GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 21: Damien Cook of the Rabbitohs in action during the round seven NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canberra Raiders at Central Coast Stadium on April 21, 2018 in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

South Sydney hooker Damien Cook is just two weeks away from being on the open market for the 2020 season, although he’s repeatedly made it clear he doesn’t want to be.

Cook is currently under contract for 2019 with the Bunnies, but given he signed that deal while he was a bench player, his management want the Rabbitohs to come to the party and pay Cook what he’s worth.

According to The Daily Telegraph, a deal worth $800,000 a season is what he could sign.

“I still have next year to go with Souths,” Cook told The Daily Telegraph when asked about his contract situation..

“I really enjoy it there. It’s part of the business. I do come off contract. It’s a bit different. Last time I did a contract I wasn’t sure where I was going to be. I’ve told my manager to look after that especially while I’m (in camp with the Australian squad).

“It is different this time around. I’ve openly said to Souths, I’d love to be there long-term.

“I’m 27. You never know how many more deals you’ll get. You have to make the most of it when you can.”

Cook had an amazing year this season, and has been rewarded with a spot in the Kangaroos’ squad.

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He attributes his successes to two big moments, with one of them coming earlier this year.

“It’s been a good journey and certain parts have been really important,” Cook said.

“Coming out of 20s and coming back to Illawarra. They just put a NSW Cup side in then. I was lucky Illawarra put a team on the park to allow me to continue my journey.

“It was my stepping stone. I wasn’t flying out of 20s. l kept developing as a player. Very grateful to have the Cutters come back into it and use them as a stepping stone.

“The next one was getting the No. 9 jersey for round one this year. It wasn’t a big reveal (by coach Anthony Seibold). I knew I’d had a big pre-season. He told me I’d have first crack.

“Once I had it I just had to keep playing well. Seibs puts a lot of trust and loyalty to his players. “f I kept playing well I knew I’d be able to keep my jersey.”


    • Agreed and Souths will see that he gets every penny he deserves (unless he wants to get paid in dollars!) 😉

      None of this $300K “on the salary cap” contracts and $1.2 mill in TPA’s BS that other clubs use to abuse and get round the system. Thankfully for the club Cookie has stated that he wants to stay with the Rabbitohs and wear the cardinal and myrtle long term. He is happy at the club and grateful for the fact that they have developed him and given him an opportunity not only to play first grade but also to represent his state and country as a Rabbitoh. There are lessons there to be learned I think for Angus Crichton who like Chris Sandow who chased a pot of gold only to find fools gold and a dead end to his career may yet come to rue his hasty and greedy decision.

      • Reg Reagan 3rd parties are good for the game and completely legal as long as the club doesnt get involved

        • What happened to the NRL dictated “nominal market value” that the NRL insisted on setting for Sam Burgess to up the contract by $350K ABOVE what Burgess left the game on and was prepared to sign for? What happened to the “nominal market value” of $500K for James Roberts set by the NRL and when Souths were the ONLY team wish cash and room under the cap to sign Roberts the NRL green lit a deal with the Broncos for $300K? What about the “nominal market value” that the Roosters should have paid for SBW, Michael Jennings and James Maloney back in 2013 but were never forced to?

          The idea is that clubs are MEANT to sign players for a “nominal market value” but are getting away with signing rep players for the same amount as rookies and throwing the difference on TPA’s which is an abuse of the salary cap system.

          At least your Knights paid Pearce what he was worth (perhaps on overs) unlike the Roosters who tried (and would have succeeded) in signing a former origin rep for $200K a season. What a joke!

        • Soufths will have to let a few more players go to resign this one year wonder. If I was a rabbit official then lets see how he performs next season before any offer hits the table. At 28 next season he is coming to that point in his career which requires Cook to chase as much money as he can get so he never needs an alarm clock in the morning to awake for work. Personally I think everyone has worked out how to handle his dummy half runs after the Roosters exposed the tactic in their 18-14 win 4 weeks out from the semis and reapplied the same technique in the preliminary final. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣👎👎👎👎👎👎👎. Souths have got no idea how to handle the cap🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🎱🎱🎱🎱🎱🎱🎱

        • Well Woody it looks like you found matron’s hidden bottle of sherry before 9:30pm lights out at the retirement home for old Roosters. Your head will be ringing in the morning mate.

