In the recent history of the Championship, there has perhaps been no club willing to spend as much as the Leigh Centurions.
The likes of Blake Ferguson, Lachlan Lam, John Asiata and Edwin Ipape have all been handed big deals in a bid to earn promotion to Super League – and to then stay there.
However, one of those stars who has been integral to Leigh’s success so far in 2022 has been Nene MacDonald.
The former Norths Devils centre had been quietly plying his trade in the second tier of Australian rugby league before getting a chance to help the Lancashire club get to Super League.
Known for his incredible athleticism, great power and wicked offload game, MacDonald has been attracting a number of suitors interested in bringing him to a different club.
Of course, Leigh’s current issue is that if they get promoted to Super League – which is looking increasingly likely with every passing week – they will have to cut their quota bill down to just seven players to abide by the rules in the top flight.
With the Centurions’ current quota spots well into double figures, it means that a number of overseas stars will have to leave.
And, one of those being linked with a Super League move is MacDonald – with leading rugby league agent Craig Harrison of Show Me The Money UK linking the hulking centre with Leeds Rhinos, despite the fact that the centre was said to have signed a new deal at Leigh.
“I’m hearing that Leeds have got a bit of an interest in Nene MacDonald,” Harrison said on The Full Eighty Minutes podcast.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if Rohan has got an interest.”
Of course, Smith knows MacDonald from his time at Norths Devils which could hold the deciding factor if the Rhinos are indeed in for the 28-year-old.
Meanwhile, Leeds have been busy in the transfer market in recent weeks with Toulouse Olympique prop Justin Sangare and Wigan Warriors centre James McDonnell joining Headingley for 2023 and beyond.