With the NRL looking at introducing a transfer window, the Herald unveils the game’s most sought after talent.
We hope you enjoyed reading this news article on local sport called “Top 20 most wanted: the NRL’s biggest off-contract stars”. This story was posted by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our news aggregator services.
We may be 10 days out from Christmas but that hasn’t slowed the player market down at all. Clubs are scrambling to finalise their rosters before they break for the holidays while also keeping a close eye on some big names who have become available for 2022.
With new deals popping up every other day it can be hard to keep up so here at Foxsports.com.au we’ve had a look at the state of play of the player market.
We’ve got your full list of players without a club for 2021, those who are signed for next season but could be heading elsewhere before Round 1 kicks off and also the players caught up in a tug of war match between clubs.
We’ve also jumped ahead to look at the 2022 season, the players who have entered negotiations with rival clubs and the big name players whose futures have dominated the headlines lately.
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Best sign Smith leaving Storm
The biggest names whose futures are still up in the air, followed by a full list of players still searching for a club for 2021.
Despite most people tipping Cameron Smith to retire, a question mark still remains over his future. Storm chair Matt Tripp reportedly flew up to Queensland over the weekend to meet with Smith so we’re heading closer towards some clarity.
The 37-year-old has a number of options to weigh up. He can play on with the Storm or play on elsewhere — most likely the Titans or Broncos.
Smith and his wife have purchased a house on the Gold Coast, fuelling rumours a switch to the Titans is on the cards, however the Titans continue to deny any conversations with Smith and instead have declared their interest in Smith 2.0 — Brandon.
Meanwhile Broncos coach Kevin Walters confirmed the club’s interest in both Cameron and Brandon. “Any player that ends in Smith we are interested in,” he said last week.
If the champion hooker calls time on his playing career, he’s still likely to be involved in the game. Melbourne have previously shared their plans to create a role for Smith, while he’s also been linked to a mentoring role with AFL club Hawthorn.
The star five-eighth has been on the hunt for a new club eversince the Wests Tigers informed he that he wonuldn’t be re-signed beyond 2020.
Despite boasting an illustrious 18-year career in the NRL, the 35-year-old is struggling with options.
Marshall wants to remain in Sydney so he knocked back interest from the Cowboys and turned down a lucrative one-year offer from Super League club Hull FC.
His desire to stay in Sydney leaves him with eight possible clubs if you count the Dragons — but there’s only a handful who could do with his services.
The Sharks don’t have much cap space and are stacked with depth in their halves and it’s a similar situation with Manly too. The Dragons already have a battle between players vying for a spot in the halves and the Roosters seem settled on developing their young talent. As for the Rabbitohs, Panthers and Eels, Marshall would purely be a back-up option.
The option that has the most potential is the Bulldogs. Coach Trent Barrett is holding a roster spot for 2022 recruit Matt Burton in case he can get an early release from the Panthers. If he doesn’t, Barrett could explore Marshall as a stop gap solution for 2021.
Sonny Bill Williams
The cross-code superstar had just signed a mammoth two-year deal with Super League club, Toronto Wolfpack, reportedly worth $10 million. Then coronavirus hit and the club withdrew from the 2020 competition amid financial pressure.
The club’s payroll commitments would be met by the new owner if Toronto was accepted back into the Super League, however they’ve since been denied readmission, leaving Williams and a number of ex-NRL players out in the cold.
Williams’ lucrative deal has ultimately fallen through making him a free agent for 2021 and beyond.
It’s expected the 35-year-old will hang up the boots given he battled a neck injury during his five-game stint with the Roosters this year, but is yet to make an official announcement.
If he were to play on for one more year it’s hard to picture him in any jersey other than the Roosters. Whether the Roosters have space in their cap is another question.
Once an Origin hooker, Nathan Peats is now without a club.
The 30-year-old’s contract with the Titans expired at the end of the 2021 season and the club chose not to re-sign him and instead put its faith in Mitch Rein as well as young utilities Erin Clark and Tanah Boyd.
Peats has been far away from his best in the last two seasons but with 159 NRL games under his belt and three for NSW he could no doubt be a very experienced back-up hooker for a club in 2021 — or with a turnaround in form could potentially earn his way into a No.9 jersey.
Levi is in a similar position to Peats. He represented New Zealand in 2017 but is now without a club for next season.
The 25-year-old spent five years at the Knights before Manly coach Des Hasler signed him on a one-year deal as a stop gap solution while Manase Fainu is sidelined under the NRL’s no-fault stand down policy. Fainu’s trial over an alleged stabbing isn’t until July next year but the Sea Eagles have opted not to retain Levi.
Instead Hasler plans to use utility halves Lachlan Croker and Cade Cust in the hooking role. Levi told Foxsports.com.aulast month that he’d love to play for a Queensland-based team but will take any opportunity.
“I believe I’m an NRL quality hooker. I just want to play, I don’t care where,” he said. “I love playing footy and want to keep supporting my family doing that.
“I’ve got a lot of family up in Queensland so ideally you’d like to be around them, but I’d be happy to play anywhere. I’ve had a few old teammates say come here, but that’s up to the coaches and the recruitment officers.”
