NRL interest in Wigan Warriors starlet hots up with six clubs in the hunt

Michael Holland
Kai Pearce-Paul Wigan Warriors

Kai Pearce-Paul in action for Wigan

The Newcastle Knights face a battle to sign Wigan Warriors starlet Kai Pearce-Paul following reports as many as six NRL clubs are chasing his signature.

The Knights are known to be targeting Super League once again as they look to strengthen. And Pearce-Paul along with Huddersfield’s Will Pryce are reported to be among the targets.

Newcastle have been buoyed by the success of Bailey Hodgson and Dominic Young and could swoop again. Hodgson signed from the Castleford Tigers, Young the Huddersfield Giants, and both have starred.

The Newcastle Herald has previously reported that talks are ongoing. They claimed that the Knights are well down the line with talks over a double swoop.

NRL interest hotting up

But now the speculation down under is ramping up a notch, in particular regards the future of Pearce-Paul. It is claimed that agent Sam Ayoub has been recruited to get a deal done.

Ayoub is on board because as many as six NRL clubs are in the hunt for Pearce-Paul. Ayoub told the Newcastle Herald there is interest in the 21-year-old but stopped short of naming the clubs.

Pearce-Paul is currently on the sidelines with injury. He tore ligaments in his knee in Wigan’s Challenge Cup win over Salford and is facing months out of action.

That does not appear to be putting off prospective takers though. The Knights and other interested parties could still push ahead trusting that the youngster will make a full recovery.

Pryce also remains a target for the Knights. But there is not as much interest and Newcastle could get a clear run at the Giants fullback.

Super League interest

Knights recruitment boss Clint Zammit is reported to have met with both players while in England in March. The club’s CEO Phil Gardner has also been open about their interest in signing more players from Super League.

“We’d like to regularly have English players coming into the club. They add something to the club and the fans love them,” Gardner told the Newcastle Herald recently. “If our players can spend a couple of years at the end of their careers playing in England, it’s good for them and also a recruitment tool for us.

“We can ask for their opinions of the players over there, and they can help spread the word that the Knights are a good club to play for. That all helps with the process.”

There is every chance that Mitchell Pearce could be playing such a role. The playmaker left Newcastle at the end of last season to join Catalans Dragons.