Exclusive: Melbourne Storm powerhouse offered to Super League clubs for 2024, with Championship sides also showing interest

Aaron Bower
Aaron Pene Melbourne Storm Alamy

Aaron Pene in action for Melbourne Storm in 2023 - Alamy

Melbourne Storm forward Aaron Pene is one of several NRL players to be offered to English clubs as the new season approaches, Love Rugby League can reveal.

The 28-year-old remains under contract at the Storm for 2024, but his services have been circulated to clubs on this side of the world as a player who would potentially be interested in exploring a move to the United Kingdom, Love Rugby League has been told.

Pene is in his second stint at Melbourne, having rejoined the club where he started his career at the beginning of last year following a switch from New Zealand Warriors.

However, he made only eight appearances for the Storm in 2023 and with his game-time potentially limited again in 2024, clubs have been made aware about the prospect of a move.

Pene’s game-time in the NRL would open the door for a move – even before the recently-publicised loosening to quota restrictions which means more players from the southern hemisphere can secure a move to English clubs.

Super League and Championship clubs show interest in Melbourne Storm prop Aaron Pene

However, while Super League and Championship clubs have showcased an interest in the player, a major stumbling block is the number of top-flight teams who already full on their overseas quota.

As things stand, only four Super League clubs have at least one space on their overseas quota: newly-promoted London Broncos, Salford Red Devils, Warrington Wolves and St Helens.

However, the Saints are set to use their last spot on centre Waqa Blake, while Salford remain under special measures at the hands of the RFL and would require ratification from the governing body to complete any signing.

Rules in the Championship are much looser though, and Love Rugby League has been told some of the competition’s likely big spenders, including Featherstone Rovers, remain on the hunt for a forward to bolster their ranks in the pack ahead of the start of the season.

Second-tier clubs are not bound by any limits on the amount of overseas players they can have in their squad.

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