NRL Rd 17 - Cowboys v Dragons
TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 06: Dragons assistant coach Shane Flanagan looks on before the start of the round 17 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the St George Illawarra Dragons at QCB Stadium on September 06, 2020 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

New Zealand Super Rugby star Hugh Renton is reportedly in talks to be the next code-hopper into the NRL.

A 27-year-old who weighs in at 114 kilograms and stands at 193 centimetres tall, Renton plays in the back-row in rugby and could easily make the transition to rugby league across a number of positions.

The New Zealander only broke through properly to the Super Rugby competition in 2021 with the Highlanders, having spent a short-lived stint with the Hurricanes in 2017, but he has since been a mainstay of the South Island franchise.

News Corp, however, are reporting that he is in talks with the St George Illawarra Dragons over a potential move to the NRL.

While there is no known record of Renton playing the 13-man game, the back-rower finishes his contract with the Highlanders at the end of this year, and could be available to make the switch at the end of the Super Rugby season in June.

That is well before the final deadline for players to join NRL clubs, and so, as long as the Dragons leave a spot open in their Top 30 - they currently have three available - they could include him from the end of June and hope to have him playing first-grade if he picks things up and settles in quickly enough by the end of the season.

At any rate, adding him to the squad mid-season would allow NSW Cup games to be played, and for him to hit the ground running ahead of 2024.

The Dragons have lacked size and power in recent years, with Flanagan moving to correct those areas as part of a mass rebuild of the club that includes the roster and training in pre-season.

Renton would bring all of that, as well as a winning mentality to the Dragons where he would be linking up with a club who have played in just three finals series since their famous grand final win in 2010.