          And again it’s not “Soufths”. Fix your dentures old chook.

          I repeat…

          Reg Reagan
          October 20, 2018 at 12:20 pm
          …chooks don’t have teeth, especially old ones. Perhaps if Woody used fixodent on his dentures they wouldn’t slip out of place and force him to mispronounce words. Unfortunately his breath will still smell like polydent but that is the price chickens have to pay to have teeth!

        • Actually if you had graduated primary school you would realise that rabbits have teeth and chickens and other birds do not. Bahahahahahahahaha what a dumb ass you are “groupie”. Can’t you come up with ANYTHING original? No wonder you keep repeating a year at school.

  1. When the going gets tough, cook goes a missing!
    Good player only when the forwards are running rough shot over the opposition.

      • You expect too much Kev of your average canine. It is a remarkable feat for a Kelpie to type up a paragraph with just their paws and a keyboard and still make less errors than your average “Red Flea”.

        You ARE right though Kev, Cook has more than proved himself this year but Kelpie is just salty because his Broncos lost at home by half a century in their last game of the year!

        • If South’s forwards do their job and keep rolling through the middle third AND get a QUICK play the ball opposition defences may have Cook figured out but they won’t be able to stop him!

          Souths pack (the Burgess’s in particular) were stuffed after two GF-like games in succession in terms of intensity so by the Roosters game they weren’t making the same impact or providing the same platform for Cook, Reynolds or Walker to attack from.

          I’d be more worried about whether or not Manly have it “all figured out” for 2019 if I were you. Two coaches spells confusion in my book… no wait, that “Red Flea’s” spelling book! 😂😂😂😂

    • Kelby grow up, there is more to Cooks game than just running out of dummy half, his service to his playmakers is very good, plus he averages inexcess of 40 tackles a game, opposition teams are wary of his running out of dummy half and when they slacken off is when he makes teams pay dearly cause he is always a threat, also tell me a dummy half that plays well when their forwards are going backwards, what a stupid comment to make, it is the hookers who can take advantage of this that make them outstanding players and hope Souths pay him what he is worth and I believe they will.

      Has for Woodys one season wonder, did notice he kept your co captain out of the Aussie team, me thinks he is way more than a one season wonder and no doubt Woody your probably thinking he should go to Easts for half of what he is worth just so he can win a premiership, just remember that Souths finished on the same points this year and just because you finally fluked a comp doesn’t mean your luck will be their forever, Easts claiming they will start a dynasty is fanciful next year they will come crashing down to earth, enjoy why you can Woody.

      • Thanks Penzo, I’m a realist and understand they way of the NRL marketing strategies to entice the publics interest in Rugby League. The NRL don’t want or allow dynasties any longer than one season. Now lets go back to say 1972 when the Roosters made and lost a grand final finally after a bit of a drought. Since then they have played in 11 grand Finals averaging one every 4.27 years, They have won just 5 of those grand finals averaging a premiership once every 9.4 years, So Penso I will be watching the grand final on DVD every Sunday afternoon at 4pm until the season 2019 kicks off, but on those averages I will not be expecting another premiership until 2028 which will be all good knowing on averages for Souths using the same formula since 1972 they will not be expecting another premiership until 2056, actually that will be around the same time man walks on the Red planet Mars but there is no little green men there.💪😎👍

        • Well, Woody Wood RORTER/CHOKER Pecker

          In 2056 your pathetic club will still be well behind our 21 Premierships mate.
          The Rorts are now on, what is it 14 Premierships, hmmm

          The Rabbitohs won our 14th Premiership in 1953 so in fact that puts those SCUM Rorters 65 years behind the Pride of the League Rabbitohs.

          Before the Professional/Money Era the Roosters were NOTHING!

          You guys have won the most “Minors” that is true 20 to our 17 but it is the Rabbitohs who go on and convert them into “Majors” into Premierships.

