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Bennett gives up Maroons reins as Green shapes to take over - NRL.COM
Wayne Bennett has relinquished the Queensland Origin coaching reins to focus on South Sydney's 2021 premiership tilt, putting former Cowboys coach Paul Green in the box seat to take charge of the Maroons.
Wayne Bennett has relinquished the Queensland Origin coaching reins to focus on South Sydney's 2021 premiership tilt, putting former Cowboys coach Paul Green in the box seat to take over. NRL.com can reveal that Bennett told the QRL he would not be returning to the interstate arena within a fortnight of masterminding their stunning 2020 series upset. Bennett turned 71 on January 1 and has previously declared he could juggle both club and Origin duties as the series returns to a mid-year scheduling slot across June and July. But ahead of entering the final season of his three-year South Sydney contract before handing over to assistant coach Jason Demetriou, Bennett will direct all his energies towards delivering another title at Redfern. "A week or so after Origin Wayne indicated that he wanted to focus on the Rabbitohs," QRL chairman Bruce Hatcher told NRL.com. Maroons played to Queensland standard says Bennett "He said straight away that he's always ready to help, and people that think he's lost his enthusiasm don't know him. "But he was very grateful to the Rabbitohs for giving him the opportunity last year and now he wants to focus on 2021 and giving it a big shake this year. "Now we've got our board meeting on January 29 and we'll have our review of Origin. That review has been completed but is yet to be discussed in any great detail. "The most important thing to understand is that we will go through a board verified process to make sure we get the right person." Match Highlights: Maroons v Blues Bennett has stressed repeatedly that he wants to coach on at club level once his South Sydney contract ends. He made a storied return to the Queensland Origin fold for the first time in 16 years last November once Kevin Walters was appointed as Brisbane coach, engineering a 2-1 series triumph and blooding 14 Maroons debutants across the three games. On the back of Bennett's brief stint and both Walters and Green interviewing for the Broncos job, the QRL has also resolved to make future coaching appointments on a 12-month basis. The decision puts Green front and centre to take over the Maroons role in 2021 after he was moved on from North Queensland last year. No contact has been made with the former Queensland playmaker or any other candidate to replace Bennett. QRL director Rob Moore said that Bennett's early call and the scrapping the annual Emerging Maroons camp gives Queensland ample time to assess all candidates before the 2021 series. "In January we'll go through a process with the board and look to make our appointment," Moore said. "In a normal timeframe we would want [a replacement] by the middle of January but it's not as important this year because we're not going put any pressure on players and clubs by trying to run camps in January like we would normally. "Because they're not on it's not as big a hurry. We'll have the same process as we did for Wayne's appointment for the new one, with a committee of three [QRL] directors going through that process." Bennett: Towering Tino can leave lasting impact on Origin Given the truncated three-week Origin series last year and upheaval around COVID-19 and Walters' late exit, Green was not considered as Maroons coach with Bennett's influence preferred. Hatcher said the QRL will conduct a full application process this time around with a view to appointing a new coach by late February. The longtime Queensland powerbroker said Green's resume makes him an obvious candidate, while 2020 assistant Neil Henry is another that could fit the bill given his extensive experience in the Origin set-up of first Mal Meninga, and then Bennett last year. "Obviously the standout at the moment is Paul Green because he's fully credentialed," Hatcher said. "He's won an NRL premiership, he's been an assistant coach at another NRL premiership and he's played Origin. "Last year we had to tell him straight that because of the circumstances where he came into the picture very late, we weren't going to go through the process and we said we wouldn't consider him for 2020 given the unique nature of that Origin series. "But he's someone that will feature prominently for 2021 for sure." The 2021 Origin series is scheduled to kick off on June 9, with games two and three on June 28 and July 14 respectively, with venues still to be confirmed. A return to the MCG was flagged late last year by the NRL though which order the venues roll out in will be determined by crowd capacities and COVID-19 restrictions.
Nofoaluma agrees to new four-year deal with Wests Tigers - NRL.COM
Wests Tigers have landed a significant retention coup with star winger David Nofoaluma set to sign a four-year deal with an eye to keeping him at his junior club for his entire career.
