Roosters Looking To Be Frugal With

The Sydney Roosters may have to jettison both their Kiwis props to squeeze National Rugby League (NRL) veteran Brad Fittler under their salary cap for the 2004 season.

Jason Cayless and Andrew Lomu are both off contract and appear expendable for the reigning premiers as they battle to stay under the $A3.25 million ($NZ3.71 million) cap.

Cayless was told he might not be able to be accommodated even if Fittler agreed to take a pay cut, while Lomu was to go ahead to scout around.

The Kiwi duo starred for the Roosters is last year's run to the grand final and both made their test debuts soon after - Lomu against the Kangaroos and Cayless against France.

"We are doing our best to juggle the numbers but Andrew has been given permission to look around," Roosters chief executive Bernie Gurr said.

"There is a chance of him picking up a long-term deal elsewhere that will be better for him."

The 24-year-old underwent a shoulder reconstruction after his maiden test appearance and made a slow start to the season. He injured a shoulder earlier this season and is working back to full fitness.

It is understood Cronulla is interested in Lomu while English Super League club Castleford have been linked to Cayless.

Fittler has to take a pay cut to continue at the Roosters but even if the former Kangaroos captain agrees, Cayless and Lomu are in danger because of improved deals sought by State of Origin recruits Anthony Minichiello and Michael Crocker.

The future of a host of off-contract players will become clearer when the anti-tampering deadline expires next Monday.