Lewis Dodd latest with announcement imminent of move for St Helens star

ST HELENS are expected to announce this week the departure of halfback Lewis Dodd from next season.

Dodd is reportedly ready to sign a four-year contract for the NRL’s bottom club, South Sydney, from 2025.

Australian sources claim that the Rabbitohs’ football manager Mark Ellison has flown to England to complete the deal.

It now appears that St Helens are resigned to losing one of their shining young stars to a career down under.

Dodd, 22, has only played one first-grade game in Australia, but it was a highly significant one, when his golden-point field-goal won the World Club Challenge for St Helens against Penrith last February.

He made his St Helens debut as an 18-year-old in 2020 against Wigan, in front of no fans at Salford’s AJ Bell Stadium because of the Covid restrictions in place at that time.

Coming onto the field in the 57th minute to replace James Roby, he “immediately took on dummy-half duties with noted confidence”, according to the League Express report of the game.

Dodd became a regular in the matchday squad in 2021, becoming the starting scrum-half from July onwards that year.

Now managed by Australian agent SFX Sports, Dodd has already attracted attention from NRL clubs, with Canberra reportedly sounding him out last year.

He is under contract with St Helens until the end of this season, which means the club will not receive a transfer fee for losing him unless he departs the Totally Wicked Stadium before then.

And with South Sydney currently going through a crisis of confidence as they lie at the bottom of the NRL table, that isn’t an impossibility.

But with no obvious successor in place, Saints are highly unlikely to want to lose Dodd before his contract expires.

If his departure is confirmed, they are likely to initiate a search for a replacement well ahead of next season.

First published in League Express newspaper, Issue 3,428 (April 29, 2024)

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