Murrayfield bosses are today reported to be on the trail of Scots qualified rugby league kiwi Kevin Locke, with a view to fast-tracking him into the national side.
Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson is quoted as saying an offer which would bring the 25-year-old full back or stand off from Salford Red Devils to either Edinburgh or Glasgow is being prepared.
“We plan to have a chat with Kevin and are ready to make him an offer if he wants to move to rugby union,” said Dodson, who was linked with a bid for the player before he joined Salford.
With Dodson having set Scotland the target of winning this year’s rugby union World Cup, the possibility of a rare final double could entice Locke, having played in the losing New Zealand side to Australia in the 2013 rugby league World Cup at Old Trafford.
Dodson added: “It is down to him to decide what he wants to do. If he does, then we will take things from there.
“An opportunity to speak with Kevin to discuss a move to union has merely presented itself. We are now following up this opportunity.”
Before any signing takes place, it is expected Locke would have a thorough medical to check on a groin problem that has disrupted his career since moving to Salford from the New Zealand Warriors last summer on a three-year contract.
Scottish director of rugby Scott Johnson is in the vanguard of the move and was made aware of Locke’s likely availability the weekend following Salford’s 52-6 home defeat by St Helens. Locke’s suspect groin last only a few minutes before he had to retire hurt.
Salford Red Devils owner Marwan Koukash also confirmed he had spoken with Dodson and granted him permission to speak with Locke and it is believed the Lancashire side are keen to offload the player, according to the Manchester Evening News today.
Last year Locke claimed he was the subject of an approach by the SRU.
“I got a few union offers in Scotland around the same time as here (Salford) from Edinburgh and Glasgow, but I wanted to stay in league. I didn’t want to switch,” he said.
Any move for Locke would fuel further speculation that Edinburgh and Scotland winger Tim Visser is on his way out.
Visser’s contract is up for renewal and Locke is unlikely to come cheap – provided his fitness can be guaranteed.