Connor Tracey on course for Canterbury Buldogs in player swap

Canterbury’s recruitment drive is set to net another utility back, with Cronulla’s Connor Tracey set to shift to Belmore as part of a player swap.

Having already signed Stephen Crichton, Kurt Mann, Blake Taaffe, Josh Curran, Jaeman Salmon, Drew Hutchison, Bronson Xerri and Jake Turpin for next season, the Bulldogs are poised to further add to their line-up.

Tracey was contracted to the Sharks for next season, but is set to be released to take up a longer deal with the blue and whites. Cronulla are expected to receive young Bulldogs outside back Michael Gabrael, who has previously spent time in the Eels junior system, in exchange.

St George Illawarra had expressed strong interest in Tracey. The former Rabbitoh was viewed as a potential fullback option for a club that has yet to settle on the No.1 jersey for next season.

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However, Tracey has instead chosen to continue his career at Canterbury, where he is expected to take up a deal of up to three years. The 27-year-old has overcome three ACL tears to become a contributor for the Sharks, filling in capably at fullback when Will Kennedy was unavailable due to injury.

Connor Tracey is poised to switch from Cronulla to Canterbury.

Connor Tracey is poised to switch from Cronulla to Canterbury.Credit: Getty

Given that Kennedy will be the starting No.1 – and that Kade Dykes provides cover for the position – Cronulla couldn’t guarantee Tracey a starting spot.

The departure of Tracey and Matt Moylan – the latter was also granted an early release, to Leigh Leopards in Super League – will free up salary cap space for the Sharks to make a rare play in the open market. The Shire outfit has focused on retention and hasn’t yet made a signing of note for 2024.

The Bulldogs may not have finished reshaping coach Cameron Ciraldo’s roster. They are one of several Sydney clubs jockeying for the signature of Warriors star Addin Fonua-Blake. Canterbury general manager of football Phil Gould was photographed making his pitch to Fonua-Blake last week.

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Read More: Connor Tracey on course for Canterbury Buldogs in player swap 2023-11-28 00:52:13

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