South Sydney coach Michael Maguire has fuelled speculation Luke Keary will leave the NRL club at the end of the season for rugby union.
The out-of-favour Keary has been relegated to the bench for Souths’ clash with Parramatta on Friday night, as Maguire looks to shake up the struggling team and play Greg Inglis at five-eighth.
The Queensland Reds and NSW Waratahs are interested in the premiership-winning playmaker, along with one other Super Rugby side, according to News Corp Australia.
“I have heard rugby union are looking at him so it’s an interesting one,” Maguire said.
“We’ve currently put things on pause with Luke until we work through our salary cap.”
“Luke is trying to get his form back and play some good footy.
“We’re looking to see if there is an opportunity moving forward with Luke.”
Keary’s asking price is said to be beyond what NRL clubs are prepared to pay, and while Super Rugby salaries are considerably lower, a code-switch is looking increasingly likely due to a lack of interest from Souths’ league rivals.
The off-contract Rabbitohs half played fullback for the Australian Schoolboys in the 15-man game before making his NRL debut in 2013.
Keary’s manager Paul Sutton said in March they would consider a move to rugby union amid speculation he would leave Redfern at the end of the season.
Rumours of a rift with Maguire swirled in the off-season and Keary had a famous spat with club co-owner Russell Crowe during a drinking session at the Gladiator star’s Coffs Harbour property.