The Dragons are considering a formal complaint about the Dolphins, while the club has sent a hidden message of bad news to coach Anthony Griffin.
St George Illawarra this week rejected a request to release rising star Tyrell Sloan after talk that Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins has a developer deal ready for him.
Sloan was frustrated by his lack of minutes under Griffin in 2022 after entering the season with high expectations.
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The 20-year-old has played just eight games this season – half of them from the Round 20 onwards.
Sloan is contracted to the Dragons through the end of 2024, but is not ready to sit behind Cody Ramsey in the standings next year.
“He has two years to go through with his contract and formally request his release and the Dragon said no,” Paul Kent said on NRL 360.
“The interesting part is that the Dragons are considering going to the NRL and complaining that Dolphins might be anti-tamper, which is something we’ve been talking about.”
James Hooper later revealed that the refusal could signal the approaching end of beleaguered coach Griffin, who missed the finals in his two seasons at the club.
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“Terrell Sloan and his agent met with the Dragons president at Craig Young and actually asked Craig if they could get the release and then take it to the Dragons board of directors,” Hooper said.
“I think in those discussions also he was basically told, ‘Look you’re a local rookie, the club loves you, you might just need to be a little patient. Be prepared to take your time, wait 12 months.'”
“Reading between the lines made me think very well that Anthony Griffin just signed there for next season so I don’t know the Dragons are 100 per cent committed behind that.”
Hopper believes the Dragons can go the same path as the Tigers who retained coach Michael Maguire this time last year.
Maguire survived and paraded at the end of the season with flogging but was sacked midway through the season before the Tigers collected their first wooden spoon.
“It seems like[what happens in dragons]got a little bit of a Madge Maguire at the Wests Tigers from last year about it,” Hooper said.
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Fellow journalist Michael Karajanis echoed the sentiment and believes Griffin’s days at the club could be numbered.
“What they’re saying to (Sloan) is we think you’re a long-term player at this club and we know you have a problem with the coach, but maybe the coach won’t be here for the long term. Just be patient,” Karajanis said.
“It will be interesting to see how you play, they said no but as soon as the player revolts… is it settled now?
“Does he take that down and go back to pre-season training and try to get that full-back shirt back?”
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