Barrett granted permission to test
UK market


St George Illawarra Dragons captain Trent Barrett has been given permission to negotiate with English clubs, a decision being likely before the end of February. Today's development paves the way for Barrett to leave the NRL at the end of 2006.

Dragons chief executive Peter Doust and Barrett's manager Wayne Beavis met today following earlier speculation which linked Barrett to Wigan in the UK.

"I've got no comment on the likely outcome of today's talks. I wouldn't have a clue," Doust said yesterday.

Beavis was equally guarded and insisted that linking Barrett's name to Wigan was "purely market speculation".

"There's nothing to the story," Beavis said yesterday.

But this afternoon, Doust announced that the Dragons five-eighth wanted to see what interest he could attract from Super League clubs in England.

"He's going to contemplate a move overseas for 2007 and beyond," Mr Doust said.

"That doesn't mean that he's decided to go. He's just going to consider the offers and see what comes of it.

"I think that's the way things are going over there these days - they're looking to attract players of that calibre and so I think they'll be interested, no doubt."