Champion had a career best season in 2010, scoring 14 tries in 19 games and is believed to be pursuing his options for 2011, as Souths desperately try to make space to accommodate the signing of Greg Inglis.
The Cowboys are yet to rule out making a play for Champion, but they’re also interested in his Rabbitohs team-mate, back-rower Ben Lowe who also been told he can move on.
Peter Jourdain, the new Cowboys CEO said that the Cowboys would be crazy to not make a play for the 23-year-old centre, who still has his best years in front of him.
“We’ve heard and read all the media about what’s happening at Souths and they may well have to shed some players, and he’s (Champion) one of the players named, but we don’t know if it’s a real option,” he said.
“What we’re saying is that we’ve got a reasonable amount left in our cap, we’re after a good forward and a centre who can cover us for a little while, so there are a number of options that appear to be on the market.
“There’s probably about six or seven names, including him (Champion), that we need to sit back and consider if they are available, we haven’t actually heard from Souths and we can’t do anything until we’ve got written permission from Souths that they are going to let some go.
“Everyone seems to think that’s what’s going to happen. But as for approaching the other two (Crocker and Lowe) officially, we can’t do that. Certainly, if they come on the market, there’s a number of those players we’d be silly not to at least look at.”
New Cowboys football manager and former CEO Peter Parr has said that the likelihood of the Cowboys signing Champion remains slim however, after talks with Sam Ayoub, Champion’s manager.
“It would be very difficult, for us, it’s about getting the ledger right for the whole season, and while he is without doubt a very good centre, we’re looking for someone who is multi-skilled,” Parr said.
“There’s not many spots left in the team, so we have to choose carefully.”
Jourdain also indicated that the the club may be casting their eyes over players about to embark on stints in the UK.
“Some of the guys were going to England partly because of generous tax incentives on their superannuation. That’s since been knocked on the head by the UK tax authority so I think there’s a number of players who may come back on to the market in the next little bit,” he said.