Ricky Stuart confirms talks are underground to keep versatile star

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has confirmed talks are underway to secure versatile forward Adam Elliott to a new contract with the club.

Elliott left the Canterbury Bulldogs in controversial circumstances at the end of 2021. He was handed a lifeline with Raiders and has grabbed it with both hands.

It has been to difficult start to the season for Canberra. They have won just three of their opening nine games, but Elliott has still managed to stand out. The back-rower has shown his versatility when playing the last two games at hooker.

Canberra Raiders keen to keep Elliott

Elliott penned a one-year deal when he arrived ahead of the new season. However Stuart says talks are now taking place to extend that. The Raiders boss did not reveal the length of the deal but says Elliott is part of his future plans.

“Adam knows where I stand with him in regards to the long-term,” Stuart told reporters. “Yes, I want to keep here, and he talks with [NRL Recruitment and Pathways Manager] Kelly Egan and [Elliott’s manager] David Riolo are all very healthy at the moment, so I’m very confident that will be the case.

“It’s just a matter of tying up a few bits and pieces to their communications of the deal.”

Stuart admits Elliott’s versatility has been crucial but sees him cementing his place in the starting pack.

Versatile Elliott a big asset

“He doesn’t just fill in, he does a good job there,” Stuart added. “It’s difficult for a backrower to go into nine, but it shows his utility value in being able to sustain some time there. He’s doing a really good job for us in these difficult times.

“Adam Elliot is definitely pushing for a spot in the starting pack, whether it’s at nine, 13, or on the edge, and that’s what I want.

“I want people to fight for spots. We haven’t got enough of that at the moment in certain positions, and I’ve always said as a coach I love having people fight and compete for positions.”

The Raiders continue their campaign with a tough clash against the Sharks in the Magic Round. Cronulla have started the season strongly with six wins and currently sit in fourth spot on the ladder.

Elliott sits out the clash against the Raiders through non-Covid related illness. Tom Starling will start as hooker.

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