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Zac Lomax in massive $800,000 NRL announcement after reports over Dragons unrest

The club made a huge announcement on the winger after reports over his unrest.

The Dragons have confirmed $800,000 star Zac Lomax has been granted permission to leave the club at the end of the season after reports the expensive winger was unhappy. Reports have suggested Lomax has been unhappy at the Dragons with coach Shane Flanagan playing him out on the wing, instead of his preferred centre position.

And on Tuesday, the Dragons confirmed Lomax has pushed for an early release of his NRL contract and will seek footy elsewhere beyond 2024. The club claimed they won't be paying him past 2024 and the move was mutual.

Zac Lomax (pictured) has been granted permission to leave the Dragons at the end of the 2024. (Getty Images)
Zac Lomax (pictured) has been granted permission to leave the Dragons at the end of the 2024. (Getty Images)

"This provides both Zac and the club with clarity regarding the future, allowing us time to strategise for the upcoming seasons," Dragons CEO Ryan Webb said. "This arrangement enables the Dragons to focus on refining our top-30 roster and utilising additional cap space.

"While Zac can pursue his future endeavours with another club." The Dragons would consider letting Lomax move before the end of the season, but a suitable replacement would have to be offered back to the club. The 24-year-old winger is now free to negotiate with other clubs. The Eels are favourites to sign the back having made it obvious they want to lure him over.

Dragons coach Shane Flanagan reacts.
Dragons coach Shane Flanagan (pictured) will be on the lookout for a new winger in 2025 after Zac Lomax was confirmed to be leaving the club. (Mark Evans via Getty Images)

Lomax has not been playing his ideal position at the Dragons for quite some time after previous coach Anthony Griffin shifted him to the left side early last year. He was then dropped from the side for a short while. Lomax returned to right centre last year after Griffin left the club, but new coach Shane Flanagan then asked him to play left wing to start this season. While there was a chance he was going to play fullback, Flanagan opted to keep Tyrell Sloan there, which has seen the No.1 thrive in 2024.

NRL world reacts to awkward Zac Lomax situation

After months of speculation around Lomax's frustration at the Dragons the latest announcement confirms his departure. However, fans were left questioning Lomax's role going forward with the winger clearly keen on leaving.

Coach Shane Flanagan admitted he was confident Lomax would maintain the same high-level performance for the remainder of the year, which has seen him score three tries. "Zac has consistently demonstrated his talent and dedication to the club, especially in the face of external noise," Flanagan said.

"We have full confidence that he will maintain his high level of performance for the remainder of the season, benefiting all those associated with the Dragons." Despite the coach's confidence, NRL fans reacted with mixed feelings. Dragons fans looked at the bright side and suggested a new $800,000 signing would be huge for the club.

While others felt Lomax remaining at the club for the remainder of the season could be a recipe for disaster. The winger is reportedly unhappy and wants to leave. Despite this, Lomax will still have to impress rival clubs on the field if he is going to earn anywhere close to his current $800,000 a year contract. Many Eels fans also welcomed the news and called for the club to quickly act.

Dragons linked to Penrith Panthers winger

One possible replacement for Lomax is Penrith winger Sunia Turuva. Flanagan has reportedly made a shortlist of replacements for Lomax with Dally M Rookie of the Year, Turuva, at the top of that list after putting himself on the open market after negotiations with the Panthers over a new deal fell short of his expectations.

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The Panthers reportedly presented Turuva with a $350,000 per-season deal. The winger is understood to have wanted to stay at the foot of the mountain but is willing to listen to offers from rival clubs.