Keeping up with player movement in the NRL is tough at the best of times.
But throw in a 17th team joining the competition next season with only half a roster filled so far and it’s safe to predict the market is only going to get even crazier from here on in.
There’s also the fact that players that don’t come off contract until the end of 2023 are already being chased by several clubs.
The spotlight is on the likes of Angus Crichton, Matt Dufty and Ryan Matterson.
But we also can’t forget about the likes of Wade Graham and Martin Taupau who haven’t settled their immediate futures — and have flown right under the radar.
Foxsports.com.au has pulled together a club-by-club analysis of players that come off contract at the end of 2022, as well as those that come off contract in 2023 — because that’s important if you’re a Storm fan.
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Off-contract 2022: Delouise Hoeter, Ryan James, Albert Kelly, Rhys Kennedy, David Mead, Corey Oates, Keenan Palasia, Jake Turpin, Billy Walters, Te Maire Martin, Ethan Quai
Off-contract 2023: Jesse Arthars, Selwyn Cobbo, Thomas Flegler, Tyson Gamble, Corey Jensen, Brenko Lee, Tesi Niu, Cory Paix, Jordan Pereira, Logan Bayliss
Key re-signings: Patrick Carrigan (2024), Herbie Farnworth (2023)
Analysis: Herbie Farnworth has put pen to paper to commit to the Broncos for another year and effectively turning his back on an opportunity with the Dolphins. It comes after Broncos football boss Ben Ikin recently told News Corp that Farnworth is “a guy we want to keep,” however he also conceded that he has “no doubt there will be a whole host of clubs looking to have a crack at him.” Looking ahead at 2023, Selwyn Cobbo is one of the hottest young talents in the game and according to News Corp the Broncos are hoping to lock him in on a $2 million new deal until the end of 2025. But they have a fight on their hands with Manly being revealed as one of the seven clubs interested in Cobbo. Albert Kelly was the first choice to partner Adam Reynolds in the halves which would have put him in good stead to earn an extension. However a serious foot injury and an off-field incident with teammate Payne Haas has made the 31-year-old’s future at the club a little murky — especially given how well Tyson Gamble is going alongside Reynolds. Gamble can talk to rivals from November 1, but if the Broncos continue with their current form the club may move to lock him in beforehand. With Cory Paix hot on his heels Jake Turpin may need to start looking at his immediate options.As for Paix, he can begin negotiating with rivals later this year for 2024 so the Broncos will be forced into making a call on both hookers before the season ends. Billy Walters, son of coach Kevin, has proved his worth in the opening two months of the competition filling in at hooker and in the halves. It’s a tricky situation to navigate for Kevvie but Billy hasn’t done anything to suggest he doesn’t deserve an extension. The feel-good story of the season so far has been Te Maire Martin’s NRL return and now the 26-year-old looks set to ink an extension. Kevvie confirmed that the Broncos hope to re-sign him for another two years. Corey Oates has turned back the clock, scoring 10 tries in 11 games and running 100-plus metres every week. The 27-year-old looks likely to get a new deal, but he told NRL.com recently that even if talks have begun he doesn’t want his manager to tell him just yet so he can focus on is footy.
Off-contract 2022: Adam Elliott, Matt Frawley, Ryan Sutton, Jack Wighton (PO 2023, 2024), Sam Williams, Elijah Anderson, Ata Mariota
Off-contract 2023: Jarrod Croker (PO 2024), Emre Guler, Albert Hopoate, Peter Hola (MO 2024), Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Jordan Rapana, Harry Rushton, Xavier Savage, Brad Schneider, Harley Smith-Shields, Joseph Tapine, Clay Webb
Key re-signings: Corey Horsburgh (2024, PO 2025), Corey Harawira-Naera (2025), Hudson Young (2024)
Departing: Josh Hodgson (Eels, 2023)
Analysis: Star five-eighth Jack Wighton is likely to take up the option in his favour for at least 2023. Adam Elliott joined the club on a one-year lifeline and the Raiders are hoping to retain him on a new deal, but they face a challenge withNews Corp reporting the Knights are interested in his services . Newcastle’s chances in landing Elliott got a handy boost recently when his partner, Millie Boyle inked a marquee NRLW contract. A deal hasn’t been announced, but by all reports Ryan Sutton will join the Bulldogs next season. Beyond this season, Joe Tapine, Xavier Savage and Tom Starling are the most pressing. Coach Ricky Stuart is taking it slow with Savage’s development but there’s no denying he has the potential to be a star of the future and with a little more time he’ll be pushing for the No.1 jersey. That leaves question marks over where Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad stands beyond 2023. Tapine’s manager revealed in February that his star client wants to remain at the club, while Starling confirmed tofoxsports.com.auin March that he had taken up the option in his contract for 2024. The power is in Jarrod Croker’s hands for 2024 but given the veteran’s long battle with injuries we may not get a definite answer from him until later this season.
