Delay could leave Dragons crying Poore - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Delay could leave Dragons crying Poore

By Steve Jancetic 26/02/2009 08:50:01 PM Comments (0)

The manager of in-demand St George Illawarra prop Justin Poore claims the Dragons are costing themselves thousands of dollars by delaying new contract talks - if they manage to keep him at all.

With proven first grade front rowers in short supply in the NRL, player-manager Craig Pearce believes Poore will be one of the hottest properties in this year's free-agent market, with a handful of clubs - including Brisbane - already circling.

New Dragons coach Wayne Bennett has reportedly told all his off-contract stars he will wait until after the opening month of the season to open negotiations, but Pearce says the delay will end up costing the club in the hip pocket.

"That's what I can't work out about St George ... it's going to cost them what they're trying to save," Pearce said.

"It's going to end up costing them double because they could wrap him up now for unders.

"He's in no hurry, the longer he waits the more money he's going to get basically."

Pearce said as many as "half a dozen" clubs had inquired about Poore's availability for 2010.

"Clubs are really keen on a young up and coming forward," Pearce said.

"The beauty with Poorie is he started at 19 and he's played 100-odd first grade games as a front rower.

"That experience, at 24, is the big thing for (rival clubs).

"I know a couple of blokes at St George and I'm saying `well you're letting it go, I'm getting calls every second day from another club saying what's Justin Poore doing, what's Justin Poore doing, keep us in the loop."

Now the undisputed leader of the Dragons pack with Jason Ryles having departed to France, Poore's price-tag could skyrocket by mid-season if he continues to remain unsigned.

Last year he was included in Australia's preliminary 45-man World Cup squad before a devastating knee injury brought his season to a premature end in early August.

A representative call-up for either Country Origin or possibly even a NSW jumper would see Poore's asking price increase substantially.

"I've set myself some personal goals, but I've got to get to the little goals before I can get to the big ones," Poore said.

"A rep jumper is the dream, but you've got to get the little things right first."

As far as making a decision on his future, Poore said he was in no rush.

"I don't know - I've got the rest of the year, I've got a while yet," Poore said.

"I'm not too worried about it."

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