Saints haven’t ruled out the possibility of dipping into the transfer market as they bid to secure a top four spot before the Super 8s kick-in.
Head coach Keiron Cunningham confirmed yesterday (Monday) that “there may be some finance available if a player of the right quality” emerged.
Cunningham was speaking on a day when reports from Down Under suggested that either 27-year old Manly back rower Tom Symonds - also a target for Huddersfield Giants - or Canberra forward Frank-Paul Nu’uausala could be on the way to Langtree Park with immediate effect.
Nu’uausala, 29, was part of New Zealand’s 2013 World Cup squad and previously spent eight years at the Sydney Roosters.
He is a utility forward who predominantly plays at prop or loose-forward and has made more than 150 NRL appearances since his debut in 2007. He is known as the Wrecking Ball to his many fans.
Saints haven’t named names, as is their policy until any deal is set in stone, but Cunningham said: “The thing you have to realise in sport, especially where a salary cap is involved, that you hold your nerve a little bit and don’t panic-buy.
“The latter is something we have done in the past and ended up with players on two or three year contracts. Then after a year we are saying what the hell are they doing at this club.”
He added: “We have to be smart when doing our shopping and will only bring a player on board of proven quality.”
St Helens have been under pressure to move into the transfer market following a decision to allow Aussie half back Travis Burns to join neighbours Leigh Centurions on loan for the rest of the season.
This was heightened on Friday when Saints were booed off after a 24-6 home defeat against Warrington - their third on the trot - and jubilant Wire fans taunting the Saints’ boss with chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning”.