NRL Trial Match - Panthers v Sharks
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 20: Franklin Pele of the Sharks is tackled during the NRL Trial Match between the Penrith Panthers and the Cronulla Sharks at CommBank Stadium on February 20, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

The Wests Tigers have been linked to yet another player for 2023, with Cronulla Sharks' middle forward Franklin Pele reportedly in the club's sights.

The New Zealand-born 21-year-old has played just a single first-grade for the Sharks, when he made his debut in Round 12 of the 2021 season.

His season was ruined by an injury he sustained in reserve grade, and, as yet, he has been unable to fight his way back into the Sharks' top 17 during the opening three weeks of the 2022 season.

Named amongst the reserves once again for Round 4 of the season against the Newcastle Knights, he is also on the bench for the Newtown Jets this week - the same role he filled in Round 2 and 3 as the NSW Cup feeder side beat the Parramatta Eels and St George Illawarra Dragons.

Making 85 metres from just seven carries against the Eels, and 82 metres from six carries against the Dragons, it's hardly a surprise the giant prop - who stands at 191 centimetres tall and 121 kilograms - is on the radar of other clubs.

Wide World of Sports' The Mole is reporting the Tigers are keen on Pele for 2023, with the middle forward yet to be re-signed by the Sharks.

He sits behind numerous middle forwards at the Sharks, although the list could get significantly shorter at the end of the year if the club decide not to hang onto Andrew Fifita and Aiden Tolman, who are both off-contract.

NRL Rd 20 - Sharks v Raiders

Still, the Tigers, who are one of a handful of other clubs reportedly interested in Briton Nikora, are desperately attempting to stock up their forward pack moving forward.

While Stefano Utoikamanu has made promising leaps and bounds in his game, other middle forwards have struggled to take the next step, with Alex Twal, James Tamou, Thomas Mikaele, Joe Ofahengaue and Zane Musgrove all squabbling over minutes.

Regardless, the Tigers depth in the middle third has been skinny, and Pele would likely slot straight into Michael Maguire's best 17 for 2023 if the signing was to go through.