St Helens target Canberra forward as Raiders open cap space for Hardaker

St Helens have set their sights on Canberra forward Frank-Paul Nu’uausala, with Huddersfield winning the race to sign Tom Symonds.

Keiron Cunningham had made a last-ditch attempt to sign Manly forward Symonds, who was expected to sign for the Giants.

However, Symonds has now decided to move to the John Smith’s Stadium, forcing Saints to assess their options.

The next man on their wishlist is Nu’uausala, who has made seven appearances for the Raiders in the NRL this season.

The 29-year-old was part of New Zealand’s 2013 World Cup squad and previously spent eight years at the Sydney Roosters.

Reports in Australia suggest Nu’uausala could move to Langtree Park with immediate effect, which would give them additional space under the salary cap to make a move for Zak Hardaker. Canberra are one of the numerous clubs keen on the current Man of Steel, but the Raiders are considered the favourites.

Nu’uausala is a utility forward who predominantly plays at prop or loose-forward. He has made over 150 NRL appearances since his debut in 2007.

As for Symonds, Huddersfield chief Paul Anderson confirmed in this week’s League Express that he was interested in the star.

He said: “He’s one of a number of players that we’ve looked at. He’s a high-quality player, an NRL regular and a City of Origin player. He’s someone who would be of definite interest to us but there’s nothing to say at the moment.”