Others: Ben Te’o, Tim Lafai, Jamil Hopoate, Ilikena Vudogo, Bryson Goodwin, Kayleb Milne, Scott Sorensen, Tyrone Roberts, Brendan Elliott, Tony Williams, Ricky Leutele, Tyronne Roberts-Davis, King Vuniyayawa, Daniel Russell, Rhys Davies, Jaeman Salmon, Brad Takairangi, Dean Blore, Braydon McGrady, Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, Joe Lovodua, Tom Amone, Corey Dennis, Kurt Dillon, Ky Rodwell, Oliver Clark, Dylan Smith, Elijah Taylor
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Tigers were my only option
SIGNED — BUT SEARCHING
Notable players who are still contracted to their current club but are open to a late switch for 2021 — or their club is trying to offload them.
Mansour’s world was turned upside down when he was informed by Panthers coach Ivan Cleary and Football boss Matt Cameron that young gun Charlie Staines would be taking his spot on the left wing next season.
The 30-year-old has one year left on his contract with the Panthers and if he chooses to see it out he’ll likely be playing in reserve grade.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for the former Origin winger. By all reports the Wests Tigers are interested in snapping him up after their heads of agreement with Josh Addo-Carr fell through.
The Daily Telegraph’s David Riccio told SEN a fortnight ago that the Tigers were in the “box seat” to land Mansour.
Tigers chair Lee Hagipantelis confirmed to theTelegraphlast week that there is some interest. “Josh Mansour has received all due consideration by the club and I know that it is a matter that the club has and continues to consider as it does with numerous opportunities that present themselves,” he said.
“I’m told Josh is a quality human being off the paddock and I know he is a quality player on the paddock too.”
It’s expected the Panthers won’t hold Mansour back if he were to seek a release to join a rival club in 2021.
Another five-eighth on the hunt for a new club. Widdop is desperate to return to Australia to be with his family and is willing to accept a contract as low as $300,000 to do so.
The 31-year-old was granted a release from the final two years of his Dragons contract to take up a three-year deal with Super League club Warrington Wolves from 2020 onwards.
After making the move to the UK, Widdop’s family moved back to Australia eight months ago and it’s understood he’s struggling without them. He hit the market hoping to earn around $600,000 a season but after little interest from clubs he slashed his price.
What edges Widdop out slightly ahead of Marshall is that he is open to playing for non-Sydney clubs, but he hasn’t had much luck either. He was reportedly shopped to the Sharks, Cowboys, Dragons and Roosters but they all knocked him back due to cap pressure.
However in an interesting twist, according to Channel 9, the Tigers are interested in Widdop. But it would be a mighty kick to the guts for Marshall — a fellow veteran No.6 — after the Tigers brutally axed him.
He’s returned to training at Red Hill but Broncos prop Matt Lodge has reportedly been shopped around to rival clubs.
Lodge is signed on a deal worth $800,000 season until 2022 with an option in his favour for 2023 and 2024. However, The Daily Telegraphreports Sydney-based clubs are claiming the Broncos have quietly let it known they would be willing to contribute $400,000 of Lodge’s contract if they can offload him.
With essentially four years to go on his contract, Brisbane would be looking at $1.6 million spent on a player lining up against them.
Coach Kevin Walters denied the reports though and instead shared what he has planned for Lodge in 2021.
“Yeah he certainly will be (playing for the Broncos in 2021),” Walters told Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast.
“He’s back training with us, he’s quite a skilful player. You forget how big some of these guys are when you don’t work with them regularly. He’s been very impressive in his first week back at training so we look forward to slotting him in here at the Broncos.
“He played very little football last year for the Broncos and that’s one of the things we need to do this year with our players, is to get them on the field and get them playing to a level that they’re all acceptable at.
“That didn’t happen this year at the Broncos, for many different reasons, but certainly Matt had a disappointing year this year with injuries and the like; he only played five or six games. We’re looking to get a lot more out of him next year in the Broncos jumper.
“I’m not sure where that (report) has come from but he’ll be here in the Broncos jersey next year.”
The Tigers have already lost a big chunk of halves depth in Benji Marshall and Josh Reynolds but they could lose even more before the 2021 season kicks off. Utility Billy Walters is reportedly eyeing a move to the Broncos to play under his dad, Kevin.
The Daily Telegraph reports the 26-year-old has brought it up with the club and if the Tigers were to consider it they would want a player in return.
Kevvie didn’t rule out the chance of it happening but said the first priority is for Billy to fully recover from an ACL injury he suffered last season.
“He can play No.6, No.7 or No.9, so he’s got great utility value and good experience as well. He hasn’t played a lot of NRL but he’s played a lot of football coming through,” he told Big Sports Breakfast.
“It’d be great. Just what we’ve seen from him in his very short NRL career he’s got great instincts as a player and defensively he’s very good… we’ll see what happens, he’s got to get his leg right first and foremost which he’s in the process of.”
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TUG OF WAR
The lucky players who have signed with a new club for 2022 and that club is in a tug of war with their current club over an early release for 2021.
As mentioned above, Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett is holding a spot in his top 30 in the hopes of securing 2022 recruit Matt Burton a year early.
