Panthers backrower Liam Martin has reportedly put the feeding frenzy on hold for another season and signed a one-year extension.
Eels outcast Nathan Brown is open to a return to the Tigers, while Cooper Johns has reportedly secured an NRL lifeline.
Read below for all the NRL Transfer Whispers!
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HUGE PANTHERS REINFORCEMENT
Panthers winger Liam Martin has reportedly signed a one-year extension to remain at the foot of the mountain, a huge boost for the reigning premiers.
According to Michelle Bishop of SENThe 25-year-old will extend the feeding frenzy for another year and re-sign until the end of 2024.
Martin’s situation is said to be being monitored by the Dragons, who have informed the backrower’s manager of their interest, according to The Daily Telegraph, as have the Eels and Bulldogs.
The Kangaroos representative manager previously revealed that talks with the Panthers’ powerbrokers had stalled and a three-year deal was being discussed.
Now, however, Martin will follow in Jeremiah Nanai’s footsteps and sign a one-year extension.
The Panthers have a number of other big-name stars coming off contracts, including Stephen Crichton and Brian To.
Both outside linebackers have yet to secure a new contract with the Panthers and could field lucrative offers from rival clubs on Tuesday.
Crichton could cash in at fullback if he decides to make the move, while To’o intends to stay with the Panthers.
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BROWN’S TIGERS ARE COMING HOME
Eels lock Nathan Brown is ready to face the music when he returns to Sydney and has opened the door for a return to the Tigers.
The 29-year-old will hit the open market Nov. 1 after being cleared to negotiate with rivals in June — with more than a year left on his current deal.
Brown’s performances as captain of the Italian national team will attract the attention of NRL clubs as he prepares to return to Australia after a 66-6 loss to the Kangaroos.
Despite being told he could leave, Brown played from the bench in the Eels’ grand final loss after playing 109 times for the Parramatta club.
Brown made his debut for the Tigers in round 24 of the 2013 season and revealed to The Daily Telegraph that he is open to a return to Leichhardt.
“Going back to the Tigers? Yeah, I would be (interested),” Brown said.
“See what happens. They have some good signings there with Sheens, Benji and Farah. I think they will be on the rise.
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“I have a job to do and that is to captain my country. All my attention has been focused on camp and what I can do to help my teammates and help the team.”
Brown also revealed he was shocked when the Eels told him he was not in their plans going forward.
“It was just out of the blue. When it hit me, I really wasn’t expecting it. If I didn’t care, it wouldn’t have affected me, but it took its toll,” Brown said.
“I had a few days where it was difficult. Like I said, everything happens for a reason. You can only control what you can control.
“That means being professional every day and coming in with the right attitude. I think that’s the nature of the sport. You have to accept it as it is.”
JOHNS’S TRANSFER TO THE NORTH BEACHES
Former Storm defender Cooper Johns has reportedly been handed a career lifeline, signing with the Sea Eagles for the 2023 season.
The 23-year-old has played 11 times in three seasons under Craig Bellamy but has struggled for game time behind Jahrom Hughes and Cameron Munster.
Cooper, the son of rugby league legend Matty Johns, has reportedly signed for Manly to add some depth in the halves following the departure of Kieran Foran, according to The Daily Telegraph .
Josh Schuster is set to form the veteran Daly Cherry-Evans pairing in the Sea Eagles halves and Johns is likely to be the back-up playmaker.
Johns was selected to represent Italy at the Rugby World Cup but was dropped from the tournament after being released by the Storm, according to The Guardian.
Melbourne have reportedly earmarked young gun Jonah Pezet as the club’s back-up flyhalf after an impressive performance for NSW under-19s.
SAILOR’S NRL LIFELINE
Former Dragons playmaker Tristan Sailor has reportedly signed a trial deal with the Brisbane Broncos in the hope of reviving his NRL career.
The 24-year-old has not played in the NRL since 2020 after being recalled under the game’s “No Fault Stand Down” policy.
Sailor was acquitted of sexual assault charges earlier this year and has now taken the first step towards re-emerging in first class, according to The Daily Telegraph.
He joined the Broncos, a club that regards his father Wendell as a legend, after playing 189 games and winning premierships in 1993, 1997, 1998 and 2000.
Wendell scored a staggering 110 tries during his Broncos career before making a successful cross-code switch, representing the Wallabies.
Sailor’s contract with the Dragons expired during the 18-month period he spent fighting two sexual assault allegations.
After the court case, the young defender moved to Brisbane and was injected directly into the Hostplus Cup.
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Sailor played for Souths Logan Magpies, who are the Broncos’ feeder club, and clearly impressed to win the chance to land a top-30 contract.
Although the Magpies ran last, Sailor was a shining light and now hopes to follow in her father’s footsteps.
Broncos head of recruitment Simon Scanlan said Sailor’s versatility was a huge draw as he bids to impress coach Kevin Walters in pre-season.
“We were aware of Tristan when he moved to Brisbane and joined Souths Logan, we followed him,” Scanlan said.
“One of Tristan’s strengths is his versatility. He can play at half-back, full-back or outside back. This is very attractive.
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“Souths have struggled a bit this year after having a really good 2021 and losing a lot of players to other clubs.
“He made the difference there when he came and played for them. He went straight into the cup team at full-back and with his experience made things a lot easier for the halves.
“It’s an opportunity for Tristan. He moved to Brisbane and his career changed a bit. He is 24 and comes in motivated and hungry to make the most of his opportunity.
“There are opportunities at our club so he has a chance to impress the coaches and work really hard to prove he has a future at the club.
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