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Maloney denies agitating for NRL release

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/05/2017 Steve Zemek

James Maloney has denied he's agitating for a release from his Cronulla contract in search of a bigger pay day.

Maloney last year proved arguably the best buy of the NRL season when he led Cronulla to a drought-breaking premiership.

Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan could barely believe his luck when he landed the former Sydney Roosters' title winner on a deal worth a reported $600,000 a year.

With the player market in overdrive, particularly for marquee halves, and the likes of Ben Hunt receiving $1 million a season, Maloney was reported to be seeking an upgrade and a greater slice of the pie.

After telling Triple M radio he would like a piece of the big money being thrown around, it was speculated he could ask for a release from the final year of his Sharks deal, should a rival come along offering him blue-chip money.

"A lot came out of that (interview). They basically asked me about money that was being thrown around and I said it would be nice to get some of it," Maloney said on Wednesday at the Blues State of Origin camp in Kingscliff.

"I've still got another year on my contract there at Cronulla and we'll see what happens."

After the Sharks' premiership win, his Australian debut on last year's Four Nations and having cemented the NSW No.6 jumper, Maloney's value on the open market would have surely skyrocketed.

However, he denied he was about to start shopping himself around to rival clubs and asking for a release in search of a big pay day.

When he was asked if he would definitely play for Cronulla in 2018, Maloney said: "I hope so - I've got another year on my deal. I hope they don't just terminate it."

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