Zac Lomax in major contract development as Shane Flanagan makes huge Tyrell Sloan call

The Dragons star's cooling off period will end on Thursday, meaning Lomax is all but certain to play for Parramatta next season.

Zac Lomax seemingly won't be making a Nathan Blacklock-style backflip to remain at the Red V next season, with his four-year deal to join Parramatta from 2025 set to be locked in on Thursday. NRL fans were questioning whether Lomax would look to renege on his Eels deal after being shifted to his preferred centre role during the Dragons' 30-12 domination of the Warriors in Wollongong last week.

In his first game back at centre this year, Lomax scored a trademark try from a Ben Hunt bomb, while also running for 184 metres from 21 carries. Meanwhile, Parramatta were thrashed by the Dolphins in abysmal scenes, where they seemingly lacked any sort of direction or effort.

Pictured left Zac Lomax and right Tyrell Sloan
Zac Lomax's cooling off period will end on Thursday, meaning the Dragons star is all but certain to play for Parramatta next season, with Tyrell Sloan seen as the Red V's long-term fullback. Image: Getty

Calls continue to mount for the 24-year-old to be picked for NSW in State of Origin on the wing, where he has lined up in six of the Dragons' seven games so far this season. There have also been growing calls for him to remain at the Dragons, due to the fact he looks to have a new lease on life at the club and will take a significant pay cut to join Parramatta.

The widespread theory of why he sought a move in the first place was so he could play centre rather than wing. But Shane Flanagan's decision to play him on the flank has sparked his incredible career resurgence and has led to him being in the running for a Blues debut.

While Lomax's deal with Parramatta was announced last week as NRL contract stipulations state, from the time of the agreed contract, the Dragons star has a 10-day cooling-off period. In that time Lomax could choose to backflip on his deal with the Eels and stay at the reinvigorated Dragons. However, with that deadline close of business Thursday, it looks almost certain that he intends to head to Parramatta next season.

Dragons coach Shane Flanagan says he hopes Tyrell Sloan will be the club's long-term No.1 as he looks to lock down the Dapto junior on a new deal. Sloan is off contract at the end of this year, with negotiations underway to re-sign him an upgraded contract.

The Dragons have one of the biggest salary-cap war chests in the NRL, with big money available for 2025 and beyond. They have made no secret of their desire to attract top talent, which was shown by their audacious move for Joey Manu in the off-season before he signed with rugby.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 09: Tyrell Sloan of the Dragons celebrates after scoring a try during the round one NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and St George Illawarra Dragons at Cbus Super Stadium, on March 09, 2024, in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Shane Flanagan says he hopes Tyrell Sloan will be the club's long-term No.1 after a strong start to the 2024 season.

But after impressing Flanagan so far in 2024, the Dragons coach says the 21-year-old is the man he wants at No.1 moving forward. "Tyrell was outstanding for us last week. He's 21 years of age. He's got a big future. He wants to stay here and we want to keep him," Flanagan said.

"The development of Tyrell over this year and next year, hopefully, he is the long-term fullback for the club. Because they're hard to find in any of those key positions, so he's on the right track.

"We're endeavouring to keep Sloany. We're in discussions with his management company. It hasn't been quick, but we would like to think that gets done.

with AAP