Former Kiwi international Frank-Paul Nu’uausala’s mooted move to the Western Suburbs Rosellas appears doomed with reports eminating out of England suggesting his Super League club Wigan has not even been approached by the player for a release.
Rosellas coach Matt Lantry met with Nu’uausala in Newcastle just after Christmas and believed the former Sydney Roosters and Canberra forward was on board for this season after agreeing to terms.’
His family has relocated to Newcastle and his wife has already taken up employment.
Lantry told the Newcastle Herald last week Nu’uausala had gone back to England to “finalise a few things at Wigan” before returning.
“He’s told me he will be here for our first training session and now it is just a matter of sorting out a contract,”Lantry said at the time.
Wests had also lined up a job as part of a potential deal.
But the supposed move was news to the Wigan club with coach Shaun Wane totally in the dark after being made aware of our story and declaring there had been no approach from Nu’uausala for a release.
The Wigan Today website reported Nu’uausala had “re-assured Wigan he has no plans to leave”.
Nu’uausala’s manager Steve Gillis was also non-plussed.
“Frank’s back over in England and as it stands, he has a contract for another two seasons with Wigan,” he said.
“I’m not sure how this stuff with Wests in Newcastle has come up but I’d say someone has their wires’ crossed.”
It is understood Nu’uausala is one of the highest paid players in the Super League, earning well over $500,000 a season which makes any move to the Newcastle Rugby League appear even less plausible.
But the suggestion is he was hoping for a payout from the Warriors to leave before returning to Newcastle.
Lantry is still trying to get to the bottom of it all but said the Wests club had acted in good faith throughout the talks.
Wests were also not the only Newcastle club to have discussions with the Kiwi prop.
“The whole thing has probably become a little bit confusing from our point of view but at the end of the day, we appreciate and respect the fact that he is contracted to Wigan,” he said.
“If nothing changes in that regard than of course, we won’t be pursuing it.
“We would certainly look at revisiting it at the end of his contract if Frank wants to continue his career.”
Despite claiming he is more than happy with his existing roster, Lantry said the club still had 190 player points left and would likely go into the marketplace.
“But it won’t necessarily be for a frontrower,”he said.
“We may look to strengthen a couple of other positions with a versatile player.”