NRL Elimination Final - Rabbitohs v Knights
NRL Elimination Final - Rabbitohs v Knights

Bombshell secret clause in Ponga contract

A host of NRL clubs including Canterbury have identified English hooker Daryl Clark as a target to become the latest Englishman to move to Australia.

Clark has established himself as the best hooker in the Super League with Warrington and the 27-year-old is keen to follow countryman Josh Hodgson and make the move to the NRL.

He is contracted with Warrington next year but has an option in his favour for the following two seasons.


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The Bulldogs and Titans have expressed an interest in having Clark join them as early as next year.

Canterbury had success with Luke Thompson's mid-year arrival from England while Titans coach Justin Holbrook coached against Clark in Super League.

Clark, 27, has played more than 250 first grade games for Warrington and Castleford. He shared the England hooking duties with Hodgson in 2018 and last year for Great Britain.

While the Bulldogs are now getting tight on the cap for next year after the impressive off-season purchases of Nick Cotric, Kyle Flanagan and Jack Hetherington they do have space in 2022 where they also hope to add Penrith's Matt Burton.

They could create some more cap room depending on what happens with Blake Green. The club is still seeking clarity regarding Green's contract situation with the injured veteran considering remaining at the Knights. Green was officially listed as a Bulldog as part of Canterbury's contracted player list announced on Thursday afternoon.

The Bulldogs have a mammoth 17 players off-contact at the end of next year including Will Hopoate, Dylan Napa and hookers Sione Katoa and Jeremy Marshall-King.



Cup full of Origin: Toons by Boo Bailey.
Cup full of Origin: Toons by Boo Bailey.





The Tigers remain adamant that if Josh Addo-Carr plays in Sydney he has to make a return to the club where he made his NRL debut.

Wests Tigers chairman, and principal of Brydens Lawyers, Lee Hagipantelis said the heads of agreement Addo-Carr signed with the club meant any release the NSW winger receives from Melbourne means he must play for the Tigers.


The reason Addo-Carr signed a heads of agreement instead of a regular playing contract, was because players can't have two playing contracts signed at once. As Addo-Carr is still officially a Storm player for 2021, the Tigers had him sign the heads of agreement.

"It means if Melbourne release him then it activates a heads of agreement with the Wests Tigers," Hagipantelis said.

"At the moment he is a player contracted to the Storm for 2021. However there is a heads of agreement in place with the Tigers and if he is released from Melbourne it will be activated."

The Tigers reached out to the NRL to seek clarity around the situation.

"In the event he is released by Melbourne, the document speaks for itself," Hagipantelis said.

Addo-Carr has denied he has signed a heads of agreement and has left negotiations in the hands of his manager.

The Storm have confirmed the signing of former Parramatta winger George Jennings for the next two seasons. Premiership winner Brenko Lee and young half Cooper Johns have re-signed for one season.





A secret clause in Kalyn Ponga's contract has been revealed allowing the star fullback to quit the Knights at the end of 2022, meaning he could be free to negotiate with rivals clubs as early as this time next year.

Ponga's re-signing was trumpeted earlier this year where it was downplayed that Ponga had an "All-Blacks" exit clause.

While it may not officially be a rugby-related exit, Ponga does have a player option in his favour to leave Newcastle at the end of 2022 and 2023. The Rugby World Cup is in 2023.

His deal with Newcastle includes the next two years with options his way for 2023 and 2024. The Knights potential recruit Jake Clifford met with Cowboys officials on Thursday as he considers a long-term deal to join Newcastle.



Dejected Kalyn Ponga after losing the NRL Elimination Final to South Sydney Rabbitohs. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Dejected Kalyn Ponga after losing the NRL Elimination Final to South Sydney Rabbitohs. Picture. Phil Hillyard



The Roosters have re-signed the Morris twins and Jake Friend for another season.

The trio agreed weeks ago but the Roosters had to free up some cap space to register the deals and the exits of Kyle Flanagan and Poasa Faamausili have allowed them to announce the extensions.

The Morris twins will turn 35 next year.

Brett sits fourth overall on the all-time try-scorers list in the game's history with 165. He is behind Ken Irvine (212), Billy Slater (190) and Steve Menzies (180).

"From day one, I've loved every minute at the Roosters," Brett said. "The club gave me a lifeline and it's certainly been a very memorable couple of years here, so I'm really happy to re-commit for 2021."


The Morris twins have been re-signed by the Roosters. Picture: Phil Hillyard
The Morris twins have been re-signed by the Roosters. Picture: Phil Hillyard




There will be a family reunion of sorts at the Warriors with Sean O'Sullivan joining dad Peter at the club. Sean, who played eight games for the Broncos in the past two years, has signed a one-year deal with the Warriors to join Peter - who is the club's recruitment manager.


Clint Gutherson's Origin dreams soon became a nightmare after the Blues' shock loss on Wednesday night. Just last year Gutherson publicly hoped he would one day wear the NSW jersey. It didn't take him long to fulfil his wish having been part of the extended squad last year.


Clint Gutherson tweet for Sport Confidential
Clint Gutherson tweet for Sport Confidential



The Blues will revert to their traditional sky blue jersey for the rest of the Origin series. NSW players took to the field in a 1997-replica jersey on Wednesday night which former Blues fullback Garry Jack labelled a "terrible jersey".

Originally published as Bombshell secret clause in Ponga contract