Grand final centre Waqa Blake is in danger of being squeezed out of Parramatta by salary cap pressure.
Blake is coming off contract at season’s end and rival clubs are circling, realising the Eels will find it hard to retain the tall outside back.
With Mitchell Moses unlikely to go to the Tigers following their abysmal start to the year, the Eels will upgrade and extend him, making it difficult for them to retain all their current squad.
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Fijian-born Blake began his NRL career with the Panthers in 2015 but has been with the the Eels since midway through 2019.
The 28-year-old has had a mixed time with Parramatta but is a player with pace and flair who knows his way to the tryline and would have no trouble finding another NRL club.
DRAGONS BURNED BY RIVALS
Rival clubs are attempting to decimate Jamie Soward’s strong NRLW Dragons team.
With four new clubs entering the competition, a fight has developed for players for the upcoming season.
The Dragons got within a game of last year’s NRLW grand final, losing to eventual premiers Newcastle, and are under siege.
Star players Keeley Davis (Roosters), Taliah Fuimaono (Titans), Emma Tonegato (Sharks) and Shaylee Bent (Raiders) are close to leaving while several clubs are in the hunt for marquee player Kezie Apps.
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Soward admits it has been a tough off-season for the club.
“With the four new clubs it’s hard to retain everyone and the salary cap has made it hard as we had six Jillaroos and Origin players, but we have moved on and created a really good roster,” he said.
“We have a lot of girls taking up two-year options to be a part of our Dragons program which shows where it was and what we have built in a small window of my time at the club.”
‘CARROT’ TO STAR’S CHOOKS DEAL
Former Blues State of Origin forward Nathan Brown has only signed with the Roosters until the end of this season… but there is a carrot to his deal.
Brown has been told that if he performs, an extended two or three-year deal awaits.
The fiery forward is a man on a mission, desperate to be fit to play his former club Parramatta in two weeks.
Brown is battling a hamstring injury and is having intense physio to improve his chances of playing against the Eels.
SPRINT SENSATION SIGNED BY WAYNE
The Dolphins continue to build for the long term, beating a host of clubs to sign a gun centre who has won national 100m and 200m sprint titles.
Ethan Grimshaw, from Brisbane, is only 15 this year but had offers from the Broncos, Roosters and Knights as well as attending camps with the Bulldogs and Tigers.
The youngster scored 30 tries in 12 games in the Brisbane junior competition last year for Norths Devils.
Rated the fastest runner for his age in the country, Grimshaw also played rugby union last year but rah-rah officials booted him out when they realised his future was going to be in league.
He’s signed for three years with the Dolphins and the great Wayne Bennett believes he will be something special.
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