Dolphins Eye Ezra Mam: $3m Bid and Broncos Battle
Dolphins set sights on Ezra Mam with a reported $3m bid; Knights pursue All Blacks star in a surprise move
- Dolphins target Broncos' Ezra Mam with a $3m bid.
- Knights pursue All Blacks player Tyrone Thompson.
- Dragons eye Tom Dearden, Connor Tracey, and Helium Luki.
- Dragons sign Tom Eisenhuth, beating Panthers' bid.
The NRL offseason is buzzing with potential transfers and strategic moves. From the Dolphins eyeing Broncos' Ezra Mam with a hefty $3 million bid to the Knights luring All Blacks hopeful Tyrone Thompson, and Dragons orchestrating a recruitment drive, the league is witnessing dynamic player movements.
In a strategic move, Wayne Bennett's Dolphins are setting their sights on Broncos' emerging star, Ezra Mam, making him their prime recruitment target following his spectacular 2023 season. The Dolphins, armed with a considerable war chest, are rumoured to be preparing a substantial $3 million bid to secure the services of the talented five-eighth.
Mam showcased his prowess in the 2023 grand final, delivering a hat-trick performance that caught the attention of several NRL clubs. As the young five-eighth is currently a free agent, the Dolphins are gearing up to make a bold and competitive bid for his services, anticipating a potential bidding war with other interested clubs.
Wayne Bennett, the coach of the Dolphins, expressed admiration for Mam's skills and contributions, particularly highlighting his standout performance in the grand final. Bennett acknowledged the competitive landscape for securing Mam's services, with approximately eight other clubs reportedly expressing interest. Despite the challenges, Bennett affirmed the Dolphins' interest, stating, "If he is available, we'll be in the mix."
While the Broncos are reportedly engaged in advanced negotiations to extend Mam's stay, they face a salary cap predicament compounded by the impending substantial pay rise for another young star, Reece Walsh. The Dolphins, on the other hand, are poised to benefit from a substantial amount of cap space becoming available after the 2024 season, with 12 players coming off contract.
Ezra Mam's contract with the Broncos is currently set to expire at the end of the 2024 season, making him an attractive target for clubs seeking to bolster their roster with a talented and dynamic playmaker. Mam's potential availability has triggered a flurry of interest, setting the stage for a compelling and competitive recruitment scenario.
In a surprising development, the Newcastle Knights are reportedly making a foray into rugby union, targeting the recruitment of Tyrone Thompson. The brother of Knights prop Leo Thompson, Tyrone is believed to be in line for selection in the All Blacks squad. After being left out of the World Cup squad, Tyrone is expected to sign with the Knights once his All Blacks contract concludes.
The Thompson brothers have a shared background in New Zealand's rugby union pathways programs, with Leo making the transition to rugby league. Leo's successful stint with the Knights, including a Kiwis debut and a contract extension until 2025, has potentially influenced Tyrone's decision to follow suit.
The Knights are anticipated to discuss potential salary cap dispensation with the NRL, considering the funds could be used outside the cap for cross-code recruits in the future. The move aligns with the Knights' strategic approach to strengthen their squad with versatile and talented players, and Tyrone Thompson's potential addition adds a unique dimension to their recruitment strategy.
In another intriguing development, veteran player Benji Marshall is reportedly finalizing a player swap deal involving Storm center Justin Olam and Tigers forward Shawn Blore. Marshall views Olam as a valuable addition to his 2024 backline, positioning him as a key piece for the upcoming season.
As the NRL offseason unfolds, the Dolphins intensify their pursuit of Ezra Mam, the Knights consider a cross-code coup with Tyrone Thompson, and the Dragons strategically target Tom Dearden, Connor Tracey, and Heilum Luki. Meanwhile, player swaps involving Justin Olam and Shawn Blore add an intriguing dimension to team dynamics.