Shane Flanagan raises eyebrows with 'interesting' response to Zac Lomax backflip question

Lomax has signed a four-year deal with Parramatta from next year.

Ever since Zac Lomax signed a four-year deal with Parramatta there have been murmurs suggesting that a backflip may be on the cards. Lomax has been one of the standout performers in the NRL in 2024 and after he produced yet another sparkling display for the Blues in State of Origin 2 last week, speculation has grown that he may look to get out of his contract with the Eels to stay at the Red V.

After he signed with Parramatta questions were asked about what really really sparked his decision to request a release from the Dragons, given that he is in career-best form, appears happy at the club and is taking a significant pay cut to join the Eels. The widespread theory was that he wanted to play centre rather than wing but Shane Flanagan's decision to play him on the flank has sparked an incredible resurgence and directly resulted in him earning a Blues debut.

Pictured Shane Flanagan left and Zac Lomax right
Zac Lomax signed a four-year deal with Parramatta from next year but Dragons Shane Flanagan says he won't be sending over the paperwork just yet. Image: Getty

Parramatta are also struggling this season, well out of the running for finals, while the Red V are currently inside the top eight and have a real chance of breaking their finals drought. Circumstances have changed a lot since his agreement was struck with the Eels in April, most notably with Brad Arthur - the man who convinced Lomax to join - being sacked and his long-term replacement is still yet to be decided.

So with so much uncertainty around the situation, Shane Flanagan was asked on NRL 360 if there is a chance Lomax may backflip on his decision to join the Eels. And the Dragons coach gave a non-committal response.

“I’m not filling your papers, Phil,” Flanagan said on Monday. "We don’t want him to go, without a doubt. But he’s signed a contract with another club.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26:  Zac Lomax of the Blues celebrates after scoring a try during game two of the men's State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 26, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Zac Lomax has been somewhat of a revelation in 2024.

"We’ve just got to join the time while he’s with us this year. That’s a decision he’s made unfortunately that he’s leaving and we’ve just got to get the best out of him this year.”

But Buzz Rothfield said Flanagan's smiling answer was "interesting" and could suggest that a backflip is potentially on the cards. “If Zac Lomax backflips and breaks a contract it’s not as if it’s never happened before in rugby league,” Rothfield said.

“I only asked him the question because it’s the talk around the game. He’s so happy at that club (the Dragons) now.”

Flanagan believes Lomax's switch to the flank has transformed him into one of the league's best players and has made him one of if not the game's most feared winger. But despite the praise being heaped on Flanagan for his coaching masterstroke, the Dragons mentor says it was far from just his idea and the success of the move comes down to Lomax's commitment to make it work. "Everyone can go ‘Flanno, you made a good decision’ but it wasn’t just mine, it was some other coaching staff that thought it was the best thing for our team and it’s worked out," Flanagan said.


"But it wouldn’t have worked out if Zac didn’t apply himself 100 per cent. That’s really important as well. I can move him there and he can go out there and just play or he can go and do what he’s doing at the moment and just excelling week-to-week."