Off-contract 2022: Matt Doorey, Matt Dufty, Reece Hoffman, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Jack Hetherington (MO 2023), Tui Katoa, Jeremy Marshall-King (PO 2023), Joe Stimson, Jackson Topine, Paul Vaughan, Brandon Wakeham, Zac Hetherington, Malachi Retchford (CO 2022), Cooper Talau (CO 2022), Judda Turahui (CO 2022)
Off-contract 2023: Paul Alamoti, Corey Allan, Jake Averillo, Bailey Biondi-Odo, Braidon Burns, Josh Cook, Kyle Flanagan, Josh Jackson, Jayden Okunbor, Chris Patolo, Ava Seumanufagai, Luke Thompson, Corey Waddell
Key re-signings/2023 signings: Reed Mahoney (from Eels), Viliame Kikau (from Panthers)
Analysis: Brent Naden’s Bulldogs contract was due to expire at the end of 2023, however both parties jumped ahead and made a call last week. Naden was granted an immediate release to join the Tigers in a shock mid-season move. Matt Dufty and Paul Vaughan joined the club on one-year lifelines and haven’t done quite enough yet to suggest they are destined for extensions. In fact Dufty may end up in the UK next year with Warrington and Leeds reportedly interested in the fullback. Jeremy-Marshall-King has a big decision to make given Reed Mahoney will join the club next season. The 26-year-old told foxsports.com.au in February that he would like to stay in Belmore, but he recently hit the open market, suggesting he won’t be at the club next season. News Corp reports the Warriors, Dolphins and Dragons are interested in him. The injured Jack Hetherington won’t return to the field this season but that hasn’t stopped rival clubs showing interest in him — with the Knights expected to table a three-year offer to the fiery forward. The Bulldogs have plenty of time up their sleeves when it comes to young guns Paul Alamoti, Chris Patolo and Bailey Biondi-Odo — who are all expected to be extended. But the futures of the rest of the players coming off contract next season are unclear. There’s been reports that a tough call could be made on skipper Josh Jackson, while the rumour of Kyle Flanagan being shopped around won’t go away. If Luke Thompson extends it will be on a lot less than the $800,000 he’s currently earning, but there’s been reports suggesting the Englishman could leave the club early to clear up salary cap space. Thompson has been linked to the Storm and Tigers.
Off-contract 2022: Jayden Berrell, Andrew Fifita, Wade Graham, Mawene Hiroti, Royce Hunt, Matt Moylan, Briton Nikora, Franklin Pele, Jensen Taumoepeau (CO 2023), Aiden Tolman, Kade Dykes, Jonaiah Lualua, Jack Martin, Ryan Rivett
Off-contract 2023: Matt Ikuvalu, Sione Katoa, Will Kennedy, Lachlan Miller, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Jesse Ramien, Siosifa Talakai, Braydon Trindall, Teig Wilton
Departing: Luke Metcalf (Warriors, 2023)
Analysis: Coach Craig Fitzgibbon has locked in Jack Williams and Braden Hamlin-Uele until the end of 2024 and he now has some big decisions to make on several other players. The biggest one will be on the future of skipper Wade Graham who has recently returned from an ankle injury. Graham is said to be earning around the $800,00 mark this season but given his battle with injuries and the fact he’ll be 32-years old before next season kicks off he will undoubtedly face a big hair-cut — assuming the Sharks do re-sign him. Fitzgibbon threw Matt Moylan a one-year lifeline and the 30-year-old has not let the club down. Moylan, who has a long history with injuries, has played every single minute of the season so far and his early form has reportedlysparked interest from the Broncos.Moylan would ideally like to remain in the Shire, however if his request for a two-year extension isn’t met he may make a move. Andrew Fifita’s big-money deal comes to an end this year and it remains to be seen whether the Sharks will offer the 32-year-old an extension. Foxsports.com.au revealed that Briton Nikora has agreed to a three-year extension, however an official announcement is yet to be made. Despite being locked in for next season, the Sharks will need to move quickly on Siosifa Talakai who is having a breakout season in the centres. Talakai’s value has skyrocketed in the last six weeks, which will force the club to shuffle some things around to find the cap space to keep him. Ronaldo Mulitalo and Will Kennedy will also be priority re-signings for the club.