          All this despite the fact since 1974 when Corporates have propped up Clubs and with all of the Millions of dollars City Ford/Mobster Politics in charge of the NSWRL and the NRL for 2 decades and had us thrown out illegally…
          You blokes are still behind.
          Amazing Stuff really.

          From 1974 to about 2010 the Rabbitohs were extremely short of funds, yet we still managed to keep our chins above the water line while your blokes were travelling first class and staying at the Posh Hotels and sipping your lates…

          What do you have to show for it All?
          Only a little!

  2. Only clubs & the supporters of clubs using massive third party deals to buy , keep players would say they are good for the game. The whole idea of the cap was to make the competition closer, more even. Also to keep some clubs from going broke of course.
    How do the third party deals keep the competition more even? They allow certain clubs to way overspend on the cap every year. Who says those deals are made directly between the player & a third party any way? I don’t think anyone truely believes that the clubs don’t have a direct hand in all third party deals.
    If the third party deals as a whole for each club were limited to a certain amount, that would make it all even. With clubs all being able to have a hand in those third party deals. They do it any way!
    Of course supporters of the Roosters, Brisbane , Melbourne , Gold Coast wouldn’t like that.

    • you forgot Canberra, Townsville Cowboys, Newcastle and the Sutherland “SHIRE”, Saint George/Wollongong, These are teams and regions that have endless capabilities for their rich business minded fans to pay third party agreements. You could probably throw Penrith in with that group also. so the other Six clubs need to pull their lazy heads out of bed and go out to all potential businessmen and generate the third party agreements that are there to be taken advantage of. There is an equal opportunity for all. Nothing is handed out on a platter except the NRL equal payment to every club every season of what ever it is up to now 9,10 million. Its up to each club to find their passionate wealthy fans. Every club has them.💪😎👍🎱🎱🎱🎱🎱🎱🎱🎱🎱🎱🎱

      • As a life long Penrith resident I would be interested to know about these rich business minded fans that you are referring to that could help the team with 3rd party deals? Many of Penrith’s sponsors that they attract to the club are local small to medium businesses, there is not a lot of big business out here that can afford to throw big money at the Panthers.

        I also doubt the story is much different in Canberra, Townsville, Newcastle Cronulla or the Dragons. Just because a team doesn’t have the competition for TPA’s like those in Sydney, it doesn’t mean that they are available.

        • Baza Barns from Baza’s Bargin Barnhouse. 1991 South East St North Penrith is willing to depart with heaps of big dollars. Get up their and get in his ear mate. his email is Bigbazgiveaway@ yahoo.com.au🍔👴🍔💲💲💲💲💲💲💲💲

  3. I would argue that the third party deals aren’t an even playing field.
    The Broncos are a one club city of millions of people, as are Melbourne. The Roosters are run by a business man with close business links outside of the club.
    It’s far easier for those clubs to get far more & higher amounts of third party deals than other clubs.
    I would argue that Newcastle now with the backing of Newcastle Wests Leagues are getting more deals also. As are the Gold Coast in their area.
    Canberra is a relatively small area , small population & doesn’t have the amount of big business available to them that The Roosters , Melbourne, Brisbane do. The same for the Cowboys.
    It’s common knowledge that certain clubs way over spend using third party deals.
    The Roosters wouldn’t have won in 2018 , or been in finals as often as they have been since 2000 without so many of those deals.
    Whether you support the Roosters or any one else , you know it’s true.
    While we’re on the Roosters though. Now more of their players are state players & internationals , plus premiership winners. All of those things usually bring a contract upgrade with them. Who are the Roosters now going to release to make up for the contract upgrades? I think we all know that will be no one…just higher Third Party Payments.

