Off the Record: Rugby League Rumours and Gossip #202

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Ray Mour has survived the COVID-19 lockdown and makes a return with the latest gossip.

Midnight kick-off?

Super League could see its first ever midnight kick-off, if it can’t persuade the Government to allow fans to return for fixtures on September 30.

That round has been earmarked by rugby league to welcome fans back in to the stadiums – but is before the Government’s October 1 cut-off, subject to the successful pilot events in other sports this month. With clubs desperate to get back in front of fans, it’s been suggested that Wigan against St Helens could kick-off at midnight on October 1; whether this is just a move to force the Government in to agreeing with the proposals, or if it actually does happen, remains to be seen.

Clubs unsure on Ottawa

League 1 clubs have raised a number of concerns about Ottawa Aces joining the league, post-COVID, in 2021.

But as an RFL member club, the Aces have a participation agreement and could threaten legal action if they aren’t allowed to take to the field. There are mixed messages about just where the Aces will be based – some have been told they’ll be spending five week bursts in Canada next year, while others aren’t sure that Ottawa will play in Canada at all in 2021. One thing’s for sure, there’s a lot to iron out between now and the start of the season.

Money bags New York

Benji Marshall is once again being linked with an NRL exit, putting him on the radar of Super League clubs – and others.

New York are believed to be talking to high-profile players ahead of their entry to the league in 2022, talking about terms far in excess of their current deals, and Marshall will almost certainly be of interest. What the value is in having players like Marshall playing in a part-time league remains to be seen.

Salford mole

Salford issued a media directive recently to remind everyone that any contact with staff should be done via the club’s media department.

There appears to be some concern that an insider is leaking information about the club, which is causing headaches for those at the top.

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