Off-contract 2022: Herman Ese’ese, Esan Marsters, Kevin Proctor, Will Smith (MO 2023), Jarrod Wallace, Aaron Booth, Shannin Fuller
Off-contract 2023: Erin Clark, David Fifita, Sosefo Fifita, Patrick Herbert, Brian Kelly, Alofi’ana Khan-Pereiara, Sam Lisone (CO 2024), Greg Marzhew, Sam McIntyre, Corey Thompson, Paul Turner, Joseph Vuna, Tony Francis
Key re-signings/2023 signings: Kieran Foran (from Sea Eagles)
Departing: Jamayne Isaako (Dolphins)
Analysis: No major names are coming off contract this year but Jarrod Wallace is a good chance of signing with the Dolphins, while Kevin Proctor is likely to retire at season’s end. The club will turn its attention to 2023 with David Fifita nearing the end of his mega deal. Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett recently declared his interest in the star second rower saying “if he is on the market then yes, we’re interested. You can’t walk away from quality players, but he isn’t on the market just yet, so we will have to wait.” Titans CEO Steve Mitchell told News Corp that “we want to make him a big part of our future” so extension talks seem inevitable. The big question will be for how much and will it be enough to keep him? Jayden Campbell is signed until the end of 2024, but it’s been revealed there’s a clause in the young fullback’s contract that could allow him to walk out earlier.
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Off-contract 2022: Morgan Boyle, Andrew Davey, Jorge Taufua, Martin Taupau
Off-contract 2023: Ethan Bullemor, Lachlan Croker, Reuben Garrick, Morgan Harper, Brad Parker, Jason Saab, Toafofa Sipley, Ben Trbojevic, Alec Tu’itavake, Kaeo Weekes, Gordon Chan Kum Tong, Jamie Humphreys, Jacob Sykes
Departing: Kieran Foran (Titans, 2023), Dylan Walker (Warriors, 2023)
Analysis: It’s been no secret that Martin Taupau’s time at Manly is likely to come to an end this year. The 32-year-old told foxsports.com.au in February that he hadn’t spoken to Manly or any rival clubs about a deal for 2022. In fact he even said “it would be great if there was any interest” and “If there is any interest that you would know would you pass on a message?” In March it was revealed that the Cowboys were interested in signing Taupau. With no rush to lock in the remaining players coming off contract this year, Manly will start making moves on Lachlan Croker, Reuben Garrick, Brad Parker, Jason Saab and Toafofa Sipley. Croker won’t attract a huge amount of interest from rivals but with no real back-up hooker, his extension is a must. Garrick has emerged as one of the premier wingers of the competition, while Sipley has proven to be a real workhorse in the middle. Coach Des Hasler is a big supporter of Parker and Saab’s speed is a luxury many clubs will jump at if he isn’t locked in.
Off-contract 2022: Tom Eisenhuth, Dean Ieremia, George Jennings, Cooper Johns, Tui Kamikamica (CO 2023), Chris Lewis, Tepai Moeroa (MO 2023), Jayden Nikorima, Justin Olam (CO 2023), Bronson Garlick, Marion Seve
Off-contract 2023: Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Jordan Grant, Josh King, Trent Loiero, Nick Meaney, Cameron Munster, Tariq Sims*, Will Warbrick, Tyran Wishart, Cole Geyer
Key re-signings/2023 signings: Harry Grant (2025), Jahrome Hughes (2026), Ryan Papenhuyzen (2025), Xavier Coates (2026), Christian Welch (2025, MO 2026), Tariq Sims (from Dragons)
Departing: Jesse Bromwich (Dolphins, 2023), Kenny Bromwich (Dolphins, 2023), Felise Kaufusi (Dolphins, 2023), Brandon Smith (Roosters, 2023)
*Sims joins the club on a one-year deal in 2023.
