out who’s come up with that.

“Whenever I’ve talked to family and friends and people here at the club, all I’ve said is good things because it’s true.

“I’m good, just recovering from being sick last weekend,” he concluded suggesting we could see him feature against Hull KR this coming weekend.

Catalans looking at former Souths centre?

The Perpignan side have had two players depart the position and only one arrive with Dean Whare and Samisoni Langi having left, the latter moving to Super League rivals Wakefield Trinity, and the sole signing being Adam Keighran from Sydney Roosters.

The Dragons are now set for a second centre arrival according to their owner, Bernard Guasch, who stated that injuries to winger Fouad Yaha “require that we accelerate the recruitment of a centre. It’s a matter of a day or a week,” Guasch told L’Independent.

Twitter account @catalanmedia who deals in all things to do with the game in France has suggested that Steven Marsters, cousin of Esan who the Dragons missed out on, could be a target albeit the 23-year-old has been without a club since late 2021.

Young in talks with Canterbury Bulldogs

Plenty of players impressed for England at the World Cup but there was one man who was hot on the lips of all fans given his breakout tournament where he announced himself to the English fans.

Dom Young left Huddersfield before he had time to shine but he’s found his home at Newcastle Knights and earned himself a callup to Shaun Wane’s team, something he seized as he went on to score eight tries at the World Cup.

The six foot seven winger is off contract at the end of 2023 which has caused uncertainty and teams have now come knocking with Canterbury Bulldogs seen as the favourites after Young toured their facilities, as reported by Phil Rothfield in Australia for the Daily Telegraph.

There was speculation he’d land the full-back gig however the Broncos picked up young Reece Walsh from New Zealand Warriors to fill that role which left Farnworth back out in the centres, a role he played excellently for England at the World Cup with his highlight being two tries in the semi-final against Samoa.

Despite the fact he may have lost the full-back position battle the Courier Mail in Australia have revealed that he and his management met with the top bosses at Brisbane with the intent to sign a deal through till 2025, one that’s reportedly below the fee he could have received elsewhere.

Tigers cash in on Jackson Hastings

The Sydney Morning Herald have done the maths and worked out that Wests Tigers have saved a hefty sum of money in the Jackson Hastings and David Klemmer swap deal.

Hastings made way for the Australian forward in a player swap but Newcastle have swallowed half of Klemmer’s $400,000 contract meaning the Tigers get him on a half price deal in effect and save chunks on the salary cap all thanks to the former Salford and Wigan man.

Bateman still waiting on move

The Herald are also reporting that England star John Bateman is still having visa issues despite the switch being confirmed on Boxing Day with the festive period actually going against Bateman according to boss Tim Sheens.

“There have been a couple of issues with the visa, and the government [departments] in both countries shut down over Christmas, so that slowed us down,” Sheen told the Herald.

Off-contract NRL stars

Just as recently as a fortnight ago players of the calibre of Albert Kelly, former Hull FC and KR star, were available to sign with any club for 2023 but since new club the Dolphins snapped him up there’s a limited talent pool remaining.

Of those that are available though one is massively rumoured to make a Super League switch whilst others have ties to the UK, read more about five that could feature in Super League here.

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