The Panthers haven’t hid their frustration in losing young talent to rival clubs so there’s every chance they’ll stand firm on Burton just to prove a point.
However it’s understood the Bulldogs are quietly confident they’ll get Burton just in time for the 2021 season.
The young gun has signed with the Wests Tigers on a two-year deal for 2022 and beyond but is itching to make the move to Concord early.
It’s no secret the Tigers would love the 21-year-old to come to the club earlier and wear the No.1 jersey next season however The Daily Telegraph reports the Panthers knocked back Laurie’ request for a release from the final year of his development contract.
But as we know in the NRL world it’s not over yet, anything is possible before the 2021 season kicks off in March.
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LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Players who are off-contract from 2022.
Clubs are focusing much of their attention on finalising their squads for 2021 before the Christmas shutdown period so it’s no surprise that there’s so many big names who haven’t been locked in beyond 2021.
The likes of Latrell Mitchell, Jahrome Hughes and Mitchell Pearce fall into this list but all three of them are in talks to extend their current deals. Rabbitohs sharpshooter Adam Reynolds and Panthers playmaker Jarome Luai are also among the off-contract players from 2022, however it’s expected they’ll re-sign with their current clubs.
The players who will continue to dominate headlines are Storm duo Brandon Smith and Josh Addo-Carr as well as Panthers gun Stephen Crichton.
Smith leaving Storm in 2021?
Smith’s manager created quite a stir when he emailed 14 clubs to inform them that his client will be granted a release from the final year of his contract with Melbourne — provided they receive a player in return — and is now on the hunt for a new club for 2022.
The loveable larrikin backs up his big personality with a consistently superb effort on the field so it’s a no-brainer for clubs needing a world class hooker and a player to build their team around to go after him.
The Tigers and Bulldogs are keen on his services and so too are Queensland clubs the Broncos and Titans — even though the Titans were left off the email sent to clubs.
There will no doubt be a fight over his signature but The Australian’s Brent Read believes it’ll either be the Broncos or Titans who land the star No.9.
“His preference is to be in South East Queensland, so that means you need to be at the Titans or the Broncos,” Read told Triple M over the weekend.
Smith’s early exit from the Storm comes from his desire to play starting hooker so it’s understood Harry Grant has been given the nod to wear the No.9 jersey after Cameron Smith hangs the boots up.
It’s a tough situation for Smith, who is good friends with Grant. He was long considered Cameron’s heir but it’s impossible for Storm coach Craig Bellamy to ignore Grant’s breakout season in 2020.
Addo-Carr’s contract saga has been dragged out much longer than first expected. Melbourne were prepared to grant the 25-year-old a release from the final year of his contract on compassionate grounds. The Wests Tigers chased Addo-Carr and entered into a heads of agreement with him which would see the ‘Foxx’ join the club in 2021 on a four-year deal if he could get a release.
The Storm requested the Tigers’ best player in 2020 in return, David Nofoaluma and when that was denied they chose not to grant Addo-Carr’s release. He upgraded his deal and he’ll remain with the Storm in 2021.
The NSW Origin winger is now a free agent for 2022 and beyond. The Tigers withdrew from the race for his signature, the Bulldogs have tabled him a four-year deal worth more than $500,000 a season and the Knights are reportedly interested in his services too. But it’s understood Addo-Carr ideally would love to sign with the Rabbitohs where his good mates Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker play.
South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett has repeatedly denied any interest in Addo-Carr but as we know in the NRL — and particularly with Bennett — that shouldn’t be taken as gospel.
This young gun’s future has been in the headlines for the last couple of months. It was reported that Crichton had agreed to a handshake deal with Panthers coach Ivan Cleary that he would re-sign with the club after he settled with his new manager. But his new manager refuted the deal leaving the Panthers confused — and a little worried.
Crichton’s value since he supposedly shook Cleary’s hand has sky rocketed due to the Panthers’ success in 2020, his spot in the Dally M Team of the Year and a selection as part of NSW’s extended squad.
The 20-year-old is now reported to be seeking a three-year deal worth $2.25 million — significantly more than the deal he allegedly shook hands on.
After losing Matt Burton and Daine Laurie for 2022 already, Penrith are determined to lock down Crichton but if they aren’t able to match his asking price there will be no shortage of clubs lining up for his signature.
