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North Queensland eye surprise move for Super League full-back

NRL outfit North Queensland Cowboys are looking at the possibility of signing Catalans Dragons’ full-back Tony Gigot according to reports in Australia.

The Cowboys are aiming to secure a quick replacement for Ben Barba who was sacked by the club last week for allegedly assaulting his partner in a casino.

With Barba gone and their Premiership-winning full-back Lachlan Coote joining St Helens during the off-season, head coach Paul Green has pinpointed Gigot as a potential replacement.

The French international has previously spent time in Australia but failed to make a single appearance for Cronulla Sharks in 2013 after signing a one-year deal with the club.

Gigot, who helped the Dragons win their first major trophy in 2018, is out of contract at the end of this season and has lost his position at full-back to new signing Sam Tomkins.

The 28-year-old was pushed into the halves for the Dragons’ opening game of the season against Castleford and will be tempted by a big offer from the Cowboys.

Gigot returned to Super League in February last year after overturning a two-year suspension imposed by the French Anti-Doping Agency for an “inappropriate exchange” with a testing officer.

Since then, he has been in fine form and won the Lance Todd Trophy as man-of-the-match in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley, helping Catalans secure their first silverware.

The Cowboys are believed to have missed out on their number one target Alex Johnston, with South Sydney boss Wayne Bennett ruling out releasing the player so close to the season.

Now it seems Green is looking for more realistic options with the NRL season just over a month away and their rivals unwilling to let anyone depart at this stage.

Should Gigot leave, Catalans have a number of options with Samisoni Langi able to partner Matty Smith in the halves, allowing Sam Tomkins to continue at full-back.

It’s unlikely Steve McNamara will want to lose one of his star players, but with a burning desire to play in the NRL and with his contract coming to an end, Gigot may take the decision out of his hands.

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