Analysis: Let’s fast forward to Cameron Munster coming off contract in 2023 — the biggest contract story in the game right now. The Storm initially tabled a two-year deal worth $750,000 per season, which is a significant hair cut from the $1.2 million Munster stands to earn next year. But his manager, Braith Anasta told NRL 360 that the club will increase that to three years with some extra cash too after the Maroons and Kangaroos star’s form this season. It’s no secret that the Dolphins are in talks with Munster and Anasta, however in a shock twist the Dragons, Roosters and Broncos have reportedly joined the chase. Roosters powerbrokers have however denied any interest. If the Storm do lock in Munster it will top off a stunning re-signing spree that saw them extend the rest of their spine in Ryan Papenhuyzen, Jahrome Hughes and Harry Grant, as well as star prop Christian Welch and gun winger Xavier Coates. Still on 2023, Nelson Asofa-Solomona is a big name to keep an eye on. The towering prop came very close to a rugby union switch when his vaccination status put his immediate future with the Storm — and NRL — in doubt. Asofa-Solomona also told News Corp that he had “plans to go to the UK” or “even try the NFL out.” While Asofa-Solomona got the all clear to continue playing with the Storm, that revelation could suggest an extension may not be so clear cut. Nick Meaney and Josh King are doing all the right things to earn extensions, while Tariq Sims’ experience will be a big boost next season given the Bromwich brothers and Felise Kaufusi are leaving. Sims will be 33-years old by the time he plays his first game for the Storm so a one-year deal makes sense. Bringing things back to this season,the power is in the club’s hands when it comes to Justin Olam and Tui Kamikamica. News Corp reports Olam is quietly in talks over an extension. Kamikamica will likely have to prove himself before talks begin given an off-field incident saw him stood down for the start of the season.
Off-contract 2022: Phoenix Crossland, Lachlan Fitzgibbon (PO 2023), Tyson Frizell (PO 2023), Jack Johns (PO 2022), Edrick Lee, Anthony Milford, Jirah Momoisea, Brayden Musgrove, Simi Sasagi, Pasami Saulo, Sauaso Sue
Off-contract 2023: Jake Clifford, Adam Clune, Bailey Hodgson, Hymel Hunt, Brodie Jones, David Klemmer, Kurt Mann, Chris Randall, Leo Thompson, Enari Tuala, Dominic Young, Krystian Mapapalangi, Chris Vea’ila
Key re-signings/2023 signings: Kalyn Ponga (2027)
Departing: Mitch Barnett (Warriors, 2023)
Analysis: Finally the future of Kalyn Ponga has been settled with the star fullback knocking back the Dolphins to re-sign with the Knights until the end of 2027. Now that that’s done, the club can get the ball rolling on the next retention priorities. As for next season, Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Tyson Frizell have the option in their favour while there’s no need to hurry with the rest of the list. But looking ahead at 2023, two halves in Adam Clune and Jake Clifford come off contract. David Klemmer has arguably been one of Newcastle’s best over the last month but if he extends it won’t be on the $800,000-per year he’s currently earning. The versatility of Phoenix Crossland, Brodie Jones and Kurt Mann is valuable and will go a long way in securing a new deal — Mann just needs to get back onto the field first. And speaking of versatile players, Simi Sasagi looks set to ink a two-year extension, according to The Newcastle Herald.