RTS a Warrior for 2021
Full list of off-contract players from 2022
Broncos: Jesse Arthars, John Asiata, Xavier Coates, Dale Copley, Tom Deardan, Alex Glenn, Andrew McCullough, Anthony Milford, Tesi Niu, Keenan Palasia, Jordan Riki
Raiders: Caleb Aekins, Matt Frawley, Emre Guler, Siliva Havili, Dunamis Lui, Harley Smith-Shields, Iosia Soliola, Semi Valemei, Sam Williams, Hudson Young
Bulldogs: Dean Britt, Christian Crichton, Tyrone Harding, Will Hopoate, Sione Katoa, Tui Katoa, Lachlan Lewis, Jeremy Marshall-King, Nick Meaney, Dylan Napa, Ofahiki Ogden, Jayden Okunbor, James Roumanos, Chris Smith, Renouf To’omaga, Jackson Topine
Cowboys: Ben Condon, Scott Drinkwater, Jake Granville, Wiremu Greig, Ben Hampton, Corey Jensen, Connelly Lemuelu, Francis Molo, Justin O’Neill, Tukimihia Simpkins, Murray Taulagi, Shane Wright
Eels: Daniel Alvaro, Nathan Brown, Bryce Cartwright, Haze Dunster, Blake Ferguson, David Hollis, Samuel Hughes, Joey Lussick, Michael Oldfield, Tom Opacic, Jordan Rankin, Maika Sivo, Will Smith, Ray Stone
Panthers: Kurt Capewell, Stephen Crichton, Robert Jennings, Mitchell Kenny, Spencer Leniu, Jarome Luai, Josh Mansour, Tyrone May, Brent Naden, Isaah Yeo
Rabbitohs: Corey Allan, Braidon Burns, Joshua Cook, Troy Dargan, Dane Gagai, Brock Gardner, Dean Hawkins, Patrick Mago, Latrell Mitchell, Tautau Moga, Mark Nicholls, Adam Reynolds, Jaydn Su’a, Tevita Tatola
Dragons: Eddie Blacker, Billy Brittain, Jack de Belin, Matthew Dufty, Kaide Ellis, Tyrell Fuimaono, Cameron McInnes, Trent Merrin, Corey Norman, Jordan Pereira, Cody Ramsey, Brayden Wiliame
Roosters: Fletcher Baker, Egan Butcher, Angus Crichton, Jake Friend, Drew Hutchison, Matt Ikuvalu, Isaac Liu, Brett Morris, Josh Morris, Billy Smith, Daniel Tupou, Sitili Tupouniua, Sam Verrills, Sam Walker
Wests Tigers: Kane Bradley, Michael Chee-Kam, Zac Cini, Jacob Liddle, Jock Madden, Thomas Mikaele, David Nofoaluma, Russell Packer, Alex Seyfarth, Billy Walters
The Penrith Panthers have confirmed the departure of six players ahead of the 2021 season, including three who will link up with new clubs.
Skipper James Tamou headlines the list as he finishes up his time at the foot of the mountains to join the Wests Tigers.
Also making a club switch is Jack Hetherington, who was granted an early release from his contract to sign with the Bulldogs and Caleb Aekins, who was picked up by the Raiders.
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The club have also farewelled Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, Pat Hollis and Brayden McGrady who all unsigned at this time.
Panthers rugby league GM Matt Cameron thanked all six players for their contribution.
“This has been an extraordinary season for Panthers and each one of these players contributed to that success,” he said.
“From the leadership of James Tamou, to the on-field exploits of Jack, Caleb and Malakai, and the enthusiasm of Pat and Brayden at training, we are grateful for their contributions to our club.
“Regardless of whether they were in the team each week, they sacrificed their personal freedoms to live in our NRL bubble for the best part of six months.
“We thank them for their service to Panthers and wish them all the best with their future endeavours.”
Flanagan excited to join Dogs
FULL NRL CONTRACT LIST
PO = player option, CO = club option, MO = mutual option
2020 squad: Jesse Arthars (2021) Jack Bird (2020, PO 21), Patrick Carrigan (2022), Xavier Coates (2021), Brodie Croft (2022), Thomas Dearden (2021), Herbie Farnworth (2020), David Fifita (2020), Thomas Flegler (2021), Alex Glenn (2021), Payne Haas (2024), Jamil Hopoate (2020), Jamayne Isaako (2022), Jordan Kahu (2020), Richie Kennar (2020), Rhys Kennedy (2020), Matt Lodge (2022, PO 23, 24), Issac Luke (2020), Anthony Milford (2021), Corey Oates (2020, PO 21, 22), Joe Ofahengaue (2022), Sean O’Sullivan (2020), Cory Paix (2022), Keenan Palasia (2021), Tevita Pangai Jr (2022), Izaia Perese (2020), Kotoni Staggs (2021), Ben Te’o (2020), Jake Turpin (2020, PO 21, 22), Ilikena Vudogo (2020), Issac Luke (2020).
