NRL clubs wait for full story before making move on Paul Vaughan

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Paul Vaughan is hoping a rival NRL will sign him after he was sacked by St George Illawarra.
Rival NRL clubs are interested in signing Paul Vaughan after he was sacked by St George Illawarra, but many are waiting until the NRL completes an investigation into the now infamous party at his Shellharbour home. (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There was a flurry of text messages going around NRL Land minutes after news broke of Paul Vaughan's sacking from the Dragons.

The basic thrust was: "Good on Saints for making the tough call…now, can we afford Vaughan at our club?'"

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Make no mistake, the body doesn't have to go warm in rugby league for rival clubs to starting picking at another club's unwanted goods.

And when that player is a State of Origin front-rower coming at a reduced price, the frenzy will make the Boxing Day sales looking like a trip to the corner store.

The more desperate, the more likely a club's board will take a punt on a talented but wayward star.

As one veteran NRL wheeler and dealer told us: "It's rugby league. It's an amazing beast when it comes to forgiving players.

"Vaughan's name has come up in discussion already. I'm sure he will get picked up but he will have to take an extraordinary pay cut and be hit with all sorts of clauses."

Clubs contacted about possible interest in Vaughan are understandably saying little at the moment.

For one thing, they are waiting to hear more about the ongoing NSW Police investigation into the now infamous Shellharbour barbecue.

Vaughan was evasive and unconvincing when asked on NRL360 for specific details of the gathering, not to mention his alleged involvement in orchestrating a cover-up with those involved.

There's a belief within the game that the full story is yet to be revealed.

Wayne Bennett's South Sydney master-stroke

You've got to hand it to Wayne Bennett.

The South Sydney sensei went public before the NSW team for game three was picked, declaring the Blues should brush his Rabbitohs halves Adam Reynolds (30) and Cody Walker (31) and instead look towards the future.

Wayne Bennett pulled off a typically canny feat at the selection table for the last round of the NRL. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Wayne Bennett pulled off a typically canny feat at the selection table for the last round of the NRL. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

This is the same Bennett who preferred a 30-year-old Jake Friend to a 22-year-old Harry Grant in the first two games of last year's Origin series.

Reynolds and Walker did miss out to Mitchell Moses and Jack Wighton, freeing them to play for the Bunnies against North Queensland on Friday night.

Bulldogs fans unleashed after Twitter rumours

The Australian's league writer, Brent Read, brought a firestorm of Twitter fury raining down on him when he suggested Matt Burton and Josh Addo-Carr could be having second thoughts about joining Canterbury next year after watching Manly slice and dice the woeful Bulldogs last weekend.

Fans were quick to point out the Dogs were fielding a team levelled by Covid suspensions, injury and inexperience, but Read's point was worthy of some inspection.

Is it worth leaving a successful club for big money at a joint where the struggle will be real and finals appearances – let alone premierships – will be hard to come by?

Time will tell for Burton and the Fox.

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