Talk of Bronco Tom Dearden's early departure to join the North Queensland Cowboys has been confirmed by coach Kevin Walters.
Speaking after training on Thursday, Walters said while no immediate plans have been made for Dearden to move to North Queensland, the wheels are in motion for an early release.
"There is some discussions happening around that but I don’t believe anything is happening and nothing has come to fruition just yet so at the moment Tommy is still a Bronco," Walters said.
Dearden has signed a three-year deal with the Cowboys from 2022 and his immediate move could pave the way for Jake Clifford to join Newcastle, while the Knights are also keen on acquiring Matt Lodge.
Rumours swirling about whether Dearden requested an immediate release from the Broncos was diverted by Walters reaffirming reporters that his focus was solely on their upcoming clash with the Storm.
"I’m not sure [if request has been made], I’m just head down bum up this week with short preparation to get into the Storm game so I’m not aware of what’s happening outside that circle."
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The prospect of Dearden's move to the Cowboys is incredibly exciting for his development.
Former Cowboys legend Jonathan Thurston told the media that under the right guidance and leadership, the young halfback will flourish at the club.
"Obviously at the Broncos hasn't had much leadership around him to help develop his game," Thurston said.
Thurston thinks this leadership will enable Dearden to become a key part of the club.
"Certainly I think he will be the future of the club, so we've got some really good halves he's got Michael Morgan there as well."
A #RedHill exodus appears imminent with Tom Dearden and Matt Lodge both expected to exit the club in the coming days.
— 9News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) May 26, 2021