Toronto line up Mellor

WIDNES VIKINGS halfback Joe Mellor looks set to continue his career away from Widnes in 2019 in the event of the Vikings’ near-certain relegation from Super League with a number of clubs – including Toronto – interested in signing him.

Francis Cummins admitted in the aftermath of Saturday’s win over Halifax, which keeps their slim hopes of survival alive, that there are ‘vultures flying around’ the club at the moment, insinuating that clubs are already speaking to Widnes players in the event of them becoming free agents following relegation.

And League Express understands that Mellor is one such player who has attracted interest in recent weeks – with Paul Rowley’s Wolfpack among the clubs interested in him for 2019 as they look to build a squad capable of competing in Super League.

The Wolfpack could yet find themselves playing Championship rugby in 2019, with promotion by no means a guarantee via the Qualifiers heading into the final fortnight of the season.

Ironically, it is Widnes who are the next visitors to Canada, with Mellor almost certain to play a part on Saturday afternoon in a game in which defeat would spell the end of the Vikings’ seven-year stint in Super League.

And Cummins insists that despite the attention his players are receiving from elsewhere, Widnes remain in defiant mood ahead of the trip across the Atlantic.

He said: “The mood is good, despite what is going on around the club.

“There are vultures flying around and some of them haven’t got the decency to stay in the air.

“While it is a difficult time, there will be people talking to our players and that is not a good place to be, but the players have shown that they are committed and that is where we find ourselves.”