Parramatta forward Ryan Matterson has held talks with Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett and is waiting to see what the Eels offer him before making a decision on his next move.
Matterson is off contract at the end of the season and has yet to agree a new one with Parramatta. That has opened the door for the Dolphins to make an approach. Reports by Newscorp earlier in the week suggested a meeting took place on Tuesday.
That has now been confirmed by Bennett who says the player is of interest. The Dolphins coach is slowly filling his roster but there are still plenty of slots to fill.
Dolphins target Ryan Matterson
Signing forwards has not been an issue. Felise Kaufusi, Mark Nicholls, Tom Gilbert, Ray Stone and the Bromwich brothers are on board for 2023. And if Bennett gets his way Matterson will be joining them.
The 27-year-old has made a fine start to the 2022 season and the Eels want to keep hold. They are set to table an offer but a bidding war could be on the cards.
It has been suggested that the Dolphins will offer Matterson $1.5million over a three-year deal. So the Eels will have to match it to have a chance.
As things stand Parramatta have yet to make an offer, but Bennett says the Dolphins have put their cards on the table.
“Yes, we’ve had a meeting, so we’ll see what happens,” Bennett told Newscorp. “We’re very interested in Ryan. He came up here, we’ve had some talks and now we’ll wait and see what happens.”
There is some way to go before a deal can be hammered out. But the Dolphins do have a couple of things weighing in their favour. Dolphins recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan has worked with Matterson in the past.
Parramatta face a battle to keep hold
And Matterson’s agent Chris Orr has revealed another connection. Now it remains to be seen if they will influence the player’s decision.
“Wayne coached Ryan’s uncle Terry Matterson at the Broncos so Ryan has always had great respect for Wayne,” Orr said.
“Ryan has a few things to consider. He is currently in a very professional club at the Eels playing alongside some handy players under a very good coach in Brad Arthur. Ryan wanted to meet those involved at Dolphins to better understand the club and to talk football with Wayne as part of his decision-making process.
“We’re waiting on an offer from the Eels before Ryan makes a final call.”