Simon Woolford has confirmed Huddersfield Giants are in dialogue with Australian players Jackson Hastings and Akuila Uate.
The head coach – preparing for the trip to Hull KR on Friday night with Ollie Roberts and Jermaine McGillvary fit to play – has made no secret of his desire to strengthen for the 2019 campaign while battling for a top-eight slot this autumn.
Highly-rated half back Hastings, 22, has been released from his contract with Manly Sea Eagles in the last few hours.
Fiji World Cup player Uate is a powerful winger, also at Manly after years with Newcastle Knights (where he worked alongside Woolford).
On Hastings, Woolford said: “He’s a player we are in dialogue with, no doubt, because we are looking at any quality players that come up on the market, and he is one,” said Woolford.
“Talks have been pretty positive but we are still a fair way to go with that one.”
The coach believes versatile Hastings would bring strength and class to a number of positions if he signed at the John Smith’s Stadium.
“He is only 22 and I have known him since he was 13 or 14, because my son (Zac) played against him in the junior reps, so I have known him a long time.
“He is a good kid and he was always a class above (the rest) coming through the juniors.
“Jackson has a lot to offer a rugby league team and, hopefully, he will decide to come and join us.”
So what will be bring to the Super League table?
“He has a great passing game, a great kicking game and he’s a competitor,” answered the boss.
“He can manage a game really well and he can play in a number of positions.
“Jackson can play in the halves or at full back, and he has played hooker in the NRL and done a really good job there.
“So he is not only pretty versatile but he is very, very good in those positions that he plays.
“He will certainly add value to whatever team he decides to join.”
Woolford says the fact Uate has picked up an ankle injury will not dull the Giants’ efforts to bring him in.
“We are close with Akuila, but there are still a few minor things they need to sort out,” explained Woolford.
“I am confident he will be here next year and, hopefully, we can get through the last bit of it (the deal) and we can make an announcement sometime soon.
“It is only an ankle injury. It will keep him out a couple of months but it’s a good time for him to have a rest and he will be ready to do a full pre-season.
“So, hopefully, he will come over and play with us.”