Featherstone Rovers miss out on winger Minga

Rovers had agreed a deal to sign Kuni Minga.
Rovers had agreed a deal to sign Kuni Minga.

FEATHERSTONE Rovers have been foiled in their bid to complete the signing of former Toulouse Olympique star Kuni Minga.

Rovers learned of Minga’s availability last week and club officials moved swiftly in an attempt to snap up the Papua New Guinea-born winger.

A deal to bring the 24-year-old to the LD Nutrition Stadium was agreed by both Featherstone and the player, pending governing body approval.

However, talks have broken down in the last 24 hours after the Rugby Football League (RFL) claimed Minga would not qualify for governing body endorsement (GBE).

Despite making 45 appearances for Toulouse in the last two seasons and scoring 53 tries as a Championship and League Onne player, the RFL have stated Minga did not meet the initial requirements which were in place at the time when he signed for the French club.

Furthermore, Minga had to have appeared in 75 per cent of competitive matches for the period of his previous contract.

Records show the outside back, who was named in France’s initial World Cup squad, has played in 73.7 per cent of Toulouse’s competitive fixtures since 2016.

Rovers general manager Davide Longo said: “We are extremely disappointed at the RFL’s decision not to grant Kuni a GBE.

“Kuni is a player who has been on our radar for some time and when he became available we acted quickly to get a deal done.

“We believe Kuni would have been a revelation both for Featherstone and the Championship as a whole.

“But our efforts to bring another high-profile player, who we believe has the potential to become world class, have been thwarted.

“We worked tirelessly in 2017 off the field to ensure the club was well positioned for this coming season.

“It was always our plan to recruit a team which we believe could challenge in the Qualifiers come September, pushing hard for a place in Super League for 2019.

“Kuni was very much looking forward to joining the club and challenging himself at the top of this division but we are now left with no choice but to walk away from the deal, which had been agreed in principal.”