Leeds Rhinos’ Tongan international Tui Lolohea has spoken to Salford Red Devils over a possible switch of clubs.
The 24-year-old stand-off/full-back signed for Rhinos from Wests Tigers last autumn on a three-year contract, but could be on his way out after only 17 appearances as part of Leeds’ bid to recruit Salford’s Australian stand-off Robert Lui.
Lolohea met with Salford coach Ian Watson at a hotel in Leeds yesterday afternoon, but no deal had been done last night. He missed Rhinos’ defeat at St Helens last Friday when he was on Test duty for Tonga in New Zealand.
Signed by Leeds as a stand-off, he failed to make an impact in that role and was switched - with more success - to full-back as cover for Jack Walker, who is now fit and returned from injury against Saints.
The deal to bring 29-year-old Lui to Emerald Headingley had also yet to be concluded last night and it is a similar situation with Rhinos’ Australian hooker Matt Parcell’s possible move to Hull KR.
Leeds are prepared to release Parcell, who is contracted until the end of 2020, to free up a place on their overseas quota. Shaun Lunt, a former Rhinos loan player, is expected to move the other way from Hull KR to Leeds.
Hull KR coach Tony Smith has named only an 18-man squad for tomorrow’s game against Hull, rather than the usual 19, fuelling speculation he hopes to bring in Parcell in time for the derby clash.
Hull KR’s prospects of signing Parcell hinge on Junior Vaivai leaving the club to give them an available quota spot.
He is believed to be on the verge of agreeing a move to Toulouse Olympique.
Parcell, 26, was selected in the 2017 Super League Dream Team at the end of an impressive first season with Leeds, which saw him score 19 tries in 34 appearances as he became an influential member of that year’s Grand Final-winning squad.
He has played 18 times this year, all but five of those appearances being as a substitute.
Lunt, who is six years older than Parcell, played in Rhinos’ 2012 title success against Warrington Wolves, but has been hampered by injury in recent seasons.