Joey Leilua looks increasingly likely to make the move to the northern hemisphere following his bizarre rant at former Wests Tigers head coach Michael Maguire.
Leilua, whose career went rather awry at Wests, pointed the finger at Maguire – who managed Wigan in 2010 and 2011 in the Super League – for his lack of a current club as the badboy centre prepares for his professional boxing debut.
The 29-year-old, who played for the Tigers in 2020 and 2021, claims that the club sabotaged his future NRL prospects by stringing him along for the 2021 season and then declaring their intention to not activate the final year of his contract at late notice.
“He didn’t contact me, no one contacted me, it was just left how it was,” Leilua told the Daily Telegraph.
“I found it I wasn’t going to be there via the media, they said they weren’t going keep me, they could have told me earlier.
“If they told me earlier in the year I would have looked for another club.
“I was dudded, I would’ve explored my options.
“When they went up to Queensland, there was word going around about me being a bad person. It didn’t come from the club, it came from a certain person, so it was disappointing.
“It was disappointing how everything got handled there.”
With Leilua facing an uncertain future, the 29-year-old turned his attention to boxing in a bid to put himself back in the market for a shot in the NRL.
But, Leilua has also been linked with a Super League move, with a clean break possibly what the Samoan international needs.
The only stumbling block to a potential UK move is the frailty of his sick mother, as Leilua explained to the West Australian.
“My mum’s unwell. She doesn’t want me to go,” he said.
“So I’m still considering what to do but she plays a massive part in it because we don’t know how long (she has).”
“But if an opportunity arises overseas, I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do and hopefully I would bring my mum over.”