2021 losses: Darius Boyd (retirement)
Coach: Kevin Walters (2023)
2020 squad: John Bateman (2021), JJ Collins (2020), Nick Cotric (2020), Jarrod Croker (2024), Emre Guler (2021), Matt Frawley (2020), Siliva Havili (2020, PO 21), Josh Hodgson (2022), Corey Horsburgh (2022), Sebastian Kris (2020), Dunamis Lui (2021), Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (2023), Michael Oldfield (2020), Josh Papalii (2024, PO 25), Curtis Scott (2023), Bailey Simonsson (2023), Harley Smith-Shields (2021), Sia Soliola (2021), Tom Starling (2022), Ryan Sutton (2022), Joe Tapine (2023), Semi Valemei (2021), Elliott Whitehead (2022), Jack Wighton (2024), George Williams (2022), Sam Williams (2021), Hudson Young (2021), Jordan Rapana (2020), Corey Harawira-Naera (2022), Kurt Baptiste (2020)
2021 gains: Caleb Aekins (from Panthers until 2021), Harry Rushton (from Wigan until 2023), Ryan James (from Titans until 2022)
2021 losses: Nick Cotric (Bulldogs), John Bateman (Wigan)
Coach: Ricky Stuart (2023)
2020 squad: Jake Averillo (2021), Dean Britt (2021), Christian Crichton (2021), Adam Elliott (2023), Raymond Faitala-Mariner (2022), Will Hopoate (2021), Josh Jackson (2023), Sione Katoa (2021), Lachlan Lewis (2021), Jeremy Marshall-King (2021), Nick Meaney (2021), Dylan Napa (2021), Ofahiki Ogden (2021), Jayden Okunbor (2021), Chris Smith (2021), Reimis Smith (2021), Joe Stimson (2022), Renouf To’omaga (2021), Brandon Wakeham (2022), Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (2022) Luke Thompson (from St Helens to 2023)
2021 gains: Jack Hetherington (from Panthers until 2022), Nick Cotric (from Raiders until 2023), Blake Green (from Knights until 2021), Corey Waddell (from Sea Eagles until 2023), Kyle Flanagan (from Roosters until 2023)
2021 losses: Kerrod Holland (retirement) Kieran Foran (Sea Eagles), Aiden Tolman, Marcelo Montoya, Jack Cogger, Sauaso Sue, Tim Lafai, Isaiah Tass (all unsigned)
2020 squad: Blayke Brailey (2022), Jayson Bukuya (2020), Josh Dugan (2021), Andrew Fifita (2022), Wade Graham (2022), Braden Hamlin-Uele (2022), Mawene Hiroti (2020), Royce Hunt (2022), Shaun Johnson (2021), Sione Katoa (2023), William Kennedy (2021), Cameron King (2020), Billy Magoulias (2021), Kayleb Milne (2020), Matt Moylan (2021), Ronaldo Mulitalo (2023), Briton Nikora (2022), Jesse Ramien (2023), Toby Rudolf (2021), Scott Sorensen (2020), Cruz Topai-Aveai (2020), Chad Townsend (2023), Connor Tracey (2021), Brayden Trindall (2020), Jack Williams (2022), Teig Wilton (2023), Aaron Woods (2021), Bronson Xerri (2021), Nene Macdonald (2021), Bryson Goodwin (2020), Siosifa Talakai (2021)
Coach: John Morris (2021)
2020 squad: Jai Arrow (2020), Tanah Boyd (2022), AJ Brimson (2022), Bryce Cartwright (2021), Erin Clark (2021), Anthony Don (2021), Darius Farmer (2021), Moeaki Fotuaika (2022), Beau Fermor (2022), Keegan Hipgrave (2020), Ryan James (2020), Jaimin Joliffe (2022), Brian Kelly (2021), Greg Leleisiuao (2021), Sam Lisone (2020), Tyrone Peachey (2021), Jonus Pearson (2021), Kevin Proctor (2021), Mitch Rein (2021), Phillip Sami (2022), Treymain Spry (2020, CO 21), Sam Stone (2020), Ash Taylor (2021), Jarrod Wallace (2022), Jai Whitbread (2021), Corey Thompson, Jamal Fogarty (2022)
2021 gains: Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (from Storm until 2023), Herman Ese’ese (from Knights until 2022), David Fifita (from Broncos until 2023) Patrick Herbert (from Warriors until 2021)
2021 losses: Dale Copley (Titans), Jai Arrow (Rabbitohs), Ryan James (Raiders) Shannon Boyd (retired), Tyrone Roberts, Nathan Peats (unsigned), Kallum Watkins (released mid-season to Salford)
Coach: Justin Holbrook (2024)
Teddy likely to play in Gm 1
2020 squad: Morgan Boyle (2021), Daly Cherry-Evans (2023), Lachlan Croker (2021), Cade Cust (2022), Kieran Foran (2021), Manase Fainu (2023), Addin Fonua-Blake (2022), Tevita Funa (2021), Reuben Garrick (2021), Jack Gosiewski (2021), Morgan Harper (2022), Albert Hopoate (2020), Sean Keppie (2023), Luke Metcalf (2020), Haumole Olakau’ata (2021, CO 22), Brad Parker (2021), Taniela Paseka (2021), Josh Schuster (2021), Toafofoa Sipley (2021), Curtis Sironen (2021), Samuel Smith (2020), Moses Suli (2020), Jorge Taufua (2021), Martin Taupau (2022), Jake Trbojevic (2026), Tom Trbojevic (2026), Dylan Walker (2021)
2021 gains: Kieran Foran (from Bulldogs until 2021), Andrew Davey (from Eels until 2022)
