With the winger set to be highly sought after once his ESL contract is up, or even before, NRL side the Cronulla Sharks have told Hull FC winger Tom Briscoe, that he has a contract waiting for him in 2013, should he decide to sign with the club.
The one sticking point in such a deal materialising however, is the fact that Briscoe is contracted to his ESL side until the end of the 2013 season, with the club not keen on allowing their star winger to leave the club early.
Working in the Sharks favour is a member of the coaching staff – with former Hull FC coach Peter Sharp, now an assistant at Cronulla.
Despite the alleged interest however, with the likelihood of having to pay a transfer fee to get Briscoe to come next year, it is unlikely the Sharks will make a play for him for 2013.
“Tom absolutely loves Hull FC and loves playing for Hull FC. He won’t do anything to disrespect that fact,” Riolo said.
“Tom has said that down the track the NRL is something he is interested in and he would like to play here one day. If I can facilitate that wish then I will do what I can, but Tom is a Hull player.”
Such is the keenness of Briscoe to one day play in the NRL, he and his partner were in Australia, to meet with his agent, and to discuss potential deals with a number of NRL clubs.
“Tom is contracted to Hull until the end of 2013. If there is any change in his plans we will speak to Hull, but at the minute Tom is looking at the NRL as something down the track.”
Although his stature and allure is not of the magnitude of his current English compatriots in the NRL (Sam Burgess, Gareth Ellis & James Graham) – there are clubs on the lookout for a winger of Briscoe’s talent.
With room for improvement in his game, his agent David Riolo only sees improvement for the young winger, and predicts he will be a big hit in the NRL, when he does play here.
“He’ll be a star, he’s an outstanding player and that’s why I am involved with him,” said Riolo.
“Tom is a great professional, he works really hard, he’s a great person too.
“We’ve seen players like James Graham, Sam Burgess and Gareth Ellis come over and do very well and Tom would assimilate just as well into the NRL.”
Hull FC coach Peter Gentle has spoken regularly with Briscoe on the issue, and remains confident that the winger will remain with the club, at least until his contract ends.
“I’ve had a few good chats with Tom about it and he is destined to go to the NRL at some stage and I think it would be great for him,” said Gentle.
“He is getting offers and good players do get offers. He’s looking to go over there but if it was the end of this year NRL clubs would have to pay compensation for him and I know in the NRL they are very reluctant to do that.
“From our side of the fence we have an international winger and we can’t just release him a year early. But he’s not in a hurry to leave and he’s told me he is more than happy to stay.
“He knows what we are building here, but he will find his way to the NRL eventually.”