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Rumour Mill: Leeds Rhinos risk losing Rhyse Martin to rivals, Jake Connor on the move, Wests Tigers pair heading for Super League

Rumour Mill

The Super League season is set to burst back into life this weekend after the brief pause for the Challenge Cup final. However, there has been no shortage of transfer activity. Here is a round-up of the hottest news and gossip from the Rugby League Rumour Mill this week.

Sides are battling it out for some of the Wests Tigers’ biggest names and Leeds Rhinos risk losing Rhyse Martin to one of their closest Super League rivals.

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? #3

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Jake Connor set for Huddersfield Giants exit

Super League

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As first reported by Love Rugby League, Jake Connor is set for a short-term move away from the Huddersfield Giants. Speaking earlier today, Ian Watson admitted that Connor would be allowed to leave the club in order to gain match fitness, in a similar deal to the one which saw Matty English join the Castleford Tigers.

Tigers coach, Craig Lingard, addressed a potential move for Connor, stating that Castleford would need to check their available budget before deciding on whether to make a move for Connor, or any other player.

However, having fallen out of favour with Watson in recent weeks, it appears that Connor’s immediate future lies away from the John Smith’s Stadium. Fans will be watching the rumour mill with interest to see where he moves to next, as there he remains a player of great ability.

Leeds Rhinos risk losing star to Super League rivals

Rhyse MArtin of Leeds Rhinos runs with the ball against Castleford Tiegrs

Credit: Imago Images

Rhyse Martin has been a hugely influential figure at the Leeds Rhinos since joining the club in 2019. However, according to Yorkshire Live, the Rhinos now risk losing Martin to a rival Super League side.

Martin’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season and, despite Leeds stating that they have begun negotiations over a new deal, no agreement has been found. Now, according to the report. the Leigh Leopards have tabled a contract offer for Martin and he could be set to leave Headingley.

Like Martin, Leigh’s head coach, Adrian Lam, is a native of Papua New Guinea. Martin has been linked with a return to the NRL previously, but now has a tempting offer from another Super League club. Whatever happens next, it is safe to say Leeds face a battle to retain the back-rower’s services.

Super League side agrees deal for Jayden Sullivan

Hull FC

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Ever since it was reported that the Wests Tigers’ Chief Executive, Shane Richardson, had jetted into the UK to offload some of his side’s under-performing stars, Jayden Sullivan has been almost constantly linked with a move to the UK. Hull FC were the first name mentioned in the rumour mill, however, that move is yet to materialise.

Now, the Examiner Live, Jayden Sullivan could be heading to the Salford Red Devils. The report states that Sullivan’s team have struck a deal with Salford for the half-back to make the move to the UK. However, there is one big obstacle. Sullivan is yet to decide on whether he wants to accept the deal, or stay and fight for his place in the Wests’ side.

Sullivan still has four years left to run on his deal and he has no intention of walking out on the club. In a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, he reiterated his desire to stay with the Tigers for the long-term.

Salford fans may have to wait patiently before they get their man, as it appears Sullivan will take some convincing to leave the NRL.

Front-runners for Brent Naden’s signature emerge

Super League

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Also linked with a move away from Wests is utility back, Brent Naden. Naden, who can play in the centres or on the wing, is another player who is reportedly on this list that Richardson was looking to offload to Super League clubs, alongside Sullivan.

Previously, Hull KR head coach, Willie Peters, distanced the club from a move for Naden. Now, as aeported in Love Rugby League, Sullivan’s current team-mate, could be lining up against him next season. The report states that the Catalans Dragons are now in pole position to sign Naden.

Les Dracs are losing both of their wingers in the close season, with Tom Johnstone moving to Wakefield Trinity and Tom Davies heading to Hull KR. They have seemingly identified Naden as the perfect replacement, alongside Tommy Makinson who was announced for 2025 earlier in the week.

St Helens update on Hurrell and Mata’utia

St Helens Konrad Hurrell Rumour Mill

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Following on from the departure of Makinson, St Helens appear to have switched focus to retention, as they risk losing a number of stars who are out of contract at the end of the season. Speaking in the week, head coach, Paul Wellens provided an update on the future of Sione Mata’utia and Konrad Hurrell.

Saints have an option to extend Mata’utia’s contract, which they are keen to exercise. However, as Wellens explained, Mata’utia has a young family and , as a result, Saints are keen to handle the negotiation sensitively to ensure the best outcome is achieved for all parties.

Regarding Hurrell, Wellens has been impressed with his performances and application in training in recent weeks. He stated that, should Hurrell continue to show the same level of commitment for the rest of the season, they he is hopeful both parties will come to an agreement on an extended deal.

Coach provides update on Leigh Leopards linked player

Rumour Mill

Credit: Getty Images

Jack de Belin has spent his entire career with St George Illawarra. However, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season and no extension signed, the Papua New Guinea international may hit the market for the first time.

De Belin is thought to have discussed a potential move to Super League, with Leigh Leopards thought to be interested in signing him. However, St George coach, Shane Flanagan, has today stated his desire to keep de Belin at the club.

According to Flanagan, negotiations over an extended deal are set to commence and they are hopeful a deal will be agreed quickly between the two sides. Leigh fans will be hoping Derek Beaumont can pull off another miracle, as he seems to have done with David Armstrong, to convince him to move to Super League with the Leopards.

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