The Bulldogs have ruthlessly cut Christian Crichton and Ofahiki Ogden, while Manly star Dylan Walker’s contract extension is not a given as rivals come to the table.
Meanwhile, unwanted Dragons star Tariq Sims has all but revealed where he will play in 2022, as the Raiders seek to lock up Tom Starling and Jamal Fogarty.
And a Rabbitohs hooker is set to join Super League team Hull FC.
Read on for all the latest transfer whispers from the NRL.
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PAIR OF BULLDOGS SHOWN AT THE DOOR
Bulldogs duo Ofahiki Ogden and Christian Crichton were brutally cut off by the Bulldogs when they were initially told they were in the club’s 2022 plans.
Brent Read reported on Triple M that Ogden and Crichton have learned that their services are no longer needed beyond 2021, which puts them on the open market.
“Ofahiki Ogden and Christian Crichton are two guys who thought they were going to get a new Bulldogs contract, but it turns out they aren’t,” Read said of Triple M.
“The club told them there was no offer for them there, so they are now joining a host of other players on the open market.
“Talking to their loved ones, we expected them to get a new contract with the Bulldogs.
“In fact, Ogden earlier this year had a two-year contract on the table with the Bulldogs, but he was pulled.
“He was subsequently told that the club wanted to keep him, but now both have been told that the club is going in a different direction and that they are free to leave.
“So it’s two guys who came into the gamer market that didn’t expect it.”
Ogden, 25, has scored two tries in 45 games for the Bulldogs since his debut in 2018, but has only played 12 games in 2021.
Crichton, also 25, has scored seven tries in 33 games since also debuting in 2018, but only played eight games last season.
WALKER’S NEW MANLY CASE IS NOT SET IN STONE AS A CIRCLE OF RIVAUX
Manly Dylan Walker’s utility contract extension with the Sea Eagles is not yet complete, with reports he could attract offers from NRL rivals.
Brent Read reported on Triple M that Walker can explore his options as his contract negotiations with Manly drag on through the off-season.
“Dylan Walker is probably the best player without a contract for next year,” Read said.
“There was a little whisper this week about Dylan Walker that he might not be staying in Manly.
“I told Manly about it and they think he will stay, but there was just a suggestion going around that maybe he would leave and he might have offers from elsewhere.
“He’s also close to Trent Barrett so the Bulldogs could be on the hunt.”
Walker has scored 65 tries and 344 points in 163 games for the Rabbitohs and Manly since his 2013 debut and scored five tries in 20 games last season.
However, Walker was moved from the five-eighth to accommodate Kieran Foran and was then moved from center to bench with Morgan Harper and Brad Parker the preferred center couple in 2021.
THE UNWANTED DRAGON STAR DECIDES HIS FUTURE
Dragons executor Tariq Sims is committed to completing the final year of his contract at the club in 2022.
The Origin forward was recently informed by the Dragons that he will not be getting an extension when his current contract expires at the end of 2022.
The Dragons have told The Sims they are free to negotiate with other clubs and seal a move to a rival for 2022 if they find a longer-term deal.
The development has seen the 31-year-old linked to the Roosters and Tigers, as well as clubs in the British Super League.
However, Sims has a contract worth around $ 800,000 per season with the Dragons, which means he would likely have to take a pay cut or the Dragons would have to participate so he could play against a rival.
However, Sims revealed on the Dragons Club website that he has no plans to leave until his current contract ends.
“The backbone of our team is really starting to take shape,” said Sims.
“For a few of these boys it was their first preseason and they weren’t supposed to take a look this year.
“We will work tirelessly. We have a little break with our families, have some free time, then come back in November ready for next year.
“We’ve lost a lot of big boys this year, but next year we’ll win a lot of guys.
“That’s the beauty of the beast in the rugby league, but we have a great coaching team, great strength and a conditioning team, but they’re going to lick their lips to grab them and get them in shape. “
Sims was reportedly hurt by the club’s decision not to offer him a new contract and wanted to end his career at the club, but he still thinks he has a few good years left.
The local junior was captain of the Red V at the end of the season following injuries to Cameron McInnes, Ben Hunt and Andrew McCullough.
Sims has scored 42 tries in 204 games for the Cowboys, Knights and Dragons since his debut in 2011 and he has played five Origins for the Blues and five Tests for Fiji.
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THE RAIDERS WILL BE READY TO BLOCK THE MASTERS OF STAR PLAYERS
In a huge double boost, the Raiders are expected to extend hooker Tom Starling and sign Titans half-back Jamal Fogarty.
The Canberra Times reported that the club are close to securing the services of both players with Starling’s potentially sealed deal by the end of the Grand Final weekend.
Raiders recruiting boss Peter Mulholland has told the Canberra Times that Starling is the club’s priority, but the club are still hoping Fogarty will partner Jack Wighton in the halves.
“We’re still working on the Fogarty stuff and we’re just trying to get it resolved as quickly as possible,” Mulholland said.
“But our priority is Tommy Starling, we have to upgrade and expand it, and hopefully that will be done over the weekend.”
Starling is signed until the end of 2022, but the club consider him their long-term No.9, despite having only played 37 games since making their Knights debut in 2018.
Starling’s new contract is expected to carry him through to the end of the 2024 season.
The 23-year-old replaced Josh Hodgson during his absence due to a knee injury in 2020 and has been preferred over the Englishman at times this season.
Hodgson, 31, is entering the final year of his contract with the Raiders and is expected to move on at the end of next season.
Canberra’s negotiations with recently released Fogarty suggest a two- or three-year contract is under discussion.
The 27-year-old was dropped by the Titans due to the emergence of rookie full-back Jayden Campbell and half-back Toby Sexton, with AJ Brimson tipped to enter the halves.
Fogarty has scored seven tries and 186 points for the Titans since making his debut in 2017.
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SUPER LEAGUE CLUB POUNCE ON SOUTHS HOOKER
Great Britain’s Super League club Hull FC have secured the services of promising Souths hooker Joe Lovodua.
The 23-year-old is yet to make his NRL debut after stints with the Dragons and Rabbitohs, but he did represent Fiji at the 2017 Rugby Union World Cup.
The English club have confirmed Lovodua’s signing with the Fijian, eager to make the most of his opportunity for more playing time.
“It is a very great chance for me to advance my career,” said Lovodua.
“I’m coming to Hull to do my best and give everything for this team.
“I am grateful for the opportunity and the chance to play for such a prestigious club as Hull FC – I was impressed with the people at the club, the heritage and heard a lot from the fans and the city . “
Lovodua is a talented model who impressed during his time with the Dragons in the 2017 Holden Cup and he played for the Dragons’ NSW Cup team in 2018 and 2019.
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Sadly, his progress was halted in 2020, after the season was canceled after just one game due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He then joined the Rabbitohs ahead of the 2021 season, playing the first half of the season in the NSW Cup before the competition was once again abandoned.
Hull coach Brett Hodgson has signed Lovodua to help boost his mannequin stocks and he will likely be a replacement option behind current captain Danny Houghton.
Hull currently sits eighth in the Super League table despite appearing in the semi-finals last season under Andy Last.
Lovodua will join former NRL players Josh Reynolds, Bureta Faraimo, Carlos Tuimavave, Mahe Fonua, Chris Satae, Manu Ma’u and Ligi Sao at the club.