NRL NRL General Recruitment Thread

Bit of a rumour on the dragons forum that the stories about to break any day that Zac Lomax wants to backflip on going to the eels and stay with the dragons. Also reckons the dragons are in the box seat for Utoikamanu
Sounds like Mitchell Moses gave the eels a mouthful after their loss to knights

motions after a loss, where he and the team had busted their guts and didn’t get the result that they and the club were after.”

Upvote4DownvoteReply reply

OP•12m ago

Among Moses’ gripes was the state of the club’s roster and a perceived imbalance between the depth in the club’s forwards compared to their depleted ranks in the backs. He believes that’s stopping the team from winning more games.
Injuries to the likes of Bailey Simonsson, Maika Sivo, Haze Dunster and Clint Gutherson throughout the year, as well as ACL ruptures to young players Arthur Miller-Stephen and Richard Penisini, have decimated the Eels’ outside backs. That has been explained to Moses since he aired his grievances on Saturday night.
However, if there was indeed an imbalance in the roster, it could be argued that Moses’ own consternation over his recent contract negotiations, and the hefty $1.3-$1.4 million a season he is being paid for the next few years created its own list of issues that contributed to the situation the Eels now find themselves trying to add depth to a top-heavy roster.
At the end of 2021, skipper Gutherson and prop Junior Paulo signed extensions until the end of 2025 and 2026 respectively. Those deals were both worth around $850,000 at the time. The deals also included ratchet clauses that have since increased their salaries to close to the $1 million mark per season due to increases in the salary cap.
Multiple clubs have told this masthead that they have heard the Eels could make Paulo available in the coming months. The Eels have vehemently denied shopping their club captain or even having discussed the possibility of an early departure.
The Eels also paid significant money to extend Ryan Matterson and Reagan Campbell-Gillard, while Moses’ halves partner Dylan Brown is also on close to seven figures each year of his long-term deal. Those players suited the power game Arthur wanted to play. It led them to a grand final two years ago, but that style is no longer working.
It’s hardly surprising the Eels haven’t had a lot of money to spend on outside backs of note. Poor management? Perhaps. But had some of the players mentioned not received the money they now earn, wouldn’t the same question be asked if they had ended up at rival clubs because of management’s inability to pay them market value?
The club, at the request of the respective player agents, agreed to the clauses but in doing so have created the uncertainty around planning they are experiencing now following rookie sensation Blaize Talagi opting against triggering his contract option in favour of testing the market.
The club are keeping money aside for a player who may not stay as alternative options dwindle by the day.
Moses himself has options in his contract for 2027 and 2028, so too Dylan Brown (from 2026 to 2031), Penisini (2026) and Matterson (2026).
The appointment of a new coach, which was likely determined at a board meeting in Kellyville on Tuesday night with the goal of keeping it hush-hush until after Thursday night’s game against the Rabbitohs, can’t come quick enough.
Players feel removed from a head office, rightly or wrongly, which doesn’t feel a need to run their business operations through its players. Moses, though, denied he had any issue with management.
“There is no disconnect between the players and head office,” Moses said.
Adding to tension is a recent article published in The Daily Telegraph, which quoted Moses and Gutherson imploring the club to hand interim coach Trent Barrett the full-time job.
The interviews were done outside the club media opportunities which Moses and Gutherson are notorious for trying to avoid. The manoeuvre went down poorly with club bosses.
Speaking to people within the club on the condition of anonymity, multiple club sources put Moses’ outburst on Saturday down to “Mitch is just a winner”.
He’s frustrated this season has become a write-off and doesn’t want to waste 2025 as well.
No one is doubting his desire to win. He proved it in Origin II, producing a masterclass that left Immortal Andrew Johns marvelling.
Perhaps the more significant conversation will be about what it will now require for those wins to flow at club level once again. That’s an issue for a new coach - Dean Young, Jason Ryles or Josh Hannay - to work out.
Whoever gets the job may want to ask sacked South Sydney coach Jason Demetriou about what happens to coaches when club solidarity crumbles following his free-falling 2023 season and continual losses in 2024
Seems funny that a guy who reposts everything Cowboys-related would know someone close to Hynes to begin with, let alone that that person would tell him Hynes wants to go to his club lol
Been wondering about Jahrome Hughes and the cowboys with it rumoured he wants a return to QLD Morons? Spent a season there before the storm picked him up. Also will be watching on as to what the roosters have planned? They’ve got the money to offer anyone they want a hefty salary. Still seeing the Ponga rumours, would they play him at 6 until the end of Tedesco’s contract and then fullback again? Both eels halves have options, but not hard to get out of a contract by the looks? Townsend could go there in preparation for Walker to play 6 and roosters go big for Mitchell Moses halfback? Or Walker halfback and the rumours of Dylan Brown five eighth?
Some surprising rumours going around.

