Eels fight to retain stars


Source Daily Telegraph 

Parramatta’s fight to retain Reed Mahoney has dramatically escalated after it emerged the Brisbane Broncos were weighing up whether to turn the battle for his signature into a south east Queensland bunfight.
Mahoney is off contract at the end of 2022 and it is understood initial talks have taken place between his camp and the Broncos over a return to Queensland.

Mahoney has also been linked with the Dolphins as his management explore his options at the NRL’s newest franchise, which is due to enter the premiership from 2023.

It is unclear whether Mahoney’s camp have also held talks with the Gold Coast, although the Titans’ search for a hooker has been no secret given they have also flagged an interest in Melbourne rake Brandon Smith.

Sources confirmed to News Corp that the Broncos had been approached over Mahoney and discussions had taken place, although they were very much in the embryonic stage.

It is understood Brisbane are yet to formalise their plans for the 2023 season, although hooker Jake Turpin is off contract at the end of next season and like Mahoney, is up for grabs from November 1.

The Broncos have been steadily rebuilding their roster – they have signed South Sydney captain Adam Reynolds and Penrith premiership winner Kurt Capewell for next season – and their interest in Mahoney is likely to hinge on what direction they decide to take with Turpin, who captained Brisbane on occasions this season.

Mahoney has quickly become one of the most coveted players on the open market and the rising interest in him is set to heap more pressure on Parramatta as they attempt to retain a roster that went within a whisker of the preliminary final this season.

Mahoney aside, the Eels are locked in a fight to retain the likes of Clint Gutherson, Isaiah Papali’i, Junior Paulo, Marate Niukore and Maika Sivo, all of whom are free to sign deals with rival clubs from November 1.

Niukore has already spoken to St George Illawarra and the Warriors, and the Eels are facing an intense battle to hold onto the New Zealand back rower.

Prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard has also indicated he will head to market on November 1 as he pursues a deal for the 2023 season, potentially at the Dolphins.

The last thing the Eels need is a scrap for Mahoney, yet that is exactly what they are facing as he contemplates a return to Queensland.

Mahoney was on the verge of State of Origin selection this year when he was named as part of the extended squad for the Maroons, but a shoulder problem cost him any chance of making his Queensland debut.

His season was then brought to a premature end when his shoulder gave way for good only a matter of weeks before the finals.

The Eels soldiered on without Mahoney and they may have to get used to his absence as he opens talks with teams in south east Queensland about a potential homecoming – he was born on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and played his junior rugby league at Kawana and Beerwah before moving to Sydney to play SG Ball for the Bulldogs.

The good news for Parramatta is that if Mahoney decides to return home, there are hooking options off contract at the end of next season.

The Eels are expected to fortify their depth in the position by singing former Gold Coast rake Mitch Rein as backup to Mahoney this season. At the end of 2022, Smith and Penrith hooker Api Koroisau are among the quality hookers up for grabs.

Wade Egan and Blake Brailey are also off contract while the Tigers may have a surplus of No. 9s if Josh Hodgson completes his move to the club. That said, the Eels would be loath to lose Mahoney given the way he has elevated his game over the past 12 months.

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        • Yep, he takes a lot of potatoe sacks around where ever he slides,

    • Lol what absolute dribble. Averages 50 takles a game with 90% efficiency. 

    • Yeah sorry cant agree - big Reed fan here. He showed how important he was to this side when he got injured...

      • Would he have been so important if Lussick wasnt also injured though , Tanky ?  

        • Maybe not, not sure but i will say one thing. Hes bullets out of dummy half are great and im a big fan of his kicking out of dummy half.

          Will he be worth $1 million - nope.

          For that amount we let him go and put out offers for around $600k and see what we can land.

  • The players managers would not be doing their jobs if they were not talking to other clubs before signing a new deal 

  • Reed will not be going to the Broncos 

    • We will need to match 800k if we are to retain Reed Mahoney, I knew those numbers 3 months ago and said he would have dificulty being retained......Guth will stay for his 750k and Wiz and Bert can forget about 1m, nobody is really going to chase Guth.

      My guess is all these players can only be retained, Mahoney and Niukure if they obtain private sponsors at Parra, something that just might happen.....WE after all still need to recruit a centre/winger and a miracle game breaker! Lol

      • Yeah pops. Why don't we just round it up to a million keep the change.  Jeez, I'm glad you're not the salary cap officer lol.😃😄

        • Guth knocked back 750k. I don't think after his representatives walking out of the meeting , throwing the offer in the clubs face via the newspapers, he's going to be able to swallow his pride and then ask for the same offer.  It's going to have to be bumped up with $'s or years. I'm comfortable with neither.  

          Guthersons easilly replaceable, teams do it every year. I'd say Gutho should be a little nervous as Benny won't pay him what he thinks he's worth and I'd suggest Mahoney is up the pecking order of importance. With the big whoo haaa Guthos manager made about his contract offer he'd be the first to be shown the door in my club. 

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