Dolphins make ‘serious’ offer for Dragon’s young gun amid desperate plea for NRL bosses

The Dolphins are reportedly poised to make a “serious” contract offer for young Dragons weapon Junior Amone.

Wayne Bennett has been monitoring the 20-year-old’s progress this season and the five-eighth has been strong for the Red V.

David Riccio of The Daily Telegraph now believes the Dolphins are about to create a game to lure the playmaker away from Wollongong.

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“They pick up first-graders, but I wouldn’t say they’re superstars,” Riccio continued SEN.

“The dolphins are circling and Wayne Bennett has been watching Amone for the past 12 months.

“I’d be surprised if the dolphins don’t seriously try to get him out of Wollongong.

“Check out this space with one of the best young talents to come out of the Dragons.”

Amone is said to have been given a one-year extension to his current contract, which expires after the 2023 season.

The Dolphins have so far failed in their efforts to lure a major player to the NRL’s newest franchise – missing out on Kalyn Ponga, Reed Mahoney, Jahrome Hughes and Harry Grant.

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As it stands, the Dolphins have signed a number of quality players but have approached the NRL to ask for permission to approach players before November 1, when players can negotiate outside the contract.

“They pick up first-graders, but I wouldn’t say they’re superstars,” Riccio said.

“The dolphins are circling and Wayne Bennett has been watching Amone for the past 12 months.

“I’d be surprised if the dolphins don’t seriously try to get him out of Wollongong.

“Check out this space with one of the best young talents to come out of the Dragons.”

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SOUTH WATCH LOCK UP COOK

South Sydney Rabbitohs have moved to avoid another standoff with Adam Reynolds, with reports they are in the process of signing Damien Cook on a long-term deal.

Halfback and club junior Reynolds left Redfern at the end of last season after Souths only offered him a one-year extension. The club’s attitude angered fans, a mood that only worsened as Reynolds sent the Broncos back to the top eight while Souths had an inconsistent start to the season.

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Cook’s contract expires at the end of 2023. The emergence of Rabbitoh’s young shooter Peter Mamouzelos and Cook’s relegation from Blues starting Origin No.9 has cast doubt on his future as a player.

However, David Riccio of the Daily Telegraph said negotiations with Cook started this week.

“We know it’s Origin period and rep round, but in the background it never sleeps, the negotiations and the roster management of clubs,” Riccio told SEN 1170 Breakfast.

“That is certainly the case with a number of clubs, let’s start with South Sydney and the big one is Damien Cook.

“That’s interesting because we’re seeing discussions about whether Damien Cook is going backwards in the rep arena as a starting hooker.

“But in South Sydney they definitely want to keep him for the long term.”

Riccio revealed that Souths wants Cook to sign until at least the end of 2025.

“So here we are in 2022, at least three more seasons so far,” he said.

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“That takes him through to 34, which is a significant investment by Souths. The catch that will be there will be Souths and Cook agree on financial terms,

“It’s all well and good to say they want to offer him a new deal, but will that be at Damien Cook’s asking price?”

It comes after former Rabbitoh Damien Cook begged South Sydney to lock up Cook.

“They can’t make the same mistake,” Marshall told Triple M in reference to Adam Reynolds.

“I think they should sign him (Cook).

“He is an Origin player and played for Australia.”

Marshall said the development of Mamouzelos would only be accelerated by having Cook nearby.

“There’s time, Pete has time, he’s still developing,” Marshall said.

“Cooky has been there and done it and in the big games he stands up.”

“(Mamouzelos) is a good boy, but you have to buy your time,” Marshall declared.

‘Look what Harry Grant had to do behind Cameron Smith, they’re still doing a great job.

“We all get so obsessed with all the up and coming players who haven’t done anything yet and are blocking this and that.

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