Transfer Whispers, Josh Hodgson, player swap Jamal Fogarty, Titans, Raiders, Luke Metcalf, Sharks, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Warriors, contracts
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The whole talk was about Penrith’s battle to keep the star trio Dylan Edwards, Viliame Kikau and Apisai Koroisau.
Instead, another duo could be at the door depending on the The telegraph of the day.
The Telegraph reports Penrith is at risk of losing Charlie Staines and Sepncer Leniu, with rival clubs going around in circles.
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The Panthers were already expected to be hit by a salary cap squeeze after re-signing a number of big names this season, including James Fisher-Harris, Stephen Crichton and Jarome Luai.
It was supposed to cost them at least two Edwards, Kikau and Koroisau, but the Panthers are now confident to keep all three.
Instead, it’s Leniu and Staines who seem most likely to come out now, both with around $ 300,000 a season.
It is understood that the Panthers are aware that they could end up losing the duo.
Staines has been in and out of the NRL in recent weeks since his retirement.
He went through the Panthers system as a full back, but moved up to the wing where he fought for distance.
Crichton’s own development at the rear means Staines’s value at the rear has also been diminished.
Leniu, meanwhile, failed to secure consistent playing time and fell down the pecking order in Ivan Cleary’s first-choice squad.
Neither has been nominated for Penrith’s preliminary final clash with Melbourne.
BIG DAY OF $ 3M WAGE FROM TITANS
Elsewhere, news of the NRL’s impending expansion call has prompted the Titans to act quickly and expand one of their biggest names.
The Mail Mail Report that the Titans fear the new Brisbane side may play to trap Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, whose contract expires at the end of 2022.
Fa’asuamaleaui has a player option in his favor for the 2023 season and recently said he wants to be a Titan for life.
The Gold Coast does not take any risks, however, with the Mail Mail report claiming the club have entered negotiations on a four to five year contract worth more than $ 800,000 per season.
The Mail Mail expects the new deal to exceed at least $ 3 million. Fa’asuamaleaui is one of a long list of players who can speak to rival clubs from November 1 of this year.
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FOGARTY SWAP DEAL FLOATS IN A FOUR TRACK MERRY-GO-ROUND
Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson has been proposed as a potential exchange player to allow Titans half-back Jamal Fogarty to join Canberra which could set off a four-half-team merry-go-round.
Fogarty, who signed with the Titans until 2023, has been linked with an early exit to help the Raiders fill their half-back void, but the Gold Coast has held back the potential change.
However, Brent Read revealed on Triple M that the Raiders are eyeing playmakers from the Sharks and Raiders who could upend the halves market as well.
“The Raiders were watching Jamal Fogarty and the word was he was going to ask permission to negotiate with the Raiders,” Read said on Triple M.
“Fogarty still has two years on his contract.
“The Titans called the Raiders and said there was no way we would let Jamal Fogarty go.
“There are other options for the Raiders. Dylan Brown was obviously on their radar. They have left Dylan Brown now because I think they think it won’t happen.
“Channel Harris-Tavita is the last guy they watch. He has a year left on his contract with the Warriors.
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“I think the Warriors would consider letting him go as they look to sign Luke Metcalf from Cronulla.
“Cronulla is digging his heels, so unless the Warriors find someone to replace Chanel, they probably won’t let him go.”
Read pitched Hodgson’s name as a potential bargaining chip that would allow the Titans to free Fogarty from the last two years of his contract.
“I’ve got a little bit of the curve ball here, a little bit of left field thinking,” Read said.
“Canberra wants Jamal Fogarty and the Titans desperately need a hooker. They’ve needed a hooker for a long time.
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“Josh Hodgson is in the last year of his contract at Canberra. And an exchange?
“There’s a problem and it’s the money because Hodgson has a lot more money than Jamal Fogarty.
“But if you can somehow bridge that gap, the Titans are in desperate need of a prostitute.
“They let Mitch Rein go and I think Erin Clark is the only prostitute they have.
“Josh Hodgson would be perfect for their front pack, I think.
“Alternatively, Jamal Fogarty would be perfect for the Raiders as they just need an organizing half-back.”
Mark Geyer believes a trade would be in the best interests of both clubs.
“I love it,” Geyer said.
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“I think it’s a win-win for both organizations. I think it’s a fantastic idea.
However, Read revealed that the race for Storm star Brandon Smith could be a key in the works for any swap deal.
“The other problem is that the Gold Coast is one of Brandon Smith’s clubs,” Read said.
“He has 12 months left on his contract and you are probably not going to have it next year.
“If you give Josh Hodgson two years, there might be an overlap with Brandon Smith, but we’ve seen how Ricky Stuart has used Josh Hodgson this year.
“Starling has come in and Hodgson has come down last or played in halves, so you can do that if they get Brandon Smith in 2023.”
FRAWLEY WINS NEW AGREEMENT WITH THE RAIDERS
The half-back’s situation in Canberra is clearer, but Matt Frawley has signed a one-year extension.
Frawley fought with Sam Williams in the latter stages of the season for the vacant spot left by George Williams.
While not the long-term solution at running back, Frawley was rewarded for his solid form late in the season.
Frawley’s management, Map Sports, announced on Instagram that he will stay in the nation’s capital for another year.
Williams is however still out of contract at the end of the year without a new deal.