Samoan prop offered early NRL release to join Super League side

One of Super League’s biggest and best signings ahead of the 2023 season came with Warrington Wolves recruiting NRL forward Paul Vaughan and Leigh Leopards could be set to follow that similar path as they look into Samoan international Josh Aloiai.

Vaughan linked up with Warrington after a lengthy NRL career that had also featured international experience for Italy. The attitude and ability that he brought saw the Wolves race out into early season favouritism, and even during their struggles he maintained his spot as one of the team’s top performers.

He wasn’t the only forward imported from the NRL with Hull KR bringing in Jesse Sue who had an equally positive impact prior to the big man’s injury at Magic Weekend.

Leigh Leopards are now set to go down a similar recruiting path it would seem with reports from the Mole of Wide World of Sports suggesting that Manly Sea Eagles’ forward Josh Aloiai could be destined for a Super League switch.

The 27-year-old has represented Samoa and is on the radar of the Leopards who could bolster their pack that was led by Tom Amone and Robbie Mulhern in 2023. Aloiai would bring over 130 games of NRL experience and he also boasts five test caps for his native Samoa.

It’s suggested by the Mole that because of Manly’s current roster, in which they have a large handful of forwards already, that they would be prepared to release the prop early in spite of the fact he is contracted until the end of 2025.

Having played 16 games for the Sea Eagles last season he would enter the fray at the Leigh Sports Village and be an immediate challenger for minutes and bring some much needed relief for the likes of Amone and Mulhern, who often played long minutes during Leigh’s first season back in Super League.

So far the Leopards have added to their pack with domestic signings including St Helens’ Dan Norman who has signed a two year deal with the club, whilst Lewis Baxter also joins from the Red Vee.

Huddersfield Giants talented second-rower Owen Trout was highly sought after but Leigh won the race and will see Trout line up for them in 2024 with four other confirmed signings including Kavan Rothwell (Wigan), Jack Darbyshire (Warrington), Louis Brogan (Swinton) and Ben McNamara (Hull FC).

Sadly for Adrian Lam’s side they have lost three key players with centres Joe Wardle and Oliver Gildart having left the LSV, whilst they’re short in the halves after Ben Reynolds’ switch to Featherstone was confirmed.