transfers, rugby league news, rumours, Jarome Luai, Josh Addo-Carr, Bulldogs, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Ezra Mam Dolphins, Kyle Flanagan, Drew Hutchison, Roosters, Bulldogs

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Incomng Dragons coach Shane Flanagan has reportedly signed his son Kyle, with the contract expected to be announced in the coming days.

That is according to Channel 9 reporter Danny Weidler who tweeted Flanagan is set to become the Red V’s newest recruit.

The 24-year-old, whose contract with the Bulldogs expired at the end of the 2023 season, has endured a tumultuous time at Belmore, struggling to lock down a long-term run in the first team and finding himself out of position, finishing the season as a utility.

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Flanagan has played 79 NRL games to date and will now likely compete with Jacob Liddle and Connor Mulheisen for the hooker and utility roles.

BULLDOGS SET TO LAND ANOTHER UTILITY

Phil Gould’s Bulldogs recruitment drive is reportedly set to continue, with the Belmore-cased club reportedly signing Roosters star Drew Hutchison.

Channel 9’s Danny Weidler is reporting the utility will put pen to paper on a two-year deal and will leave the Tricolours after 71 games across five seasons.

The 28-year-old has the ability to play in multiple positions, having featured in the halves, centres and in the No.14 this season under Trent Robinson.

The Roosters coach previously labelled Hutchison “He’s our new Mitchell Aubusson”, likening him to the three-time premiership winner.

Hutchison will reportedly join a long list of names making the move to the Bulldogs, including fellow utility Kurt Mann.

His contract with the Knights has expired, while Blake Taaffe, Jaeman Salmon, Stephen Crichton and Bronson Xerri’s contracts have all been confirmed.

Warriors’ Webster takes on former mentor | 02:22

BRONCOS VETERAN’S SACRIFICE

Broncos veteran Corey Oates has signalled his willingness to take a pay cut to remain at Red Hill amid a looming salary cap squeeze.

The 28-year-old winger, on a reported $450,000 per year, was a shock axing for Brisbane’s qualifying final against the Melbourne Storm on Friday night.

And after recent reports that he was unhappy with the Broncos offering a pay cut to remain at the club next year amid interest from rivals including the Knights, Oates has declared that Brisbane is ‘always my place’ as he looks to stick around for 2024.

“Those are the things you have to do (cop a pay cut) when you are an older player and you have been here for long enough,” Oates told News Corp.

“I’ve always known that, but that’s the way it happens when you want to keep a great team together.

“You know what needs to happen and we will see what comes in the next few weeks. Hopefully, things can get sorted, but I am just happy to be playing footy again.

“It’s been a s*** year for me.”

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Flanagan moves Dragons back to Sydney | 02:59

He hasn’t ruled out leaving Red Hill if a deal can’t be sorted out, but his move to re-negotiate a new deal rather than take up a player option for 2024 is a major indicator that he’s willing to sacrifice to remain at the potential title winners.

“The way it works these days, if you have to move on, you have to move on,” he said.

“But I have made it pretty obvious in my career that the Broncos is always my place.

“I will wait and see what happens the next few weeks, but I’m just enjoying playing back-to-back footy.

“I have been injured a lot this year.”

Meanwhile, the Broncos will have to stave off plenty of interest for star five-eighth Ezra Mam, who will be a free agent on November 1.

Mam is signed with Brisbane through until the end of 2024, but has attracted interest from the Raiders and now the Dolphins on the back of a stellar season.

“Ezra Mam has surprised a lot of people, but not the Brisbane Broncos. No one thought he was going to have the season he’s having,” journalist Ben Dobbin said on Triple M.

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“To win premierships, you need players that are under the salary cap and Ezra Mam is playing well under his value but the problem is he comes off contract at the end of next season.

“So it’s no surprise that the Dolphins are interested in Ezra Mam.”

Dobbin however, went onto say he’s confident Mam will remain at the Broncos, despite the fact that they’ve already paid big money to Payne Hass, Pat Carrigan and need to keep star fullback Reece Walsh.

“The big thing about Ezra is he’s a Brisbane local so it would make sense but he’s not going anywhere. There is absolutely no way Brisbane will let him go,” Dobbin said.

Ezra Mam has had no shortage of interest from rival clubs, but the Broncos are confident they’ll retain the 20-year-old.Source: Getty Images

“I spoke to the Broncos about it and they are so confident that he will stay.

“If you look at it, Corey Oates comes off contract, Kurt Capewell at the end, there’s a lot of other players coming off as well. Reynolds isn’t going to command the money he’s on this year, he only wants one more year.

“There’s a thing in Brisbane called a TPA (third party agreement). Brisbane are the best at getting third party deals so you might be on the cap for $200,000 and a company will come along and pay you $200,000 as an ambassador (as well).

“That’s where Brisbane will get around this but they are very confident they will keep Mam.”

UGLY DOGS U-TURN AS CAPTAIN ‘FREE TO LEAVE’ AMID CULTURE CONCERNS

Buldogs forward Raymond Faitala-Mariner has been granted permission to find another club amid reports the 30-year-old isn’t happy with the club culture and coach Cameron Ciraldo’s training methods.

It’s a remarkable turnaround in the relationship of the Bulldogs and Faitala-Mariner, who was named club captain at the start of the season.

“After discussions with Canterbury officials, Ray has been given permission to look elsewhere,” said Faitala-Mariner’s manager, Ernesto Santone said.

According to the SMH, several players of Polynesian descent at the club had approached Faitala-Mariner and asked him to raise concerns about the Bulldogs’ culture and training methods.

