Dragons reject young gun’s release request - and why it could mean the end is near for Hook

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Staff Writers from Fox Sports

The Dragons are considering making an official complaint about the Dolphins, while the club has sent a subtle message that spells bad news for coach Anthony Griffin.

St George Illawarra this week rejected a release request from rising star Tyrell Sloan following chatter that Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins had an upgraded deal ready for him.

Sloan has been frustrated by his lack of minutes under Griffin in 2022 after entering the season with big expectations.

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The 20-year-old played just eight games this season - half of those were from Round 20 onwards.

Sloan is contracted at the Dragons until the end of 2024 but is unwilling to sit behind Cody Ramsey in the pecking order next year.

“He has two years to go on his contract and asked for his release formally and the Dragons said no,” Paul Kent said on NRL 360.

“The interesting part is the Dragons are considering going to the NRL and putting in a complaint that the Dolphins might be anti-tampering, which is something we brought up could be happening.”

James Hooper then revealed the rejection could suggest the end is near for embattled coach Griffin who has missed finals in his two seasons at the club.

Dragons head coach Anthony Griffin. GettySource: Getty Images

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“Tyrell Sloan and his agent actually went met with the Dragons chairman in Craig Young and they actually asked Craig if they could have the release and he then took it to the Dragons’ board,” Hooper said.

“I think in those discussions as well he was basically told, ‘look you’re a local junior, the club loves you, you might just need to be a little bit patient. Be prepared to bide your time, wait 12 months’.

“Reading between the lines it made me think well Anthony Griffin is only signed there for next season so I don’t know that the Dragons are 100 per cent committed behind him beyond that.”

Hooper believes the Dragons could be heading down the same path as the Tigers who held onto coach Michael Maguire this time last year.

Maguire survived and end-of-season review by the skin of his teeth but was sacked halfway through this season before the Tigers collected their first wooden spoon.

“It looks like (what’s happening at the Dragons) has got a bit of Madge Maguire at the Wests Tigers from last year about it,” Hooper said.

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Fellow journalist Michael Carayannis echoed the sentiment and believes Griffin’s days at the club could be numbered.

“Basically what they’re saying to (Sloan) is we think you’re a long-term player at this club and we know you’ve got the issue with the coach, but maybe the coach won’t be here long term so just be patient,” Carayannis said.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out, they’ve said no but once a player agitates... is it settled now?

“Does he take that no and go back to pre-season training and try to win back that fullback jersey?”

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