KOROISAU TO MOVE?
BATI HOOKER TIPPED TO JOIN BULLDOGS
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.
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.
Api Koroisau is leaving Manly Sea Eagles and is likely to join the Bulldogs.