St George rejects Ben Hunt’s release request, tells him to stay until 2025 as an alternative to joining the Broncos.

Ben Hunt will remain at St George Illawarra for the remainder of his NRL contract after the membership rejected his request to withdraw in formal talks between the two sides.

After the upheaval of coaching the Dragons when Shane Flanagan replaced the sacked Anthony Griffin for the 2024 season, Hunt was eyeing a return to Queensland, possibly with the Brisbane Broncos.

The Dragons had already officially rejected his release request earlier this month and met with him again on Monday morning to debate the matter in Wollongong.

There, they confirmed that Hunt would not be fired after the two-and-a-half-year contract he signed last October.

The Dragons will issue a statement on the matter later on Monday.

St George Illawarra captain Ben Hunt will not be released from his contract and could remain with the Dragons

Hunt reportedly informed the Dragons he needed a release while in camp with the Queensland Maroons for State of Origin.

It comes after former Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke said the Dragons should reject Hunt’s request to join the Brisbane Broncos for the remainder of the season.

“I think I would tell him … if you sign as a player – and that’s how I play my sport – then I’ll stay until the end of my contract,” he told the Big Sports Breakfast on Monday.

“When my contract ends, I can do what I need. But I additionally pointed out in the identical breath, {that a} membership can’t demand that from a member if the membership isn’t going to do identical in return.

“If he goes to Brisbane and stays there, that’s enough. I don’t think it’s right for him to go to play for the rest of the season and then go to his holiday spot. I don’t like that.

Clarke also rejected strategies whereby Hunt’s release would now free up funds to build next season, with new coach Shane Flanagan tied to the Manly Sea Eagles until the end of the season.

What chance does Shane Flanagan have if he now has to stay with Manly for the rest of the season? Shane Flanagan is not with the Dragons,” he announced.


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