ILLAWARRA COAL LEAGUE
Powerhouse club Wests are hopeful of adding NRL premiership-winner Brett Finch to their roster for next season after confirming they are in talks with the former NSW Origin halfback.
The Devils have already secured the services of NRL veteran Jason Ryles as captain-coach for next year and his close friendship with Finch from their Melbourne Storm days is likely to be a factor in negotiations.
Club president Mat Reh said the Devils had spoken with Finch but said the parties were yet to strike a deal.
"We've had talks with him but he hasn't put pen to paper," Reh said.
"He's spoken to us like he's spoken to other clubs but he's still working out his commitments.
"He's still deciding whether or not he's going to go down the path of the media track or give football away.
"Until we know what decision he makes around rugby league, we're none the wiser."
Finch is reportedly considering retirement from the game after 14 seasons in the NRL to pursue a career in the media.
A noted personality during his career, the 32-year-old is in high demand for media roles which poses the biggest obstacle to him turning out in the Coal League next year.
Finch announced his NRL retirement this year after 270 games for the Canberra Raiders, Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm with whom he won the 2009 premiership (later stripped due to salary cap breaches).
He returned to the NRL in 2013after a spell with Wigan in the English Super League.
He spent most of the year in the NRL following a season-ending hip injury to new Dragons recruit Garreth Widdop.
Should Finch reach an agreement to play for the Devils, he'll join Ryles and Thirroul Butchers captain-coach Nathan Fien on the list of former NRL stars playing in the Coal League.