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)

Souths and NSW Blues hooker Damien Cook is reportedly being courted by four clubs for 2020 and beyond after his scintillating 2018 season, in which he emerged from the edges of first-grade to become a bonafide star at Origin and Test level.

According to The Daily Telegraph, four clubs are in dialogue with Cook – and among them are an unknown suitor believed to be the Brisbane Broncos, who are allegedly poised to make a big late play for Cook in a bid to line him up with incoming coach Anthony Seibold in 2020.

Cook and Seibold already have a good relationship, with Cook having flourished under Seibold’s guidance during his tenure with the Rabbitohs.

“There has been a club that has come in late,” Cook’s manager Mario Tartak told the Daily Telegraph.

“I would be reluctant (to name the club) because we basically agreed not to say anything.

“We’re down to four clubs and that includes Souths. Two are in Sydney, one out of Sydney. They are all strong offers.

“Put it this way, we are getting closer and closer each week but I’m not in a rush, we’re definitely not in a rush.

“Souths are in heavy dialogue with me and want to retain him. He would like to stay.”

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Despite the interest from other clubs and the attractive prospect of linking up with Seibold at the Broncos, South Sydney are still considered the firm favourites for Cook’s signature.


  1. Journo’s putting 2 +2 together and getting 5. It states that 2 Sydney clubs and 1 from outside Sydney are interested in Cook, so there are quite a few clubs outside Sydney besides the Broncos. More realistic that the club outside Sydney is the Storm looking to replace Smith.

      • Could also be Newcastle as they seem to have bucket loads of cash and I believe that Danny Levi is on the outer. Word up here is that Brisbane are not interested and it is just his manager trying to drive his price up.

      • I think IF Cook leaves Souths the most obvious choice would be to follow Seibold who believed in him and gave him the chance to establish himself in the NRL (as much as that would kill me).

        That said, he would have to be happy to move his family north of the NSW border and adjust to life “an hour behind the rest of Australia”. I hope he also has a taste for North Korean food 🇰🇵 and a tightly controlled biased state run media service that is celebrating the end of decades of backwards leadership by their former “beloved leader” Kim Jong-Bennett.

        In the unlikely event that Cook ends up south of the border in “Mexico” instead then Souths should go after Brandon Smith and offer him the starting hooker role instead of shadowing yet another rep player while his NRL career takes a back seat.

        But I still don’t trust the Chooks and their million dollar carrots 🥕💲 and the offer of membership to their exclusive “million dollar man” club.

        Fingers crossed that Cook still bleeds cardinal and myrtle and that he doesn’t have a taste for either chicken or Mexican or North Korean food.

      • @ dreaglor and the rest of the ZT faithful

        My reply is currently being “modded”. To view modded posts do the following:

        1. Left click on “Howdy, [profile name]” in the top right hand corner
        2. left click on your [profile name]
        3. left click on “comments” on the far left column


        • Conceivably it would be unimaginable that Cook will do that, of which arch rivals Rooster players do, obtain a contract at a reduce amount which is advantageous and practical for both parties. Cook receives a substantial increase from 300K to 800K and avoids switching clubs however sacrificing 150-200K in the process.

          However with Bennett’s eventual arrival at our Glorious club, Cook would be more feasible and profitable for him to depart if a premiership is Cook’s ultimate desire. Bennett will destroy our club.

      • @ dreaglor (part 1)

        I think IF Cook leaves Souths the most obvious choice would be to follow Seibold who believed in him and gave him the chance to establish himself in the NRL (as much as that would kill me).

      • @ dreaglor (part 2)

        That said, he would have to be happy to move his family north of the NSW border and adjust to life “an hour behind the rest of Australia”. I hope he also has a taste for North K0rean food 🇰🇵 and a tightly controlled biased state run media service that is celebrating the end of decades of backwards leadership by their former “beloved leader” Kim J0ng-Bennett.

    • Hands off! You already have the better side of the coaching exchange and the only benefit to Souths are the players Bennett is “reportedly” bringing with him which look less likely with each passing day.

