The speculation went left, right and in all possible directions, as many fans were left uncertain as to where Luciano Leilua would end up.
As St George Illawarra fans grew frustrated at the lengthy time period in which the club took to re-sign him, many criticised the club’s recruitment and their slow approach to re-signing him swiftly.
Part of that animosity can now be forgotten as the club confirmed Leilua’s re-signing for a further two seasons until the end of 2018.
A local Hurstville United junior, Leilua made his NRL debut in Rd 22 of the 2016 season and has played five NRL games in total.
Carving up in the Holden Cup and making his presence felt, Leilua scored 9 tries in 21 games in the competition and also made appearances in the NSW Cup.
For Leilua, the decision was an easy one. He was staying.
“I am very happy to be able to continue being a Dragon and it was always my intention to remain here at the Club,” said Leilua.
“It is every player’s dream to play first-grade and I was able to do just that as a local junior with the Dragons last season.
“My focus now is to work as hard as I can during the pre-season and make the most of any opportunities that come my way next season.”
Whilst it took some time to confirm it, the club are also pleased to retain one of their most promising players for the next couple of seasons.
“Luciano is a talented local junior who possess immense ability with the ball and has a natural ability to create space and opportunities for those around him,” said Dragons Director of Rugby League Pathways, Ian Millward.
“His hard work was rewarded toward the end of last season by him making his first-grade debut and he certainly held his own at that level.
“Luciano was always part of our succession plan and we now look forward to watching him continue his progress as a first-grade player for a further two seasons.”