Roosters float loan deal with Sharks in new bid to land Josh Morris
The Roosters have floated the prospect of brokering the NRL’s first loan arrangement in their bid to lure Josh Morris to the club.
The premiers are desperate to add Morris to their roster, although Cronulla are in no hurry to release him due to injuries to their outside backs.
Roosters forward Poasa Faamausili has been put forward as a potential swap option, although the Sharks aren’t inclined to release Morris until Bronson Xerri, Matt Moylan and Josh Dugan are all fit and available.
In a bid to break the impasse – and convince Faamausili the move is in his interests – the Roosters have flagged the prospect of him being loaned to the Shire outfit for 2020.
Such a deal would result in him returning to Bondi Junction at the end of the season, enabling him to fulfil the final two years of his Roosters contract.
An immediate move would also allow Faamausili to temporarily switch from a team he is struggling to break into, to a club where he could play more regular first-grade football. The upside for the Roosters is he could return to the premiers a better and more experienced player.
There are, however, a number of obstacles. It is one thing to convince Faamausili, but the NRL must also sign off on the arrangement. That is no sure thing given the dramas Melbourne Storm and Wests Tigers had in trying to convince head office to sign off on the Harry Grant-Paul Momirovski swap, a move that would have been the first “loan” arrangement in NRL history.
The Storm and Tigers are still hopeful a deal can get done, once Melbourne’s Brandon Smith returns from injury, possibly from round two. That move has become its own saga and highlights the difficulty in completing a transaction with many moving parts.
Morris remains hopeful of a result, allowing him to re-link with twin brother Brett at the tricolours. He thought the days of playing with his identical twin had ended when they left the Bulldogs for the Sharks and Roosters, respectively, before the 2019 season.
"To be honest, it never really crossed my mind. I thought that would have been it," Brett said at Roosters headquarters on Monday.
"Maybe down the road at Kiama Knights or something like that – country rugby league. But yeah, look, it hadn’t crossed our minds. Obviously there is an opportunity there and if it happens, it would be pretty cool."
Josh has been in stellar form for Cronulla through the Nines and pre-season and would clearly have an impact on a Roosters team struggling to fill the hole left by Latrell Mitchell and the injured Billy Smith.
"Obviously he still has some good footy in him. He’s playing some really good footy if you’ve watched his Nines and his trials – he’s a had a good pre-season and he’s trained hard," Morris said.
"That’s what he’s done his whole career. So yeah, I don’t think this stuff has affected him.
"You just don’t have the time and effort to waste on it. You just want to get on with your job and do the best you can. That’s what he’s doing."
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