Off-contract 2022: Kane Bradley, Mitchell Dunn, Brendan Elliot, Jake Granville (CO 2023), Ben Hampton, Jordan McLean, Emry Pere, Tyreece Woods
Off-contract 2023: Ben Condon, Scott Drinkwater, Peta Hiku, Laitia Moceidreke, Jeremiah Nanai, Griffin Neame, Reece Robson, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Murray Taulagi, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, Jordan Lipp, Riley Price
Key re-signings/2023 signings: Reuben Cotter (2025), Heilum Luki (2024, PO 2025), Jeremiah Nanai (2023), Luciano Leila (from Tigers)
Departing: Connelly Lemuelu (Dolphins), Tom Gilbert (Dolphins)
Analysis:Scott Drinkwater and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow are the MUST-signs for the Cowboys and the club has six months to lock them in before rivals can start tabling offers. But before new deals can be looked at, coach Todd Payten probably needs to figure out how to fit them both in the starting side. Drinkwater did a marvellous job filling the No.1 jersey while Tabuai-Fidow was injured. In fact, he’s been so good that Tabuai-Fidow has been forced to come off the bench in trecent weeks. But Tabuai-Fidow is good enough to be in the starting 13 and if room isn’t made for him, there’s no doubt clubs will be lining up for the 20-year-old. Drinkwater won’t be going anywhere given his stunning form this season. The Dolphins were reportedly interested in trying to lure him across if not next season, then for 2024. But the Cowboys’ football boss Michael Luck told News Corp“there’s no way we are letting him go” and “we see a big future for Drinky here… so we want to keep him.” Expect the duo to be at the top of the Cowboys’ hit list. Then there’s gun second-rower Jeremiah Nanai, who was chased hard by the Tigers. The 19-year-old inked a one-year extension in April, but he is fair game to rivals once again from November 1. Cowboys legend Johnathan Thurston revealed recently on Wide World of Sports’ JT’s Thought Bubble that Nanai’s one-year deal was a strategic move financially. “I know Jeremiah’s got the same manager as mine, so I’ve been into his ear,” he said. “He’s doing the same thing he did with me, signing one year deals and then wait for the big one.” Thurston also stressed the importance of the club locking Nanai down. Speaking of second-rowers, the Cowboys will welcome Luciano Leilua next season and Luck hosed down any suggestions that the club might back out of the deal after the rapid rise of Nanai and Heilum Luki. Reece Robson will also likely be a priority signing given his form this season. Robson has well and truly overtaken Jake Granville as the Cowboys’ first choice hooker and Granville’s fate now lies in the club’s hands.
Off-contract 2022: Ryan Matterson, Solomone Naiduki, Tom Opacic, Hayze Perham, Mitch Rein, Maika Sivo (PO), Sam Loizou
Off-contract 2023: Jake Arthur, Waqa Blake, Dylan Brown, Nathan Brown, Bryce Cartwright, Wiremu Greig, David Hollis, Shaun Lane, Mitch Moses (PO 2024), Ofahiki Ogden (CO 2024), Will Penisini, Sean Russell, Bailey Simonsson (PO 2024), Josh Tuipulotu
Key re-signings: Clint Gutherson (2025), Junior Paulo (2026), Reagan Campbell-Gillard (2025), Maika Sivo (2023)
Departing: Oregon Kaufusi (Sharks, 2023), Reed Mahoney (Bulldogs, 2023), Marata Niukore (Warriors, 2023), Isaiah Papali’i (Tigers, 2023), Ray Stone (2022)
Analysis:Maika Sivo is now locked in for 2023 after activating his option last week. The club will farewell the likes of Reed Mahoney, Marata Niukore and Isaiah Papali’i at season’s end, but have managed to lock in co-captains Clint Gutherson and Junior Paulo as well as the in-form Reagan Campbell-Gillard. Next up on their list is Ryan Matterson, who reportedly has five clubs — including the Dolphins — watching his situation. News Corp reports the Dolphins are willing to table a three-year offer at $500,000 a season. However, Eels head of football Mark O’Neill told AAP that the club will begin talks with Matterson’s manager “in the coming week or so.” Hayze Perham has done a solid job during the backline injury crisis and should earn an extension, while the club may offer Mitch Rein another one-year deal to have a ready-made back-up hooker waiting in the wings when Josh Hodgson arrives. Arguably two of the Eels’ most important players, Dylan Brown and Mitchell Moses, top the list of players coming off contract at the end of 2023 — however the latter has an option in his favour. It was revealed on NRL 360 that Moses is set to test his value on the open market from November 1, which is going to put the pressure on the Eels to table him a big-money offer within the next six months. Brown took up an option in his favour for 2023 in February and has backed it up with career-best form in the first nine rounds. With the potential to be one of the best players in the game in the future, it’s crucial the club locks in the 21-year-old before rival clubs can get near him.
