SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 22: Marata Niukore of the Eels makes a break during the round 6 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and Wests Tigers at Bankwest Stadium on April 22, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The St George Illawarra Dragons are reportedly set to chase Parramatta' Eels second rower Marata Niukore.

The second rower has also lined up at centre on plenty of occasions this centre, and has spent time in the middle third when required for Brad Arthur's side.

The Sydney Morning Herald are reporting that the Dragons are hopeful of luring Niukore to the club despite the Eels' utility having another year to run on his current contract.

The Dragons have signed plenty of forwards ahead of 2022, with Francis Molo from the North Queensland Cowboys, Jaydn Su'A from the South Sydney Rabbitohs, and George Burgess from the Wigan Warriors all set to join the club. Moses Mbye has also joined the club and is likely to play a bench utility role.

Given they will lose Kaide Ellis, Cameron McInnes and have already lost Paul Vaughan and Eddie Blacker, the acquisition of forwards is much-needed at the Red V.

Niukore would likely be fighting for a starting spot if he moved to the Red V with Su'A alongside current Origin player and last week's stand-in club captain Tariq Sims.

It's unclear if the Dragons would have any hope of bringing Niukore to the club for 2022, or whether they would need to wait for his contract at the Eels to expire first.

The 25-year-old Auckland-born second rower has played all of his 75 NRL games for the Eels since debuting in mid-2018 and has now made 19 appearances this season, scoring two tries and defending strongly.

MARATA NIUKORE
Second-row
Eels
2021 SEASON AVG
22
Tackles Made
0.1
Tries
1.5
Tackle Breaks

Niukore has been versatile for Arthur, playing eight games at centre, three at prop, six from the bench and a pair in the second row, being the last two.

He was having a strong performance in the Eels' shock win over the Storm on Saturday evening before being taken from the field just short of the hour mark after a nasty-looking head collision.

It's unclear if he will be back for Round 25 or not, however, he is likely to play a strong role in the Eels' unlikely push at a premiership throughout September.