Rugby Australia are set to place a focus on recruiting NRL stars ahead of the 2027 Rugby World Cup.
Following their successful bid to secure the rights to the international tournament - which is touted as the third biggest sporting event in the world - RA could look to rekindle an interest in some of the NRL's top names in a move similar to that of 19 years ago.
Ahead of the 2003 Rugby World Cup, the Wallabies were able to pry Lote Tuqiri, Wendell Sailor and Mat Rogers as part of a cross-code raid, which saw Australia land a runner-up placing behind England.
Ahead of the next edition of a World Cup down under, RA chairman Hamish McLennan told The Sun-Herald that the Wallabies will look to ignite another wave of interest in rugby league players ahead of the tournament.
“These players love the game and they know that a Rugby World Cup experience in Australia can’t be replicated by league,” McLennan said.
“We’ve already chatted with a few (NRL) players who are interested in joining us and now that we’ve got the World Cup, I’m sure that those discussions will intensify.”
Roosters duo Joseph Suaalii and Angus Crichton have been reported as previous targets of Rugby Australia, with the former to be 24 years of age come the 2027 World Cup.
More Chooks in Connor Watson and Luke Keary also have a history with the 15-man game, as do Origin representatives Jaydn Su'A and Tyson Frizell.
Despite a string of stars set to be of interest to RA, NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo has expressed his confidence in being able to swat away the advances of their rugby rivals.
“People are entitled to say what they want and ply their trade how they want,” Abdo said.
“We have seen some unbelievable talent unearthed in our competition year after year. We see some great players retire and then you see some rookie players come through and become fan favourites.
“Why wouldn’t they (stay)? It’s a wonderful game to play, a wonderful game to watch. We have tribalism and passion, a wonderful support base, we’ve got clubs that have unprecedented investment into centres of excellence and new stadiums.
“When a professional athlete makes a choice about where they play, they take a number of considerations into account. We certainly are confident we have the systems in place to attract and develop talent. We will continue to do that.”
Rugby Australia are understood to have a "future fund" nearing $100 million in the works as they prepare to reap the rewards as the host nation of a World Cup.