Ex-Storm flyer lands at new home after early release: NRL Transfer Whispers
It appears Isaac Lumelume has joined the Bulldogs after photos emerged on social media of the 23-year-old at Canterbury’s pre-season training.
Lumelume announced earlier this week that he had been released from the final year of his Storm contract, with the club clarifying on Twitter that “family reasons” were behind the decision.
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It seems Lumelume — who was a Bulldogs junior — has found a new home pretty quickly and is settling in at Belmore.
It’s unclear what type of deal Lumelume is on, whether it is a development deal or a train-and-trial deal, however the Bulldogs have already filled the 30 spots on their roster so would need to move someone on if Lumelume were to be promoted to a top 30 contract.
There has been talk that big-money winger Nick Cotric is on his way out as the club tries to clear up some cap space.
The Wests Tigers recently confirmed their interest in Cotric, while he’s also been linked to a return to the Raiders.
Lumelume — also a winger — made his NRL debut in 2020 and has played a total of six games for the Storm.
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STORM FAIL IN SMITH SWAP DEAL
In a sign of how bad things are between Brandon Smith and the Storm, a new report has suggested Melbourne has failed in an attempt to ship the star out to the Tigers on a one-year deal.
That’s according to the Sydney Morning Herald, which reports the Tigers, who have just landed Api Koroisau for 2023, rejected an offer from the Storm that would see Smith and Stefano Utoikamanu swap places.
Tim Sheens and Craig Bellamy reportedly discussed the move that would allow Smith to spend a season with the Tigers before moving on to the Roosters, but Wests pulled out when the Storm asked for Utoikamanu in return. The Tigers were also said to have Smith’s recent rejection ‘fresh’ in their minds.
According to the Herald, “There is growing speculation the Storm have been shopping Smith to other clubs.”
The report added: “Melbourne counter this by claiming rival clubs have sniffed ‘panic’ when it’s not there, offering to take Smith off their hands if they want to get rid of him.”
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