Frank-Paul Nuuausala’s future was the subject of fresh speculation last night.
It is understood he did not returned to England with the rest of the squad from their mini-tour Down Under.
The Kiwi was the only member of Shaun Wane’s tourists who didn’t figure in the 18-8 loss to Souths, despite being named in the provisional panel.
Wane’s blunt explanation for his absence was that he had ‘not been selected’. But reports emerging from Down Under last night say he remained in Australia, where his family live – which would appear to cast doubts over his future with the club.
And his former club Sydney Roosters are reported to be interested in taking him back on board.
A return to the NRL may surprise some, given the 31-year-old’s form during his time at Wigan.
But the Roosters are thought to be offering him a modest, one-year deal to give him a chance to re-establish himself Down Under.
Trent Robinson’s outfit have spent big in the off-season to sign James Tedesco and Cooper Cronk, and last week handed Australia forward Boyd Cordner a lucrative new deal.
If Nuuausala did sever ties with Wigan, it would not come as a surprise.
Just six weeks ago, there was a bizarre saga in which the coach of an Australian lower-league club claimed to have signed the prop, which was later put down to a misunderstanding.
Nuuausala was the only player to figure in every game for the Warriors last season though his form never hit the heights which earned him the nickname ‘the wrecking ball’ in the NRL with the Roosters and thrust him into the New Zealand squad.
Having figured in round one at Salford earlier this year, he didn’t play against Hull FC in Wollongong.
Nuuausala joined Wigan midway through 2016 from Canberra on a three-and-a-half year deal.