Following a shift from the one jersey to the seven, Jahrome Hughes has enjoyed a breakout season.
The Storm halfback has not only announced himself as one of the premier players in the position this year, but has also played a large role in steering his side to a Grand Final berth.
However, with Hughes out of contract at the end of this season, one prominent scribe has questioned the New Zealander’s management for shopping their client during Grand Final week.
Speaking on Tuesday, Hughes’ manager Chris Orr added gas to the flames of speculation.
“Naturally, Jahrome is just thinking about the grand final this week,” his manager Chris Orr told WWOS.
“After he has had a bit of a break we will think about 2022 and there will be no shortage of interest. He is happy at the Storm but you never know what will happen.
“Jahrome was great at fullback last season and has been even better at halfback – he is a special talent.”
Orr’s tactic holds stark similarities to the announcement of John Bateman just twelve months ago.
Prior to the Raider’s appearance in last season’s decider, Bateman threw a cat amongst the pigeons by announcing in an interview with NRL.com that he was more than willing to leave the club.
“I’ve got a new agent over here, I’m with Isaac Moses,” Bateman said.
“I don’t know where Canberra are at with their salary cap. While I’m over here mate, I have to do what’s best for me and best for my family.”
The ensuing tsunami of queries that coach Ricky Stuart and CEO Don Furner Jr were forced to field during Grand Final week was said to have left the pair none too happy.
The Raiders eventually called the Englishmen’s ill timed bluff, with Bateman forced into a Super League return with Wigan.
Despite his seemingly innocuous statement, Orr’s comments drew the ire of Paul Kent, with the veteran Daily Telegraph journalist concerned the ploys have become the new normal.
“Forgive me for being a cynic, waiting for grand final week and starting to shop him around?” Kent said on NRL360 on Fox League.
“We saw it with John Bateman last year.
“Is this going to become an annual thing now?
“A young kid who feels he should be on a bit more money gets to grand final and uses that as the opportune time to start spruiking their talents?”