After failing to persuade NRL star Sonny Bill Williams to join the Warriors, coach Todd Payten looks likely to land his Wolfpack teammate Ricky Leutele, reports Stuff.
Payten is hoping the NRL is just as flexible with Leutele’s contract as they were with Williams’.
As it stands, the NRL denies players having two contracts simultaneously – with the ruling being the only major stumbling block for players at Wolfpack looking to play in Australia.
Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’Landys said he hoped Williams had gone to the Warriors rather than the Roosters, but he’s prepared to bend the rules and allow the former All Black to play under two contracts.
On Wednesday, Payten said they’ve been in talks with Leutele, but the outside back would need the same rules bent as Williams.
“We’ve made some enquiries, but he’s not going to leave a really healthy contract, if things aren’t sorted properly, in terms of rulings from the NRL,” Payten told Stuff.
“I don’t know where that stands at the moment, it could be sorted, it might not be.
“But he’s on a rich contract over there and for him to come over to us, get five games for not a great amount of money, I can understand where he’s coming from.
“So we’re just seeking some clarity around that. I’ve read a couple of headlines, that they’ll bend the rules for Sonny Bill, but we’re waiting for confirmation.”
Although the former Sharks star Leutele does not have the same appeal as Williams, he would still be a great acquisition for the Warriors for the final part of the season.
It would be surprising if V’Landys does not assist with Leutele’s contract the same way he has done for Williams, although only time will tell.
Loanee players George Jennings (winger) and Daniel Alvaro (prop) from the Eels will both make their Warriors debuts on Friday night against the Tigers.
“Both of them are going pretty well at training, I thought Daniel moved particularly well in the middle of the park,” Payten said.
“George didn’t get a great deal of opportunity in any of our 13 on 13 stuff, but they’re across how we do it and it’s a matter of getting the job done for us.
“We don’t expect them to do anything out of the ordinary, it’s pretty simple for both of them really,” he added.
“We need George to be strong out of the back field and make strong, smart defensive decisions.
“For Daniel, he needs to do his part from a defensive end, move well, make his tackles and as a front rower, first and foremost take the ball forward and play the ball fast.
“This week we’ve stripped it back as much as we can, for that very reason, for those two coming in.
“So I expect them to get out there and do their jobs.”