Off-contract 2022: Eddie Blacker, Christian Crichton, Matthew Eisenhuth, Kurt Falls, J’maine Hopgood, Taylan May, Sean O’Sullivan, Lindsay Smith, Jaeman Salmon, Chris Smith, Preston Riki, Sunia Turuva
Off-contract 2023: Stephen Crichton, Spencer Leniu, Soni Luke, Liam Martin, Scott Sorensen, Charlie Staines, Izack Tago, Brian To’o, Mavrick Geyer, Thomas Jenkins
Key re-signings: Nathan Cleary (2027),Dylan Edwards (2024), Mitch Kenny (2024)
Departing: Robert Jennings (Dolphins), Viliame Kikau (Bulldogs), Api Koroisau (Tigers)
Analysis: Penrith’s big guns are all locked in until at least the end of next season, but the club is not wasting any time in locking Liam Martin, Brian To’o, Stephen Crichton and Izack Tago in beyond that. The club has reportedly opened talks with Martin over an extension. Crichton and To’o had been linked to the Dolphins — and there’s a belief that salary cap pressure could squeeze the star duo out. There were claims that Crichton in particular was being chased hard with the Dolphins prepared to offer the 21-year-old $850,000 a season — $200,000 more than what the Panthers can afford. However, News Corp has revealed the club won’t give up Crichton, To’o or Tago without a fight with the trio’s management confirming extension talks began a fortnight ago. “Extension negotiations are underway and all three are hopeful of staying,” Liam Ayoub said. “We have not spoken to any other clubs and the Panthers have indicated that they have room to keep them all together long term.” The same report claims gun winger Taylan May also looks likely to extend beyond this year. Sean O’Sullivan is one to keep an eye one after proving his worth while filling in for Nathan Cleary in the opening month of the competition. O’Sullivan was linked to the Dolphins given his dad is the head of recruitment there but Wayne Bennett denied the claims.
Off-contract 2022: Billy Burns, Poasa Faamausili, Jackson Ford, Jack Gosiewski, Josh McGuire, Tautau Moga, Aaron Woods (PO 2023), Jaiyden Hunt, Shalom O’Ofou, Jonathon Reuben
Off-contract 2023: Talatau Amone, George Burgess, Jack de Belin (PO 2024), Tyrell Fuimaono, Ben Hunt, Josh Kerr, Blake Lawrie, Moses Mbye, Andrew McCullough, Mikaele Ravalawa (PO 2024)
Key re-signings: Jayden Sullivan (2025)
Departing: Tariq Sims (Storm)
Analysis: The speculation surrounding Jack Bird’s future has been put to bed with the 27-year-old re-signing this week until the end of 2024. The future, however, of veteran forwards Josh McGuire and Aaron Woods are unclear — but the latter has an option for next season up his sleeve. Speaking of options, Jack de Belin and Mikaele Ravalawa both have one too — but for later on down the track. Looking ahead, the club will be in no rush to offer George Burgess a new deal with the veteran forward struggling to nail down a regular spot in the 17, while Andrew McCullough will be 33-years old before next season even kicks off. Moses Mbye was originally signed as a utility but has showed his worth slotting in at fullback. But the big one is skipper Ben Hunt, who has been playing some of his best footy this year. Like McCullough, Hunt will be 33-years old by the time his contract expires but if his current form tells us anything it’s that the star halfback still has plenty to give. Hunt told The Sydney Morning Herald in January that he’s “definitely open to staying at the Dragons beyond next year,” however he also revealed he plans to move back to Queensland at some point, which opens the door for the Dolphins to potentially swoop. “I’m not saying I’ll go back to finish playing there. I’m open to wherever my career takes me,” Hunt said. “I had a few years with Wayne, obviously, and we had that grand final and Origin series win.” Jayden Sullivan’s long-term deal suggests the Dragons already have a plan for their post-Hunt era — whenever that may begin. Josh Kerr had been linked to a move to the Dolphins — his junior club — in 2024, but it’s understood he’s chasing an extension with the Dragons.
