KOROISAU TO MOVE?

BATI HOOKER TIPPED TO JOIN BULL­DOGS

Fiji Sun - - Sport - OSEA BOLA Sports Editor Email: os­[email protected]­jisun.com.fj

Voda­fone Fi­jian Bati and Manly hooker Api­sai Koroisau is ex­pected to join Can­ter­bury from 2020, with the Bull­dogs tipped to beat se­ri­ous in­ter­est from the War­riors and sev­eral No.9s across the game to be im­pacted by the move. NRL.com un­der­stands that Koroisau will fi­nalise his fu­ture in com­ing days hav­ing been given per­mis­sion to ne­go­ti­ate with ri­val clubs by the Sea Ea­gles in July.

The 26-year-old is ex­pected to plump for Can­ter­bury’s three-yearof­fer in or­der to keep his young family in Syd­ney, the Bull­dogs hav­ing stumped up a lu­cra­tive deal for Koroisau to match the War­riors’ own bid to lure him across the ditch.

NO WORD

While will­ing to have to the Fi­jian Test hooker see out the fi­nal two years of his con­tract, the Sea Ea­gles have made clear that Manase Fainu is their first-choice rake, and want to free up salary cap space to re-sign the Tr­bo­je­vic brothers. Nei­ther the Bull­dogs or Sea Ea­gles have made any of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment re­gard­ing Koroisau’s fu­ture.

But his im­pend­ing sig­na­ture is yet an­other coup for Dean Pay’s re­build at Bel­more. Koroisau’s move would see the for­mer Pan­ther and Rab­bitoh re­turn to his lo­cal area hav­ing played his ju­nior foot­ball for the Ber­ala Bears in Can­ter­bury’s ju­nior com­pe­ti­tion.

While in­juries have stacked up since he signed a three-year ex­ten­sion with Manly early last year, at his run­ning best Koroisau was in NSW Ori­gin dis­cus­sion be­fore Damien Cook’s rapid rise in 2018. Koroisau’s loom­ing shift to the Bull­dogs is set to trig­ger a hook­ing merry-go-round of sorts given Can­ter­bury have Michael Lichaa com­ing off con­tract and were also in talks with New­cas­tle’s Danny Levi, who is un­likely to re­main at the Knights next year re­gard­less of the club’s coach­ing change. Jay­den Brai­ley’s move from Cronulla to the Hunter next year is locked in de­spite Nathan Brown’s exit, leav­ing the Sharks can­vass­ing for a cheap back-up rake to brother Blayke in 2020.

NRL.com un­der­stands Lichaa has been con­sid­ered for a po­ten­tial home­com­ing af­ter de­part­ing for Bel­more in 2015.

Wests Tigers are also on the hunt for an­other No.9 due to Rob­bie Farah’s re­tire­ment and Ja­cob Lid­dle’s se­ri­ous knee in­jury and had been in­ter­ested in Koroisau un­til in­formed of the big-money of­fers from Can­ter­bury and the War­riors. The New Zealand fran­chise in turn is also scout­ing for an­other rake af­ter de­clin­ing to ex­tend Is­sac Luke an of­fer be­yond 2019 and miss­ing out on Koroisau and Bris­bane rookie Jake Turpin.

Photo: NRL.com

Api Koroisau is leav­ing Manly Sea Ea­gles and is likely to join the Bull­dogs.

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