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Star made ‘scapegoat’ over club’s failings

The Sydney Roosters couldn’t get the job done as they hunted down a historic NRL premiership three-peat.Now the disastrous end to the season could see star halfback Kyle Flanagan depart the club with a rival team expressing interest in luring him away.Watch the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership Finals on Kayo. Every game before the Grand…

The Sydney Roosters couldn’t get the job done as they hunted down a historic NRL premiership three-peat.

Now the disastrous end to the season could see star halfback Kyle Flanagan depart the club with a rival team expressing interest in luring him away.

Watch the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership Finals on Kayo. Every game before the Grand Final Live & On-Demand with no-ad breaks during play. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

After bombing out of the finals series, the Roosters are moving to revamp the roster with Flanagan’s name being thrown onto the chopping block.

The 22-year-old is under contract with the Roosters until the end of 2021, but foxsports’ James Hooper reports the club is open to granting an early release.

After a dismal 2020, the Canterbury Bulldogs and new coach Trent Barrett are prepared to shake up their entire list with Barrett eyeing off the talented youngster.

Hours after the reports emerged, the Bulldogs confirmed their interest in pinching Flanagan away from the Roosters.

“He is definitely a player we had earmarked to look at post November 1,” Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill said to The Daily Telegraph.. “Clearly he is contracted to the Roosters for next year but we will monitor the situation.

Reports of Flanagan’s departure away from the Roosters didn’t shock NRL360 co-host Paul Kent who was on board with the club acting decisively after their failures.

“I like it, I think they’re a club that’s in control of its roster. Now whether you agree Flanagan should be the one moved on is a slightly separate issue, but the fact that they sit there and they’re not going to dilly dally about and wonder what went wrong. They know exactly why they went wrong, they know exactly what they need to do to fix it,” Kent said.

“But I like the fact that they’re getting a quick start on what they’re doing.”

Talk on the panel turned to the treatment of the young halfback and if it was fair in the way Flanagan was being made the scapegoat.

“I think what Paul said was spot on when he said there has to be more than meets the eye on this,” The Daily Telegraph’s Paul Crawley said.

“It can’t be about Kyle Flanagan being made the scapegoat when they lost Victor Radley who is the best ball playing lock out there.

“They brought a kid in who has now played 29 games of NRL who is 21 years of age to replace one of the modern day champions (Cooper Cronk) and they replaced him with a kid who had 10 games to his name at that stage.

“You had a roster by the end of the year that was the walking wounded, the Roosters were not the team they were about six weeks out.

“When I look back on this Flanagan decision, I go back to the Trent Robinson presser when he was asked why he was rested and he said ‘rested? Who said anything about rested?’.

“That’s when you got the feeling not everything was rosy there.”

“I feel immensely sorry for Kyle Flanagan,” The Australian’s Brent Read said.

“He’s a young kid who has gone to a powerhouse club that looked a bit fried at the end of the year. And you could argue he’s being made the scapegoat for that.

“He’s a talented kid, he’s a young kid, he’s still got a lot to learn in the game.”

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