James Segeyaro looms as the likely casualty of Cronulla’s salary cap punishment with Ava Seumanufagai reluctant to shift his young family to the UK.
NRL.com understands that despite meeting with two rival Sydney clubs this week, Seumanufagai’s price tag makes an NRL move unlikely five days out from Cronulla’s season opener.
The Sharks must shed $353,000 to be cap compliant by Friday’s clash with Newcastle as a result of the club’s salary cap punishment.
With Segeyaro only signing his new Cronulla deal last month, the NRL is yet to officially register his contract amid the uncertainty around their roster.
The 2014 Dally M hooker of the year shapes as the Sharks fall guy as a result.
It’s understood that Leeds Rhinos’ interest remains in Seumanufagai, but the off-contract prop is reluctant to uproot or move away from his 18-month-old daughter.
By cutting Segeyaro from their top 30, the Sharks will push for compliance this week having also kept a portion of their cap space unspent on the advice of former NRL auditor Jamie L’Oste Brown.
With another minimum wage player to replace Segeyaro in Cronulla’s roster, the club will also have to shed another squad member before June 30.
It has been suggested Segeyaro, who spent the summer without an NRL deal until his latest Cronulla contract was eventually worked through, could sign with the Sharks' feeder side Newtown in the hope of returning to the top 30 if space is freed up with another player departing the club.