Segeyaro’s curious case


JAMES Segeyaro is electric out of dummy half, hits hard and he’s as deceptive as they come. Yet somehow, the incumbent Papua New Guinea rake and former Dally M Hooker of the Year is without a contract for the 2019 season.
The 28-year-old livewire played his footy off the bench for Cronulla over the past two seasons, with some even calling for him to replace Andrew McCullough as the Maroons’ answer for Damien Cook last year. But the emergence of young number nine Blayke Brailey from the Sharks’ junior system has seen Segeyaro deemed ‘surplus to requirements.
While clubs have considered throwing the former Panther a lifeline in recent months, rumours of off-field indiscretions have warned teams off signing the pocket rocket.
Newcastle were one team considering signing Segeyaro, with Knights’ hooker Slade Griffin out for at least half the season with a ruptured ACL. But instead of offering him a lifeline, they instead opted to sign Kurt Mann, a noted outside back, and train him as a dummy-half instead.
Canterbury are another team that could use Segeyaro’s services, with number nine Michael Lichaa coming under fire in recent years for his lack of creativity around the ruck.
However, the Bulldogs’ financial troubles would stand as a big roadblock.
Finally, Parrramatta are desperate for a quality hooker. Bit-part players Kaysa Pritchard, Cameron King, Reed Mahoney and Will Smith all spent time at hooker for the Eels in 2018, but they lacked star power from dummy-half. Segeyaro would add spark to a side coming off a last placed finish, and give them a much needed attacking boost.
While some believe that Parramatta wouldn’t sign Segeyaro while Corey Norman was at the club (due to the two being caught up in off-field indiscretions together), the latter’s move to St George Illawarra could potentially open the door for the Kumuls hooker to sign with Parramatta.
A move to the Super League would be out of the question, with Segeyaro playing the second half of the 2016 season with the Leeds Rhinos, before returning to Sydney six months later due to homesickness.
A recipient of the Dally M Hooker of the Year less than five years ago, it would be crazy not to take the gamble on a player with a lot still to give in rugby league. – Zero Tackle

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