Dragons hover as Harrison weighs up quitting Raiders
Contemplation ... back-rower Bronson Harrison. Photo: Graham Tidy
FORGOTTEN Kiwi international Bronson Harrison is on the lookout for a new club, with St George Illawarra emerging as the favourite to sign the Canberra back-rower.
Harrison's manager Sam Ayoub confirmed that his client may be on the move despite having two years remaining on his Raiders contract.
''Bronson is looking at his options and he has a few,'' Ayoub said. ''I'm not going to comment on who the clubs are because it's not fair on them. He has as much chance of being at Canberra as he does of not.''
Injuries restricted Harrison to just 10 games this season after he captained the club last year. Harrison's season was cut short after he needed facial surgery for an injury caused by an accidental elbow playing for Canberra's feeder team Mounties in August. Harrison has played 162 NRL games for Wests Tigers and Canberra. He was a member of New Zealand's 2008 World Cup-winning team.
The 27-year-old watched on as Canberra mounted a late season charge with Shaun Fensom and Josh Papalii entrenched as two of the Raiders' three starting back-rowers.
Canberra have boosted their back-row stocks, adding Joel Edwards (Newcastle) and Jake Foster (Canterbury) next season while the Dragons are looking to bolster their forward depth following the departure of Beau Scott (Newcastle) and Dean Young (retirement).
The Dragons hope a friendship developed almost a decade ago between Harrison and another likely recruit, English international Rangi Chase, holds the key to the pair joining the club. The Herald revealed last week that a conflict between managers had stalled Chase's return to St George Illawarra.
With significant salary cap space left heading into next season, the Dragons have targeted the pair, who played together at Wests Tigers, to bolster their squad before pre-season training resumes next month.
Chase, 26, left St George Illawarra at the end of 2008 and has spent the past four seasons playing for Castleford in the English Super League. He is still contracted to Castleford for a further season with the club last week denying he had joined the Dragons.
Chase would compete with Jamie Soward, former Manly under-20s halfback Josh Drinkwater and Nathan Fien for a halves position following the retirement of Ben Hornby.
The Dragons also have youngster Kyle Stanley returning from a knee reconstruction.
Chase is likely to partner Soward at the scrum base after Soward's manager Sam Ayoub reaffirmed his client's commitment to the club denying he had been sounded out by Japanese rugby.
''Jamie will be playing at the Dragons in 2013,'' Ayoub said.
''If something pops up from somewhere that fits in for both the Dragons and Jamie then we'll well look at it.
''I haven't had contact with anyone from Japan and the truth is we have no interest in it.''
Meanwhile, Dragons under-20s back-rower Ben Musolino has joined Manly on a one-year deal.