Roosters eye English star Hall as Leeds confirm exit
The Roosters are sizing up Ryan Hall, one of the most prolific try-scorers in English history, as a replacement for Eels-bound star Blake Ferguson next season.
Hall has advised Super League club Leeds he is leaving at the end of the season to pursue a "new challenge".
NRL.com understands a deal to bring him to Bondi is all but over the line after negotiations progressed again over the weekend, though as yet there is no official word from the Roosters.
"I have had 12 amazing seasons as a Leeds Rhinos player and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together," Hall said.
"For me personally, I feel that this is the right time for a new challenge after such a long period at the club and my decision in no way reflects on the Rhinos."
Hall has previously perked interest among Australian outfits but it has now been confirmed he is leaving Leeds Rhinos, having inked a monster deal back in 2014.
Leeds director of rugby Kevin Sinfield said: "Naturally we are disappointed to lose a player of the quality of Ryan Hall. The club were keen to keep him here and we made him an offer that reflected his standing in the game".
At 188 centimetres and 105 kilos, Hall is a genuine star of the English game, having scored 231 tries for Leeds and claimed six Super League titles in over a decade at the top level.
With a record 35 tries from 38 Test appearances for England as well, he shapes as an experienced big body and an ideal replacement for Ferguson given his impact so far in a superb 2018 campaign.
The Roosters are also keeping a keen eye on off-contract flyers Brett Morris at Canterbury and Brisbane's Jamayne Isaako.
While the latter's preference is to stay at Red Hill with negotiations between the Broncos and Isaako ongoing, Morris could be a more likely option given the Bulldogs' salary cap issues.
With Joseph Manu and recent debutants Matt Ikuvalu and Paul Momirovski stronger in the centres than on the flank, Trent Robinson conceded the Roosters would likely look to market for Ferguson's replacement last week.
"We've got some young guys coming through that are going to fill that role and they have filled that role over the last month," Robinson said when pressed on his options last Friday.
"But there is opportunity to recruit into that position."