Chief slams rumour of playmaker Kyle Flanagan exit

The saga of Kyle Flanagan’s career continues to be one of the most talked about news stories in the NRL off-season.

With the halfback coming under fire during Canterbury Bulldogs’ shocking 2021 season – where they finished bottom – it is being reported by Fox Sports that the Bulldogs are willing to pay Flanagan almost $500,000 to play reserve grade as the club have failed to offload him.

The paper also has reported that no club has been willing to put in a serious for the 23-year-old, so Canterbury are set to keep him on a reported salary of $450,000.

However, that has been vociferously dismissed by Canterbury General Manager Phil ‘Gus’ Gould who tweeted this in response: “This report is totally incorrect. Kyle Flanagan has never been offered to other clubs. Kyle has never been asked to seek another club. As for starting the year in reserve grade, Kyle is one of 4 NRL quality half-backs on our roster. We haven’t played a trial game yet.”

Though Flanagan isn’t expected to start as first-choice halfback for the Bulldogs in the opening rounds of the 2022 NRL season, Jake Averillo and Matt Burton and untried and untested in the halves together, so another combination may well be struck if the Bulldogs do not start the season too well.

He was offered to UK top flight sides back in the summer after playing the opening nine games of the 2021 campaign before being substituted by coach Barrett during a defeat to St George Illawarra Dragons

Flanagan was subsequently dropped for the next six games before being recalled, but was soon forced out of the side once more as the Bulldogs finished bottom of the NRL after winning just four games all year.

The 23-year-old has made almost 50 appearances in rugby league’s most impressive competition, having played a key role in the Sydney Roosters’ 2020 season, but has found chances limited at Canterbury since then.

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