NRL 2020: free agents, off contract list, transfer news, Benji Marshall, Kieran Foran, Danny Levi, Tim Lafai, Tristan Sailor

Noble Horvath

Every club needs a bargain buy. Perhaps they need a new halfback, a centre who can shore up a leaky defence, or a prop who can bust holes through the middle. Now the NRL has confirmed a top 30 squad will be in use for 2021, clubs can start making […]

Every club needs a bargain buy. Perhaps they need a new halfback, a centre who can shore up a leaky defence, or a prop who can bust holes through the middle.

Now the NRL has confirmed a top 30 squad will be in use for 2021, clubs can start making decisions on which players to offer new contracts.

But at the same time, they have to be mindful that better options may come on the market.

Here foxsports.com.au runs through the players yet to confirm where they’ll be playing in 2021.

Round 20

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BRISBANE BRONCOS

Who’s off contract? Jamil Hopoate, Jordan Kahu, Richie Kennar, Rhys Kennedy, Issac Luke, Sean O’Sullivan, Ben Te’o, Ilikena Vudogo

Any suitors? The Broncos say they won’t be agreeing new contracts until a coach has been appointed. Andrew McCullough could return to the club to take up a $600,000 contract if he can’t find a decent deal away from Red Hill which would have an impact on who they can re-sign. “We need to bed down our new coach first and he will be very influential in the shape of our roster for next season,” said Darren Lockyer.

“We don’t want to be making too many decisions around recruitment because he will have a say on what he wants as well.”

TEAM TIPS: Desperate Broncos to pick centre at No.6 to avoid wooden spoon

Michael Oldfield is off contract
Michael Oldfield is off contractSource: Getty Images

CANBERRA RAIDERS

Who’s off contract? Kurt Baptiste, Matt Frawley, Sebastian Kris, Michael Oldfield, Sia Soliola, Tom Starling.

Any suitors? Tom Starling is set for a new two-year deal, while Sia Soliola has been tabled a one-year offer. Michael Oldfield is an unfortunate victim of circumstance – just when he looked to be getting a run this year, injury struck. A strike rate of 60 tries in 100 games is not to be scoffed at.

Raiders unearth new speedster

Raiders unearth new speedster

0:48

CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS

Who’s off contract? Jack Cogger, Kieran Foran, Tim Lafai, Marcelo Montoya, Sauaso Sue, Isaiah Tass, Aiden Tolman.

Any suitors? Kieran Foran has been linked with moves to Manly and Newcastle with Mitchell Pearce apparently keen to play with his long-time friend. Tim Lafai, 29, has 170 NRL games under his belt who quit the Dragons to get some regular playing time. But since joining the Bulldogs, he has had limited opportunities as has Jack Cogger who would prove a useful deputy for most sides. Aiden Tolman had one of his best games of the season in the win over the Rabbitohs – 218m from 24 carries – but incoming coach Trent Barrett has made it clear he won’t be renewing his contract.

Tim Lafai fends off the Rabbitohs’ defence
Tim Lafai fends off the Rabbitohs’ defenceSource: Getty Images

CRONULLA SHARKS

Who’s off contract? Bryson Goodwin, Cameron King, Kayleb Milne, Scott Sorensen, Braydon Trindall.

Any suitors? Braydon Trindall made his debut this season and the achilles injury to Shaun Johnson may open the door for more opportunities next year. Cameron King signed with the Sharks after a spell in England but had his chance of an NRL comeback cruelled by a knee injury. Bryson Goodwin has a mutual option for an extension.

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GOLD COAST TITANS

Who’s off contract? Dale Copley, Keegan Hipgrave, Nathan Peats, Tyrone Roberts, Sam Stone.

Any suitors? Nathan Peats, Tyrone Roberts and Dale Copley will not be re-signed according to The Courier Mail. Keegan Hipgrave has been offered to Super League clubs.

Nathan Peats has struggled for game time in 2020
Nathan Peats has struggled for game time in 2020Source: AAP

MANLY WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES

Who’s off contract? Brendan Elliot, Albert Hopoate, Danny Levi, Luke Metcalf, Tony Williams.

Any suitors? Kiwi hooker Danny Levi has been told he is free to speak to rival clubs, a strange move given rising hooker Manase Fainu is not expected to front court until June 2021. Elliot, meanwhile, was offered up to Super League clubs earlier this year. Albert Hopoate’s future is uncertain given some comments made by his father, John, who last month said: “We don’t ever want to come back (to Manly” when Albert was sent on loan to the Warriors. Luke Metcalf and Tony ‘T-Rex’ Williams are yet to play in 2020.

Danny Levi gets a pass away
Danny Levi gets a pass awaySource: Getty Images

MELBOURNE STORM

Who’s off contract? Sandor Earl, Cooper Johns, Max King, Brenko Lee, Isaac Lumelume, Aaron Pene, Marion Seve, Cameron Smith, Christian Welch.

Any suitors? Christian Welch was a target for the Dragons earlier this year but is expected to stay at the Storm. In case you have been living under a rock, Cameron Smith’s future will play a big part in how the Storm squad looks next year. The Melbourne skipper is yet to make a call on whether he plays on. If he retires or joins an NRL rival – both the Titans and Broncos have expressed an interest – he opens up a big chunk of salary cap space for the Storm. Josh Addo-Carr, while not off contract, is being given permission to leave on personal grounds.