Those concerns were reportedly relayed to Bulldogs officials.

The Bulldogs have come off a tough week after being heavily in the spotlight due to reports of a player walking out of the club and not returning with a year to run on his contract, after a enduring a brutal training punishment.

Ciraldo faced the music last week and made no apologies for his attempt in beginning an attitude adjustment at the Bulldogs, believing it is what the club needs to turn their recent fortunes around.

Graham UNLOADS on Davey’s comments | 01:31

PENRITH’S LUAI PLAY…. AND OTHER CLUBS WHO CAN START BIDDING WAR

The Penrith Panthers have reportedly informed Jarome Luai they will not be able to offer him more than $800,000 a season as salary cap pressure hits the club.

Luai, who comes off contract at the end of the 2024 season, is able to negotiate with other clubs from November 1.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald the Panthers have offered Luai somewhere between $700,000-$800,000 a season. They have also told him there is no room to move on that figure, although an official offer is yet to be tabled

He is certain to attract richer offers from other clubs.

The Daily Telegraph’s Dave Riccio said at the end of July that Luai’s poor Origin series means he may cost himself money in his next contract.

“Well, he wasn’t able to get the job done and I think he sits in that $650,000 – $700,000,” Riccio said on the July 26 episode of NRL 360.

Veteran journalist Paul Crawley Luai “fit like a glove” at Penrith and may have to decide whether to prioritise success over earning big money at a struggling club.

The Panthers have already re-signed fullback Dylan Edwards ($850,000 a season), Liam Martin ($750,000) and Isaah Yeo ($850,000) to new deals this season.

That is in addition to the likes of Nathan Cleary and James Fisher-Harris already collecting nearly $2.3 million a year between them.

There would be no shortage of rival clubs who make a play for Luai if he chooses to test the open market.

The Dragons need a five-eighth and Luai’s signing at the Red V may increase the likelihood Ben Hunt remains at the club through to the end of his 2025 contract.

Canberra have plenty of cap space after the departure of Jack Wighton and need a playmaker outside of Jamal Fogarty, while the Tigers will be keen to make a splash and have the means to do so.

The Bulldogs is another club who could show interest in Luai, with ex-Panthers assistant Cameron Ciraldo at the helm.

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MANLY’S CLEANOUT REVEALED

Five Manly Sea Eagles players have reportedly been informed they are free to look elsewhere for next season.

That is according to News Corp, who revealed Ben Condon, Kaeo Weekes, Zac Fulton, Kelma Tuilagi and Karl Lawton will be released immediately if they can find a better opportunity at another club.

Weekes’ contract with Manly was already coming to an end this season so he will not be offered a new deal but Fulton and Lawton are signed until the end of 2024, while Condon and Tuilagi are contracted until the end of 2025.

Condon and Tuilagi only arrived to the club this season from the Cowboys and Tigers respectively. Condon played four games off the bench for Manly, while Tuilagi — who started the year in the second row but finished it in reserve grade — played 17.

Lawton played 10 games in what was another season hampered by injury and Fulton hasn’t been sighted in first grade since his debut last season.

Weekes secured a bench utility role at the start of the season but by Round 10 was dropped from 17 and got limited opportunities after that. The 21-year-old is a fullback/five-eighth but with Tom Trbojevic due back from a pec injury next season and Luke Brooks arriving, he won’t break into the side. He’s also fallen behind Reuben Garrick and Tolu Koula as a back-up No.1 and Jake Arthur as a playmaker.

There were reports earlier this season that Weekes had re-signed but the club never announced a deal.

The contracted players are reportedly not being forced out the door and if they can’t secure a new deal elsewhere they will be expected at day one of pre-season in November.

It comes as News Corp reports Ray Vaega, Ethan Bullemor, Jamie Humphreys and Gordon Chan Kum Tong have re-signed on Top 30 deals for next season. There are plans to lock in star second-rower Haumole Olakau’atu beyond 2025 too.

The club is also reportedly keen to re-sign workhorse centre Brad Parker, who is without a deal for next season at this stage. Manly want to give injured prop Matt Lodge a deal for next season and are considering another contract for veteran Aaron Woods too.

The Sea Eagles finished the year 12th, but capped off the season on a high with a 54-12 win over the Wests Tigers.

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THE FOXX IS NOT TROTTING TOWARDS THE EXIT

Bulldogs winger Josh Addo-Carr has been linked to a surprise early exit from the struggling club, despite being contracted for another two seasons.

Addo-Carr represented New South Wales this season, but apart from that, it’s been a disappointing year for the flyer and his club side.

Considering the form of the Bulldogs, its little wonder Addo-Carr has been unable to show his best, and at times it has appeared he’s been playing at less than 100%.

Veteran journalist Brent Read suggested that a number of rival clubs have inquired about the representative winger and whether he’d be keen to greener pastures.

“There was a CEO meeting last week and there was a bit of talk there that Josh Addo-Carr might be on the move or might be up for grabs,” Read told Triple M.

News Corp reported there were some suggestions that a third party had been shopping around the flyer to rival clubs including the Tigers.

But, Read said: “As I understand, his agent has come out and denied that so Josh is going nowhere which will disappoint some clubs because when some clubs heard that it sort of piqued their interest and they thought they may be a chance of getting Josh.

“It has been a difficult year, he hasn’t been at his best, although no one has been at the Dogs.

“There was just a bit of mail going around and some CEO’s were talking about it but his agent has slammed the door shut on it … He’s content at the Bulldogs.

“There will be some movement there in the off-season. There will be plenty of boys moving, but Josh Addo-Carr won’t be one of them.”



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