Rookie Wests Tigers coach Benji Marshall has ventured to Melbourne to finalise a player swap between out of favour Storm centre Justin Olam and Tigers forward Shawn Blore.
Olam had been a mainstay in the Storm side since 2020 but managed only 17 games this season due to severe form issues which also saw him be omitted from the PNG side for the inaugural Pacific Championship.
The Daily Telegraph’s David Riccio said a deal is imminent and Marshall is incredibly keen on acquiring Olam for the 2024 season.
“From a Wests Tigers point of view, I like this a lot,” Riccio said on SEN 1170 Breakfast.
“We all know the type of player Justin Olam. He’s all power and can be hugely damaging.
“He fell out of favour big time at the back end of last season for the Melbourne Storm.
“I don’t think Olam makes the (2024 Melbourne) team with the likes of Nick Meaney, Will Warbrick, Reimis Smith, Xavier Coates, Ryan Papenhuyzen now back into the fray and Grant Anderson who has shown plenty of promise.
“Olam is almost surplus to needs when you think about the depth of the outside backs at Melbourne.
“Blore is a talented player who plays in the forwards and has had some injury problems but has found his feet.
“That would be the appetite for the Storm because if there was one area where they were found wanting last year, it was their forward pack.
“Blore would fill that void.”
In other rugby league news, the St George Illawarra Dragons continue to loom as a big player during the off-season and have been linked to several players including Tom Dearden, Connor Tracey and Helium Luki.
Riccio said the Dragons are getting all their affairs in order before making a big splash for some key personnel.
“I expect those meetings and negotiations to ramp up in the next four to six weeks,” Riccio said.
“It’s about allowing those players to enjoy their end of season breaks.
“Also to allow Dragons management to get their ducks in a row and figure out who they want to meet.
“That’s where it’s at and we’ll start to hear a bit more about the Dragons’ targets.”