2021 losses: Joel Thompson (St Helens), Corey Waddell (Bulldogs), Addin Fonua-Blake (Warriors), Danny Levi, Brendan Elliott, Tony Williams (all unsigned)
Coach: Des Hasler (2021)
2020 squad: Josh Addo-Carr (2021), Nelson Asofa-Solomona (2023), Jesse Bromwich (2020, MO 21, 22), Kenny Bromwich (2022, PO 23), Sandor Earl (2020), Thomas Eisenhuth (2022), Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (2020), Dale Finucane (2021), Jahrome Hughes (2021), Nicho Hynes (2021), Ryley Jacks (2021), Cooper Johns (2020), Tui Kamikamica (2022, CO 23), Felise Kaufusi (2021, PO 22), Max King (2021), Brenko Lee (2020), Ricky Leutele (2020), Chris Lewis (2022) Isaac Lumelume (2021), Paul Momirovski (2020), Cameron Munster (2023), Justin Olam (2022), Ryan Papenhuyzen (2022), Aaron Pene (2021), Darryn Schonig (2021), (Marion Seve (2020), Brandon Smith (2022), Cameron Smith (2020), Albert Vete (2020, CO 21), Suliasi Vunivalu (2020), Christian Welch (2022)
2021 gains: Harry Grant (loan return from Tigers), Jack Howarth (upgraded)
2021 losses: Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Titans), Paul Momirovski (loan return to Tigers), Suliasi Vunivalu (Super Rugby)
Coach: Craig Bellamy (2021)
2020 squad: Mitchell Barnett (2020), Bradman Best (2022), Jayden Brailey (2022), Phoenix Crossland (2021), Herman Ese’ese (2020), Lachlan Fitzgibbon (2021), Tim Glasby (2021), Aidan Guerra (2020), Tex Hoy (2021), Hymel Hunt (2021), Brodie Jones (2020), Josh King (2020), David Klemmer (2023), Edrick Lee (2021), Mason Lino (2020), Kurt Mann (2021), Sione Mata’utia (2021), Andrew McCullough (2020) Tautau Moga (2020), Jirah Momoisea (2022), Mitchell Pearce (2021), Kalyn Ponga (2021, PO 22), Tyronne Roberts-Davis (2020), Daniel Saifiti (2022), Jacob Saifiti (2022), Pasami Saulo (2022), Gehamat Shibasaki (2022), Star To’a (2021), Enari Tuala (2021), Connor Watson (2021), Blake Green (2020)
2021 gains: Tyson Frizell (from Dragons until 2023), Dom Young (from Huddersfield until 2023)
2021 losses: Herman Ese’ese (Titans), Andrew McCullough (loan back to Broncos), Blake Green (Bulldogs), Aidan Guerra, Tim Glasby (retired)
Coach: Adam O’Brien (2022)
SOO 2020: Val talks game one
2020 squad: John Asiata (2020), Jake Clifford (2021), Reuben Cotter (2020), Scott Drinkwater (2021), Mitchell Dunn (2022), Kyle Feldt (2024), Thomas Gilbert (2022), Jake Granville (2021), Ben Hampton (2020, PO 21), Coen Hess (2022), Peter Hola (2022), Valentine Holmes (2025), Corey Jensen (2020, PO 21), Connelly Lemuelu (2021), Esan Marsters (2022), Josh McGuire (2022), Jordan McLean (2020, PO 21, 22), Francis Molo (2021), Michael Morgan (2023), Justin O’Neill (2021), Tom Opacic (2020), Emry Pere (2021), Reece Robson (2023), Daniel Russell (2020), Tukimihia Simpkins (2020), Murray Taulagi (2021), Jason Taumalolo (2027), Shane Wright (2021)
2020 squad: Daniel Alvaro (2021), Waqa Blake (2023), Dylan Brown (2023), Nathan Brown (2020, PO 21), Reagan Campbell-Gillard (2022, PO 23, CO 24), Haze Dunster (2020), Blake Ferguson (2021), Clint Gutherson (2022), George Jennings (2020), Michael Jennings (2022), Oregon Kaufusi (2022), Shaun Lane (2023), Reed Mahoney (2022), Ryan Matterson (2021, PO 22), Mitchell Moses (2021, PO 22), Marata Niukore (2022), Junior Paulo (2022), Jordan Rankin (2021), Maika Sivo (2021), Will Smith (2020), Ray Stone (2020)
2021 losses: Stefano Utoikamanu (Tigers), Kane Evans (Warriors), Andrew Davey (Manly), David Gower, Peni Terepo, Jai Field, Rhys Davies, Jaeman Salmon, Brad Takairangi (all unsigned)
Coach: Brad Arthur (2022)
2020 squad: Caleb Aekins (2020), Dean Blore (2020), Shawn Blore (2020), William Burns (2022), Matt Burton (2021), Kurt Capewell (2021), Nathan Cleary (2024), Stephen Crichton (2020), Dylan Edwards (2022), Kaide Ellis (2020), James Fisher-Harris (2022), Jack Hetherington (2021), Mitch Kenny (2021), Viliame Kikau (2022), Apisai Koroisau (2022), Spencer Leniu (2021), Moses Leota (2022), Jarome Luai (2021), Josh Mansour (2021), Liam Martin (2023), Tyrone May (2020), Braydon McGrady (2020), Brent Naden (2021), Charlie Staines (2023) James Tamou (2020), Zane Tetevano (2021), Brian To’o (2023), Malakai Watene-Zelezniak (2020), Dean Whare (2021, MO 22), Isaah Yeo (2021)
2021 losses: Caleb Aekins (Raiders), Jack Hetherington (Bulldogs), James Tamou (Tigers)
Coach: Ivan Cleary (2023)
