The Queensland Reds are eager to gauge Karmichael Hunt's interest in swapping codes before adding their name to his growing list of suitors.
The Reds confirmed they were keen to lure Hunt to Ballymore if the Queensland State of Origin fullback genuinely wanted to return to rugby.
The Reds had listed the Broncos star in their planning for the 2010 Super 14 before NRL interest in his services exploded last week.
Hunt, who played rugby union throughout high school at Brisbane's Anglican Church Grammar School, has said he'd be "stupid" not to consider all options when his Brisbane contract expires next year.
The battling Reds see the versatile 21-year-old, who can play almost any back line position, best suited at either inside- or outside-centre.
Hunt is good friends with Wallabies and former Broncos Lote Tuqiri and Berrick Barnes, whom he played rugby against before they both signed with Brisbane.
QRU high performance manager Ben Whitaker said Hunt's union history enhanced the attraction. "He's someone we've listed as a player who could fill a role at the Reds," Whitaker said. "His ability to play 13 definitely suits our needs, particularly if Morgan Turinui doesn't re-sign."
But Whitaker was wary about the Reds showing interest if Hunt had little desire to play the 15-man code.
"We've got to be proactive and we definitely are but at the same time, you want to see some genuine desire by the player to have a look as well and that definitely is more attractive to us than someone you have to chase," he said.
Broncos boss Bruno Cullen has warned off rival clubs but there is nothing stopping NRL and rugby teams from negotiating with the seven-Test fullback this year.
The Roosters and St George Illawarra have both signalled their enthusiasm for Hunt, with indications he could double the reported $200,000-a-season deal he receives at Brisbane.
Like the Reds, the Australian Rugby Union - which tops up elite Super 14 players' salaries - are careful not to be used as leverage by players trying to boost their asking price.
"If he showed some genuine interest and wanted to come and talk to us, then at the appropriate time we'd have a chat with him to gauge his intentions," said new ARU high-performance manager David Nucifora.
Queensland have tabled an offer to Turinui, who has been overlooked for the ARU top-up money, but he is also considering moving to an overseas club and a better deal.