Amid rumours the New Zealand Warriors have tabled a big-money offer to try and lure Matt Lodge across the Tasman, coach Stephen Kearney said this week there was a lot to like about the Brisbane prop's game.
As reported by NRL.com on Tuesday, the Warriors have joined the race to sign the 24-year-old who is currently deciding whether to remain at the Broncos or head back to Sydney to link up with the Parramatta Eels.
A potential advantage for the Warriors is that Lodge's partner, and mother of his child, is the daughter of the club's recruitment manager Peter O'Sullivan.
While insisting no deal had been struck, Kearney shared his admiration for Lodge when questioned this week.
"We are always looking to try and improve our list and someone of Matt's quality would be an asset for the footy club," Kearney said.
"Nothing has been formalised or anything like that. It's pure speculation at this stage, but we will see what happens.
"He's a big body, I think he has done really well since he's been at the Broncos. He had a really good season last year.
"He's an old school front-rower, there's a lot to like about his game."
The Warriors this week made an immediate move on the recruitment front as well, releasing centre Solomone Kata to join the Melbourne Storm and bringing in back-rower Josh Curran from the Sydney Roosters.
Kata played just six games this year before falling behind Patrick Herbert and Gerard Beale in the battle for the right centre spot, while 20-year-old Curran heads to the Warriors after being stuck behind a number of representative forwards at the Roosters.
"Sol requested a release… Sol had a contract with us next year and part of our decision making was I guess an economic decision for next year," Kearney said.
"We wanted to grant his wish in terms of a desire to go to Melbourne and potentially end up somewhere after that.
"[Josh's] an Australian schoolboy, coming through the grades he was a very talented young fella.
"We're excited to have him, he obviously saw the pathway was challenging at the Roosters, so we thought we would give him a shot here."
It was among a number of mid-season moves made by clubs this week ahead of the NRL's June 30 transfer deadline.
Warriors forward Isaiah Papali'i told NRL.com he hopes to see more of it in the future, believing it can benefit both clubs and players and provide added entertainment for fans.
"It's interesting and it kind of reminds me of the NBA which I am a big fan of, so having that type of thing here is pretty cool," Papali'i said.
"June 30 is a few days away and I won't be surprised if there's more swaps around the clubs.
"I think it's a good thing for the game and gives everyone a chance to earn a top-side spot. If it's not going to happen where [a player is] then looking around doesn't hurt.
"You get what you want and they get what they want, so it ends up working for teams in the end.
"I find that with the NBA it's exciting, so I guess the NRL fans would feel the same."