Many of England’s star men against Tonga have been linked to NRL moves in the past such as Leeds Rhinos star Harry Newman, Wigan Warriors halfback Harry Smith and of course St Helens star Jack Welsby.
All three have made headlines in Australia over the last month due to NRL interest. After his Man of the Match display against Hull KR in the Super League semi-finals, it emerged in Australia that a number of NRL clubs were interested in Harry Smith.
His display in the Grand Final will have only added to that interest finishing just one vote behind Harry Sunderland Award winner Jake Wardle and his performances for England have been excellent too.
Meanwhile, reports from ROAR have said that the likes of Sydney Roosters, Canberra Raiders and St George Illawarra Dragons could all be willing to pay $750,000 for Jack Welsby with the St Helens fullback still contracted to a further two more years at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Then, after his first England appearance, it was reported that Harry Newman was on the radar of NRL clubs yet again with his contract expiring at the end of 2024. He previously turned down NRL interest and interest from Rugby Union in 2021.
Following all of this, the Daily Telegraph have now reported that an NRL recruitment officer is in the UK to secure an English talent to an NRL deal. They reported: “Which recruitment officer is in the UK to get a look at one of the Super League’s brightest prospects with the hopes of securing him an NRL deal?”
Given the description, this could be one of any the three named but it is perhaps Newman who is the most likely given he is out of contract. He will have increased the interest with a brilliant display against Tonga in the second test.
After the Test Match, Newman spoke to Serious About Rugby League and on his future said: “That’s something I’m not going to speculate on at the minute. I’ve got a year left on my deal, I’m committed to Leeds for next year. I’ve said this before, I’ll give my 100% and we’ll just see what happens. We’ll just see what happens.”