St Helens have made a play to bring Fiji captain and Wests Tigers star Kevin Naiqama to Super League – and the 29-year-old is understood to be increasingly open to a move to the United Kingdom, it is understood.
In what would be a remarkable coup for the Saints, League Express can reveal that the club have offered Naiqama a deal to join the Super League leaders. Furthermore, it is understood that deal is close to being agreed.
Rumours had suggested that Naiqama was looking to move to Super League last year, before he denied that was the case. However, the Saints believe the possibility of the man who led Fiji in last year’s World Cup now continuing his career in England is more likely than ever before.
And that has led them to table a deal for Naiqama – who is out of contract with the Tigers at the end of this coming NRL season. Current St Helens forward Zeb Taia was a team-mate of Naiqama’s at Newcastle earlier in their respective careers.
The news may immediately prompt panic among Saints fans that Naiqama could be a like-for-like replacement for star fullback Ben Barba – but the 28-year-old is still under contract at the Totally Wicked Stadium, and no decision is set to be made on his future yet.
So it is by no means a guarantee that Naiqama’s arrival means any further developments with Barba, it must be stressed.
But the sheer prospect of Saints signing Naiqama will signify an impressive capture for the club. He has been one of the big names in the Tigers’ side in recent years – but it appears he will not be staying beyond this season. Instead, he looks likely to move to Super League.