Saints move for Cowboys star

St Helens have made an ambitious play to sign North Queensland Cowboys powerhouse Francis Molo.

James Graham is set for an imminent return to his boyhood club but his Saints encore will last only until the end of the season.

That leaves the Super League champions still looking to replace Luke Thompson in 2021, with the search centred on the NRL.

Saints have also shown interest in Australia international James Tamou, but the Penrith skipper’s wage demands have been a deterrent for the club.

That has left them chasing the Cook Islands international, who is off-contract with the Cowboys at the end of the season.

He enjoyed a breakout year in 2019 as he made 24 appearances, making an impact off the bench.

His role has only increased this year, playing over 40 minutes on two occasions this year.

Saints’ chances of recruiting the 25-year-old appear slim. The Cowboys have also offered him a new contract and his regular status in their side means he’s expected to remain there beyond the end of the season.

But Saints haven’t yet given up hope as they prepare to reshuffle their pack.

The loss of Luke Thompson is set to be followed by Jack Ashworth, whose future has yet to be decided but appears to be away from the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Zeb Taia’s departure was confirmed last week, with the 35-year-old returning to Australia. He will be replaced next year by Joel Thompson, the Manly backrower whose departure from the Sea Eagles was confirmed on Monday after League Express revealed his move to the UK. Saints have yet to publicly confirm the deal.