Cronulla Sharks no. 7 Brett Kimmorley who is now on the outer with his club, yesterday gave the thumbs up to a St George Illawarra move, telling waiting media he would love to play in the side run by Wayne Bennett in 2009.
Kimmorley says he has mentally accepted his position at the Sharks, albeit a tricky situation and now simply wants to bring out his best football and impress on a weekly basis in the NRL, with Bennett the most important person he can impress.
It came to light that Kimmorley wasn’t in the plans for the Sharks after being offered by Ricky Stuart in a mid-season swap with St George Illawarra prop Jason Ryles.
Kimmorley will now remain a Cronulla player for the remainder of 2008, but is a big chance to be either aÂ Bulldog or Dragon next season, although the UK Super League remains a last resort option
The opportunity of playing under the six-time premiership winning coach Wayne Bennett has massive appeal for the former Northern Eagles and Melbourne Storm halfback.
“Definitely,” said Kimmorley.
“With the new coach there, well I nearly went to Brisbane last year, so hopefully he’ll have some interest in me.
“I’ll leave it with my manager and see what comes of it, but it is certainly an option I’d like to keep open.”
It is believed Bennett, who will replace Nathan Brown next year, and the Dragons’ board have devised a hit-list of NRL players the club could build a premiership campaign around next season.
Among the names are Kimmorley and former red and whites star Trent Barrett, who is in the process of gaining a release from Wigan to return to the NRL next season.
The 31-year-old said he was not in any rush to finalise a contract with another club.
“It’ll be my last (NRL contract) so I want to make sure I get it right,” Kimmorley said.
“I just want to worry about footy at the moment and keep playing well.”
Barrett has already been touted as a replacement for Kimmorley at the Sharks next year, while the Dragons and Raiders have also shown interest in the 30-year-old.
Barrett’s manager, Wayne Beavis, met with Canberra officials last week, but yesterday stressed Barrett was also in no rush to finalise his future.
“He’s got the rest of the season,” Beavis said.