Stephen Crichton’s situation with the big finalists Penrith is getting more fascinating every day.
The Panthers have put pressure on Crichton to sign a new contract, including within the NSW Origin camp.
Crichton recently left his agent and is believed to be positioning himself to sign with a UFC agent who is also a relative.
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The Panthers try again and again to refer to a “handshake agreement” between Crichton and coach Ivan Cleary from the middle of this year.
The Wests Tigers had a good laugh about it.
Even more interesting is that Crichton is currently on the 27-man roster for the NSW Blues at the Central Coast camp.
The Panthers have offered the 20-year-old an upgrade deal worth around $ 1.9 million for the next year 2022, 2023 and 2024.
But now that the November 1st deadline is up, some at the club are getting nervous.
By law, competing clubs can now sign Crichton for 2022 and beyond.
The Panthers remain confident of keeping Crichton but have got things moving for the past week.
The other element in the equation is Crichton’s left wing partner Josh Mansour.
These two are very close, and many Panthers players were surprised how the club patted the popular winger on the shoulder.
KNIGHTS ATTRACTING THE LATEST ALL BLACK AURA
The Newcastle Knights are the newest NRL club to tap into one of the world’s leading sports brands with the expertise of All Blacks champion Dan Carter.
Coach Adam O’Brien is a huge Carter fan and got the All Blacks legend to talk about Zoom with the entire Knights playgroup earlier this year.
The Bulldogs also recently raided the All Blacks ranks by signing two-time World Cup winner Steve Hansen.
Given that the All Blacks are one of the most successful sports teams in the world, it’s a smart game.
The Knights are also believed to be about to sign the teenage nephew of Canberra Raiders captain Josh Hodgson.
Bailey Hodgson is a young UK defender currently under contract with Castleford Tigers in the Super League.
LIONHEARTED BOYD deserved the right to make the call
Everyone in the rugby league wants the best for Boyd Cordner.
The Sydney Roosters, NSW and Australia captain has been an absolute warrior in the NRL for the past 10 years and has achieved all sorts of things in rugby league.
Cordner’s performance on a beaten NSW side after being sent off for an HIA in Origin I underscores what a lion-hearted champion he is.
Given all the injuries he’s sustained over the past decade, Cordner will no doubt go down as one of the NRL’s most daring and resilient players.
At 28, Cordner has three more years to complete his current contract with Sydney Roosters.
The best Cordner can do at the end of this COVID-interrupted season is a great vacation.
Out of the bubble, out to the beach, enjoy a cold beer.
The Champion Backrower has more than earned the right to listen to all medical experts and make an informed judgment about his future.
With three premierships, 20 tests for Australia and 16 internationals, it’s a damn good resume.
Cordner is so popular and respected that there is no doubt that he will continue to be involved in the game.
ADDO-CARR BACKFLIP is more embarrassment for Tiger
The Wests Tigers still have major recruitment problems, with the Josh Addo-Carr agreement chiefs being the most recent example.
The Tigers have received Addo-Carr’s signature on a piece of paper that says he’ll be with Concord for the next four years if he’s not with Melbourne Storm in 2021.
In theory, it’s a smart move.
Addo-Carr reads between the lines and doesn’t want to go to the Tigers. Now he seems to be staying safely in Melbourne.
The Storm will upgrade their contract for $ 375,000 and off we go.
This will then pave the way for the likes of Canterbury-Bankstown or any other club to try and sign the NSW and Australia winger for 2022 and beyond.
Along with Blues captain Boyd Cordner, Addo-Carr was one of NSW’s best in State of Origin I and had a great game in the storm’s big final win.
PANTHERS LAY BURTON CARDS ON THE TABLE
The Penrith Panthers have told Matt Burton that they want to play him at the Centers or the Backrow next season to get him into the NRL.
The Bulldogs are still very much at the negotiating table for 2022 and 2023 and will play Burton in his preferred position as five-eighths.
Burton made his Panthers debut last year and impressed everyone with how strong and mature he looked in the NRL.
A fellow countryman from Dubbo, Burton had limited streak this year with the Panthers, who made five NRL appearances, three from the exchange.
It’s a big decision for Burton. The Panthers don’t want to lose him, but does he want to play out of position?
Or go to the Bulldogs, where he was guaranteed a starting place in jumper No. 6.
KNIGHT LOCKED BY COWBOYS U-TURN
The Newcastle Knights thought they brought Jake Clifford over the line on a three-year deal to go to the Hunter and play alongside Mitchell Pearce.
Clifford was told he could join another club but the Cowboys have now had a change of heart and Clifford will be staying in Townsville for the time being.
With new coach Todd Payten getting his feet under the desk, the Cowboys have since changed positions and now want the playmaker to stay on for the final year of his contract.
Clifford has played 35 NRL games in the past three seasons since making his debut in 2018.
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