Bellamy to the Eels would be a good reason for the Eels to keep it quiet if he was their preferred option. Once they had it confirmed though it would be something they would want to push to help their retention and recruitment.

I would be surprised if it happened though as most of the speculation has always been he'd finish at the Storm and move to QLD Morons to be close to family. Who knows as Bennett leaving the Broncos the first time was hard to believe. The money could be too hard to ignore or there could be some motivation to win a premiership at another club. The later I would doubt as he would have left the Storm a few years ago if that was the case. If he moved to the Eels it would likely be his last contract. At the moment he is deciding if he will continue coaching year to year so again I'd be surprised if he moved to another club.

Hynes moving on from the Sharks would upset a few. Mainly their main supporter in the media so hopefully it happens to see the tears flow. Or their revisionist history on his time there or how his replacement is better. Johnson wasn't as bad at the Sharks as they would report after he left.

The Cowboys already have plans for their halves with Townsend moving on.

Some of these sound like speculation on a forum gaining ground.
Canterbury Bulldogs general manager Phil Gould has hinted the club could make more signings after the acquisition of Sitili Tupouniua.

Tupouniua is likely to line up in the second row next season alongside Viliame Kikau, while it remains to be seen where young star Jacob Preston plays.

The signing of Tupouniua comes after the Bulldogs were particularly aggressive for their signings this season.

Stephen Crichton, Josh Curran, Drew Hutchison, Kurt Mann, Jaeman Salmon, Blake Taaffe, Connor Tracey, Jake Turpin and Bronson Xerri were among the new arrivals in a significant changing of the guard.

The release of Raymond Faitala-Mariner to the Dragons earlier in the year meant Gould had fully culled everyone from the club's 2021 squad.

Gould explained to 9News Sydney the club is now in a position where they can pick and choose who comes to the club.

"We've been able to hand pick the players we're recruiting. The good thing about our football club is we've got the ability to say no if it's not good value, if it's not the right price or if it's not the right character," he said.

"We've now got the ability to say no and we're very particular about the players we want in our club.

"It's always a hard road. Doing things the right way is always the hard way."

The signing of Tupouniua makes him the second gain for 2025 with Tom Amone on his way from Leigh Leopards.

Props Sam Hughes and Max King have been re-signed until 2026 and 2027 respectively.

Despite his recruitment and retention exploits, Gould revealed there's still room to bring more players in.

"We've still got a little bit of money left there, I'll have to count it up," he smirked

Getting a bit ridiculous the bulldogs salary cap. They could officially be more dodgy than the roosters
Long term if they have the right juniors coming through he will be trying to emulate how he turned around Penrith. However, it is still funny seeing the guy who criticises clubs for recruiting and they should develop be the one of the most active guys in the market.

The quote about "The good thing about our football club" reading that I was sarcastically thing it should read "The good thing about our football club is we are in Sydney and it is easier to recruit as players don't have to adjust their lives as much". He is also the guy who likes to mention how much of a disadvantage the Sydney clubs have. Where it isn't really a huge disadvantage as he makes out.
I know there was discussion on experienced coaches a year or two back. But, that was on guys who had been coaching at that time and the previous 10 years. Not someone who has been out of coaching for as long as Smith has.

I could see it working like Chris Anderson when he came back and wanted to do something radical like not having markers.

If he got the role and was charged with turning their roster around it is a job that would require a few years. His role at the Warriors would have been less stressful than day to day coaching and he couldn't see that through.

If they went with Smith I could see it ended pretty quickly and we are back where we are now speculating on who they will hire.
Taylan May let go by panthers effective immediately and looking for a new opportunity. Would imagine he goes to roosters with his brother or goes to panthers b team- bulldogs