    • A contract upgrade is negotiated at the end of the current contract. That’s the thing that every player is aware of when they sign on the dotted line at the Roosters, no back end deals. What you sign for is all you get. When Cooper Cronk retires that frees up 1mil dollars. E.G-If Mitchell and Manu get offers from Souths of 800k and they are both currently on 350k then they will prefer to stay at the Roosters for 650-700k rather than switch camps and never get a crack at another grand final over at Souths. Why do you think long term stars like Cordner, Friend, Tupou, Aubusson, JWH, and with the next generation of loyal chooks who just won a Premiership know how important it is to stick together for slightly less cash. The policy has worked for the Roosters, Melbourne and in the past during the 21st century Manly, Cowboys, Brisbane and Canterbury until Des back ended everyone. You know nothing about Rugby League contracts if you think the Roosters have to let players go because they played for Australia/NZ/Tonga or England.💪👀👍

      • Woody you are so far up your backside it’s unbelievable, players will not sign for Easts at a lower rate just cause they believe will have a better chance of winning a comp, your club is not that good and this will be found out next year, plus players want to play for a club that has supporters, that can feel their love from a crowd, not a club who begged supporters to back them in the grand final cause it’s Sydney v Melbourne, the fact that this grand final was the lowest TV rating final ever shows just how much the general public regards Easts, your club will forever be the most dispised club in league, a club that has no respect from other supporters, hope you enjoy that Woody, people talk about Manly being hated , they like that, supporters have more respect for them than you guys and thats saying something.

        Easts claim their the best performed team of anyone winning 21 minor prems, me, i’ll take 21 premeirships anyday over their 14, and EOD is right with these third party deals , the sooner these deals are wiped out the better, then we can see if Easts can really keep players on lower pay to win a comp.

        • Fergo signed for one more season this year and for less money to repay the Roosters for giving him a second chance, and gues what penzo? He won a comp for less cash than the year before. Saint George offered huge bucks for Aubusson a few years ago. Guess what Penzo? He stayed for far less cash and has now won two premierships. Tupou extended his contract last season for a further 4 years and has knocked back big dollars from rival clubs, and guess what Penszo❓❓❓❓❓❓❓❓he has won two premierships and like a stack of other Roosters are best mates and want to stick together and win premierships, they get paid good dollars but they can get more elsewhere. They choose not too.

          Its like life in general. Would you be happy away from all your mates and loved ones making a packet of money in a remote stinking hot part of North Western Australia in the mines with no weekends and enjoyment just work and get money for 15 years of your life? Or be happy and take less cash but enough to survive, pay off a house go on holidays and enjoy every weekend with your favorite people. Smart footballers are like that, greedy ones have no enjoyment in life only chasing dollars. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

      • Almost there penso but not quite. Players do go to clubs for slightly less cash if there is a chance to win the comp, that is why teams like my Eels, Knights etc have to pay overs to attract talent. It is not just about winning the comp though, it is about playing with other quality players which, in turn, helps the player further their career.

        And I don’t think players really go to teams because they have more fans either, otherwise players would be jumping over themselves to sign with the Rabbitohs, Eels, Bulldogs etc. At the end of the day cash is king and that is the biggest determinant of where a player will sign. They make take a little less to be successful, or in some cases, loyal to fans and/or team, but the cash comes first, and players cannot be blamed for that.

    • “Why do you think long term stars like Cordner, Friend, Tupou, Aubusson, JWH, …stick together for slightly less cash.”

      Tell that to Mitchell Pearce, Adrian Guerra and SKD, long time servants of the Roosters who got kicked to the kerb by “the Don” Politis to bring in Tedesco and Cronk, re-sign Keary and Cordner and make way for Crichton. Now THAT’s loyalty that money can’t buy!

      • And if you call $300K – $400K off a player’s market value “slightly less cash” then you probably light Cuban cigars imported straight from Havana with a fist full of $100 bills!

      • SSTID_1970/Reg
        I agree with you on that one.

        All Souths fans do hate the Rorts and all Rorts fans do hate the Rabbitohs but Woody does have quite a few good valid points.

        Players do want to play with other good players, in the professional NRL era, all clubs do have those good players, well at least 5 of them at any rate.
        The big clubs may have at least 10 top line players.

        At Souths, I consider that we do have 8 top line players.
        GI, Gagai, Reynolds, Sam B, George B, Tom B, Sutton and Cook.

