WELCOME to The Mole’s Monday Scoops! Here’s the highly accurate rodent’s best work this week…
Warrior wants out
Cult hero front-rower Charlie Gubb has shocked the Warriors by asking for a release from the club.
A wholehearted player who has won over the fickle Auckland crowds with his determined running, Gubb played 14 games for the Warriors in 2016 and had a solid season.
But the 26-year-old from Wellington feels he isn’t getting as much of a run at the Warriors as he should and is keen to join a Sydney club.
The Warriors are prepared to release Gubb – but only if they can find a quality front-rower to replace him.
The Warriors are already looking skinny up front for 2017 and are unwilling to go into the new season another prop down.
The club is looking for a cheap prop but has had no luck to date.
Dark horse in race to replace Hutchison
The Dragons have been rocked by the long-term knee injury to rising five-eighth Drew Hutchison and I am hearing there is a dark horse emerging to replace him.
Youngster Jai Field, who played for Shellharbour in 2015 before joining the Dragons last year, could be the surprise pick to join Gareth Widdop in the halves.
Field looks the goods in the Holden Cup this year – so much so that the Dragons recently signed him to a new three-year contract.
The youngster needs to build up over the summer to handle the phsyicality of NRL football but could get a chance to show his talent in the trials.
Big blow for Cowboys rake
The Cowboys have also suffered a blow in their build-up to the season with promising hooker Josh Chudleigh suffering a possible ACL tear at training – the same injury as Hutchison.
The Cowboys were grooming Chudleigh as their bench hooker for 2017 following the departure of Rory Kostjasyn to Newcastle.
If Chudleigh’s injury is as serious as thought, the Cowboys will look to versatile former Storm player Ben Hampton to fill the role as second hooker in the top 17.
Hardaker slams Soward
Jamie Soward has been slammed for labelling Super League “10 years behind the NRL”.
Englishman Zak Hardaker, who has returned to Super League with Castleford after a brief stint with the Panthers, took aim at the former Dragons halfback with an extraordinary spray.
“When Soward came over I thought he was rubbish,” Hardaker told the Loverugbyleague website.
“You can’t really listen to a guy who came over, played for London, was probably one of their worst players. No one wanted him at the Panthers, then he goes to play Championship.
“You can’t really listen to someone who’s been rubbish in Super League. So I would take his comments [with a grain of salt].”