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Five NRL Clubs who could sign Matty Nicholson

Matty Nicholson NRL

Matty Nicholson is hot property. Nicholson has become a regular in the Warrington Wolves side this season, playing seven games under new head coach, Sam Burgess, and scoring two tries. Now, NRL clubs are lining up to try and sign Nicholson for next season. 

According to the Daily Telegraph, Nicholson has as many as five clubs trying to sign him. Warrington will be keen to retain Nicholson, given he is now such an important part of their side. However, it seem unlikely that they will be able to stand in his way is an NRL side shows serious interest.

We have attempted to identify the five clubs who could be trying to secure Nicholson’s signature.

Wests Tigers

Wests Tigers NRL

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Wests Tigers are struggling to rebuild their beleaguered squad, having claimed the NRL’s wooden spoon in 2022 and 2023. So far this season, they have managed just two wins. Reports in Australia suggest that Chief Executive, Shane Richardson, is currently in the UK trying to poach some of Super League’s top talent.

Nicholson may be on that list. Richardson has also reportedly been tasked with offloading John Bateman, and Nicholson would be an ideal replacement. Both men play in the second row, meaning Nicholson could be a direct replacement for Bateman. Back-rower Isiah Papali’i will also leave the Tigers at the end of the season, joining the Penrith Panthers on a three-year deal.

The Tigers are definitely in the market for a back-rower, and Nicholson could fit the bill perfectly. could John Bateman be used as a makeweight in the deal? He is a former team-mate of Burgess, having played together for England. A straight swap may work for both parties.

South Syndey Rabbitohs

NRL

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South Sydney Rabbitohs are the NRL’s current bottom side, propping up the table with just one win from their opening 10 games. The Rabbitohs recently sacked coach Jason Demetriou, with former England coach, Wayne Bennett, set to take over for 2025 when he leaves the Dolphins.

South Sydney are another NRL side who have sent a negotiating party over to the UK in an attempt to lure UK based talent to Australia. The Rabbitohs had reportedly identified wingers and props as their priorities.

However, at just 20-years-old, Nicholson would be a development project, and could transition to play prop during his career. Bennett has a famously good relationship with Burgess, which may help to facilitate the deal.

Sydney Roosters

NRL

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Unlike the Tigers and the Rabbitohs, the Roosters have had a better start to the season. They currently sit comfortably in mid-table, with six wins from their opening 11 games and are well in contention for the end of season play-offs.

One of the reasons behind the Roosters good form this season has been resurgent back-rower, Angus Crichton. Crichton has been one of the form players in the NRL this season, and is reportedly on the verge of earning a recall to the NSW origin side. However, Critchton is out of contract at the end of the season, and is yet to agree an extension to stay with the Roosters for 2025.

Penrith were reportedly interested, before securing Papali’i. Reports in Australia suggest that the Rabbitohs and St George-Illawarra are also interested in signing Crichton. If the Roosters do not act soon, they risk losing one of their key men.

However, if they do lose Crichton, Nicholson could be the ideal replacement.

Dolphins

NRL

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The Dolphins will lose head coach Wayne Bennett in the off-season as he moves to the Rabbitohs. However, they already have a replacement waiting in the wings in Kristian Woolf. The former St Helens coach will take over the reigns from Bennett, and he may be keen to make Nicholson his first signing.

Nicholson and the Dolphins have a history. The club were reportedly interested in signing Nicholson in 2023, ahead of their first season in the NRL. However Nicholson, who was just 18 at the time, rejected their advances, electing to sign a deal with the Wolves instead.

With Nicholson now keen on a move to the NRL, the Dolphins may re-ignite their interest in the stay youngster. The Dolphins are in the market for a back-rower, and have been linked with a move for Leeds Rhinos’ Rhyse Martin. If they elect to go for youth over experience, Nicholson would fit the bill perfectly.

Canberra Raiders

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Canberra Raiders have offered a welcome home to several young English players in recent years. Star players such as George Williams, Elliott Whitehead, Josh Hodgson and Bateman have all represented the Raiders over the years. With Whitehead set to depart the club at the end of the season, Canberra may be open to welcoming in another English export.

Whitehead joined the Raiders in 2016, having started his career with the Bradford Bulls, before moving to the Catalans Dragons. In his six years in Canberra, he has made 192 appearances for the club, scoring 42 tries.

He was also an important part of the Raiders side which made it to the 2019 NRL Grand Final, only to lose out to the Sydney Roosters. He has won 27 caps for England and four caps for Great Britain in a distinguished career.

With his career with the Raiders coming to an end, Nicholson could be a natural successor. Both men play in the back-row and have a similar build. The Raiders may hope that Nicholson can provide a seamless replacement for their outgoing star.

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