Exciting times for NRL stars

Wednesday December 20, 2017 Written by Published in League
Kuki Valentine Holmes is just one of the star Kuki athletes who aren’t having quiet off-seasons. He also holidayed in Rarotonga this month. 17121917 Kuki Valentine Holmes is just one of the star Kuki athletes who aren’t having quiet off-seasons. He also holidayed in Rarotonga this month. 17121917

Although the NRL season for 2018 is in its quiet period, it seems to be exciting times for a number of the star Kuki players.

 

Queensland strongman Dylan Napa may be on the move, as it is rumoured he may be leaving his star-studded Roosters teammates to join up with his former colleague Mitchell Pearce.

Pearce, the former New South Wales halfback, left the Roosters this year after they signed Queensland starter Cooper Cronk.

Although Napa is contracted to the Tri-Colours through to 2019, he could join Pearce at the Knights next year if the Roosters permit him to sign with a different club.

Early last month Pearce posted a photo on his Instagram account of the two in New York. They are also managed by the same player agent, Steve Gillis.

Napa debuted for the champion Maroons side that once again defeated the listless Blues. It was a well-deserved accomplishment as he averaged nearly 100m per game, and chucked in about 25 tackles for good measure.

The hard-running forward celebrated almost his 100th game in the NRL in the Roosters’ victory over reigning champion Cronulla Sharks.

Surprisingly, the 25-year-old is still fairly new to rugby league, having only switched to the sport in high school after learning that the famed ‘Sonny Bill’ shoulder charge was outlawed in rugby union.

While Napa may be switching teams, it looks like two stars of the Rugby League World Cup may be switching positions.

Former Cook Islands international, Brad Takairangi, who was one of the sole bright spots in the miserable Kiwis’ world cup campaign, may be moving from his favoured centre position.

The return of prodigal son Jarryd Hayne, who departed his beloved Parramatta Eels in search of his NFL, returns to the club after being granted an early release from his Gold Coast Titans contract.

Although the code-hopping superstar was always the first choice at fullback, the strong recent work of Bevan French and Clint Gutherson make them likely candidates for the role.

Therefore, Hayne could shift to the centres, a position he has experience in, which would push Takairangi to the back row.

The other big position shift may be Valentine Holmes, the breakout star of the 2017 league season.He burst into State of Origin Queensland squad, scoring four tries in two matches, including a hat trick to clinch the series for the Maroons.

He carried that immense try-scoring form into Australia’s World Cup campaign, cementing himself as an international name by scoring 11 tries in two matches, and currently holds the single game try scoring record with six.

Penrith Panthers stud Matt Moylan was thought to be in the running for a chance at the Cronulla Sharks number one jersey, but Holmes’s international form put that to bed.

“Watching the World Cup and seeing what Val does on the wing is pretty special - 11 tries in two games. I’m so glad I’m not the coach,” Moylan told NRL.com

While these three Kuki athletes are keeping in the news during the off-season, star Canberra winger Jordan Rapana is keeping a low profile, and is likely to join his team after the Christmas break.   

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