Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Daryl Clark’s name has become prominent in the Australian Rugby League media as the hooker has been linked with a move to multiple NRL clubs in 2022.
At 28-years-old, Clark has played close to 300 Super League games for the Castleford Tigers and Warrington Wolves, with a Man of Steel winning year and multiple caps for England coming as a result of his great form.
Clark has earned high praise from former Warrington player and NRL immortal Andrew Johns on multiple occasions in the past, with the two-time premiership winner most recently suggesting that the Bulldogs should be after his signature.
Three NRL clubs should be chasing Clark for his services for 2022 and they are listed below.
GOLD COAST TITANS
Unlike the other two clubs on this list, the Gold Coast Titans have reportedly been in talks with Clark recently, making a move to Australia’s “sunshine state” very likely for the England International.
Not since the days of Nathan Friend have the Titans had a hooker that they have felt could be a part of a premiership-winning spine.
Mitch Rein has proven a stable number nine for the club in the past but has lacked the consistency of the game’s best, while Samoan International Erin Clark has displayed glimpses of greatness in the past, but has done nothing to show he is a first-grade hooker as of yet.
The Bulldogs have several players that they have put into the role of dummy-half in recent times, including the likes of Sione Katoa, Jeremy Marshall-King and Bradley Deitz; however, none of those players has been able to lockdown that number nine jersey, with the role being a rotational one for the club.
A team without a cemented hooker most certainly can not win a premiership, so the signing of Daryl Clark for the Bulldogs would be huge.
He would provide experience in a young spine and provide the stability that the Bulldogs have been looking for.
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Granted, Manly have looked great over the past couple of weeks, with the return of Tom Trbojevic giving them a great boost, but the club is still without an out-and-out hooker.
The Sea Eagles have primarily used Lachlan Croker in the nine this season, a player who plays his best when in the halves.
Suggestions have been made to put Keiran Foran at hooker, but like Croker, his primary position is in the halves, which is an argument that can also be made about Cade Cust.
Karl Lawton has recently joined the Sea Eagles but is currently recovering from injury, and to this point has failed to play first-grade for a prolonged amount of time.
Daryl Clark would be a great fix and strengthen Manly’s representative level spine.