Star duo in North Queensland’s sights
OUT-of-favour Storm centre Curtis Scott could be on the Cowboys' radar after potential recruit Jesse Ramien went cold on a big-money move to Townsville.
It is understood premiership winner Scott and Wests Tigers' Esan Marsters are in the sights of the Cowboys following Ramien's decision to play for a Sydney-based NRL rival next season.
The Cowboys were considered frontrunners to secure Ramien's signature after the NSW Origin hopeful was told last month he was not wanted by Newcastle coach Nathan Brown, who has since quit the club.
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North Queensland were such a leading contender Ramien flew north to inspect the club's set-up a fortnight ago and walked away highly impressed after talks with Cowboys coach Paul Green.
But family ties convinced Ramien not to pursue the Cowboys option, with the 22-year-old preferring to move to a Sydney club to be closer to his young daughter.
Ramien will finalise his future in the coming days, with the 100kg powerhouse deciding between the Tigers and his former club the Sharks, with whom he made his NRL debut in 2017.
Missing out on Ramien will not deter the Cowboys, who have cash to spend under the salary cap as they chase a strike centre to bring some try-scoring punch to their backline.
The talented Scott shapes as one target.
A teenage superstar, Scott was chased by 10 NRL clubs during his rookie years at Cronulla and was touted as a future NSW Origin centre when he was snapped up by the Storm in 2016.
Scott made an instant impact, winning a premiership ring at just 19 and scoring a try in Melbourne's 34-6 defeat of the Cowboys in the 2017 grand final.
Scott played in his second grand final last year, a 21-6 loss to the Roosters, but he has endured a forgettable campaign this season.
The 21-year-old has played just seven games and was dropped early in the season by coach Craig Bellamy amid concerns over his form and some off-field issues.
Scott is contracted until the end of 2021, but it is understood the Storm are open to an early release if a rival club, such as the Cowboys, made inquiries.
The Tigers are keen to secure Ramien but the club is battling salary cap pressures and may have to offload a current squad member, such as Marsters, to accommodate him.