A major swap deal between an NRL club and Super League club could be in the works according to the Daily Telegraph.
They have reported that one NRL club is ready to offload an overseas import in exchange for a former representative star currently in Super League.
At this point, no names have been revealed but this is likely to become one of the big stories of the winter especially as it could include a British NRL player based on the fact it is “an overseas important” who is set to make the move to Super League.
One man we know it won’t be, Serious About Rugby League can reveal, is Ryan Sutton. Despite speculation this year that the former Wigan Warriors star could be set for a return to Super League due to Canterbury Bulldogs’ salary cap issues, Sutton is happy at the club and wants to see out the next two years on his deal.
But who else could it be? You can rule out the likes of Kai Pearce-Paul, Will Pryce and Lewis Murphy all of whom have just arrived down under from Wigan, Huddersfield Giants and Wakefield Trinity respectively.
Meanwhile, Dom Young won’t be on the move either having just signed for the Sydney Roosters. Widely regarded as set to become the NRL’s best winger in the years to come, there’s no way the Roosters would be letting him go any time soon.
The same could be said of John Bateman at Wests Tigers. The England international is seen as a key cornerstone in their rebuild. England teammate Elliott Whitehead meanwhile is set to retire at Canberra at the end of 2024.
Herbie Farnworth is also unlikely to be let go any time soon given how highly he is regarded in the NRL and having just joined the Dolphins for 2024.
Tom Burgess appears to be the only likely English player to make the switch. He is in the final year of his deal with South Sydney Rabbitohs and has spoken about wanting to make the move to Super League in the past.
Burgess also re-signed with the club due to his brother Sam being assistant coach and now he is back in the UK with Warrington Wolves. Could he be making the move to Warrington in exchange for someone like Paul Vaughan?
Of course, a New Zealander could also be part of this equation and, pushing the definition of an overseas recruit, players signed from Super League such as Jackson Hastings could also be the player referred to.
But who could the Super League player be? Siousiua Taukeiaho is already headed back to the NRL but could Canterbury be exchanging a player to sweeten the deal and relief cap space?
Huddersfield have Kevin Naiqama and Esan Marsters who fit the bill. At Leigh Leopards, John Asiata has represented Tonga and Samoa and Salford have the likes of Samoan World Cup star Tim Lafai.
The only former Australian international though is Paul Vaughan. That is assuming that representative is referring to an Australian player. There is of course no end to the England internationals in Super League.