Jai Arrow and Leilani Latu.
Jai Arrow and Leilani Latu.

Souths’ setback in bid to land Arrow early

The South Sydney Rabbitohs have been dealt a potential setback in their bid to acquire Gold Coast forward Jai Arrow for the upcoming NRL season.

The Rabbitohs have signed Arrow to a four-year deal from 2021 but were hopeful of luring him to Redfern a year early as they look to replace retired international forward Sam Burgess.

But the Titans have been reluctant to let Queensland Origin star Arrow go early and may be less inclined to do so after agreeing to immediately release prop Leilani Latu to join English Super League side the Warrington Wolves.

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South Sydney want the Gold Coast’s Jai Arrow for this season. Picture: Adam Head
South Sydney want the Gold Coast’s Jai Arrow for this season. Picture: Adam Head

 

Latu's departure, with two years remaining on his contract, takes away depth up front in the middle for the Gold Coast, meaning the Titans will be relying on the likes of Arrow more than ever for the 2020 season.

Latu joined the Titans from Penrith but struggled for regular NRL game time on the glitter strip, playing only nine games across two seasons before being released.

The 26-year-old's departure will give the Titans salary cap space as the former Panther was due to earn around $500,000 this year.

The Rabbitohs, who signed former Sydney Roosters and NSW Origin centre Latrell Mitchell last week, are yet to bolster their forward stocks in the wake of the departures of Sam and George Burgess, John Sutton and Kyle Turner.

Althouth South Sydney firmed in betting following Mitchell's signing, there are concerns their star-studded backline won't be able to shine unless the club brings in some forward reinforcements.

Also in signing news, the Melbourne Storm are set to pick up former Titan and bolster their backline depth with the addition of journeyman Brenko Lee.

Melbourne have lost a heap of talent to their backs with the off-season departures of Will Chambers and Curtis Scott.

There is also uncertainty surrounding unsettled Kangaroos flyer Josh Addo-Carr, while Fijian winger Suliasi Vunivalu has signed with the Queensland Reds' Super Rugby franchise for the 2021 season.

Lee is expected to join the Storm having been unable to find another home since leaving the Titans at the end of last year.

Lee, 24, made his top-grade debut for Canberra in 2014 and has played 53 NRL matches for three clubs.