Bull­dogs up ante in battle to keep Idris

Townsville Bulletin - - NRL -

JA­MAL I dris’s f uture i s posied to be de­cided on his roots, with Can­ter­bury seek­ing Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment sup­port to of­fer him a role as an In­dige­nous am­bas­sador.

The Bull­dogs face a grow­ing chal­lenge to keep Idris in the face of mas­sive of­fers from New­cas­tle and Gold Coast, both of which are likely to ex­ceed what the Bel­more club can cur­rently af­ford un­der its salary cap.

Both New­cas­tle and Gold Coast op­er­ate in-house In­dige­nous com­mu­nity arms and have spo­ken to Idris about ad­di­tional in­come he could de­rive from be­com­ing the face of their pro­grams.

Idris trav­elled to New­cas­tle last Tues­day for a three-hour tour of the club’s fa­cil­i­ties with Knights coach Rick Stone and re­cruit­ment man­ager Keith Onslow.

New­cas­tle is un­der­stood to have made Idris a rich of­fer sev­eral weeks be­fore his visit, which could be re­vised up­wards should bil­lion­aire min­ing mag­nate Nathan Tin­kler gain con­trol of the club at an Ex­tra­or­di­nary Gen­eral Meet­ing on March 31.

Gold Coast is also be­lieved to be ex­tremely close to fi­nal­is­ing its of­fer, which could ex­ceed $ 400,000-a-year.

Hav­ing re­turned in top con­di­tion from his best-ever pre­sea­son, Idris is now the hottest prop­erty on the NRL mar­ket af­ter post­ing back-to­back in­di­vid­ual vic­to­ries over Aus­tralian cen­tre pairi ng Chris Lawrence and Greg I nglis t o open t he pre­mier­ship.

B u t w i t h h i s o f f - f i e l d manou­vres gen­er­at­ing as much in­ter­est as his slash­ing form on the pad­dock, the 20-year-old was again re­luc­tant to speak pub­licly at yes­ter­day’s Bull­dogs’ re­cov­ery session.

His man­ager Sam Ay­oub Johnathan Thurston at the Cow­boys and Inglis at Mel­bourne, be­fore the star three­quar­ter was forced to leave the club in the wake of last year’s salary cap scan­dal.

An­other ace up the Bull­dogs’ sleeve could be around $ 270,000 in cap space freed-up over the next two years by the ter­mi­na­tion of prop Ryan Tandy’s con­tract last week.

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