Sydney Roosters have re-signed utility Mitchell Aubusson to a three-year deal but their search to land a big name for the 2017 NRL season continues.
The Roosters have missed out on the signatures of North Queensland fullback Lachlan Coote and Wests Tigers five-eighth Mitchell Moses, with both playmakers opting to stay with their current clubs.
Premiership winner Sonny Bill Williams won’t be returning to Bondi next season after deciding to stick with New Zealand rugby union.
A host of big names exited the Roosters in 2015 in James Maloney, Michael Jennings and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
However, the glamour club hasn’t made any significant acquisitions to replace them. As a result, their on field fortunes have slipped significantly.
The Tricolours picked up lesser lights Joe Burgess, Dale Copley, Mitchell Frei, Ian Henderson, Ryan Matterson, Jayden Nikorima and Paki Afu before this season, none of whom have made a significant impact.
The only signing the Roosters have made ahead of 2017 is former Penrith forward Chris Smith, who has already moved east and will make his club debut against the Warriors in Auckland on Sunday.
Parramatta fullback Michael Gordon has been linked to a move to the Roosters for next year.
The one-time NSW representative is a handy player but hardly in the superstar category.
The Roosters are said to be about $600,000 under the cap this year and the possibility of Jarryd Hayne joining the club in 2017 remains open.
But apart from Hayne off-contract, South Sydney premiership-winning playmaker Luke Keary is the only other player of note who could join the Roosters next season, meaning the club may have to make do with what they have for 2017.
Sam Moa is the only Roosters star off contact at season’s end.
But there is likely to be more movement at the club next year, with Kane Evans, Blake Ferguson, Aidan Guerra, Jackson Hastings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Dylan Napa, Mitchell Pearce, Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Daniel Tupou and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves off-contract then.
In the meantime, the Roosters have concentrated on doing what they can to keep Aubusson.
“It’s an honour to wear the Roosters jersey and I honestly couldn’t see myself playing anywhere else,” Aubusson said on Thursday.
Coach Trent Robinson said: “Mitch is a true clubman and someone not only I but everyone at the Roosters values”.