Deal with Trent Robinson Roosters, Wayne Bennett, Dolphins target Dragons young gun Junior Amone, fullback Xavier Savage, Raiders
Sydney Roosters center Nick Politis has long been considered rugby league’s savviest negotiator.
If there’s one thing Uncle Nick loves as much as the Sydney Roosters, it’s negotiating.
Look through all the deals Politis has made over the past three decades and it’s an all-star cast; Freddy Fittler, Gus Gould, Adrian Morley, Sonny Bill Williams, James Tedesco, Luke Keary and Cooper Cronk are prime examples.
Politis often speaks openly about the respect and high regard he has for Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson and how he wants the three-time premiership winner to become the Roosters equivalent of Sir Alex Ferguson to English Premier League giants Manchester United.
This is where the details of Robinson’s five-year contract extension until the end of 2028 get interesting.
Stream every game from every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership season live and ad-free during play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try it free for 14 days now.
Robinson has now joined Craig Bellamy as the NRL’s highest-paid coach with the new five-year contract estimated at over $1.3 million per season.
Given that Bellamy and Robinson have been the NRL’s most successful coaches over the past decade – winning three premierships each – their standing in the game is unquestionable.
When Robinson made his Roosters debut, it was well-known agent Wayne “Eager Beaver” Beavis who negotiated with the coach.
But given his stature and growth over the last 10 seasons, it is the Roosters manager who is now making his own deals.
MORE NRL NEWS
‘SUITABLE’: Roosters captain Tedesco breaks silence on ‘Squid Game’ scandal
OH NO: Broncos rocked by two Covid cases with star rookie race clock for first round
RD TEAM TIPS 1: How Ricky will fill the Raiders void; The Cowboys star’s $1 million reality
FRESH START: How NRL takeover in exile could spark Tigers resurgence
Get all the latest NRL news, highlights and analysis straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Register now!!
Politis and Robinson met at the Sydney Roosters headquarters in the Moore Park Entertainment Quarter a month ago to chat.
The couple strolled over to Azure Cafe where it only took one meeting and a few phone calls to close the deal.
The quick negotiation underscores the level of respect Politis has for Robinson.
Business is business, but there must also have been a good degree of emotion considering how close Uncle Nick and Robbo were.
The Roosters duo then kept the contract extension under wraps until the Roosters hosted the club’s traditional family day for players’ extended families at SCG on Monday.
At the end of an evening that involved Roosters legends Freddy Fittler, Mitch Aubusson, Adrian Morley and Ian Schubert, Politis informed the 200-strong gathering of Robinson’s recommitment to the club until the end of 2028.
Robinson wanted little fuss or fanfare, but the news was met with huge celebration.
Now it’s about trying to win more premierships.
DOLPHINS CIRCLE SAINTS YOUNG GUN
The Redcliffe Dolphins surround youngster St George Illawarra Junior Amone as the new NRL club continue to make waves in the player market.
Amone is under contract until the end of 2023, but with Red V skipper Ben Hunt owning the No.7 jumper and rookie half Jayden Sullivan also signed until the end of 2025, it’s the three old ones who won’t. not go into two scenarios.
The Dragons have also signed Moses Mbye as a utility, so once Sullivan returns from his last hamstring strain coach Anthony Griffin will have a decision to make.
When super coach Wayne Bennett picks up the phone, the players listen.
The Dragons have been aware of the Dolphins’ interest since before Christmas.
Amone has looked comfortable playing alongside Hunt in the first two Test matches and is clearly an NRL player in waiting.
St George Illawarra was smart in signing Sullivan and fellow countryman Tyrell Sloan until the end of 2025.
But with Amone at the end of 2023, the Dolphins’ interest makes sense.
The Dragons also have a new recruiting committee following the appointment of former Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan as a consultant.
The Red V brains trust now includes Flanagan, Griffin, Chief Football Officer Ben Haran and CEO Ryan Webb.
There’s no doubt that one of Flanagan’s first priorities will be figuring out where young gun Amone stands.
The Dolphins landed a major blow last month when the club signed SG Ball half-back from Penrith, Isaiya Katoa, on a three-year deal from 2023.
SAVAGE TALENT ON ICE FOR NOW
Canberra Raiders electric full-back Xavier Savage looks set to miss the Green Machine’s No.1 jumper with the experience of Grand Final full-back Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad set to win.
As hot and elusive as Savage seemed in the Raiders’ first two Test games, Nicoll-Klokstad has extensive experience in the big game.
With Jordan Rapana suspended for the first two games of the new NRL season, there’s every chance Savage could still earn a spot on the Raiders’ right wing in the early rounds.
You can’t help but feel for Raiders half-back Jamal Fogarty who injured his meniscus in his knee kicking a ball in during the warm-up for their second Test victory against Manly last weekend.
Fogarty will now miss four months, which means rookie halfback Brad Schneider will have the first chance at halfback for the Raiders.
Schneider, 21, was born in Adelaide and raised in Townsville.
The halfback captained Kirwan State High School in their NRL Schoolboy Cup win over Westfield Sports High School in 2019 before being signed by the Raiders.
The rookie half-back got a taste of NRL life six minutes from the bench swap against the Melbourne Storm last year and is highly regarded among the Raiders’ field of play.
FOXX TELLS TEAMMATES TO MOVE TRYSCORER
You gotta love the energy of new Bulldogs rookie Josh Addo-Carr.
Watch replays of last Monday’s trial against Cronulla when Canterbury-Bankstown new signing Brent Naden scores what looked like the Bulldogs’ second down.
The Fox immediately blasted his new teammates for not rushing out to celebrate the try.
It may seem minor, but it’s easy to see the benefits of buying a player from the Melbourne Storm system where this type of celebration is simply taken for granted.
In the end, Naden’s try was disallowed due to obstruction, but the fact was Fox wanted all of his teammates to be on the same page in terms of unity and chemistry.