      The “other” Sydney club chasing Cook will of coarse be the Roosters. They are looking to add players to their growing collection of their exclusive “million dollar man” club! 💰💰💰

      • TPJ for Cook, throw in Macca for free. 🙂
        In all seriousness, I would actually like the Broncs to bring Matt Parcell back to the club, was very disappointed when he left for the Sea Eagles.

        • IMHO I would NOT approve of a direct swap of Cook for TPJ, Oates, Fifita and Haas COMBINED! THAT is Cook’s importance to the Rabbitohs IMO.

          If the Broncos get both Seibold and Cook and Souths don’t even get any of the aforementioned four players it will be an act of sabotage sanctioned by the NRL.

          A classic example of an “NRL protected club” like the Broncos gutting a foundation Sydney club to strengthen the game outside NSW and further weaken one of the remaining 9 Sydney clubs that are a thorn in the side of the NRL’s plans for national expansion.

          It would be like the brutal clubbing of a baby fur seal on the ice only it would be a fluffy bunny rabbit trampled by a runaway horse with Greenberg as the Gollum-like jockey!

        • Geez Reg, that is a bit graphic, poor little bunny. 🙂
          I still think it is just Cooks manager trying to drive up his contract price and don’t actually believe that the Broncos are looking at him as we have Macca. I do think however that there would be interest from a couple of Sydney clubs though.

        • I hope so dreaglor. Souths need Cook big time and we are already losing the 2018 “Coach of the year” for an empty husk of a coach. At this point of his coaching career Papa Smurf is more interested in a life-size bronze statue of himself outside Suncorp stadium than in adapting his coaching techniques to be relevant to this millennium.

          When I look at Bennett behind the glass of his coaches box I only see a geriatric stick insect in a “Bug Catcher”.

          Set him free dreaglor I say. Don’t keep like a specimen in the museum of ancient history.

      • Apparently Bennett has already spoken to Cook so something is happening , hang tight little Reggie, Cook ain’t going anywhere.

        Where’s 3 hats when you need him , i’m getting better info than him!!

        • “Bennett has already spoken to Cook so something is happening”

          Hopefully it isn’t cause for false hope and Cook is his last great signing for the Broncos as a parting gift to guarantee a life-size bronze statue of himself outside Suncorp stadium next to Wally Lewis!

      • I can’t imagine that the Eels are actually in the running as mighty has said. I also am not naive enough not to think that Uncle Nick isn’t active behind the scenes in all of this as well. It would keep Cook in Sydney and his wife just as close to Royal randwick hospital.

        • Yeah, although Jake Friend is only 1 year older than Cook and I imagine that the Roosters are happy with Friendy at hooker.

        • I don’t think we are in the running, but I did hear that we were interested, not sure about if an offer was put forward though.

        • @ eels47

          I have a reply for your post on the last Hayne story.

          November 19, 2018 at 9:17 am
          Haha, you have got to be kidding…

      • I don’t think eels are looking at him, I have heard it was wests tigers that was making a play due to the maguire links.

        • Like others here have said billy, Madge did him no favours during his tenure at Souths so although Madge might be interested I doubt that Cook would be IMO.

  2. Just can’t see him leaving Souths, has i said before his new wife is the PA for V’landys at Royal randwick, not happy if Seibold has other intentions, he did after all attend his wedding and could quite easily persuade him to the Broncos who by the way want it kept quite that they are chasing him in case McCulluch finds out, still his preferred choice is to stay and hope that will be the case.

    This coaching situation is not good, I can see Souths missing the top 8 next year if some firm decisions are not made quickly, we can’t even sign a assistant coach until it is resolved, hopefully when Bennett gets back wednesday we will know what is happpening.

    • Apparently Bennett is back in the country today, but regardless I just hope something can be sorted for the swap to happen next year otherwise both are clubs are stuffed next year!! Can you imagine, the press will have a field day like they are now, will be very distracting for players and coaches and absolutely sh%$house for us fans. 🙁

        • I actually think Broncos will be fine either way, the Broncos players are obviously happy for Bennett to be there, but will get on with business if there is a swap.
          Souths however need the swap to happen. it was Seibold who has chosen to leave the club and consequently Souths players may be spurned. For them to get on with business they need the change.

