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Connor Watson signs big deal with Wests Tigers, according to report
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Channel Seven has reported young utility playmaker Connor Watson will cut his Roosters contract short to join Wests Tigers from 2018.

Channel Seven says the young gun met with Tigers coach Ivan Cleary recently and has agreed to a deal worth $500,000 a season.

The Tigers have also reportedly promised Watson the fullback role left vacant by James Tedesco next year.

Connor Watson in action for the Roosters.

KEVVY REVEALS DCE’S CHANCES

Kevin Walters has revealed Daly Cherry-Evans is very much in contention to play Origin III in two weeks’ time.

Queensland needs to find a replacement for injured five-eighth Johnathan Thurston and DCE is one of the players in contention.

He will need to beat the likes of Michael Morgan, Corey Norman, Cameron Munster, and even Ben Hunt to the No. 6 jumper.

“He’s obviously played Origin before so that’s a big bonus for him, and I think he’s in career-best form,” Walters told NRL 360.

“When he was in the Queensland side last time I don’t think he was playing as well as he is now for the Manly side.

“We’ve been watching him, what he can do and what he can’t do … there’s not much he can’t do at the moment.

“Certainly all his stats are pointing in the right direction … we’ve got to make a decision over the weekend and he’s one of the guys in the mix.”

Walters vehemently denied Cherry-Evans was out of favour with the Maroons after representing them a couple of years ago.

There’s been rumours senior Queensland players don’t want DCE back in the team.

“I hear that rumour often bob its head up at different times … there’s nothing (in it),” Walters said.

“If he’s not selected that won’t be the reason. Our boys are a tight-knit group and he’s played Origin with those guys.”

RICKY OPENS UP ON RAIDERS WOES

Canberra has lost six games by six or less points and things are starting to look grim in the nation’s capital.

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart spoke to Monday Night With Matty Johns about his side’s woes.

“I’d be lying to you if I said it doesn’t knock your confidence around, because it certainly does,” Stuart said.

“You sit on the sideline and you are concerned with it. I know as a player you get disgruntled, concerned, and it does knock your confidence around a little bit.

“The players have been in every game so far except one, we just haven’t been winning those games.

“Being an ex-halfback, when you’re not winning close games a lot of the pressure and scrutiny does get put on the halves, and that’s to be expected.”

REPLACEMENTS FOR SIRONEN

Manly has been dealt a blow with forward Curtis Sironen injured during the weekend’s win.

He scored two tries in the Sea Eagles victory and has become an integral player in the team.

Teammate Blake Green says there’s depth there to cover for the loss.

“Off the top of my head I think Lewis Brown – he plays off the bench for us every week and generally plays some time on the edge or in the middle, so he would be the logical choice,” Green told NRL Tonight.

“If there was another one in our squad Jarrad Kennedy and Shaun Lane both play on the edge for our feeder team.

“I’m confident they could come in and do a good job.”

GOULD’S BIG CALL ON BAZ

Phil Gould says Manly coach Trent Barrett will be rugby league’s next “supercoach”, in the vein of Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bennett.

Barrett worked at Penrith under Gould before moving to Manly to take the reins, and the Sea Eagles are in top form this year.

Gould wrote for Wide World Of Sports just how highly he rates Barrett.

“Trent Barrett is destined for great things in our game. His experience as a Test class footballer and outstanding club player, along with his wonderful knowledge of the game, is a huge asset to his coaching aspirations,” Gould wrote.

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