In a last attempt at a potential final contract for his career, Cronulla's Josh Dugan could make a shock code switch after recent conversations with All Blacks stars Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara.
Dugan, 30, has made it known his preferred move is to remain in Sydney to finish his career, but a move to Union hasn't been ruled out.
And given previous ties with Union as a schoolboy, the door for a potential move is still ajar.
Dugan almost left the NRL to join the Japanese rugby once his deal with the Dragons ended in 2017, but opted to sign with the Sharks on a four-year deal in 2018, which is set to expire in the coming months.
Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, Dugan said although the priority is to remain in Australia, he will keep his options open.
“COVID has thrown a spanner in the works, but I have been talking to TJ Perenara and Aaron Smith,” Dugan said.
“We have a WhatsApp group where we have a laugh.
“I spoke to Will about it [too]. He said he was a professional trainer because of the international player [quota]. I’m open to it, but my first priority would be to stay in Sydney.
“I’ve made it clear I’m happy and wanting to stay here. If it doesn’t unfold that way I have to keep my options open.
“I grew up playing rugby. I played rugby before I played league. It’s always been there for me. I made all the rep sides as a kid in rugby and went to a rugby dominated school (Marist College, Canberra).
“It’s been a while since I played, but who knows.”
The Sharks will look to bounce back in Round 7 against the Bulldogs at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Saturday.