Aaron Woods has no back-up plan if Dogs are over salary cap

Murray Wenzel Roar Guru

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    Wests Tigers captain Aaron Woods is adamant he’ll be at Canterbury next season but admits he doesn’t have a back-up plan if salary cap issues ruin the move.

    The NSW prop signed a four-year deal with the Bulldogs in April, but the NRL hasn’t yet registered the contract because of the club’s problems fitting their squad for 2018 under the salary cap.

    NRL club bosses are set to meet this Thursday to discuss next year’s salary cap.

    A stalemate is likely, given clubs are split on the idea of raising the figure from the $9.2 million they were advised to work around in April, to $9.6 million.

    Canterbury skipper James Graham is among the names being mentioned to make way for Woods if need be, and the pair sat side-by-side on Fox Sport’s NRL 360 on Tuesday night.

    Woods awkwardly admitted that he had not spoken to his manager about what would happen if his move to the Bulldogs was denied.

    There’s been some speculation that Woods could remain at the Wests Tigers if the Bulldogs deal turns to dust

    “I’m 100 per cent certain on Canterbury for next season,” Woods said when asked if he had a contingency plan.

    “I haven’t had word from Canterbury or anyone (saying that wasn’t the case).”

    Graham said he felt for all 16 NRL clubs as they waited for confirmation of the new salary cap specifics.

    “With uncertainty around the cap and a lot of stuff written in the media, it depends what you believe,” Graham said of talk he was being shopped around by the Bulldogs.

    “At the minute we’re dealing with a lot of hypotheticals and we might be in that situation (with moving players on). But if the cap’s higher then these players told to move on are now an integral part of the plans. It’s a difficult one to manage.”

    Ideally, Graham hopes to remain at the Bulldogs alongside Woods next season.

    “I’ve got a year left at Canterbury and was hoping to play a few more years there all going well, but I’m not naive enough to think that’s a guarantee,” he said.

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