RUGBY LEAGUE: There's a shuffle in the playing ranks at the Sunshine Coast Falcons, with the recruitment of a talented half and the departure of an influential forward among the many changes at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
The state league club's CEO and former State of Origin player Chris Flannery has been in heavy talks with a string of players as the unit looks to build on its impressive 2016 campaign.
And it's in the halves and in the front-row where Flannery has focused.
The club has signed ex-Bulldogs under-20 captain and Easts Tigers ball-player Guy Hamilton and Ipswich Jets halfback Haydan Lipp, as cover for its best player this season in Ryley Jacks, who recently signed with NRL affiliate Melbourne Storm.
Jacks could still lace up for the Falcons when he's not required by the Storm but the side needs back-up.
"I'm excited to see what Guy will bring to the team,” he said.
"He's a pretty good-sized half and still growing and I'm pretty sure Trigger (coach Craig Ingebrigtsen) is going to get the best out of him.”
Either could partner consistent pivot Alex Bishop, who was the first Falcon to re-sign.
With long-serving Ryan Hansen recently announcing his retirement and with Tui Kamikamica signing for the Storm, the Falcons are searching for front rowers.
Matt Mizzi, a former Wests Tigers junior, and Storm under-20s player Blake Mara have signed on but Flannery is in discussions with other props as well.
The Daily recently reported the signing of ex-Cowboys backrower and Bribie Island product Dane Hogan.
And his recruitment will be sorely welcomed because it looks like the Falcons will be without Tom Murphy.
Murphy, who has battled injury this year, is looking to pursue his career in France.
"We'll really miss Tom,” Flannery said.
"He's been a big part of the club...not just on the field but off the field, where he added a real sense of leadership.”
The Falcons are in discussions with captain Troy Giess but Flannery was confident a deal would be reached.
His guidance would be more vital, without Murphy.
The Falcons are also in talks with key players Nafe Seluini, Matt Grieve, Jacob Samoa and Jon Grieve.
"They're a massive part of the puzzle,” Flannery admitted.
"Guys like Matt are like gold to this team so we'll see.”
Jon Grieve proved to be a pivotal player this year, after a mid-season return to the club he won a premiership with in 2009.
He joined from Wynnum prior to the June 30 cut-off and played a major role in the Falcons' charge towards third place, its best result in seven years.
Flannery is also still in talks with twins Callum and Rowan Klein, who have laced up for the side more than anyone else.
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