Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Despite the NRL’s newest franchise, the Dolphins being unable to sign any players until at least the 1st of November, the impact of their arrival is already being felt in the transfer market.
In an interview with The Courier Mail’s Peter Bedel, Reagan Campbell-Gillard’s manager Mark Stewart has confirmed his client will be leaving the Parramatta Eels after 2022 in a bid to sign with the Dolphins.
“We’ve informed Parramatta that Reagan isn’t taking up his option for 2023,” said Stewart.
“I want to stress there is no issue with Parramatta.
“He is grateful for all the Eels have done to resurrect his career after leaving Penrith and we will be giving Parramatta every chance to keep him because he has really enjoyed his time at the club.
“We will go to the open market and clubs will want to speak to us come November 1, which brings a second Brisbane team into the equation.
EXCLUSIVE: Reagan Campbell-Gillard has dropped an expansion bombshell by informing the Eels tonight he will not take up a player option as he considers joining the Dolphins in 2023https://t.co/JBWJCeY84o pic.twitter.com/VDtPjItc2B
— Pete Badel (@badel_cmail) October 15, 2021
“He would certainly entertain being the face of a new Brisbane franchise.”
It has been no secret that the Eels have a plethora of talent off-contract at the end of next year, and this decision by Campbell-Gillard probably makes life a lot easier for the Parramatta side, as they can now develop a clearer picture as to who they will focus on re-signing and who they are happy to let go, although the former New South Wales State of Origin forward was one of the Eels’ best in 2021.
Throughout the season Campbell-Gillard scored four tries, broke 22 tackles, averaged 12.8 hit-ups per game, 142 running metres per game and made 507 tackles with an efficiency rate of 93%.
Back in 2020, Parramatta inherited Campbell-Gillard’s monster contract from the Panthers just one year into his six-year deal, with an option in his favour for 2023 and an option in the Eels favour for 2024.
It seems we have a clear picture as to who the Dolphins’ first major signing will be, if they have a place for Campbell-Gillard in their plans, as he is keen on a move to the sunshine state’s newest franchise.