Off-contract St George Illawarra forward Jack de Belin may be South Sydney-bound if his junior club doesn’t budge on its one-year extension offer, with Wayne Bennett interested in the 33-year-old’s veteran experience.

De Belin, now approaching the end of his NRL career at 33, has been deep in talks with Shane Flanagan and the Dragons for some time.

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While the former New South Wales forward is very eager to see out his footy playing career in the Red V—he has now spent 13 years on the books at St George Illawarra—there’s a split between his management and the club’s powerbrokers; he wants to sign up for two or even three years, while Flanagan wants to go season-by-season.

This is far from surprising from the Dragons’ new coach, who usually sticks to his guns around 30-year-old players best being played on year-long contracts and assessed at the end of NRL every campaign.

Paul Gallen and Luke Lewis at Cronulla both served under this year-by-year plan.

De Belin is less keen to leave his future in the balance and had his management talk to several other NRL clubs (where he’d prefer to stay) and options in the Super League. Bennett’s Rabbitohs have been most interested, with The Sporting Base hearing they may formally offer him a two-year package.

If South Sydney were to bring in the aging forward they’d have to offload several players. Lachlan Ilias is already leaving to make way for St Helens halfback Lewis Dodd, while Bennett is expected to run a broom through the roster once his feet are under the desk.

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Souths are also eyeing forward options like Tevita Pangai Jnr, who just joined Bennett in Redcliffe, while the Dragons are in early talks with Angus Crichton as he weighs up his Roosters future.

The post Bennett’s Bunnies circle De Belin as Dragons stay strong on one-year offer first appeared on The Sporting Base.

The post Bennett’s Bunnies circle De Belin as Dragons stay strong on one-year offer appeared first on The Sporting Base.