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AFB

Messages
10,142
Every middle will be on notice for sure, by 2025 you would expect as well Bradbury to start pushing for a spot.

Puts us in a good place, considering where Drags are they might have to pay overs to pry someone out of us, and we can benefit or do our player swap, pick up another youngster
 
Messages
14,457
Every middle will be on notice for sure, by 2025 you would expect as well Bradbury to start pushing for a spot.

Puts us in a good place, considering where Drags are they might have to pay overs to pry someone out of us, and we can benefit or do our player swap, pick up another youngster
It's a fair point but I seriously doubt Futz and Moons will ever let one of our forwards go for next year.
Those players actually want to play for us. It's their time to show what they can deliver.
If they want to go, well then they were never to be.
 
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14,457

NRL news: Warriors star Addin Fonua-Blake signs four-year deal with Cronulla Sharks​

St George Illawarra has been rocked after one the world’s premier props shocked the NRL by signing a monster four-year deal with rival Cronulla Sharks. See the contract details.
David Riccio David Riccio


Christmas has come early in the Sutherland Shire with Addin Fonua-Blake signing with the Sharks for the 2025 NRL season.
One of the world’s best front-rowers, Fonua-Blake has opted to join Cronulla ahead of rival suitor St George-Illawarra on a four-year deal worth between $950,000 and $1 million a season.
The Wests Tigers and Canterbury also weighed-in with interest in signing the enforcer, while the Dragons reportedly extended Fonua-Blake a $4.4 million deal.
However, after a fortnight of stealth-like meetings and secret negotiations with the Cronulla executive team, Fonua-Blake has agreed to join Craig Fitzgibbon’s Sharks beginning in 2025.
Crucially, Cronulla have also signed Fonua-Blake without having to immediately release or relinquish a current player to the Warriors.
The recent release of playmaker Matt Moylan and utility Connor Tracey from their 2024 contracts provided the Sharks with salary cap space to make their move.
Fonua-Blake broke the news to his Warriors teammates on Tuesday afternoon.
A major factor in Fonua-Blake’s decision to join the Sharks was the 2023 Dally M Prop of The Year’s belief that Cronulla can challenge for a premiership within the next four years.

It’s ultimately what worked against the Bulldogs, Wests Tigers and Dragons, all of which showed genuine interest in the Tongan International, but equally are in a challenging process of rebuilding their rosters in order to once again contend for finals football.
Fonua-Blake, 28, is at the stage of his career where he wants to win a premiership in the next few years.
Other significant lures behind Fonua-Blake’s decision to join the Sutherland Shire club was the chance to lead an already established forward pack, to be part of Fitzgibbon’s no-nonsense culture and the chance to play with cousin Siosifa Talakai.
The Sharks hierarchy of chairman Steve Mace, CEO Dino Mezzatesta, GM of football Darren Mooney and Fitzgibbon secured the deal after meeting with Fonua-Blake and his agent Tyran Smith from Sportsplayer Management over the past two weeks.
Few within the game were ever aware of how serious the Sharks interest was for the 159-gamer.It’s ultimately what worked against the Bulldogs, Tigers and Dragons, all of whom showed genuine interest in the Tongan International, but equally are in a challenging process of rebuilding their rosters in order to once again contend for finals football.
Fonua-Blake, 28, is at the stage of his career where he wants to win a premiership in the next few years.
Other significant lures behind Fonua-Blake’s decision to join the Sutherland Shire club was the chance to lead an already established forward pack, to be part of Fitzgibbon’s no-nonsense culture and the chance to play with his cousin, Siosifa Talakai.
The Sharks hierarchy of chairman Steve Mace, CEO Dino Mezzatesta, GM of football Darren Mooney and Fitzgibbon secured the deal after meeting with Fonua-Blake and his agent Tyran Smith from Sportsplayer Management over the past two weeks.
Few within the game were ever aware of how serious the Sharks interest was for the 159-gamer.
Canterbury boss Phil Gould met with Fonua-Blake, while the Wests Tigers reportedly tabled a deal worth in excess of $1 million per season.
But behind the scenes the Sharks made their intentions clear to Fonua-Blake that he had the game to elevate their premiership claims.
In informing the Warriors of his decision on Monday, Fonua-Blake reaffirmed his commitment to remain at the club in 2024 and to try and win the club’s first premiership before heading to the Sharks in 2025.


