The NQ Cowboys have identified a possible replacement for Ben Barba, after his contract was terminated by the club after Casino Incident.
The North Queensland Cowboys terminated the contract of the 29 year old on Friday night after an internal investigation found a “significant breach of the terms of his contract”.
The Cowboys now have their sights set on talented young fullback Matt Dutfy from the Dragons, who fell out of favour with the club after he requested a salary increase of almost $700k per season, which was quickly rejected by the club.
The club later signed former Eel Corey Norman on a 3-year deal, which is expected to see Dufty be sent back to reserve grade, with Gareth Widdop expected to wear the No.1 jumper in 2019, in what will be his last season at the club.
Dufty was previously rumoured with a move to the Canberra Raiders pending Jack Wightons court appearance where afterwards, the Dragons guaranteed him his spot at fullback. The Dragons then went on to sign Corey Norman leaving a big question mark over Duftys future wearing the red v.
Zac Lomax confirmed fullback is his favourite position. If Lomax continues his rise in form, the departure of Gareth Widdop in 2020 doesn’t guarantee a return for Dufty.
The Cowboys are believed to have made contact with both Dufty’s management and the Dragons on the 23-year olds availability for the 2019 season.
The Cowboys may look within side their current playing squad which could include Ben Hampton, Te Maire Martin or rookie Carlin Anderson. Coach Paul Green could also consider having Michael Morgan shift to fullback, but believes his best position will be in halves for the Cowboys.