Simon Woolford confirms Huddersfield in advanced talks with Fiji star Akuila Uate

Drew Darbyshire

Simon Woolford has revealed that Huddersfield’s talks with Manly Sea Eagles winger Akuila Uate are ‘well down the line’ ahead of a proposed move.

The 30-year-old has been placed on the transfer market by the Sea Eagles, with the club being forced to sell players due to breaches of the salary cap.

Uate has played in the NRL all of his career. He scored 110 tries in 161 games for Newcastle Knights and has bagged 19 tries in 38 appearances for Manly.

And Woolford has revealed that they are in advanced negotiations with Uate over a deal for next year.

He said: “We have had quite a few discussions with Akuila and we are well down the line.

“Nothing is done yet but we are hopeful over the next couple of weeks that he will commit to us.

“There is still a bit of work to do and he has still got quite a bit of interest from some NRL clubs, but hopefully the decision will be in our favour.

“He has got a young family too, so it is a big move for him but by all reports, he is very open to coming over here and we are hopeful that he decides to come over.”

Reports in Australia suggest Penrith Panthers want to sign him for the 2019 season, but the Giants are prepared to offer him a long-term deal.

And Woolford hopes the length of Huddersfield’s contract will sway Uate’s decision.

He said: “He is being squeezed out of Manly because they have got salary cap issues that everyone knows about.

“He is still doing a good job for Manly but he is being pushed out of there. Clubs in Australia are looking to sign him for one-year, so he needs to make that decision whether he wants to take an another year in Australia or come over here for a couple.”