2020 squad: Euan Aitken (2020), Eddie Blacker (2021), Billy Brittain (2020), Adam Clune (2022), Jack de Belin (2020), Matt Dufty (2021), Jackson Ford (2022), Tyson Frizell (2020), Tyrell Fuimaono (2021), Jacob Host (2020), Ben Hunt (2022, PO 23), Josh Kerr (2023), Blake Lawrie (2022), Zac Lomax (2025), Joe Lovodua (2020), Cameron McInnes (2021), Trent Merrin (2021), Corey Norman (2021), Jordan Pereira (2021), Mikaele Ravalawa (2023), Jason Saab (2022), Tristan Sailor (2020), Korbin Sims (2021), Tariq Sims (2022), Paul Vaughan (2021, PO 22), Brayden Wiliame (2021), Kaide Ellis (2020)
2021 gains: Poasa Faamausili (2022)
2021 losses: Jacob Host (Rabbitohs) Tyson Frizell (Knights), Euan Aitken (Warriors), Jacob Host, Tristan Sailor, Joe Lovodua (all unsigned)
Coach: Anthony Griffin (2022)
2020 squad: Corey Allan (2021), Tom Amone (2020), Tom Burgess (2023), Braidon Burns (2021), Jed Cartwright (2023), Damien Cook (2023), Joshua Cook (2021), Troy Dargan (2021), Cory Denniss (2020), Kurt Dillon (2020), Dane Gagai (2021), Campbell Graham (2024), Dean Hawkins (2021), Alex Johnston (2020), Liam Knight (2023), Keaon Kolomatangi (2021), Ethan Lowe (2021), Patrick Mago (2020), Steven Marsters (2021), Latrell Mitchell (2021), Cameron Murray (2021), Mark Nicholls (2021), Adam Reynolds (2021), James Roberts (2021), Ky Rodwell (2020), Hame Sele (2023), Bayley Sironen (2021), Jaydn Su’A (2021), Tevita Tatola (2021), Cody Walker (2022)
2021 gains: Jacob Host (from Dragons until 2023), Taane Milne (from Warriors until 2022), Jai Arrow (from Titans until 2024)
2021 losses: Ethan Lowe (retirement)
Coach: Wayne Bennett (2021)
2020 squad: Mitchell Aubusson (2020), Fletcher Baker (2021), Egan Butcher (2021), Nat Butcher (2022), Lindsay Collins (2022), Boyd Cordner (2023), Angus Crichton (2021), Poasa Faamausili (2022), Kyle Flanagan (2021), Jake Friend (2020), Ryan Hall (2020, MO 21), Drew Hutchison (2020), Matt Ikuvalu (2020), Luke Keary (2024), Lachlan Lam (2020), Isaac Liu (2021), Joseph Manu (2022), Brett Morris (2020), Josh Morris (2020), Victor Radley (2023), Billy Smith (2021), Daniel Suluka-Fifita (2022), Siosiua Taukeiaho (2022), James Tedesco (2021), Christian Tuipulotu (2021), Daniel Tupou (2021), Sitili Tupouniua (2021), Sam Verrills (2021), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (2023), Sonny Bill Williams (2020)
2021 losses: Kyle Flanagan (released to the Bulldogs), Poasa Faamausili (released to the Dragons)
Coach: Trent Robinson (2020)
Gutho talks Blues position
2020 squad: Bunty Afoa (2021), Leeson Ah Mau (2021), Adam Blair (2020), Lachlan Burr (2020), Josh Curran (2021), Wayde Egan (2022), David Fusitu’a (2023), Tohu Harris (2021), Chanel Harris-Tavita (2022), Peta Hiku (2021), Patrick Herbert (2020), Eliesa Katoa (2021), Karl Lawton (2021), Ken Maumalo (2022), Taane Milne (2020), Jack Murchie (2021) Kodi Nikorima (2021, PO 22), Agnatius Paasi (2022), Hayze Perham (2021), Adam Pompey (2021), Jamayne Taunoa-Brown (2022), Jazz Tevaga (2021), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (2022)
2021 gains: Kane Evans (from Eels until 2022) Ben Murdoch-Masila (from Warrington until 2023), Euan Aitken (from Dragons until 2023), Addin Fonua-Blake (from Sea Eagles until 2024)
2021 losses: Taane Milne (Rabbitohs), Adam Blair (retirement), Patrick Herbert (Titans), Isaiah Papali’i (Eels), Lachlan Burr (Cowboys), Gerald Beale, Nathaniel Roache, Leivaha Pulu, King Vuniyayawa, Adam Keighran (all unsigned)
Coach: Nathan Brown (from 2021)
2020 squad: Josh Aloiai (2021), Shawn Blore (2021) Luke Brooks (2023), Michael Chee-Kam (2021), Adam Doueihi (2023), Luke Garner (2022), Joey Leilua (2022), Luciano Leilua (2022), Jacob Liddle (2021), Moses Mbye (2022), Sam McIntyre (2020), Thomas Mikaele (2021), Zane Musgrove (2021), David Nofoaluma (2021), Russell Packer (2021), Josh Reynolds (2021), Alex Seyfarth (2020), Tommy Talau (2022), Alex Twal (2022), Billy Walters (2021), Shawn Blore (2021), Asu Kepaoa (2023)
2021 gains: Stefano Utoikamanu (from Eels until 2023), Paul Momirovski (loan return from Storm), James Tamou (from Panthers until 2022)
2021 losses: Harry Grant (loan return to Storm), Chris Lawrence (retirement), Benji Marshall, Oliver Clark, Matt Eisenhuth, Elijah Taylor, Robert Jennings, Dylan Smith (all unsigned)
Isaac Smith is weighing up contract offers from Hawthorn and Melbourne.
