When the NRL salary cap remained undecided, it seemed that Super League clubs could feasibly make a move for two top NRL stars.
Marty Taupau had yet to sign a new deal following his exit from Manly Sea Eagles. The former Leeds Rhinos target even starred in the Rugby League World Cup Final for Samoa against Australia and had five NRL clubs chasing him including Parramatta Eels.
However, with the salary cap undecided, it left his future uncertain and Super League clubs were monitoring the situation hoping to swoop in and seal a move for the forward.
Equally, the same situation kept former Penrith Panthers and South Sydney Rabbitohs winger Josh Mansour from signing for a new club. The Lebanon winger also confirmed he would be open to playing in Super League.
However, when the NRL confirmed that the salary cap would increase it seemed that any hopes of seeing Taupau and Mansour in Super League had gone, but now the door has been opened again with the Players Association (RLPA) telling players to not sign new deals due to the fact the NRL went ahead with this increase before completing the negotiations and without confirming further details.
This again means that Super League clubs could swoop in and offer security where there is none.
But which clubs could move for the duo and make one or two more major signings?
The only Super League club who could sign both of them. The Dragons have two quota spots left and are looking to boost both their pack and backs. They let go of Dylan Napa but then missed out on former Warrington Wolves man Ben Murdoch-Masila. So a move for Taupau would be sensible. Josh Manshour seems less likely with the Dragons having Tom Davies, Tom Johnstone and Fouad Yaha signed for next year but as a gap at centre looms after Samisoni Lang left to Wakefield Trinity and Dean Whare to the Elite One Championship, they missed out on Featherstone Rovers’ Joey Leilua. So, could their desperation see them sign Mansour?
Owner Derek Beaumont confirmed that “the plan” at Leigh was to make further signings. This came after he confirmed the club wanted a middle which is why Taupau would be a great signing. As for Mansour, the departure of Blake Ferguson would make Mansour the perfect replacement. However they can only sign one with one quota spot.
Salford Red Devils
The only other club with a quota spot, if Salford wanted they could swoop for either. It is perhaps against the DNA of the club, but signing someone of Taupau’s quality would be a statement signing and an ideal replacement for Sitaleki Akauola.