        I have left out Alex Johnston but he could well make it 9.
        Cam Murray may be considered also.

        When I look at the Roosters Roster keeping the bias away, I can count 17 players that I would consider top line players.

        It all comes down to Facilities with their Gyms and hyperbaric chambers and medical facilities.
        MONEY and TPAs and the Perception of professionalism as some clubs on away trips stay at the best Hotels while the battlers stay at motels and Travel lodges, as an example.

        The players get to find out which clubs offer the best and just little things like the quality of the breakfast on away trips that are usually paid for by the clubs.
        As some examples

        When Rusty took over I spoke to Nick Pappas and I asked him…
        Why don’t we get more TPAs like the Rorts?

        He told me that the Rabbitohs play by the Rules as he didn’t want any scandals at our club like at the Dogs.
        Ian Schubert was the Salary Cap Auditor and he took great delight in picking at everything and checking everything at Souths.

        When GI came to Souths our Roster was one of less than middle of the road but Schubert made sure we lost a good player even though back then you would be hard pressed to name 5 top liners.
        Schubert made it so hard in registering GIs contract he was only4 hours away from being lost to Aussie Rules.

        The CEO at the time came in and overuled Schubert and allowed the contract.

        $BW when he was signed everything was hunky dorey, the SCUM lost no one to accomodate him.

        When Sam came back it took 4 months and the loss of 3 Souths players before he was allowed back into League!

        I played Junior Reps as a Youngster, not for Souths though as I lived in a different district.
        I enjoyed it as the best kids in the district played together, that was in the early 80s.

        • So you played for the Roosters 3hats, well why didn’t you say so my newest best budy , Sir Chookster, now I know why you call yourself three hats. Because after 1980 the Roosters have won three premierships which entitles you to a cap per premiership. Nice one, Sir Chookster Three caps. 🧢🎓💊

      • The maths still doesn’t add up. The Roosters are allowed to sign for “unders” while Sam can’t even sign for the same value he was on after being away from the game and badly out of form and down on confidence. Instead the Rabbitohs had to fork out $350K extra and lose 3 players in the process just to get Sam’s contract registered.

        In racing parlance their should be a stewards enquiry! When chicken smells like fish there’s something wrong with the chicken.

        You also forgot to add that in 2013 the Roosters didn’t only sign 1 marquee player they signed 3 (SBW, Michael Jennings and James Maloney). Matt Johns came out in the online media and revealed that according to an undisclosed source responsible for controlling the salary cap at another club the Roosters would have been around $4.5 mill over the salary cap not counting TPA’s.

        I disagree with you assessment of 17 top line players currently at the chooks but if that assessment is true it only further highlights that something is not adding up.

        Certainly when you compare the players with rep experience at both clubs there is a massive advantage to the Roosters and that should equate to a greater strain on the salary cap to retain them all. But it doesn’t and they always seem to be able to buy more.

        Next year they are losing Ferguson and Matterson but gaining former origin and Australian rep Brett Morris, Englush international Ryan Hall and origin rep and future Australian rep Angus Crichton.

        It just does not add up mate. To reference Dr Who and the Tardis, it’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside and THAT’s no illusion, it’s cheating (or what they call creative accounting).

        For what it’s worth, I believe Crichton would have been happy to stay at Souths if he wasn’t dirtt over the way Madge was treated and disillusioned with the club at the time. Politis pressured him into a quick decision which he came to regret but all too late.

        • Half the Roosters players were still finding their feet, Tuivasa- Shreck, Tupou, Cordner, Guerra had not played rep footy and along with Mortimer, Aubusson and cheep buys from England Moa, O’Donnell were all on low contracts. That’s 8 players on bargain basement wages, remember that at the beginning of 2013 season this is ancient history six full seasons ago. Minichello had a discount for being a 10yr player and a reduced contract for carring him for 3 seasons when he was out injured. Annasta, Leilua, Perrett and a stack of other were let go and the Roosters clean out produced a premiership. All salary cap compliant. See the problem is you blokes look at the players now who are big name, rep players and premiership winners but back in 2013 the majority were not.🤑

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