Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have opened talks with Ali Lauitiiti about the veteran second-rower staying with the club for another year.
Lauitiiti suffered a serious knee injury earlier in the season, but returned to the field against Widnes recently and made a strong contribution. The former Kiwi international, who turned 35 last week, joined Wakefield from Leeds in 2012. He is off contract at the end of this year but appears likely to go round again in 2015.
Wildcats head coach James Webster said there has been some dialogue with the forward.
“We’re talking,” Webster told this week’s League Express.
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“Ali had a chance to pack in this year when he did his knee. Rich (Agar) was the one who asked whether he really wanted to get himself fit, especially with his body type. I think he decided in the end he wanted to play. And I’ve seen him work so hard, so realistically I think he wants to play next year.”
And Webster is keen to have the bustling second-rower back in his squad for 2015.
“He hadn’t played for 12 weeks, but he came out and looked outstanding,” said Webster.
With Taulima Tautai leaving Wakefield for Wigan, the Wildcats have two visa spots left to fill for next season and Webster is expecting some decisions to be made by early August.
“We have one passport, or Kolpak spot, and a full Australian spot. It’s an active search but it takes a bit longer,” he said.
“It takes time to find them. But we’ll get there, it’s just trying to find the right person and obviously not spend a huge amount. We’ll know more probably in the next two or three weeks.”