Castleford head coach Andy Last has confirmed his interest in Papua New Guinea star and back-rower Nixon Putt.
Putt, 27, currently features in the Queensland Cup for the Central Queensland Capras, making 10 appearances in the current season, with more than 100 in the competition across his career.
The forward has won 11 caps for Papua New Guinea to date, and most recently represented the Kumuls at last year’s World Cup, featuring in every game as the side reached the quarter-finals.
He crossed twice in the 36-0 group stage win over Wales, winning the player of the match award in Doncaster.
Last confirms Nixon Putt and World Cup interest
“We’ve looked at him in great detail,” Last told Love Rugby League.
“He played in all the games of the World Cup.
“He’s a real handful and a strong ball carrier.
“He’s someone who we’ve looked at and will be monitoring and assessing to see if he’s the right sort of signing for us moving forward.”
The Castleford boss admits that last year’s World Cup in England provided the club, and potentially the whole Super League competition, the chance to monitor several players across the campaign.
Last continued: “If they’re World Cup players, it allows you to get them in from an overseas point of view. They get so many points for playing for Cook Islands or Papua New Guinea or Samoa, for example.
“We’re looking in that market and we’ve had a look at plenty of players who played in the World Cup. Nixon Putt is certainly someone that we’ve had a look at.”
But Last admits that immediately recruitment is proving to be a tough challenge, with competitions on both sides of the globe hitting the halfway mark.
“We’re looking everywhere.”
“We’re looking at players, we’re looking everywhere,” Last said.
“It’s a really challenging market. I sound like a bit of a broken record but we get asked the same sort of question and the answer tends to be the same.
“The salary cap in the NRL is a challenge because it’s so high, which means the lower-end of their player pool demands massive salaries which teams over here haven’t got at this moment in time.
“The market over in Super League, teams are a little bit busted and bruised and they’re reluctant to let players out just incase they’re needed at their own respective clubs.
“We are looking everywhere, but we ned to make sure that we make the right decisions which will improve the team.”