Off-contract 2022: Zane Bijorac (CO 2023), Michael Chee-Kam, Josh Mansour, Taane Milne, Kodi Nikorima (PO 2023), Jaxson Paulo, Isaiah Tass, Lachlan Gale
Off-contract 2023: Tom Burgess, Jed Cartwright, Damien Cook, Siliva Havili, Jacob Host, Lachlan Ilias, Terrell Kalo Kalo, Liam Knight, Latrell Mitchell, Davvy Moale, Hame Sele, Blake Taaffe, Cody Walker
Departing: Mark Nicholls (Dolphins)
Analysis: When the likes of Nathan Cleary and Tom Trbojevic are locked in on long-term deals, it’s actually quite startling to see the biggest name in the game, Latrell Mitchell, can field offers from rivals in six months time. No doubt the superstar fullback will be at the top of the Bunnies’ retention list and the reported $50,000 the club is spending on his trip to America to rehabilitate his hamstring tells a big story. According to Channel 9’s Danny Weidler, the Rabbitohs are hoping to lock Mitchell in on a “two or three-year extension” and they are “desperate to keep him to build the club around him.” Cody Walker signed a one-year extension back in October, but it won’t be long before it will come time to begin negotiations again. Despite Walker’s hot and cold start to the season the club will likely lock him up before November 1. Damien Cook’s big-money four-year deal comes to an end in 2023. With a shortage of elite hookers in the competition, South Sydney will likely move to retain him, but given Cook will be 32-years old by the end of 2023, he’ll be looking at a one, possibly two-year extension with Peter Mamouzelos in the frame as the Bunnies’ next long-term No.9. Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly recently told foxsports.com.au that the club has “started things moving” in regards to re-signing Mitchell, Walker and Cook. The other key players the Rabbitohs will be looking to lock in are Blake Taaffe, Lachlan Ilias and Davvy Moale. News Corp reports the club wants to extend all three before they can talk to rivals from November 1, with 19-year-old Moale in particular closing in on a three-year deal. As for the immediate future, mid-season recruit Kodi Nikorima will need to play some games with his new club before making a call on next season. Meanwhile,News Corp reported the Eels had their eye on Jaxson Paulo for the remainder of this season and next but those seem to have cooled down.
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Off-contract 2022: Angus Crichton, Moafa Graham-Taufa, Adam Keighran (CO 2023), Lachlan Lam, Kevin Naiqama, Joseph Suaalii (PO 2023, 2024), Daniel Suluka-Fifita, Siosiua Taukeiaho, Ben Thomas, Tuku Hau Tapuha, Ben Marschke, Ben Thomas
Off-contract 2023: Renouf Atoni, Fletcher Baker, Egan Butcher, Drew Hutchison, Victor Radley, Billy Smith, Daniel Tupou, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Sam Walker, Connor Watson
Key signings/re-signings: Joseph Manu (2024), Brandon Smith (2024, PO 2025)
Analysis: There’s been A LOT of chatter around the future of several Roosters players — including Luke Keary who isn’t even off-contract until the end of 2024! The rumour mill was sent into overdrive when claims were made that the Roosters were going to attempt to offload Keary, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Angus Crichton in a bid to then sign Storm superstar Cameron Munster. Munster isn’t available until 2024, which Waerea-Hargreaves isn’t contracted for anyway — but Keary is. There are big question marks over Crichton though. The 26-year-old reportedly agreed to an extension, but the Roosters haven’t been able to lodge it with the NRL because they don’t have the cap space for next year. Crichton has been linked to rugby union before and this latest twist could see him make the switch. While it’s yet to be confirmed, by all reports Siosiua Taukeiaho is off to the Super League next season. Lachlan Lam was shopped to the Raiders earlier this season and was also linked to a move to the UK to join his dad, however Adrian hosed those claims down. With some exciting talent coming through it seems unlikely Kevin Naiqama will get a new deal, while the club is also yet to take up the option in Adam Keighran’s contract — and the Raiders have been keeping an eye on his situation. Teen sensation Joseph Suaalii declared his intention to stay put to The Sydney Morning Herald last month saying “I love it here, I don’t want to leave.” Sam Walker is considered the future of the club so expect him to be locked up before November 1, while Victor Radley will also be a priority.
