Leigh Leopards are keeping their recruitment options open after the apparent collapse of a move for Brisbane Broncos back Tristan Sailor.
Love Rugby League revealed in November how Sailor had held talks with Super League clubs about a switch from the NRL for the 2024 season, with it later emerging that Leigh were the club in question.
Reports had suggested a deal had been all-but completed to bring the son of the former dual-code Australian great, Wendell, to the Leopards for the new campaign, but the situation changed dramatically over the festive period.
Love Rugby League has been told that Brisbane ultimately refused to sanction Sailor’s release owing to their own squad situation, despite Leigh being confident they had secured a deal.
In turn, they had already begun to look at their own quota situation – with the Leopards needing to release an overseas player already under contract to make the Sailor deal happen.
Leigh owner Derek Beaumont took to social media to apparently confirm the Sailor deal was off, saying: “Sailor is an NRL player and not available to sign just like some of ours who the NRL want are SL players and aren’t available to sign. Contracts need to have substance and be respected both ways. Wishing Tristan a big year in the NRL and all our players a big one in SL.”
Leigh Leopards in no rush to seek immediate replacement for Tristan Sailor after move appears to fall through
Despite having utility value across the backline, Sailor had been identified as an option to feature in the spine for Adrian Lam’s side in 2024.
Having already allowed Joe Mellor to leave and sign for Super League rivals Salford Red Devils, it does leave Leigh light in the pivots – though they do have new signings Ben McNamara and Matt Moylan.
And Love Rugby League has been told Leigh are in no rush to seek an immediate replacement for Sailor.
The collapse of the move also halts any urgent need to move one of their existing overseas players on – despite interest remaining in at least one of them.
Love Rugby League has been told Leigh will even monitor Sailor’s situation from afar in the hope it may change, with Brisbane’s plans for 2024 likely to impact that at some stage.
But as things stand, Leigh are comfortable with what they have, and are in no rush to recruit someone else despite a move for one of their major targets falling through at the last minute.