The Tigers are set to use their current English star second-rower Gareth Ellis as bait to sign English superstar prop James Graham with another 6 or so clubs rumoured to sign him or talk to him.
Wests Tigers Chief Executive Stephen Humphreys confirmed that he had in fact talked to the star prop at the Four Nations and he confirmed that the plan was indeed to use Ellis as bait.
“Your instincts are right, said Humphreys.
“Having Gareth certainly won’t be a disadvantage for us.
“Gareth has had a good experience at our club and that will certainly help.
“But who knows how much weight that will hold in James’ final decision?”
Graham is still contracted to his current English club St Helens for 2011, but the plan is to get him in the NRL for 2012.
Whilst Graham appears keen to both Gareth Ellis and Sam Burgess in the NRL, former Tigers assistant coach, now St Helens coach Royce Simmons is desperate to keep the star prop at the club.
“James is an impressive guy who has a genuine interest in playing in the NRL at some point,” Humphreys said.
“There wasn’t a lot of depth to our conversation.
“It was more a chance to get to know him and establish a relationship with him.
“It is something we can build on over time. But I don’t think we are exclusive – I think a lot of clubs will express an interest in James.”
Australian based manager David Riolo has engaged his services with Graham.
“I have spoken to Sam and Gareth about it,” Graham said recently. “They love it [the NRL].”