The Canberra Raiders have began contract talks with Wigan’s George Williams, according to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Williams has recently declared his interest to play in the NRL next season despite being contracted to the Warriors until 2021.
It would continue the recent contingent of English players signing with the nation’s capital, with Josh Hodgson and Elliott Whitehead recently joining the club.
It is understood that Wigan will only release Williams if an NRL club pays a significant transfer fee. The New Zealand Warriors have also reportedly showed interest.
Hodgon was confident with what his fellow countrymen could bring to the table.
“It’s nice to have a few more of us come over and they will be great additions,’ Hodgson told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“We’ve also got Ryan Clayton who is an ex-Super League player who is our rehab conditioner, so he’s a fifth.
“In terms of standards, I’ve spoken to John a bit and touched on it with Ryan how you have to turn up every week. I’ve always said the competition at the top in England is a good competition, and they’d certainly match it out here.
“But the difference between the bottom-placed teams there and the bottom-placed teams here, there’s a big gap. You can not play well against some of the bottom-placed teams in England and still win, but it won’t happen here.
“They’re both professionals. The ruck speed they’ll pick up easily because they’re not overly big men with good engines. I think they’ll both suit the NRL.”
Canberra co-captain Jarrod Croker said he club had welcomed all the international recruits in with open arms.
”It might be easier for them to transition here because it’s like a big country town and we’re pretty easy-going,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“If they want to keep coming here we’re happy to have them. It’s still hard to understand a few of then, but we’ll get around that.”
Hodgson added that Aidan Sezer was primed for a big season.
“Aidan has had a fantastic pre-season, and having someone like Jack Wighton who is a big strong runner of the ball who will call it when he sees something [will be good for him],” he said.
“He tends to have a bit of a hot head and can blow-up, but he seems calm this year, and if you’re calm, that means you’re confident.
“We said to him, ‘This ship is yours, you steer us around and we’ll play something if we see something, otherwise you call the shots’.
“We did a little bit of that last year with ‘Austo’ [Blake Austin]. They were both dominant players and I don’t know if they clashed a bit, even though they were such good mates off the field. I’m not too sure. It’s meant a lot to him [to be given full ownership] and it’s given him a lot of confidence.”