WELCOME to The Mole’s Monday Scoops! Here’s the highly accurate rodent’s best work this week…
Huge interest for BJ’s ‘little’ brother
The battle for Luciano Leilua has taken a new twist with the boom Dragons back-rower signing up with a new manager.
Leilua looked set to remain at the Dragons for next season but last week signed with Mario Tartak, manager of Benji Marshall and several other leading players.
“The interest has really picked up in the last few days,” Tartak tells RLW.
“Luciano would like to stay at the Dragons, but four other clubs are chasing him hard.”
The younger brother of Canberra star Joey Leilua, 20-year-old Luciano is the best second-rower left on the open market.
He played four games for the Dragons last year and looks a real prospect, with Tartak getting handsome offers to lure him away from the Big Red V.
Sarginson cuts short time off
Titans recruit Dan Sarginson has delighted his new club – before a single session.
The England centre didn’t need to report for duty until after Christmas – Four Nations representatives don’t begin preseason until January.
But Sarginson has cut short his break and decided to fly to Queensland early to give himself a better chance of cracking the NRL. He had his leaving party from Wigan last Friday ahead of his flight this week.
Manly’s new recruit has last laugh
Promising prop Lloyd Perrett has had his ultimate revenge on the Bulldogs.
The club treated Perrett cruelly in 2016, trying to get rid of him despite the fact he was under contract.
Many times Perrett trained all through the week, only to sit on the bench on game day in NSW Cup and not even getting on the field.
Perrett is old school – and believed he should honour his deal with the club.
And it is because of his stance that the Bulldogs find themselves in the salary cap mess they are currently in.
When the Bulldogs did their sums for last season, they assumed Perrett would not be there.
But he stuck to his guns – as he is entitled to do – and the Bulldogs were over the cap as a result and face a stiff fine from the NRL.
Perrett, meanwhile, looked set to join the Titans in 2017, before signing with Manly last week, convinced he has no future at Belmore.
Georgallis likely to pick up coaching gig
Highly respected Steve Georgallis seems set to take over as the Bulldogs’ NSW Cup coach next season as part of the shakeup within the club.
A former Roosters and Magpies halfback, Georgallis has a long and successful track record in coaching and was on the Penrith staff last season before it was cleaned out by Anthony Griffin.
He coached Penrith at NRL level in 2011 for half a season following the mid-year sacking of Matt Elliott and will be a handy ally for head coach Des Hasler.