Since the end of Kalyn Ponga's contract saga with the Newcastle Knights came to an end, Cameron Munster's decision on whether or not to re-sign with Melbourne has been thrust into the forefront of most rugby league discussions.
Munster has been one of the competition's premier players in this early 2022 season, totalling two tries, five try assists and 30 tackle breaks in just five games.
The Queensland Maroons State of Origin five-eighth is yet to make a decision on where his future lies in 2024, however, his chances of re-signing with his current side, the Melbourne Storm, have been brought under question following the club's extension of stars Harry Grant, Jahrome Hughes and Xavier Coates - gobbling up much of the salary cap.
The decision for the Storm to exclude Munster from this mass re-signing leaves the club short to offer the 27-year-old the money he'd likely get on the open market.
Many clubs, namely the Dolphins, have entered the fray, with reports that the five-eighth could be offered well over $1 million a year once the November 1 deadline comes around.
However, while money will surely factor into Munster's decision, the former Rockhampton junior's manager, Braith Anasta, has declared there's one thing that definitely needs to happen in order for him to stay - coach Craig Bellemy needs to re-sign.
“He loves playing for Bellyache and it’s a really important part of his decision,” Braith Anasta told The Daily Telegraph.
“It’s not all about money.”
Throughout Munster's nine-year career with the Storm, Bellamy has been there for every moment - the two premierships, the Australian test debut, and of course the drug-related incident that plagued the star's most recent off-season.
“The best thing that has ever happened to him was last year (white powder video),” Bellamy said.
“He did what he did (rehab) to help himself be better and it has worked a treat. He is still the larrikin. We all love that about him, but now there just seems to be a little bit more control around his life in footy and his life in general ... that’s a great thing. His consistency this year has been at a real high level. I think he will just get better and better.”
Bellamy is expected to make his decision within the next month, and the Munster domino will likely fall soon after.