Italy star attracting attention from two top-flight clubs following World Cup promise 

FOR some players, the Rugby League World Cup is not only an opportunity to play for their nation, it is also a chance to put themselves in the shop window. 

Not only that, it creates excitement around potential clubs that they could find a real gem hidden in the squads of perhaps lesser-known nations. 

One such player that is attracting attention from two clubs is Italy playmaker Daniel Atkinson who started his Italy World Cup campaign in tremendous fashion against Scotland last weekend. 

The Italians overcame the Bravehearts 28-4 and it was the way in which 22-year-old Atkinson controlled that game that has impressed NRL clubs Newcastle Knights and Cronulla Sharks, according to The Mole at the Wide World of Sports. 

Atkinson currently plies his trade for the Sunshine Coast Falcons in the Queensland Cup, but other big clubs – alongside the Sharks and Knights – are monitoring the situation. 

Meanwhile, the Knights themselves are in a predicament with The Mole reporting that physical performance manager Hayden Knowles won’t be the only backroom staff member leaving the club in the off-season. 

Among those leaving are strength and conditioning coaches Pat Lane and Harry Harris as well as wrestling coach James Tehuna. 

Tehuna, who used to fight in the UFC, is highly thought of in both the wrestling and rugby league world and has already been inundated with interest from other NRL clubs about a potential move.