Lee Gaskin August 09, 2012
Raiders hooker Travis Waddell has yet to be offered a new contract. Photo: Getty Images
Travis Waddell's manager is dumbfounded the Canberra Raiders haven't offered the in-form hooker a new deal as his NRL future remains in limbo.
Negotiations between Waddell's manager David Riolo and the Raiders are at a stalemate, leaving the 23-year-old with four weeks to prove his worth to potential suitors here and abroad.
Waddell has done his chances to secure a late reprisal from the Raiders no harm with a string of impressive performances.
The Indigenous All Stars representative has featured in 19 of Canberra's 20 games, starting in the past 12, including scoring a vital try and making 25 tackles in last weekend's 28-12 win against the Brisbane Broncos.
It's that form which has Riolo puzzled that a contract extension hasn't been put on the table.
"It's really disappointing he hasn't been re-signed at this stage because his form's been great and he's been there for quite a few years," Riolo said.
"I don't see that there's any players better than him on the market at the moment, but that's up to the Raiders.
"When players get that opportunity to play consistent first grade, they have a chance to show whether they've got it or not.
"That's where Travis has shown that he's capable of producing week-in, week-out."
The final month of the competition is essentially a job audition for Waddell, beginning with Sunday's match against the Penrith Panthers at Centrebet Stadium.
"Of course he'd consider Super League and anything from here," Riolo said.
"He's a professional footballer and it's August and he's unsigned."
The Raiders already have two dummy-halves on their books for next year, and are in talks for veteran utility Shaun Berrigan to return for another season.
Glen Buttriss had the upper hand on Waddell for the starting hooker's spot, but lost ground when he was sidelined with injury.
Both Buttriss and young gun Matt McIlwrick are under contract until the end of next year.
Waddell is in his fifth season with the Raiders, having played a crucial role in the 2008 premiership-winning Toyota Cup side alongside first-grade regulars Shaun Fensom, Jarrod Croker and Josh Dugan.
The Queensland product has racked up 51 NRL appearances, but only played five games last year before he was dumped to the Queensland Cup for the rest of the season.
Waddell was given permission by the Raiders to talk to other clubs, but decided to see out the remainder of his contract after failing to secure a deal.
It's a similar situation facing veteran forward Trevor Thurling, who has been told he is unlikely to be offered a new deal in 2014.
Riolo, who also manages Thurling, said the Queanbeyan Blues junior was likely to see out his time with the Raiders.
"Canberra have said if he gets something else they'd look at letting him go . . . but at this stage, Trevor's happy down there."