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Rumour Mill: Warrington man’s future undecided, Super League clubs fight over St George star and latest on Leeds Rhinos coach

Rumour Mill

With the Super League season on hiatus due to the mid-season international between England and France, sides have been taking the opportunity to complete a number of high-profile deals for the 2025 season. Here is a round-up of the hottest news and gossip from the Rugby League Rumour Mill this week.

The transfer activity shows no sign of slowing down as the Leeds Rhinos continue their search for a head coach, multiple Super League sides are battling it out for an NRL star and Hull FC move to tie down one of the key men in their recent resurgence.

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

Hull FC tie down a player who has starred in recent weeks

Hull FC

Credit: Imago Images

Hull FC’s season looks to have belatedly gained traction weeks as the Black and Whites have turned in some impressive performances in back-to-back games at the MKM Stadium. One of the stand-out players in both of those performances was young hooker, Denive Balmforth.

There was cause for concern for FC fans though, as Balmforth’s contract was due to expire at the end of the season. However, according to the Hull Daily Mail, FC have moved to tie down Balmforth to extended terms following his impressive displays.

According to the report, incoming coach, John Cartwright played an important part in the decision to extend Balmforth’s contract. He joins other academy products Logan Moy and Lewis Martin in extending their stay at FC into the 2025 season, where they will be hoping for a much-improved return.

Multiple Super League clubs fighting to sign De Belin

Leigh Leopards target

Credit: Getty Images

The Western Australian has reported that St George Illawarra star, Jack de Belin, is currently mulling over multiple contract offers from Super League sides, as the Papua New Guinea international considers his future for 2025.

Leigh Leopards have previously been linked with de Belin, as a replacement for John Asiata, however, it now appears they face competition from the UK and the Dragons themselves. De Belin’s preference is understood to be to stay in Australia, however, he wants the security of a longer deal than the one-year contract which has been offered by St George.

De Belin has stated that it is “nice to know there are options over there” in reference to the links with Super League. It has not yet been revealed which clubs from the UK have offered him a deal. Watch this space…

Warrington Wolves man addresses NRL link

Credit: Imago Images

Matty Nicholson has been consistently linked with a move to the NRL in recent weeks, with some sources claiming that a deal is already done to take him to Australia for 2025. However, speaking to the Warrington Guardian, Nicholson has denied that his future has been determined.

Nicholson, who is part of England’s squad to face France this weekend, has stated that where he will play in 2025 is yet to be decided and that his sole focus is on trying to ensure he performs as well as possible for the remainder of the season.

Nicholson has been in impressive form for Warrington and has been an ever-present since returning to the side following a hernia injury earlier in the year.

Brad Arthur rumours quashed in boost for Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos Brad Arthur

Credit: Imago Images

The search for the next Leeds Rhinos head coach rumbles on, with radio silence from the hierarchy at Headingley at the moment. Paul Rowley and Brad Arthur have been widely rumoured to be the front runners to replace Rohan Smith, who left the club last week.

The Rumour Mill suggested last week that Arthur had been interviewed for the Leeds job, however, since then, Arthur has been linked with the head coach’s role at the proposed Perth-based franchise which could join the NRL as the 18th team and as the head coach at Manly Sea Eagles, with coach, Anthony Seibold under pressure.

At least one of those rumours has now been quashed, as reports that Arthur had been pictured with Manly’s Chief Executive proved to be a case of mistaken identity.

Super League talent on alert as clubs vote for NRL expansion

Rhyse Martin of Leeds Rhinos runs with the ball against Castleford Tigers in Super League

Credit: Imago Images

A number of Super League stars are said to be on high alert, as the NRL voted through plans to expand the competition to 20 teams before the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane. An 18th team is likely to join the competition in Perth next season, with a PNG-based franchise likely to follow soon after, according to the Daily Telegraph.

With those sides likely to need to build squads quickly to be competitive in the NRL, a number of Super League players have been rumoured to be interested in moves to represent the new franchises.

Rhyse Martin, who is out of contract at the end of this season, has been repeatedly linked with a move to the new PNG-based franchise, who are likely to join the NRL in 2027. Father and son duo, Adrian and Lachlan Lam are also reportedly on the radar of the expansion side, as reported in a previous Rumour Mill.

NRL playmaker offered to Super League clubs

Tyson Gamble of NRL passes the ball.

Credit: Imago Images

Will Pryce’s move up the pecking order at the Newcastle Knights in recent weeks is bad news for half-back, Tyson Gamble. With Jackson Hastings and Jack Cogger as the current first-choice half-back pairing for the Knights, Pryce’s promotion moves Gamble down to fourth choice.

With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, Gamble may be set for a departure for the 2025 season. If Gamble is available for a move, he is certain to be on the radar of Super League clubs.

Gamble has 57 NRL appearances across spells with the Wests Tigers, the Brisbane Broncos and the Knights, having made his debut in 2018. At 28 years of age, Gamble is entering the best years of his career, so should be an attractive option for Super League sides. He has made eight appearances so far this season, scoring twice.

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