Dragons bring Cook back to Red V after beating late Roosters play | The Sporting Base
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Dragons bring Cook back to Red V after beating late Roosters play

June 19, 2024

Dragons bring Cook back to Red V after beating late Roosters play

Damien Cook has agreed to join the St George Illawarra Dragons from the start of the next NRL season, taking up a two-year offer from his junior club that will see him paid around $500,000 a season.

Cook, 32, told his South Sydney Rabbitohs teammates about the move when they fronted for training at Heffron Park on Wednesday.

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The former New South Wales and Australia hooker still had a season to run on his Redfern deal, but the Rabbitohs gave him their blessing to find a new club for 2025. While he remains one of the best rakes in the game, The Sporting Base understands Wayne Bennett was happy to let him go early to start bringing in new blood immediately.

There was a little confusion earlier this week, with the Rabbitohs declaring Cook “wasn’t going anywhere” and the Roosters submitting a late bid, but Shane Flanagan and the Dragons got the job done.

 

Today’s signing means Cook will return to the Dragons after seven games for the Canterbury Bulldogs and 196 (and counting) for South Sydney. He originally started life in the NRL with a debut for St George Illawarra, playing two games in 2013 under Bennett’s Red V successor Steve Price before being picked up by the Bulldogs.

The Dragons will pay $500,000 a season between 2025 and 2026, with Souths expected to chip in the rest. He was lined up to be paid around $650,000 next year, meaning the Bunnies are still on the hook for around $150,000 of that pay packet.

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Cook’s last game for the Rabbitohs will likely be in round 27 against the club’s arch-rivals the Roosters, with the Bunnies now long, long odds to make the NRL postseason this campaign.


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