NRL Rumour Mill: Round 21 edition

All the latest news and rumours from around the grounds in the National Rugby League

  1. 1 The Eels are facing an uphill battle to keep Bevan French

    Live-wire Bevan French is desperate to play fullback and he's prepared to ditch the Eels in his bid to secure playing at the back in the NRL.

    French released a statement yesterday that outlined his desire to play fullback, confirming he was determined to see if had what it took to be amongst the best custodians in the game, and that news could send shivers through the spines of Eels fans around the country.

    French has been locked in a battle with Clint Gutherson and occasionally Jarryd Hayne this season at the Eels and would be tempted away from his Parramatta base if a club came in with a guaranteed offer to play fullback next season.

    Playing fullback wouldn't be the only thing capable of luring French away from the Eels, but it's hard to see how it won't play a major role, particularly if another club is in the same ballpark as the Eels on financial terms.

  2. 2 Oates out the door in Brisbane?

    In another possible move driven by a positional change, Brisbane winger Corey Oates is holding firm on his $700,000 price tag after rejecting an initial approach from the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

    It has been widely expected for some time that Oates would make the switch from Red Hill to Belmore and from the wing to the back-row, but the move hangs in limbo given Canterbury's shocking salary cap situation and Oates being completely aware of his value on the open market.

    Brisbane are keen to keep Oates at the club, but see him as a winger only while the player himself is desperate for a move into the forwards, something a move to Canterbury appeared to make likely.

    The Bulldogs may well come back in for Oates with a revised offer, but given Oates' price tag, it would not surprise me if they've soured on the move.

  3. 3 Bulldogs chasing enigmatic dummy-half

    There are a few veiled reports surfacing that the Bulldogs may see Cronulla's back-up hooker James Segeyaro as the perfect man to add some spark and speed to their lumbering attack, but only if the price is right.

    First-year head coach Dean Pay has struggled through a tough season with a roster put together for former mentor Des Hasler and there's little doubt big, sweeping changes will come through over the off-season and Segeyaro would certainly be a departure from 'Des-ball.'

    The reports surfacing suggested Canterbury's number-crunchers and bean-counters have come to Pay and the management and said they could squeeze one 'marquee' signing into the roster and Segeyaro has been identified as the man best suited.

  4. 4 Could the Dragons add a Roosters star?

    Given it looks like club legend Jason Nightingale is on his last legs on the wing at St George Illawarra, it appears the Dragons are firming as favourites to snare the signature of Sydney Roosters winger Daniel Tupou for 2019.

    The Roosters may see Tupou as surplus to requirements given the signatures of Brett Morris and English international Ryan Hall for next season and the Dragons will be desperate to add some class and experience on the flank to replace Nightingale who has been a great servant to the club over a long period of time.

     Tupou, who has played representative football over the course of his career is seen by Paul McGregor and his staff as the ideal capture and would add a significant try-scoring threat as well.

    Tupou is contracted at the club until 2021, but it wouldn't be the first time the Chooks reached a deal to move someone on to accommodate new signings.

  5. 5 Robbie Farah could go round one more time

    When veteran hooker Robbie Farah made a mid-season return to his former club Wests Tigers earlier this year, it looked like the perfect way to end a stellar 16-season career.

    But, with the move panning out better than anyone could have predicted, Farah has not ruled out playing on for one more season and there'd be no other option than staying at the Wests Tigers.

    At 34-years-old and at the very back-end of a good career, no other clubs would be interested in bringing in Farah for a one-and-done season in 2019, but if Ivan Cleary feels they can make it work, another season with the Tigers is well and truly on the cards.

    Farah will go through the usual end of season internal dialogue that veteran players go through before making his decision, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was one more year of Farah in the NRL.

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