    • I can only hope you are right penso. But I can think of a million reasons 💲💲💲 why Cook might go to the Broncos or the Roosters.

      I don’t know which is worse for the game, the Roosters signing Cook for $1 mill plus but with NO salary cap or the Broncos signing Cook for $200K on the cap and $1 mill in “brown paper bags”. 💰💰💰

      • I reckon he will be at Souths next year, but lack of desire to play under Uncle Wayne might drive him out ( wouldn’t blame him ). I don’t think he will go to Brisbane it’s too far away. But get ready for big money offers from the Dragons ( he’s a south coast boy ) or the Tigers under Madge to replace Farah in 2020. Can’t see him being at Souths long term unfortunately, because of Bennett. Sorry Reg.

  3. I hate it when journo hacks say ”Cook flourished under Seibold”. Cook was about to ”flourish” anyway, even if I coached Souths.

    • They have to say something to make the story all the more juicy chalky. 😃 Headline on this story in the Courier Mail is, “Seibold play:Broncos enter four-way Cook off”. What an utter load of you know what, as the story mentions that a club outside Sydney is interested, not specifically the Broncos. Geez it’s bloody annoying how they make up stuff!!

    • Cook was a second rate player under all his previous coaches, undoubtedly Cook will follow Seibold where ever he goes.

      • Just as YOU follow Woody, Russ, everywhere HE goes. You even share the same curfews and never post after a certain hour. Did I just say all that out loud? 😂😂😂😂

    • “Cook was about to ”flourish” anyway, even if I coached Souths.”

      Would you please chalky? Somehow I feel Souths might be better off if you replaced Papa Smurf and at least you won’t forget the player’s names and I’m sure you don’t need anywhere near as many naps and bathroom breaks during a game like Bennett does. 😂😂😂😂

      • Well I was a certified referee and a qualified coach, I am a Foundation Member of Souths, and have been following them for an untold number of years, but I am currently under contract to my wife and family. Souths will have to be content with just my support at the moment.

        I am currently considering American Football.

        • “I am currently considering American Football”

          I understand it’s fast becoming “the Australian dream”.

          “I have a dream…” – Martin Luther King Jr.

          I blame the EA Madden NFL franchise for XBox for creating a generation of adroit gamers who believe they can replicate their feats on the XBox in real life. As if skill with a gamepad is analogous to actual athletic ability and being able to reproduce the skill set required for the NFL in real life.

          Perhaps if EA (Electronic Arts) could just release a VR (Virtual Reality) version of Madden it would save these players the air fare and allow them to tick off one more thing from their “bucket list”.

          “Foundation Member of Souths”

          So you’ve been a member of the club since 1908? I thought you were just over 10 years my senior, not Woody’s! 😉

        • On a serious note chalky, 🎵 I am worried about the affect this off-season coaching merry-go-round will have on Souths, particularly in regards to Damien Cook’s re-signing and what it means for players like John Sutton and Kyle Turner.

          I also hope Bennett has the good sense not to let Souths juniors like Cam Murray and Campbell Graham go to make way for TPJ and Oates.

          I have a strong feeling that if this whole situation had not occurred and Seibold re-signed for another 3 years then Souths would have won a premiership or at least made a GF before that contract expired.

          This year we were close but fell short for a variety of reasons. In many ways to me it “felt” like 2013 and we both know what happened in 2014. Nothing we can do now but hope for the best and prepare for the worst!

  4. Newcastle prolly still have 3 million left in their cap and need another hooker 😂

    After RK and Griffin I wouldn’t want to sign a deal there if I was a hooker, unless it was mad Monday and the Hayne plane called up of corse

  5. Reg, Richo has gone on record that HE will be in charge of recruitment, so let’s take him at his word. I like to win but I would rather watch Souths juniors (and by juniors I mean players who started their football in the U6’s at a local club) play their hearts out for the Cardinal and Myrtle than win every game with a bunch of mercenaries.

    • Substitute the name of the juniors and the team colours and reverse those sentiments and you just described the Roosters supporters who believe the EXACT OPPOSITE.

      KAOS should be here shortly to refute this. You will recognise them by their sombreros.

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