Leeds among potential contenders for ‘X-factor’ NRL full-back being offered to clubs

James Gordon
Daine Laurie

Several Super League clubs are reportedly looking at Wests Tigers pair Daine Laurie and Shawn Blore with coach Tim Sheens reportedly looking to refresh his squad.

Laurie, 23, came through the ranks at Penrith Panthers, playing three games for them, before moving on to Wests where he has scored 10 tries in 41 appearances.

He had been first-choice full-back for the Tigers over the past two seasons but has seen himself frozen out in 2023, even featuring at stand-off for their reserve grade side.

NRL pundit Phil Gould said on the Wide World of Sports’ Six Tackles with Gus podcast: “He is an X-factor in any team he plays.

“I think Daine Laurie would be a good pick-up for any team. He is an exciting player, things happen around him.

“He’s a kid that when he was younger used to get very homesick, he was a very humble kid. He didn’t sell himself very well, but he was a very talented footballer. But as he is maturing he’s getting better and better with that.

“He’s a tough kid as well. I’ve got no doubt he is a weapon in any team he plays in.”

Which Super League clubs could be in the market for a full-back?

Although Leeds have the ageing Richie Myler at full-back, they are certainly in the market for playmakers with the expected departure of at least one of Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer at the end of the season.

With Sam Tomkins due to retire at the end of the season, Catalans could be tempted to enter the market although they are surely more likely to put their faith in Arthur Mourgue.

The only other club with an obvious need for a full-back is Castleford, who are currently playing Gareth Widdop at the back with Niall Evalds out for the season.

Hull KR have signed Peta Hiku and are looking at both Jack Walker and Evalds as options for 2024.

Wigan have an embarrassment of riches in the number one shirt, though could maybe consider Laurie as a stand-off.

Daine Laurie a more realistic option than Luke Brooks

Laurie is thought to be earning around £160,000 a year, according to Yorkshire Live, and so would likely command marquee man money if he made the move to Super League. The recent announcement of the marquee ruling being extended to three, with additional savings for homegrown players, could open up opportunities at several clubs.

Leeds have been linked with another Wests Tigers player in recent months, half-back Luke Brooks, who has now been offered a hefty extension by the Tigers according to reports.

Laurie courted controversy earlier this season when fans spotted that he had liked an Instagram video of Brisbane scoring a try in their 46-12 thrashing over the Tigers during their dismal seven-game losing start to the season.

That led to fans calling for his departure in a mid-season switch and questioning his commitment to the club.

He has been linked with a surprise switch to Melbourne Storm to deputise for the long-term injured Ryan Papenhuyzen.

His team-mate, back-rower Blore, has been offered to Super League clubs according to Fox Sports. The 22-year-old has made 23 appearances in the NRL since making his debut for Wests in 2020.

READ MORE: Leeds Rhinos need ‘monster offer’ to lure England forward as NRL boss offers transfer update