BRONCOS coach Wayne Bennett is reportedly fighting off a raid on two of his brightest talents.
Bennett earlier this month labelled his collection of emerging forwards the best he has seen come through the club’s junior system at the same time.
The veteran mentor is now fighting off raids for star forwards Tevita Pangai Junior and Jaydn Su’A which threaten to rip apart the incredible collection of rising stars Brisbane has been developing in recent years.
Wide World of Sports reports the Roosters have made a massive play for Pangai Junior with coach Trent Robinson desperate to add some front-row muscle to his roster for next season.
His challenge to try to hold onto all of them deliver the Broncos one final retention masterstroke before he is reportedly set to step down as head coach at the end of 2019.
The report indicates Bennett’s wizardry at convincing players to stay at Brisbane for less money is the Broncos’ only hope of stopping Pangai from jumping ship to the Roosters.
The Knights are also reportedly chasing Pangai for the 2019 season, but can’t match the Roosters’ total package.
Pangai, who earlier this year pledged his allegiance to Tonga over a potential State of Origin career with NSW, is reportedly demanding a deal worth at least $600,000 per season.
Bennett is also at risk of losing 20-year-old Jaydn Su’A, despite the star forward reportedly knocking back offers from the Titans and Rabbitohs.
Nine reports Su’A remains on the open market for 2019 and is yet to accept a deal from the Broncos.
The Rabbitohs reportedly have significant salary cap space to chase a star forward with NSW star Angus Crichton moving to the Roosters at the end of the season.
ROOSTERS IN DOUBLE WING PLAY
THE roosters have been linked with two massive recruitment moves to replace Blake Ferguson.
Fox Sports reports the Chooks are the front runners to sign Bulldogs winger Brett Morris, who is being squeezed out of Belmore by Canterbury’s salary cap crisis.
With Ferguson already announcing his move to the Eels at the end of the season, the Bondi club has also made a play for Super League star Ryan Hall.
The English international, who has scored 229 tries in the Super League is off contract at the end of this season and is expected to move to Sydney before the start of the 2019 season to play in the NRL for the first time.
Morris was previously linked with a move to the Super League earlier this season when news of the Bulldogs’ salary cap woes emerged.
His brother Josh earlier this month announced his intention to join the Sharks next season.
HAYNE LEFT WITH JUST ONE OPTION
JARRYD Hayne has already given up $700,000 to join the Eels and he may have to give up more to remain at his western Sydney club.
The former NFL player is off contract at the end of this season and has been left with limited options after failing to set the competition on fire in a disastrous season for the Eels.
Channel 9’s Neil Breen reported on 100% Footy that the Eels are the only club interested in signing Hayne, meaning the 30-year-old could be forced to take another pay cut on his reported $500,000 salary.
The Dally M medallist signed a one-year deal with the Eels after walking away from his $1.2 million per season deal at the Titans.
“There is only one contender to sign him (for next year) and it’s Parramatta to re-sign him,” Breen said on Monday night.
His report prompted Manly legend Geoff Toovey to declare Hayne might not be worth the significant pay packet he is earning in 2018.
“He hasn’t put two seasons together where he’s the best player for the club,” Toovey told Nine.
“I think he’s a quality player at times but you need to get him for the right price and you need to get him motivated and I don’t know how you do that.”