Double boost for Dragons as Rabbitohs’ ex-Origin star signs for 2025 and Bird recommits


Damien Cook will return to the Dragons next season after an 11 year absence, while the St George Illawarra club was further boosted by Jack Bird’s decision to recommit for 2025.

Cook started his NRL career at the Dragons, playing two games in 2013 before moving to the Bulldogs..

He became a State of Origin regular at the Bunnies before falling out of favour and had 12 months left on his Souths contract.

Damien Cook of the Rabbitohs. (Photo by Scott Gardiner/Getty Images)

Cook, 32, is the second big name player set to leave Souths. Lachie Ilias is on the lookout for a new club.

Bird, meanwhile, has taken up an option in his contract for 2025.

A mutual option in Bird’s current deal needed to be triggered before June 30.

The Dragons moved on Cook after it emerged Souths were under salary cap pressure and needed to offload some talent.

Cook was contracted at the Rabbitohs until the end of 2025 on a deal estimated at $650,000. He told the Sydney Morning Herald five days ago that he had built his life at Souths and “did not want to leave” and had had several conversations with incoming coach Wayne Bennett.

Cook has played 196 NRL games but his standings have slipped due to the club’s poor form and he has been dropped to NSW Cup at times this season.

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