Exclusive: Brisbane Broncos utility remains on Super League radar for 2024 with talks ongoing

Aaron Bower
Tristan Sailor Brisbane Broncos Alamy

Tristan Sailor in action for Brisbane Broncos in 2023 - Alamy

Tristan Sailor could still make the move to England next season, after Love Rugby League has been told his management still remains in contact with clubs in Super League about a potential switch for 2024.

Rugby League Live revealed earlier this year how Sailor had been offered to clubs for next season, with his future at Brisbane Broncos seemingly uncertain.

Son of former dual-code Australia great Wendell Sailor, the 25-year-old is still under contract at the Broncos next year, but his management had offered the player to clubs in Super League with Sailor reportedly interested in a move.

Hull FC and Catalans Dragons were two clubs named as admirers of Sailor at the time and while no move has been signed off, interest remains bubbling away under the surface in the player.

Love Rugby League has been told that at least two top-flight clubs have been made aware of Sailor’s continued availability, with deliberations ongoing behind the scenes about whether to table a deal for the player.

Capable of playing in a multitude of positions across the entire backline, Sailor’s utility value would add great depth to a number of teams for next year.

However, there remains one major sticking point: the possibility of getting a deal over the line due to overseas quota regulations.

The obstacle that Super League clubs would have to overcome to sign Tristan Sailor

As things stand, Sailor would potentially fail to meet the threshold required to get a working visa to play in Super League when it comes to the number of games he has played.

Clubs would therefore have to apply for dispensation to allow him to be registered for a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE), which would enable him to make the move.

The numbers concerning Sailor’s situation are tight, though. To secure a GBE for a player coming from the NRL, they have to have played 50 per cent of NRL matches in the qualifying period – which, in this case, if an application is made after August, considers the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Sailor has played just four times for Brisbane this season and last year, he wasn’t under contract at any NRL club, meaning he would automatically fail in that criteria – and by some distance.

But there is a secondary category which could potentially enable Sailor to make the move.

The RFL will consider any player against secondary criteria specifically for players 25 or under – Sailor is 25 – at the age of application.

That details that a player must feature in 25 per cent of his club’s NRL matches – including play-offs – in the current season.

The Broncos played 27 games including the play-offs in 2023, meaning that with Sailor’s four appearances, he has an appearance percentage of 14.81%: below the threshold once again.

But it is hoped that given how he wasn’t under contract at any club last year, that could leave the door ajar for dispensation to be granted.

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