Leeds Rhinos set to re-sign Rhyse Martin but St Helens and Salford move for Konrad Hurrell and King Vuniyayawa

GOAL-KICKING forward Rhyse Martin is set to remain a Leeds Rhinos player next year.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 11:50 am
Papua New Guinea national team captain Rhyse Martin is poised to pen a one-year contract extension at Leeds Rhinos. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.

Martin, who is out of contract in November, is poised to sign a new deal, possibly for one season.

The 28-year-old Papua New Guinea Test captain is one of three overseas players whose Leeds contract is coming to an end.

Leeds’ Tongan centre Konrad Hurrell is wanted by Betfred Super League champions St Helens and Salford Red Devils are believed to have signed Fijian forward King Vuniyayawa who joined Rhinos ahead of this season on a one-year deal.

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Leeds Rhinos' Fijian forward King Vuniyayawa is believed to have signed a contract with Super League rivals Salford Red Devils. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe/JPIMedia.

All three have been offered terms by Rhinos, but Leeds have only two spaces available on their 2022 overseas quota, which will include new signings Aidan Sezer - who replaces the departing Rob Lui - and Blake Austin.

Hurrell and Vuniyayawa moving on would free up a place for another import to join the squad next year.

Rhinos have already signed St Helens’ James Bentley – who plays in the same position as Martin – for 2022 and another second-rower, Alex Mellor, will be in the final year of his contract.

Martin has added value as one of the competition’s top marksmen, having landed 165 goals in 43 games since signing for Rhinos in 2019.

Reigning Super League champions St Helens are believed to be in the hunt for the signature of Leeds Rhinos and Tonga centre Konrad Hurrell. Picture: Bruce Rollinson/JPIMedia.

Rhinos coach Richard Agar said he is “pretty confident” Hurrell’s future will be resolved “pretty shortly”.

Other players whose contract ends this November are Luke Briscoe, Alex Sutcliffe and Callum McLelland.

Agar said there are “a couple of either/ors”, but stressed: “Obviously we are waiting for a decision on Konny, but behind the scenes we are pretty comfortable we know where it’s all at and where we go from here.

“We are quite happy with the way our squad is shaping up and what we will and won’t have to do from here.”

He added: “Obviously we have to respect that those things have to come out when they come out. Paperwork and stuff like that has to get done and there’s different ends to tie up, whatever the outcome, so I can’t come out and say too much now, but we sort of know – apart from the odd one – how the cards have fallen and where we’re at.”

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