Contract extension, Damien Cook, Benji Marshall, mistake, Peter Mamouzelos, South Sydney Rabbitohs

Contract extension, Damien Cook, Benji Marshall, mistake, Peter Mamouzelos, South Sydney Rabbitohs

Rugby league legend Benji Marshall has sent out a strong message to his former club over the future of veteran Damien Cook.

The former Kiwis captain believes the South Sydney Rabbitohs cannot afford to “make the same mistake” with Cook as they did with former captain Adam Reynolds.

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Cook’s management are set to meet with the Rabbitohs this week regarding a potential contract extension for the 30-year-old.

But the rise of young gun hooker Peter Mamouzelos has clouded the veteran’s future. Cook has one year left on his deal while Mamouzelos is contracted until the end of the 2024 season.

Marshall, however, is adamant Cook needs to be locked up long term.

“They can’t make the same mistake,” Marshall told Triple M.

“I think they’ve got to sign him (Cook).

“He’s an Origin player, played for Australia.”

Marshall believes the Rabbitohs cannot afford to prioritise youth over experience as the club did with Adam Reynolds in 2021, only offering Reynolds a one-year extension.

Reynolds has played a pivotal role in the Broncos rise shining a spotlight on the Souths.

Damien Cook has played four tests for the Kangaroos. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“There’s time, Pete’s got time, he’s still developing,” Marshall said.

“Cooky’s been there and done it and in the big games he stands up.”

“(Mamouzelos is a good kid but you’ve got to buy your time,” Marshall stated.

“Look at what Harry Grant had to do behind Cameron Smith, they’re still there going great now.

“We all get so obsessed with all the up and coming players who haven’t done anything yet and blocking this and blocking that.

“You’ve got to earn your time.

“I think Damien, he deserves that right, I think he’s earned it.”

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