NRL Rd 22 - Raiders v Dragons
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 14: Aaron Woods of the Dragons in action during the round 22 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the St George Illawarra Dragons at GIO Stadium, on August 14, 2022, in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Aaron Woods will trade Wollongong for the Northern Beaches after joining the Manly Sea Eagles effective immediately as part of a player swap.

The former Tiger, Bulldog and Sharks' prop joined the St George Illawarra Dragons last season, featuring in 19 NRL games during the 2022 season, however is yet to crack the first-grade side this year.

Entering the twilight of his career, Woods has stepped up his media commitments as his playing days begin to wind down, however the Sea Eagles will be looking to get the most out of the former Kangaroo after losing two gun youngsters.

The Daily Telegraph broke the news on Saturday, with both Viliame Fifita and Alec Tuitavake set to join the Dragons effective immediately as part of the swap, two hulking props yet to make their NRL debut.

Fifita had a stellar pre-season challenge, which they wouldn't have won without his offloads, while 22-year-old Tuitavake has big wraps on him.

The duo were touted to join the Dragons in the past fortnight, however Manly CEO Tony Mestrov seemingly shot down the move.

“There has been no release at this stage,” Mestrov told News Corp at the time.

“At this stage it will go before our retention committee."

Anthony Seibold is reportedly keen for Woods to mentor the Sea Eagles' young forwards. Sean Keppie, Haumole Olakau'atu, Kelma Tuilagi and Ben Trbojevic are all established, but far from the final product.

The 32-year-old Woods brings just over 250 NRL games of valuable experience to Brookvale, and could play for the club as soon as next weekend.

5 COMMENTS

  1. This is great news for St George, not really sure what Manly is getting out of the deal. Fifita is a young gun for sure and we’ve just lowered the average age of pack several years.

  2. I’m very surprised this has eventuated. I thought Viliame Fifita was a hands off prospect at Manly. On the other hand, it’s a change from seeing the Dragons lose one of their good young players to a rival club.

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