Leeds Rhinos have confirmed their interest in signing Sam Burgess, who has been tipped for a return to rugby league in the future.
The 26 year-old switched codes after helping South Sydney Rabbitohs win the NRL Grand Final in 2014, but has come in for criticism following the World Cup in the 15-man code.
Burgess, who has since been granted time off from his current side Bath to consider his options, has been strongly linked with a return to the Rabbitohs.
Gary Hetherington, Rhinos chief executive, said via the BBC: “We have registered an interest.
“We are fully aware that he is contracted to Bath, but we are waiting in the wings if Bath allow him to speak to clubs.
“Any Super League club or NRL would be interested in a player like Sam.
“Sam may well remain at Bath or go back to Souths, but if he was available, and we recognise that a transfer fee would be required, we are keen.”
The Rhinos could pay former Bradford Bull star any amount under the new marquee player rule and it would only count as £175,000 of their total salary cap.
“Yes he would [be suited to that], we supported the principle of a marquee player system,” Hetherington added.
“However, we always said it was unlikely we’d take up the option unless they were exceptional, and Burgess falls into that exceptional bracket.”