Earlier this year, long before the Grand Final against Wigan Warriors, Catalans Dragons confirmed they would release Siosuia Taukeiaho.
However, it was clear from the statement the Dragons released at the time, that this wasn’t a cut and dry release.
They said they would release the prop if they could agree a deal with a new club thought to be an NRL club which later emerged that it would be Canterbury Bulldogs.
But three months on, the Tonga star has yet to agree the move to Bankstown. It has now been explained by the Sydney Morning Herald why.
This is because the former Sydney Roosters prop has yet to secure a release from Catalans with his planned return to the NRL with the Bulldogs also contingent on the club opening up a roster spot before the 2024 season.
Despite the fact they had already made a number of big signings, Taukeiaho had been identified as a key target in the Bulldogs’ forward rebuild in 2024, but according to the Sydney Morning Herald his switch has hit a hurdle and is yet to be formalised.
It was widely believed Taukeiaho had agreed to sign a two-year deal with Canterbury. Though that may be true, club sources claiming he has still not secured an official release from the Catalans and is yet to put pen to paper.
Thus his future is in limbo which is a concern given his family situation with his family down under. The Herald are reporting that Catalans have yet to rubber stamp the move, leaving his NRL return in the balance.
Catalans owner Bernard Guasch even admitted in August the club wouldn’t stand in Taukeiaho’s way of resuming his NRL career, saying: “We’ve had a discussion with Siua and we understand his decision to return to Australia.”
Adding to this mess is the fact the Bulldogs have already filled all 30 spots on their official roster for next season with some big names already being forced to sign developmental deals when they deserve first team contracts. This means they have to make space in the squad for Taukeiaho before they can confirm his arrival.