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DAMIEN Cook has asked for a release from South Sydney to take up an offer to become the long-term replacement for Michael Ennis at Cronulla.
Cook is contracted to the Rabbitohs for next year but wants to leave Redfern to take up a two-year deal at the Sharks.
Souths trumpeted the acquisition of unwanted Tiger Robbie Farah last week, a move that kills off Cook's ambition to become a starting hooker.
However, he has been guaranteed the No.9 jersey vacated by Ennis should he shift to the Shire from 2017.
South Sydney have already released one of their rakes, Cameron McInnes, to join St George Illawarra. It remains to be seen whether they would also release Cook, who would be the back up for Farah.
The Sharks also expressed interest in Farah but the NSW hooker chose to take up the Souths offer instead.
The Tigers will be subsidising Farah's transfer to the tune of about $750,000 next season.
While they snared Manaia Cherrington from the Tigers, Cronulla is still short of a topline dummy half to fit into a spine containing James Maloney, Chad Townsend and Ben Barba.
The latest development adds intrigue to the hooking merry-go-round that is likely to continue into the off season.
Long-time Dragons No.9 Mitch Rein is without a club after failing to come terms on a contract extension.
South Sydney's best performances coincided with Cook's time as starting hooker and the Cronulla brains trust believe his speed and vision will serve them well once their current campaign ends.