Off-contract 2022: Daejarn Asi, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Freddy Lussick, Jack Murchie, Iliesa Ratuva, Pride Petterson-Robati, Jazz Tevaga (PO 2023), Lleyton Finau
Off-contract 2023: Bunty Afoa, Shaun Johnson, Edward Kosi, Marcelo Montoya, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Aaron Pene, Adam Pompey, Bayley Sironen, Reece Walsh (PO 2024)
Key re-signings: Addin Fonua-Blake (2026), Wayde Egan (2024)
Departing: Jesse Arthars (Broncos), Euan Aitken (Dolphins), Matt Lodge (released)
Analysis: There’s been a lot of movement at the Warriors over the last week. Matt Lodge gained an immediate release and then was spotted playing second grade rugby union. There’s been rumours he will sign with Manly but no deal has been announced. Meanwhile, Euan Aitken has signed with the Dolphins for next season after earlier requesting a release from the final year of his Warriors contract. But perhaps the biggest shock was when Chanel Harris-Tavita revealed he won’t be re-signing with the club — instead he will take the year off footy. That comes after Stuff NZ reported new recruitment boss Craig Hodges tabled a two-year off to the 23-year-old. Daejarn Asi was a mid-season signing and after an impressive start he will likely earn an extension, especially given his ability to cover the centres and the looming exit of Harris-Tavita. In a huge boost, Reece Walsh has declared his commitment to the club. There had been talk that Walsh wanted to remain in Australia next season when the Warriors return home to New Zealand. But the 19-year-old told foxsports.com.au he is “100 per cent going to New Zealand next year.” As for 2024? Walsh’s manager, Nash Dawson, said “When the time is right, we’ll consider all options.”
Off-contract 2022: William Kei, Jock Madden, Joe Ofahengaue (MO 2023), Tommy Talau, James Tamou, Henry O’Kane, Brandon Tumeth
Off-contract 2023: Shaun Blore, Luke Brooks, Adam Doueihi, Oliver Gildart, Jackson Hastings, Asu Kepaoa, Daine Laurie, Jacob Liddle, Ken Maumalo (MO 2024), Brent Naden, Tyrone Peachey, Alex Seyfarth, Tuki Simpkins, Starford To’a, Apisalome Saukuru
Key signings/re-signings: Api Koroisau (from Panthers), Isaiah Papali’i (from Eels)
Departing: Luciano Leilua (Cowboys), Luke Garner (Panthers), Kelma Tuilagai (Sea Eagles)
Analysis:Jock Madden is the most pressing re-signing out of the bunch that come off contract this year. However the 22-year-old wants to play regular first grade and with the form of Luke Brooks and Jackson Hastings it doesn’t look like that will happen at the Tigers. He was reportedly shopped to the Raiders in March, but Ricky Stuart declined the offer. Madden has gone on to feature in seven NRL games this season — four of those at five-eighth. Speaking of being shopped, hooker Jacob Liddle was reportedly offered up to the Raiders and to the Dragons by his manager, according to News Corp. Liddle re-signed in June last year but has become second choice behind Jake Simpkin and with Api Koroisau joining the club next season it’s no surprise he’s already exploring his options. It’s funny how quickly things can change in rugby league. Six weeks ago it would have been deemed utter madness to talk about an extension for Brooks, but the move to five-eighth has helped the 27-year-old rediscover the form that once earned him the Dally M Halfback of the Year award. The Tigers will likely take their time before jumping into a new deal with Brooks — but if they take too long the Knights might swoop in. After all, Newcastle were certain they were going to have Brooks in the No.7 jersey this season. Hastings is a must-sign and so is Adam Doueihi provided the versatile 23-year-old is just as dominant upon his return from an ACL injury. One to keep an eye on is Daine Laurie, who is yet to be offered an extension, however he told News Corp recently “hundred per cr cent, I definitely want to stay.”