Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston hasn’t ruled out a return for former favourite Misi Taulapapa.
The former Eagle departed South Yorkshire in 2015 and has since enjoyed a productive stint with Championship rivals Featherstone Rovers.
The veteran three-quarter looks set to depart Post Office Road at the end of the season, with Aston often name-checking his former ace as an example of what he is looking for in his recruits for 2019.
The Eagles chief has struggled to replicate the Samoan international’s dressing room management in recent years, and has promised to bring back former stars in an attempt to recreate the culture which he says has dissipated.
Aston has already acted on his promise by bringing James Davey back to the club – another senior player he has highlighted for his prescence off, as well as on, the field.
But it is Taulapapa who was Aston’s top general, and the Eagles chief would love to bring him back if finances allowed.
“I like good people and Misi Taulapapa is one of the best people I have ever met,”Aston said.
“Would I want him back? Well, yeah. Would he come back? Again, that is down to finances and other things. He is certainly a player that I have a lot of respect for. I love how he plays and how he is as a person.
“I want good honest individuals who are going to add something to us. We haven't really got that in the sheds at the moment. That's a fact. I am not pulling any punches on that. The people who I am talking about know what I am on about.”
Now 36, Taulapapa is still likely to hold many admirers in the second-tier after making 20 appearances for Rovers this season.
Aston still feels there is plenty left in the tank but understands he faces stiff competition if he is to tempt the versatile operator back for another tilt with the Eagles.
Aston added: "Misi still has a couple of years left yet. He could easily play on for a while yet there is no doubt about it for me. The question is where he wants to go and what he has to do. I suppose there will be plenty of clubs looking at him and talking to him.”