Watkins targeted by Devils and Robins

Salford and Hull Kingston Rovers are chasing the signature of England centre Kallum Watkins.

League Express understands the Red Devils are interested in luring the 29-year-old from the troubled Toronto Wolfpack, whose status remains unclear.

Hull Kingston Rovers are also pursuing Watkins, who signed a three-year deal with Toronto but is now considering his options after their withdrawal from Super League.

The pair have both held talks with Watkins’ representative, who has also remained in frequent contact with Toronto as they try to find new ownership.

Hull KR are thought to have tabled a two-year contract for Watkins ahead of the 2021 season.

But Watkins is also understood to have interest from rugby union that could see him making a cross-code switch, with two clubs, Gloucester and Leicester, understood to have shown interest.

Watkins has long been linked with a move to the 15-man game and revealed earlier this year that he turned down a move to union last year, opting for an NRL move.

Salford are chasing the capture of a centre as part of their 2021 recruitment, with Kris Welham heading to Featherstone and Krisnan Inu also expected to leave when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Despite Watkins suffering a major anterior cruciate ligament injury in 2018 while with Leeds, coach Ian Watson is thought to be confident that he can recapture the form that saw him regarded as one of the world’s best centres.

His pedigree, a six-time Super League champion with the Rhinos and capped 25 times by England, is undisputed. In 256 appearances he scored 132 tries for Leeds before moving to the NRL with Gold Coast Titans.

Family reasons saw him return to Super League with Toronto earlier this year and, while his form in 2019 suffered a hit following his return form injury, Titans coach Justin Holbrook expressed his belief that Watkins had made a full recovery.

Speaking to League Express following his move to Toronto, Watkins said: “I know I’ve got a lot of people to prove wrong, that’s a challenge for me, to play the best I can and be better than what I have been in the past. I do have a lot of people to prove wrong and that’s motivation in itself, but I’m really determined.”

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