Rhinos’ overseas recruitment delayed

Leeds Rhinos are being forced to wait on a move for an Australian utility back because of the delay in securing Rhyse Martin’s PNG passport.

League Express understands the Rhinos would be interested in signing Australian utility back Jai Field, who played for St George Illawarra Dragons in 2019.

But they are still waiting on paperwork to be processed that would see Martin receive a new passport, and free up a quota space as a result.

However, the process has proven slow, with the Christmas period inevitably adding to the delay in finalising the application.

It means the Rhinos can’t currently facilitate a move for Field or any other overseas target, with Martin currently occupying the club’s fifth and final overseas quota spot. But should the Australian receive a PNG passport, he would be downgraded on the quota to a non-federation trained played, leaving Leeds free to recruit another player from overseas.

Head coach Richard Agar has confirmed the club is keen to sign two new players, a front rower and a utility back.

Field is one player Leeds are considering, with Agar previously admitting he would be interested in signing the 22-year-old if the club had the means to do so.

The Wollongong native can play across the backline or in the halves and is known for his blistering pace.

He is currently a free agent after being released by the Dragons, who he made six appearances for last season.

Speculation has run rife since Agar’s admission that the Rhinos were in the market for new players, with numerous names linked with a move to Headingley since then.

However, speculation linking them with the likes of Lee Mossop, Niall Evalds, Russell Packer, Ben Flower, Alex Johnston and Tony Gigot is all well wide of the mark, while Agar has already dismissed the possibility of signing Shannon Boyd.