The Hawks want to keep the triple-premiership wingman and have tabled a two-year deal amid interest from the Demons.
Smith, 31, is an unrestricted free agent and his manager Liam Pickering admits his future remains up in the air as things stand.
“Isaac’s got a decision to make at the moment. Hawthorn have put a contract in front of him as have a couple of other clubs,” Pickering told SEN Breakfast.
“I’m not hassling him too much because he’s trying to have a holiday.
“Everyone’s in the mix at the moment with Isaac, he just needs to make his mind up.
“Melbourne are definitely in the mix as are Hawthorn for him to stay. So really, it’s up to him now.”
Pickering also provided an update on off-contract North Melbourne midfielder Jed Anderson.
“Jed’s out of contract so we’re trying to negotiate our way through a contract with North Melbourne,” Pickering said.
“That’s taking a little bit of time.
“I spoke to Jed last week and it’s really just about his contract. He’s not going to be one that’s going to be rocking the boat but he didn’t say anything to me about being concerned (about North Melbourne as a collective).
“At the moment he’s concerned about making sure the deal is right.”
Kevin Proctor’s biting drama hasn’t diminished his chances of a new NRL contract, with the Knights and Warriors expressing interest in the off-contract Gold Coast captain.
Proctor was headline news last week after the judiciary found him guilty of biting Kiwis teammate Shaun Johnson. Despite protesting his innocence, Proctor copped a four-week suspension following a marathon hearing at Rugby League Central.
There were fears a lengthy ban would spell the end for his NRL career. However, the Titans want to retain their skipper when his contract expires at the end of the season and other suitors have also emerged.
The Herald can reveal Newcastle and the Warriors are in the mix for Proctor’s services if he doesn’t come to terms with the Titans. Both clubs believe the 30-year-old’s experience would be an asset. A move would allow him to significantly add to the 250-game milestone he brought up against Cronulla a fortnight ago.
Fremantle’s watertight defence restricted Sydney to their lowest score since relocating to the Harbour City in 1982.
The Swans managed a paltry 2.7 (19) despite winning the inside 50 count 43-34 as Dockers duo Luke Ryan and Brennan Cox excelled in their defensive posts.
Kane Cornes believes Ryan, a mature-age recruit from VFL club Coburg, should be a “lock” in this year’s All-Australian side.
“What about the Dockers? I’m loving their form this year,” Cornes told AFL Media’s The Round So Far.
“Justin Longmuir knows what he’s doing, he’s clearly really structurally sound and tactically really switched on.
“The Dockers are having a terrific year, I didn’t expect them to be as competitive.
“Luke Ryan is an All-Australian so lock him in there, he was magnificent again tonight (Saturday night) with the amount of footy that he wins and how he uses it.”
Cox is out of contract at season’s end and Cornes wouldn’t be surprised to see Adelaide attempt to lure the South Australian home in the off-season.
“(Brennan) Cox as well, five contested marks tonight (Saturday),” Cornes said.
“Now you told me off-air Mitch (Cleary) that he’s out of contract, he’s a South Australian from Woodville West-Torrens.
“I’d be shocked if the Adelaide Football Club aren’t going to have a little bit of a sniff around for him because when Griffin Logue comes back and (Joel)
Hamling comes back and (Alex) Pearce comes back, will he still hold his spot? So he may be looking for other opportunities.”
Cox, 22, has been a revelation in defence after beginning his career as a forward.
There might be a new financial landscape in the AFL because of COVID-19 but Cameron is no less confident now than last year.
“My gut always tells me they’re going to stay. We’ve been pretty right most of the time,” he said.
“My gut tells me those two boys will be running around in Giants colours for another four or five years. They love the place … I don’t see any reluctance of those guys wanting to explore other avenues because they’re fully entrenched in our program.
“We understand there’s going to be speculation every year, which is not new to us, but I expect them to be here for a long time.”
Two other first-choice players at GWS, Jeremy Finlayson and the in-form Harry Perryman, are also coming to the end of their deals with the club.
Dialogue’s going well, players are happy and for me that puts us in a good spot.
“In terms of the dialogue we’re having with the managers of our players that are unsigned at the moment, that’s all heading in the right direction which is why my gut’s telling me there will be no issues,” he said.
“That finer detail, when you’ve got to get down to the nitty-gritty bits at the end when you need some more detail re: the salary cap, I think that might take an extra few weeks or a month or so.
“But dialogue’s going well, players are happy and for me that puts us in a good spot.”
Meanwhile, Cameron says there will not be wholesale changes for Friday night’s clash with Essendon at Metricon Stadium in reaction to the short turnaround between matches for GWS.