Saints target NRL props

St Helens’ search for a prop has taken them to two new NRL targets.

League Express understands the Super League champions have held talks with John Asiata and Bunty Afoa about a move to the club next season.

Saints are still pursuing an overseas addition to their 2021 pack, with Kristian Woolf keeping quota spots free to add to his squad next year.

And he’s identified Tonga international Asiata as a potential recruit, with the club making a significant offer to the North Queensland Cowboys forward.

Asiata, 27, played under Woolf for Tonga last season after being an ever present for the Cowboys during the 2019 campaign.

League Express understands Saints have tabled a major deal to Asiata, who can play in the front-row, the back-row and the halves.

The Cowboys, who retained another St Helens target in Francis Molo, are thought to be keen on retaining Asiata too.

But he was offered to Super League clubs back in June and Kristian Woolf is keen to reunite with his Tongan forward in Super League.

He is thought to be higher up Woolf’s shopping list than Afoa, but Saints have put the feelers out on the 24-year-old powerhouse too.

Afoa, 24, has been a regular for New Zealand Warriors since his debut in 2016, playing 60 games in the last three seasons. But, despite being contracted with the club until the end of 2021 he has been told he is free to pursue a deal elsewhere.

He hasn’t played a single game this season after suffering a pre-season ACL injury.

But billed at 111kg and 6ft 2′, Afoa would add considerable size to a Saints pack that already boasts in-form Alex Walmsley.

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