Transfer Whispers, Dylan Brown, Eels, Dolphins, Deine Mariner, Broncos, player movement, contracts, signings

The Eels are reportedly in the box seat to retain Dylan Brown despite the Dolphins’ bid to lure him to Redcliffe on a deal worth around $1 million a season.

Meanwhile, Broncos coach Kevin Walters has responded to reports that the Dolphins tried to poach young gun center Deine Mariner from Brisbane.

Read on for the latest NRL Transfer Whispers.

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EELS IN BOX SEAT FOR BROWN DESPITE DOLPHINS MEGA OFFER

The Eels are reportedly in the box seat to retain Dylan Brown despite the Dolphins’ bid to lure him to Redcliffe on a deal worth around $1 million a season.

The Daily Telegraph’s Dave Riccio reported on SEN radio that Dolphins recruitment boss Peter O’Sullivan has a close relationship with the Eels playmaker after trying to lure him to the Warriors during his time with the club.

“We see the Dolphins coming hard at Dylan Brown,” Riccio said SEN 1170 Breakfast.

“The connection here is Peter O’Sullivan, who is head of recruitment at the Dolphins.

“He had a massive crack at Dylan Brown when he was working at the Warriors only 12 months ago.

“They have a relationship … they’ve stayed in contact ever since and now O’Sullivan is trying to do the job of getting Brown to the Dolphins.”

However, Riccio believes Brown’s close bond with Eels coach Brad Arthur could work in Parramatta’s favor and that the Dolphins offer may have to be north of $1 million a year to secure the New Zealand five-eighth’s signature.

“It’ll have to be in excess of $1 million (a season) to pull him out of Parramatta,” Riccio said.

“If I’m an Eels fan, I still hold a lot of confidence that he stays.

“Brown and Brad Arthur have a very close relationship, we saw Brown’s development this year compared to the season before … we saw his footy evolve.

“I think that will continue to evolve under the consistency of being coached by Brad Arthur.

“I’m pretty confident … I think the Eels are in the box seat.”

The 22-year-old has scored 24 tries in 82 NRL games for the Eels since his NRL debut in 2019 and has also played five Tests for New Zealand.

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Dylan Brown will weigh up offers from the Eels and Dolphins.Source: Getty Images

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WALTERS RESPONDS TO DOLPHINS POACHING RAID ON BRONCOS GUN

Broncos coach Kevin Walters has responded to reports that the Dolphins tried to poach young gun center Deine Mariner from Brisbane.

The Courier Mail reported Walters is adamant Mariner, who is contracted until 2024 at Red Hill, will remain at the Broncos for the duration of his contract and hopefully a lot longer.

“Deine is definitely staying here, 100 percent,” Walters said The Courier Mail.

“This is a big year for Deine, he is still only young, but we expect him to play some more first grade this year and that will be the plan for him.

“It’s about learning and getting better and I feel he has a long future at the Broncos.”

The 19-year-old played two games for the Broncos in his debut season in 2022 and impressed in his limited opportunities.

The Dolphins reportedly tried to entice Mariner to break his contract to join them for their inaugural season, but Mariner’s agent Dixon McIver denied any wrongdoing.

Deine Mariner will stay at the Broncos.Source: Getty Images

“The NRL has made contact with us, I have co-operated fully,” McIver said of the NRL Integrity Unit investigation into the Dolphins’ alleged approach.

“I have given them a statement on where we stand and that’s why I don’t have any concerns.”

Mariner faces a tough task to break into the outside backs at the Broncos with the likes of Selwyn Cobbo, Corey Oates, Herbie Farnworth and Kotoni Staggs considered locks, while Reece Walsh will vie with Farnworth and Cobbo for the fullback role.

The Titans’ outside back options include Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Jamayne Isaako, Edrick Lee, Euan Aitken and Oliver Gildart, as well as young gun Valynce Te Whare, Robert Jennings and development player Jack Bostock.

While there is plenty of competition at both clubs, the Dolphins appear the safer bet for Mariner to get more game time in 2023.

However, Walters is adamant Mariner is in his short and long-term plans.

“I’m not sure what happened (with the Dolphins’ poaching attempt), but the good thing is he was locked in here,” Walters said.

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