St George Illawarra don’t plan on hitting the NRL market to replace Matt Dufty with coach Anthony Griffin willing to put faith in two rising stars next year.
On Thursday Griffin said succession planning and roster management was behind the decision to let Dufty go at the end of this season, denying off-field matters had anything to do with it.
The talent of rising stars Tyrell Sloan and Cody Ramsey, coupled with a tight salary cap, mean there is little room to move for the Dragons.
“We’ve got some great young kids coming through… and where we are at the moment we’re not looking to go to the market and make a really big purchase in that position,” Griffin said before Friday’s clash with Wests Tigers.
“That could change, salary cap and your roster changes day to day.
“But we haven’t not offered Matt Dufty a contract so we can go out and spend a heap of money on someone else, because we haven’t got a heap of money in next year’s cap.”
The Dragons have told fullback Dufty they won’t be renewing his contract, putting the 25-year-old speedster on the open market for 2022.
The decision has come as somewhat of a surprise given Dufty’s good form this year.
However, Griffin said he simply didn’t see Dufty in the plans moving forward and to make him believe otherwise would be unfair.
“These conversations are very hard, to get to this level for any player and have longevity at a club is a real achievement and Matt’s done a great job at this club and he’s a good person,” Griffin said.
“But in the end if you don’t have that conversation you’re letting them down if you’re not up front and honest with where you see them.
“That gives him the chance to align his career and gives us clarity on our list and where we’re going as well.”