Macca’s exit set to seal Walters Jr’s Broncos move
The Broncos will hit the NRL's player market with a $500,000 cheque following the move of veteran hooker Andrew McCullough to the Dragons.
McCullough is in the final stages of securing a release from his Broncos contract to join St George Illawarra immediately on a two-year deal.
He was absent from Broncos training on Thursday morning at Red Hill after being told by coach Kevin Walters to finalise his future.
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McCullough's move will free up more than $300,000 in the Broncos' 2021 salary cap and give the club ample cash to bolster their squad.
They have the capacity to add two more players to their 30-man roster, with Walters' son Billy Walters expected to join Brisbane from Wests Tigers.
Walters confirmed the Broncos would hit the open market with the cash freed up from McCullough's $600,000-a-season deal.
"It certainly may do (allow us to sign someone), depending how things work out with Andrew," he said.
"All rosters are moving all the time. They're changing and ours is no different. I'll expect there to be more changes during the season.
"It's early days in the season which is something we've considered.
"There are options available if Andrew does decide to move on. We will look at that if and when we have to.
"Outside of Andrew, we've got three or four hookers here that have been training with us for the last seven or eight weeks. None of them have the experience Andrew has but that will be his decision."
After a month of negotiations, McCullough's move to the Dragons is finally expected to come to fruition.
The 268-game NRL veteran will exit the Broncos having played 260 games for the club, his last appearance coming in Round 2 last year before he was loaned to Newcastle for the remainder of the season.
Walters said McCullough was a loyal Broncos servant but the club was not in a position to extend his contract beyond 2021, prompting him to secure a longer-term deal at the Dragons.
"We want a clear direction with our club and where we're heading in the next few weeks going into round one," he said.
"We've given Andrew a couple of days off to sort himself out and see where he wants to play in 2021 and beyond.
"Of course we (wanted to keep him). He's been a great player for the Broncos and is very experienced. That's not the question. We want him to stay, for sure.
"We want to see him come back and play the way Andrew McCullough can. I'm sure his future will be bright when he can do that.
"We like to work with our players, we're not stuck in the sand, we like to be flexible.
"We have a retention committee here, it's not just my decision. We have made a decision on where we stand. It's now up to the rival club to see where they stand.
"A decision hasn't been finalised with the rival club so we'll see what transpires in the next 24 hours."
Originally published as Macca's exit set to seal Walters Jr's Broncos move