Cameron Munster has been urged to stay true to the Melbourne Storm by Queensland Origin coach Billy Slater, who has himself turned down multiple offers for big money to stay with the Victorian club.
Meanwhile, the future of a Penrith fan favorite is uncertain as the Tigers hope to lock up an underpaid gun.
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STAIN SET FOR MOVING?
The future of Panthers flyer Charlie Staines is becoming increasingly cloudy. The gifted junior fullback was originally signed with the intention of eventually taking that position from Dylan Edwards, but Edwards’ remarkable improvement appears to have contributed to that long-term succession plan.
And Staines’ shift to winger hasn’t quite paid off either, with rookie Taylan May stepping up the pecking order and landed a new two-year deal last week.
After missing out on last year’s Grand Finals victory, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Penrith would not block an offer from a rival club to offer Staines regular minutes next season.
The report says Staines will make more than $350,000 next year.
Canterbury is an intriguing potential landing spot for the young gun – to play fullback – as struggling 26-year-old Matt Dufty looks poised to head to England to relaunch his career.
SLATER URGES MUNSTER TO STAY LOYAL
Queensland Origin coach Billy Slater has urged Cameron Munster to follow in his footsteps and stay with the Melbourne Storm, despite much interest in his signature.
Munster is coming off contract after the next campaign, with strong ties to Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins – who are ready to make him a million dollar man as their tent player.
But Slater said ‘I’ve been there’ and wondered ‘why would he want to leave’ given how he is currently playing.
“Cam is playing in a team that is winning and that’s a big consideration for anyone coming off contract,” Slater said.
“Everyone is going through contract negotiations and he will do the best for himself and his family. We’ve all been there, I’ve been there myself, I understand and I will respect whatever Cam decides.
“But one thing about Cam is that he has a contract for next year in Melbourne, he’s not going anywhere anytime soon and why would he want to leave with the way he’s playing?
“The thing for all players, not just Cam, is that if you play well, you have options and everything will be fine.
“If you stop playing well, you have a problem.
“Players like to be in successful teams and you can build a great career in good teams.
“Without all the details around Cam’s options with contract terms and how much he is worth, he has a contract for the next 18 months in Melbourne, so I wouldn’t focus on signing anything else right now.”
Speaking of Munster and the Storm, Michael Chammas of the Sydney Morning Herald reports that a people in the Broncos are nervous that Melbourne is ready to poach Payne Haas.
The Storm will bid farewell to a large number of veteran strikers in 2023 and a move from Haas would significantly bolster an already high-quality roster.
While the Broncos have expressed their unwillingness to let Haas go early, the Blues forward has made it clear that he wants an upgraded contract.
Chammas said the Storm could be looking at a trade deal for Munster if a release deal is on the way.
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TIGERS OPEN LAURIE TALKS
22-year-old fullback Daine Laurie looks set for a bumper payday with the Wests Tigers. According to The Sydney Morning HeraldLaurie has pocketed less than $200,000 this year, rising to about $350,000 for next season — the last year of a three-year deal that convinced him to move from the Panthers.
But the club has begun talks over a new deal to raise his salary and secure him for the future.
Laurie just got back into action after an MCL strain knocked him out for a month.
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