The Warriors are eyeing premiership winning Storm halfback Jahrome Hughes to replace Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Meanwhile Andrew McCullough has issued the Broncos an ultimatum over his future at Red Hill as the Dragons try to lure him South.
Read on for all the latest NRL Transfer Whispers.
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WARRIORS TARGET STORM STAR TO REPLACE RTS
The Warriors are reportedly eyeing Storm halfback Jahrome Hughes as a replacement for outgoing fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
The Warriors skipper will leave the club at the end of the season to take up a deal with rugby union’s Auckland Blues and chase a dream of playing at the 2023 World Cup.
That has left a big hole at No.1 and the Warriors believe former fullback and current Melbourne No.7 Hughes could be the man to fill the void.
“Hughes is off-contract at the end of the year and Melbourne want to keep him,” Dean Ritchie told The Big Sports Breakfast.
“There is talk around the Warriors who are losing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck that they are interested in him and want to play him as fullback.
“His manager hopes to have some suitors by the end of the week, so they can start to move forward in terms of negotiations.”
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The 26-year-old has scored 22 tries in 60 games for the Titans, Cowboys and Storm since his debut in 2013 and has played the last four seasons at Melbourne and won a premiership in 2020.
The three-Test New Zealand international has developed into an excellent halfback under the guidance of Cooper Cronk, but has since been linked to the Broncos in a bid to drive up his asking price and secure a more lucrative deal.
The Warriors are yet to make a formal offer, but Storm officials are expecting the Warriors to make a play for his services.
“The Warriors haven’t come forward officially yet and said we want him, but if you speak to those in and around the Melbourne Storm they think that the Warriors will have a crack at him,” Ritchie said.
“He is a halfback, but he has played fullback as a kid and for the Storm and clearly there is a spot there with Tuivasa-Sheck moving on.
“He would cost a lot of money, but he would be a great player and if the Warriors want a high profile player to replace Tuivasa-Sheck he may well be the man.”
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MCCULLOUGH’S ULTIMATUM TO BRONCOS
Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough has called on the club to either sign him to a new deal or grant him a release to join the Dragons.
The 31-year-old is entering the final year of his deal at Red Hill and has been strongly linked to a move to St George Illawarra to team up with old coach Anthony Griffin.
The 268-game veteran is happy to stay at the Broncos, but wants the security of a long-term deal as he enters the final years of his career.
“Andrew McCullough has asked Brisbane for an extension or a release to the Dragons ASAP,” Channel 7s Chris Garry tweeted.
“Broncos, for now, are declining request.
“It is not an ultimatum or demand from Macca but he wants security.”
The Broncos have hookers Jake Turpin and Cory Paix on their books, while Issac Luke has been training with the club in the off-season without an NRL deal.
However while McCullough’s $600,000 contract would give the Broncos plenty of room to move in their salary cap, Kevin Walters is reluctant to let too many senior players leave at once.
McCullough’s experience is invaluable to a young Broncos side, which struggled with a lack of older heads last year on their way to a historic first ever wooden spoon.
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CLEARY RESPONDS TO BURTON’S EXIT PLEA
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary has responded to reports linking back-up five-eighth Matt Burton with an early move to the Bulldogs.
The 20-year-old is due to join Canterbury in 2022, but former Panthers assistant and new Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett wants him this season.
“I’ve said all along that Matt’s a really valuable member of our squad,” Cleary said.
“We really value him as a person and a player.”
Cleary also responded to reports of a potential swap deal involving Burton and Bulldogs and former Maroons prop Dylan Napa.
“If you keep getting asked which we have, they keep asking the question, I suppose there’s always something that might make a deal happen,” Cleary said.
“But realistically there hasn’t been so I’m not too sure what all the fuss is about.
“Matt’s part of our team and there’s never been any inkling he’s going to leave.
“If you keep getting asked, of course you throw out something that may make a deal happen, but I don’t think that was ever going to happen.
“There was just a bit of talk there but nope.”
Burton has scored three tries in six games since making his debut for the Panthers in 2019.
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