contract, news, signings, Dolphins, Sean O’Sullivan, Penrith, Panthers, Reece Walsh, Warriors, Cameron George, Joseph Suaalii, Sydney Roosters

Roosters young gun Joseph Suaalii has revealed he won’t be leaving the club anytime soon.

Growing up having played both rugby union and rugby league, Suaalii signed with the Roosters at the end of 2020.

Ensuring he would not return to rugby union, the NRL broke its own rules, allowing Suaalii to make his first-year debut aged 17.

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Suaalii has made six appearances for the Roosters so far, with the former schoolboy wonderkid admitting his future is red, white and blue.

“I’m just focused on this year now. I love it here, I don’t want to leave,” Suaalii told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Everyone took care of me and now I just want to play football.”

This admission is particularly significant given that he has exit clauses similar to Kalyn Ponga’s in his contract, which runs until the end of the 2024 season.

These clauses have only increased speculation that Ponga could move to the desperate Dolphins, who need a marquee face.

But in the end, Ponga has signed a new contract at Newcastle and it looks like Suaalii will stay put as well.

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REECE WALSH LOCKED IN FOR 2023

The Warriors have warned the NRL to act amid continued speculation surrounding the future of 19-year-old superstar Reece Walsh.

Warriors CEO Cameron George has denied the Warriors will be without the youngster in 2024 after The Daily Telegraph Phil Rothfield has suggested the Walsh could potentially play for the Dolphins on NRL360.

“Making comments like this (breach of contract), whether it’s the media, the Dolphins or whoever, is clearly breaking the rules of declaring an intent to breach a contract,” George said, viastuff.co.nz.

“Reece is an integral part of our football team and our club, we love having him at our club and he really enjoys being here.

“Without a doubt, we’ve seen his development under our coaching staff. I think everyone should step down from him, he’s under contract and that’s it in a nutshell.

“Give the kid a break and stop trying to use him as a bargaining tool.

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“Obviously the Dolphins have some insight into the contracts in place at our club, given their head of recruiting. It’s disappointing that it continues to play out in the media, through various people when it’s clear that the child is under contract.

“The NRL needs to take a stand here and stop this discussion about talking about breaking contracts.”

Speculation began to arise after a feel-good clause in Walsh’s contract suggested the full-back would leave, but George put those rumors to bed.

Walsh made 21 appearances for the Warriors. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“The purpose of this [clause] is that we were dealing with a youngster who was leaving a development contract to enter the NRL, ”said George.

“Moving to the Warriors, he fully understands that New Zealand is going to be his home. He has a great connection to New Zealand (his biological mother is a Kiwi) and understood that coming here was always the case.

“Through his management, and rightly so as a youngster with a young family, he has the ability to speak to the club in a very narrow area of ​​welfare, and we both understand what that is. His manager is such a professional operator and he has said many times that they are not there to abuse this clause.

“If others want to try to exploit this, it’s disrespectful to Reece and his family.”

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RABBITOHS BECOMES RESIGNED ILIAS

Elsewhere, South Sydney are moving quickly to re-sign young gun Lachlan Ilias.

The 21-year-old made an impressive start to his NRL career, replacing former Rabbitohs half-back Adam Reynolds.

Ilias is under contract until the end of the 2023 season but the Rabbitohs want him even longer according to the australian Brent Read.

“Negotiations started on Thursday,” he said. Triple-M.

“The first discussions are about a two-year extension for Ilias. The Souths want to tie it first. I think they’ll get rid of it pretty quickly. He doesn’t want to go anywhere, Souths wants to keep him. They see him as their long-term halfback.

Ilias is improving rapidly with more time in the NRL, with two assists, five assists this season while showing a solid kicking game.

Lachlan Ilias started his career well. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

BENNETT KEEPING AN EYE ON PENRITH HALF

Dolphins head coach Wayne Bennett has responded to claims that Sean O’Sullivan has been signed by the 17th team in the competition.

Throughout his career, O’Sullivan struggled to cement himself in a starting role at his previous clubs.

Although nothing has been confirmed, Bennett admitted he would consider signing the 23-year-old.

“I’m not going to lie about it – we didn’t sign Sean O’Sullivan,” Bennett said press company.

“We haven’t spoken to him, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t consider Sean on the track.

“I know who is out of contract in the NRL and O’Sullivan is out of contract and he’s a player we might want to talk to, but to date there has been no conversation, no approach, and nor did we submit a bid.”

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It comes after Phil Rothfield told NRL 360 this week that Bennett was targeting the Panthers playmaker.

“The other thing that I think we’ll find in the next few weeks is[the Dolphins’]halfback next year will be Sean O’Sullivan from the Panthers,” he said.

“He’s only got a one-year contract at Penrith. He was exceptional at the start. Certainly he was turning the football around to a great backline at Penrith.

O’Sullivan has quite the connection to the Redcliffe-based team as his father Peter is the club’s head of recruiting.

Despite O’Sullivan’s close ties, Bennett has made it clear that the association will play no role in O’Sullivan’s future.

“If he signs it will be my call together with (Dolphins CEO) Terry Reader,” Bennett said.

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“His father (Peter O’Sullivan) will not be allowed to be involved. I won’t have that.

“I don’t know yet where we are going with our depth in the halves.

“Sean has shown Penrith how useful he can be, he’s done a good job replacing Cleary, but we don’t know which playmakers we’ll have on our books.

“A lot will depend on our ability to sign guys like Cameron Munster and Anthony Milford.

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“We’re not going to jump into the shadows now, we have to be patient with our recruiting because there are still six months left (before the Dolphins’ first pre-season) and a lot of football to play.

“We already have a half-back in young Katoa, but he’s only 18 and we’ll need more experienced guys to back him up.”

Although O’Sullivan’s future is still uncertain, the Dolphins have only been able to lock up a handful of players so far (Jesse Bromwich, Kenneath Bromwich, Felise Kaufusi, Ray Stone, Mark Nicholls, Jamayne Isaako, Isaiya Katoa and Valynce Te Whare), with the club still looking for a credible half-timer.

According to NRL rules, the club will have to sign 24 players by the first Monday of November.

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