The Dragons offer reportedly sat around $4.4 million over four years.
While seemingly a recruitment blow for Saints, head coach Shane Flanagan will waste no time switching the club’s focus towards other major targets including boom Cowboys forwards Heilum Luki and Kulikefu Finefeuiaki.
The experienced mentor has repeatedly called for patience from Dragons fans, knowing that the rebuild will take time and that importantly, he won’t be pressured into panic buying.
Fonua-Blake - who averaged a devastating 154 run metres and produced 70 tackle busts in 2023 - is considered one of the game’s leading front-rowers alongside Test prop Payne Haas and Penrith enforcer James Fisher-Harris.
The 28-year-old, who plays on average 60 minutes per game, had become the most damaging front-rower on the open market after his shock decision last month to request a release from the Warriors to return home to Sydney at the end of 2024 due to personal reasons.
The Warriors were willing to grant Fonua-Blake the release on the provision that he joined a Sydney club.
Cronulla ultimately won the race for his signature.
Due to the nature of the release, it’s also understood the Warriors have chosen to waive the 10-day cooling-off period that would normally allow them to submit a counter offer.
Several experts and commentators have already stated Fonua-Blake’s acquisition and potential impact on the Sharks is of a standard that hasn’t been sighted at Cronulla since club legend Andrew Fifita was at his peak in 2016.
Cronulla will be Fonua-Blake’s third NRL club having previously played five seasons for Manly before joining his current club the Warriors.

How Sharks pulled off $4m Addin Fonua-Blake heist
 
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14,457
A deal has been reached for Addin to leave us after next season to continue his career with Cronulla,” Warriors CEO Cameron George said. While the Sharks and Warriors have also been in discussions around Fonua-Blake’s impending move, George confirmed that there is no player swap on the cards.

No player swap.. We have the cash, Wahs have granted a release.

Full article: How Sharks beat Dragons to Fonua-Blake with their biggest signing in years

Cronulla have secured one of the biggest signing coups in the club’s recent history by landing Warriors prop Addin Fonua-Blake on a four-year deal from 2025.

Fonua-Blake, rated one of the best front-rowers in the world, has knocked back a $4.5 million dollar approach by his former club St George Illawarra to link with the Sharks.

The Warriors set the player market alight when they announced they would grant the Tonga skipper a release, from 2025, on compassionate grounds.
The release was contingent on Fonua-Blake joining a Sydney club to be closer to his parents, prompting Dragons coach Shane Flanagan to go all in for the Dally M prop of the year.

Both Canterbury and Wests Tigers also met with Fonua-Blake. The Tigers made their own four-year offer, which was subsequently withdrawn by interim CEO Shane Richardson after last week’s overhaul of club management.

The Sharks’ recent moves to free up salary cap space following the departures of Matt Moylan (Leigh) and Connor Tracey (Bulldogs) allowed them to enter the market with real significance for the first time since coach Craig Fitzgibbon’s initial signing spree in 2021.

Since then, Cronulla had barely made a move in the transfer market.


But Fonua-Blake’s eventual arrival will rank as the biggest name signed during Fitzgibbon’s time, given star halfback Nicho Hynes rose to true prominence in his first season in the Shire.
“Addin is a world-class front-rower and we are delighted to be adding him to our roster from 2025,” Fitzgibbon said.
“Throughout the negotiation process we have been impressed by his attitude, his genuine desire to help make the Sharks successful and to complement and work alongside both those in our leadership group and the young forwards we have coming through our system”.
Fonua-Blake has stressed his commitment to the Warriors in 2024 over the past few months and reportedly reiterated that when telling his teammates of his next move on Tuesday.
The Warriors have also been firm on receiving monetary compensation or a replacement player given Fonua-Blake still has three years left on his contract, worth more than $1 million a year.

Sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity given the confidential nature of talks, told this masthead that those conversations had taken place with the Dragons, to the point individual players were identified by the Warriors.

“A deal has been reached for Addin to leave us after next season to continue his career with Cronulla,” Warriors CEO Cameron George said. While the Sharks and Warriors have also been in discussions around Fonua-Blake’s impending move, George confirmed that there is no player swap on the cards.

The Warriors have waived the NRL’s new 10-day cooling-off period that would have allowed them to submit a counter offer to Fonua-Blake.

Fonua-Blake, 28, is viewed as the gamebreaker the Sharks crave to forge deeper into the finals after bowing out in the first week of the play-offs this year, complementing their current front-row rotation of Braden Hamlin-Uele, Toby Rudolf, Royce Hunt and Tom Hazelton.
 

Special K

Coach
Messages
19,315
Warriors saying they will explore options for a swap after saying it excludes says a lot. I think they would be looking at BHU, Williams, Hunt and Kafusi. Just depends if they want to bring one in early. Otherwise we will have to wait.
 
Messages
10,142
It's great having professionals running the club from Mace & Dino, then to Mooney and Fitz.

We operate now as an elite club when it comes to signings.

We don't need to be mentioned about signing a player it just happens.
This is Rooster and Storm like
 

DJDL

Bench
Messages
4,711
I still can't believe the club pulled this off.
I was quietly confident we'd have a red-hot crack once Moylan and Tracey were released, plus having so many off-contract at the end of 2024.
But to land him is huge. The best signing since the days of Fifita and Lewy.

Hands up who's got a stiffy!
 

Tiger Shark

Bench
Messages
3,001
I could be reading between the lines a little too much but the fact the Warriors have said it doesn't involve a player swap and they waived the 10 day cooling off period makes me think it was done under the proviso AFB stays at the Warriors for 2024 and the Sharks/AFB dont agitate for a release ?

I do think though that if the Warriors can get a player to improve their squad using the AFB money for 2024 they'll be silly to ignore it.

On our current forwards who's off contract - BHU, Hazelton and Williams, Oregon has a mutual deal.

Hazelton will be cheap so we keep him
Williams is a different style and one of our best this year so want him to stay
Oregon I wouldnt be upset if he leaves but happy to see how he progresses next year. Plus if it's a MO he might take it up.

So potentially BHU might be odd man out. Feel he could get pretty decent coin elsewhere too and wonder if the Sharks want to have too much money in the front row positions knowing Mooney is pretty strict on how he allocates his cap percentage to player positions.

Plus we have Royce and JC.
 
Messages
10,142
Listening to Ricco's podcast AFB with Warriors in 2024, they believe chance to win comp, and Fitz also likes attitude of people who stick to there guns.

I have feeling as well Uele will be off man out.
AFB will be starter.
Then between Toby and Hazelton as well.
You have Colquhoun, Hunt, Kaufisi and even Bradbury pushing by then, add to that Williams.

What we need is another backrower we lack depth there
 

DJDL

Bench
Messages
4,711
Listening to Ricco's podcast AFB with Warriors in 2024, they believe chance to win comp, and Fitz also likes attitude of people who stick to there guns.

I have feeling as well Uele will be off man out.
AFB will be starter.
Then between Toby and Hazelton as well.
You have Colquhoun, Hunt, Kaufisi and even Bradbury pushing by then, add to that Williams.

What we need is another backrower we lack depth there

Sifa can go to back row and Jack started there.
I’d be more than happy for either of them to play there in the event Brit or Teig are unavailable.
 

Someone2

Juniors
Messages
2,219
Money would be better spent in a halfback

never gonna win a finals game with Nico as your main playmaker
 

R-15-3

Bench
Messages
2,564
Listening to Ricco's podcast AFB with Warriors in 2024, they believe chance to win comp, and Fitz also likes attitude of people who stick to there guns.

Looks like they are publicly playing the we are happy to wait till 25 and AFB has all intentions to see out 24.
Wait a month then pull the “family reason to move has changed and now we can’t wait oops sorry”
 
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