NRL player Matt Moylan may soon depart from the Australian competition, with talks underway around a possible move to English Super League team Leigh. Moylan, who has a remaining year on his contract with the Sharks, lost his usual position as a starter in the latter part of the previous season, igniting conversations around a potential move to the illustrious Challenge Cup victors.
The 32-year-old denied an approach from Catalans, the Super League grand finalists, earlier this year. However, discussions with Adrian Lam’s Leigh have since gained traction as Moylan considers joining one of the rising forces in northern hemisphere rugby.
According to inside sources, who remain anonymous due to the ongoing nature of the talks, it is unlikely that the Sharks would oppose Moylan’s desire for an immediate departure.
Having represented NSW and Australia in 2016, Moylan fell down the pecking order last season, playing a secondary role behind Braydon Trindall as Nicho Hynes’ halves partner leading up to the finals. He was notably missing from Cronulla’s 17-man squad for their nerve-wracking one-point defeat to the Roosters during the first week of the finals.
Leigh, with a vacant slot on their overseas quota, have been on the hunt for a halves partner for Adrian Lam’s son, Lachlan. The younger Lam played a crucial role in the club’s surprise dash to Challenge Cup victory at Wembley, a feat unmatched since 1971, with a winning field goal.
The former State of Origin star is just shy of achieving his 200-game milestone in NRL. However, his game minutes could dwindle further come 2024 as the Sharks seek the winning formula for a stronger finals performance.
Sharks‘ coach Craig Fitzgibbon has a handful of talent to lean on such as Kade Dykes, who’s returning from an ACL injury, and Daniel Atkinson. Fullback, Will Kennedy, is also shortly due to return from a hamstring injury.
Moylan managed to overcome extensive injury issues which had previously hindered his career, featuring in 44 NRL matches across 2022 and 2023. He enjoyed a career high when he was nominated for the Penrith captaincy and was capped three times by the Blues in the 2016 series. He also wore the green and gold in a singular Test appearance for Australia in the same year.
Just last week, Moylan was back in pre-season training with the Sharks. His departure would also open a valuable roster spot for the team, who are currently dealing with the uncertain future of utility player, Connor Tracey.
Tracey, allowed to explore his options on the market before his official status as a free agent on November 1, has garnered interest from the Dragons, who are prepared to expedite his move if it could occur prior to the upcoming season. He remains under contract with the Sharks until the end of 2024.