THERE was a time when Kyle Eastmond was the hottest property going in in both codes.
The diminutive playmaker came through the St Helens academy, bursting onto the Super League scene in 2007.
At Saints, Eastmond made over 70 appearances before leaving for rugby union at the end of the 2011 season. In the 15-man code, the 33-year-old excelled for Bath, Wasps and Leicester Tigers until a return to rugby league beckoned in 2021.
Joining the Leeds Rhinos, Eastmond registered just two appearances before retiring due to injuries, but he will be fondly remembered in both codes.
That being said, at the end of 2011 when the decision to leave Saints and rugby league was made, Eastmond was also handed an opportunity to stay in Super League – with the Warrington Wolves.
Now leading rugby league agent, Craig Harrison of Show Me The Money UK, has revealed just how close that deal was and what the Warrington owner Simon Moran tried to do to keep Eastmond in the 13-man code.
“Kyle Eastmond was going to sign for Warrington and a part of the deal with his agent was that he wanted to make Kyle a brand,” Harrison said on the Show Me The Money UK TV podcast.
“They took him to Warrington and Simon Moran (the Wolves’ owner) was going to try and make him a global brand and took him to an awards dinner and this and that. I think he went to an XFactor live show and was seen in the crowd to keep him in the game.
“He tried to make Kyle this big thing and he was trying to do the right thing. He had just got into the England side and inevitably we lost him to rugby union.
“But Simon would have been absolutely slaughtered by clubs and the game for trying to be a little bit different.”