Exciting Melbourne Storm youngster Ryan Papenhuyzen could be on the way back to the side he left at the end of 2017 as Wests Tigers reportedly prepare a major offer.
The 21-year-old has been in scintillating form since being given a run in the first team under Craig Bellamy this season, scoring five tries and averaging 242 running metres per game, over 50 running metres more than any other player, in his six senior starts.
Chasing behind is Wally Lewis Medallist and Roosters superstar James Tedesco, who was among those keeping Papenhuyzen from the first team when he took the No. 1 fullback position while the current first-choice Storm runner was in their Under 20s.
Papenhuyzen remains on a deal worth less than $150,000 a year but this would be expected to change quickly if he takes this current game-breaking form through to season’s end and contributes to success, as the Storm will have a fight on their hands to retain his services.
The Tigers, meanwhile, will focus solely on their own offer after another ninth-place finish (reminiscent of an old gag involving another Tigers outfit) with no finals action to focus on, and could potentially be looking at offering more than three times the salary that he would be on should he stick around at AAMI Park next season.
Papenhuyzen comes out of contract with the Storm at the end of 2021.