Bellamy flips Smith the bird!

Bellamy flips Smith the bird!

1:01

WARRIORS

Who’s off contract? Gerard Beale, Lachlan Burr, Jackson Frei, Patrick Herbert, Adam Keighran, Taane Milne, Isaiah Papali’i, Leivaha Pulu, Nathaniel Roache.

Any suitors? Gerard Beale, 30, says he is still keen to play on after the Warriors said they no longer wanted him. Taane Milne is also leaving, while Lachlan Burr, Nathaniel Roache and Isaiah Papali’i have all been speaking to rival clubs. The Warriors have also made an attempt to retire Adam Blair into an off-field role.

Hair pulling sparks brawl

Hair pulling sparks brawl

0:48

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

Who’s off contract? Brodie Jones, Josh King, Mason Lino, Tautau Moga, Tyronne Roberts-Davis, Connor Watson.

Any suitors? Tatau Moga has barely featured for the Knights but the signing of English centre Dominic Young may be an indication that Newcastle are heading in. Connor Watson has been luckless with injury but offers good value to the Knights as a utility. Brodie Jones has made it clear he wants to stay in Newcastle.

Dire Dragons let Saifiti in

Dire Dragons let Saifiti in

0:26

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

Who’s off contract? John Asiata, Reuben Cotter, Tom Opacic, Dan Russell, Tukimihia Simpkins.

Any suitors? John Asiata has been linked to the Dragons, Eels and Cowboys. Reuben Cotter says he’s hoping to stay at North Queensland. Tom Opacic has only managed five games for the Cowboys this year and with a slew of clubs looking for new centres he could look to move on.

John Asiata celebrates the 2015 grand final
John Asiata celebrates the 2015 grand finalSource: Getty Images

PARRAMATTA EELS

Who’s off contract? Andrew Davey, Rhys Davies, Haze Dunster, Jai Field, David Gower, George Jennings, Jaeman Salmon, Will Smith, Ray Stone, Brad Takairangi, Peni Terepo.

Any suitors? Andrew Davey has been linked to Manly along with a deal in the Super League. Brad Takairangi would be a valuable signing given his ability to play across the backline. The potential departure of Jai Field to England would give Will Smith and Jaeman Salmon the chance to move up the pecking order as one of the club’s back-up halves.

Moses regressed tonight

Moses regressed tonight

3:13

PENRITH PANTHERS

Who’s off contract? Caleb Aekins, Dean Blore, Tyrone May, Brayden McGrady, Malakai Watene-Zelezniak.

Any suitors? Tyrone May is the most notable of Penrith’s off contract players, but has apparently agreed to a new contract. Caleb Aekins and Malakai Watene-Zelezniak have both fallen out of favur, while Brayden McGrady and Dean Blore have not played in 2020.

Luai's Globetrotter magic

Luai’s Globetrotter magic

0:38

SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS

Who’s off contract? Tom Amone, Cory Denniss, Kurt Dillon, Steven Marsters, Ky Rodwell, Bayley Sironen.

Any suitors? Steven Marsters would be a useful buy for any club and he may find his path to first grade blocked given James Roberts, Braidon Burns and Campbell Graham are Wayne Bennett’s preferred centre options. Manly’s Curtis Sironen has said he’d love to play alongside his brother Bayley and it’s helpful that the Sea Eagles have a back-row spot opening with Joel Thompson’s departure for England.

"Time for a roster change"

“Time for a roster change”

2:25

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS

Who’s off contract? Billy Brittain, Kaide Ellis, Jacob Host, Joe Lovodua, Tristan Sailor

Any suitors? Despite being one of the brightest talents in the NRL, Tristan Sailor has struggled to break into the Dragons side this year. Maybe with a new coach and talk over Corey Norman’s future, an opportunity might arise for him. Joe Lovodua, an exciting Fijian hooker, has been told he is not wanted. Back-rower Jacob Host has been linked to South Sydney.

Tristan Sailor during his debut for the Dragons last year
Tristan Sailor during his debut for the Dragons last yearSource: Getty Images

SYDNEY ROOSTERS

Who’s off contract? Jake Friend, Drew Hutchison, Matt Ikuvalu, Lachlan Lam, Brett Morris, Josh Morris.

Any suitors? Friend will likely recommit to the club, while Lam has been encouraged to speak to rival clubs by Andrew Johns. The Morris brothers have re-signed with the Roosters as reported on NRL360 earlier this year. The same goes for winger Ikuvalu – who scored five tries earlier this year against the Cowboys – put pen to paper back in July, although all three re-signings are yet to be announced by the Roosters.

WESTS TIGERS

Who’s off contract? Oliver Clark, Matthew Eisenhuth, Robert Jennings, Benji Marshall, Sam McIntyre, Alex Seyfarth, Dylan Smith, Elijah Taylor

Any suitors? The most high-profile player on the market is Benji Marshall. The Kiwi international has yet to win a club for 2021, but has received an approach from English second division club Leigh. Michael Maguire’s side have added Stefano Utoikamanu for next year and are aiming to bring Josh Addo-Carr back to the club. The Tigers have also made moves to get Josh Reynolds and Russell Packer off the books.

Source: FOX SPORTS

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