Super League Grand Finalists Catalans Dragons are reportedly closing in on a trio of signings from the NRL, including Dylan Napa.
Half-back Mitchell Pearce has been lined up to replace James Maloney; but current club Newcastle Knights want to secure a replacement before releasing him from the final year of his contract.
Pearce, 32, has played more than 300 games in the NRL and the Dragons see him as the successor to Maloney, who moved to Lezignan at the end of the season.
Newcastle are trying to bring in Wests Tigers half-back Luke Brooks as Pearce’s replacement.
Last month, in a statement, the Knights said: “Newcastle Knights can confirm an official request has been received from Mitchell Pearce regarding an immediate release from the final year of his contract
“The Knights have agreed to consider the request, with both parties respectfully agreeing to make no further comment until an outcome is determined.
“Discussions between Pearce and the Club remain productive; with both parties focused on achieving a positive outcome while maintaining the great relationship that currently exists.
“No specific timeline has been determined on an outcome for the request.”
Boosting the forward pack
Former Queensland State of Origin prop Dylan Napa is looking for a new club after his release by Canterbury Bulldogs.
Reports Down Under suggest that three Super League clubs – Catalans, Leeds and Hull – have offered him a deal.
Both Leeds and Hull would need to move a player on to create space on their overseas quota.
Napa, 28, is good friends with Pearce from their time together at Sydney Roosters.
Catalans’ third possible signing from the NRL is Sydney Roosters prop Sio Siua Taukeiaho.
However, they may have to wait until 2023 to welcome Taukeiaho; with the Roosters determined to keep him for another year.
Rumours linking him with a move to Super League were played down earlier in the year.
Catalans are looking to bolster a pack that has lost the likes of Sam Moa and Remi Casty in recent years. Back-rower Joel Tomkins has also departed to Leigh.
Their young French front-rower Paul Seguier has been attracting interest from the NRL.