Cameron Munster has been urged to stay loyal to the Melbourne Storm by Queensland Origin coach Billy Slater, who himself knocked back multiple big-money offers to stay with the Victorian club.
The Roosters have reportedly made a signing for the future, securing a young gun on a senior deal.
Meanwhile a Penrith fan favourite’s future is in doubt, while the Tigers are hoping to lock in an underpaid gun.
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ROOSTERS LOCK DOWN YOUNG GUN
The Roosters have reportedly signed young gun forward Ethan Roberts on a senior deal, beating out rivals South Sydney.
The 17-year-old is highly rated with the Tricolors system and has won player of the year awards throughout the club’s junior ranks.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Roberts will join Robinson’s pre-season at the end of the year and will be eligible to join the top 30 list.
The Rabbitohs were said to be in hot pursuit of the forward in yet another transfer battle between the Sydney clubs.
Jason Demetriou’s side were said to have offered a guaranteed top 30 spot to Roberts, but the barnstorming backrower instead decided to sign a full-time deal with the Roosters.
The Rabbitohs were attempting to get one back on their rivals after snatching young flyer Joseph Suaalii prior to the 2021 season on a lucrative multi-million deal.
Meanwhile, big-name players Luke Keary and Angus Crichton have also been poached from the Rabbitohs.
STAINES SET FOR MOVE
The future of Panthers flyer Charlie Staines is becoming increasingly clouded. The gifted junior fullback was originally signed with a view to eventually take over at that position from Dylan Edwards – but Edwards’ remarkable improvement seems to have put paid to that long-term succession plan.
And Staines’ shift to winger hasn’t quite paid off either, with rookie Taylan May surging up the pecking order and last week inking a fresh two-year deal.
Having missed out on last year’s Grand Final victory, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Penrith would not block a bid from a rival club who can offer Staines regular minutes next season.
The report states Staines is set to pocket over $350,000 next year.
Canterbury are an intriguing potential landing place for the young gun – to play fullback – given struggling 26-year-old Matt Dufty looks set to head to England to revive his career.
SLATER URGES MUNSTER TO STAY LOYAL
Queensland Origin coach Billy Slater has urged Cameron Munster to follow in his footsteps and remain at the Melbourne Storm despite plenty of interest in his signature.
Munster comes off contract after next campaign, with strong links to Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins – who are ready to make him a million-dollar man as their marquee player.
But Slater said ‘I’ve been there’, and questioned ‘why would he want to leave’ given how he is currently playing.
“Cam is playing in a team that is winning and that is a huge consideration for anyone coming off-contract,” Slater said.
“Everyone goes through contract negotiations and he will do the best thing for himself and his family. We’ve all been there, I’ve been there myself, I understand it and I will respect whatever Cam decides.
“But he one thing with Cam is he is contracted to Melbourne for next year, he is not going anywhere soon and why would he want to leave with the way he is playing?
“The thing for all players, not just Cam, is that if you play well you will have options and everything will be OK.
“When you stop playing well, that’s when you have an issue.
“Players like to be in successful teams and you can build a great career in good teams.
“Without knowing all the specifics around Cam’s options with terms of contract and how much he is worth, he is contracted to Melbourne for the next 18 months, so I wouldn’t be focusing on signing anything else right now.”
Speaking of Munster and the Storm, Michael Chammas from the Sydney Morning Herald reports there a people within the Broncos nervous that Melbourne are ready to poach Payne Haas.
The Storm will bid farewell to a host of experienced forwards in 2023 and a move for Haas would significantly bolster an already top quality squad.
While the Broncos have indicated they are unwilling to let Haas go early, the Blues forward has made it clear he wants an upgraded contract.
Chammas said the Storm could look at a swap deal for Munster should a release deal be on the cards.
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TIGERS OPEN LAURIE TALKS
22-year-old fullback Daine Laurie looks set for a bumper payday at the Wests Tigers. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Laurie is currently pocketing less than $200,000 this year, which rises to around $350,000 for next season – the final year of a three-year contract that convinced him to move from the Panthers.
But the club has begun talks over a fresh deal to bump up his pay as well as lock him in for the future.
Laurie has just returned to action after an MCL strain ruled him out for a month.