Wests Tigers have landed a significant retention coup with star winger David Nofoaluma set to sign a four-year deal with an eye to keeping him at his junior club for his entire career. NRL.com understands that the lengthy deal will be announced on Thursday afternoon after a couple of months of negotiations that kept Tigers supporters on their toes regarding the fan favourite's future. After testing his value on the open market, Nofoaluma and the Tigers have landed on the same page, keeping him at the club until the end of 2025. Having come through the Tigers ranks as a Campbelltown junior, Nofoaluma enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2020 that saw him crowned Dally M winger of the year. Nofoaluma was linked to the Rabbitohs and Parramatta but always maintained his first preference was to remain at the joint-venture under Michael Maguire. All of David Nofoaluma's 2020 tries Now 27 and with 139 appearances for the club, the four-year commitment will keep Nofoaluma at the Tigers until just before his 32nd birthday. A lengthy lead in the Tigers all-time try-scoring stakes also looms given the Samoan international already boasts 74 tries for the club and sits within striking distance of joint-record holders Chris Lawrence and Benji Marshall (84 tries each). Nofoaluma's retention continues a busy summer at Concord that has seen new recruits James Tamou, James Roberts, Joe Ofahengaue and Stefano Utoikamanu all join the club. In turn, Josh Reynolds (Hull FC), Josh Aloiai (Manly) and Harry Grant (returning to Melbourne at then end of a loan deal) have all moved on, along with unsigned veterans Benji Marshall and Elijah Taylor.
Mansour's Souths move opens door for Crichton retention - NRL.COM
Josh Mansour has been released from the final year of his contract with the Panthers.
Josh Mansour has delivered an emotional farewell to Penrith teammates as his move back to his junior club South Sydney positions the Panthers to ramp up its retention bid for boom centre Stephen Crichton. Mansour, a fan favourite out west as the club's longest-serving player after 158 NRL games across nine seasons, has been released by Penrith with youngster Charlie Staines preferred to start on his left wing. The Rabbitohs have picked up Mansour on a two-year deal after Corey Allan's release to join Canterbury, bringing the 30-year-old back to his old stomping ground where he played alongside current half Adam Reynolds at NYC level. Mansour was moved to tears when he delivered his goodbyes to the entire Panthers squad and coaching staff at club headquarters this week. "While this isnt an ending I ever envisaged, Ive made peace with the decision and Im ready to move forward with a new challenge," Mansour said in a Panthers statement. Mansour reflects on his time at the Panthers "I want to thank the club and the fans for their incredible support through the ups and downs of the last nine years. "Im so grateful for every moment and everything Panthers has given me and my family. "Whatever the future holds, Ill always consider myself a Panther and be proud of what I achieved at the club." Rabbitohs football manager Mark Ellison in turn said Mansour's leadership and professionalism would see his influence at Redfern extend far beyond the playing field. The Rabbitohs have also been linked to off-contract Wests Tigers flyer David Nofoaluma, who is after a long-term deal as he negotiates with the joint-venture and fields interest from rival outfits. "[Mansour] is a high work rate winger who is one of the competitions leading players in terms of kick return metres, as well as a renowned finisher," Ellison said. "More importantly he is a quality team and club man that inspires his team mates and brings energy to any team of which he is a part. He knows what our club is about and respects the tradition and history of South Sydney, as well as the community that the club represents." Mansour's move continues ongoing roster moves as Penrith aim at keeping their best and brightest for the long-term. Crichton sits atop Penrith's retention priorities alongside fellow NSW Origin squad members Isaah Yeo and Jarome Luai. Analysing the Panthers' 2021 draw Freeing up Mansour's 2021 salary gives the club further scope to reach Crichton's asking price for his next deal, which has been inflated by his Dally M centre of the year honours and NSW Origin squad selection last season. Crichton, 20, has been in ongoing talks for more than six months with Penrith. A three-year deal, believed to be worth around $1.5 million, had been reportedly agreed to earlier this year while Crichton was represented by his previous agent. Having taken up the services of current manager Sam Ayoub in November, talks have centred on an upgraded three-year deal, and are understood to have progressed positively in recent weeks. Canterbury had been a leading suitor for Crichton as he became free to negotiate with rivals from November 1, but club insiders say they haven't heard from the Crichton camp for some time and expect Penrith to retain the Mt Druitt local. Fellow youngster Staines is set to start outside Crichton on the left edge in 2021, a move that led to Mansour being told he was free to find a first-grade spot elsewhere. Staines was re-signed until the end of 2023 late last year, joining rising prop Spencer Leniu in knocking back a lucrative Bulldogs offer to stay put at Penrith. Panthers products Matt Burton and Daine Lawrie have opted the other way, joining Canterbury and Wests Tigers respectively from 2022 having considered their chances of regular NRL game time amid a glut of young talent at Penrith.
Huge coup for Bulldogs as Addo-Carr signs four-year deal - NRL.COM
Canterbury have pulled off the biggest signing coup of their multi-year rebuild by luring Josh Addo-Carr to Belmore on a bumper four-year deal from 2022 onwards.
Canterbury have pulled off the biggest signing coup of their multi-year rebuild by luring Josh Addo-Carr to Belmore on a bumper four-year deal from 2022 onwards. The Bulldogs announced Addo-Carr's recruitment on Wednesday after he toured their facilities earlier this month. Addo-Carr took up Canterbury's lucrative offer, believed to be worth a little more than $2 million until the end of 2025, after pursuing a release on compassionate grounds from Melbourne for the last 12 months. The NSW Origin flyer's release was knocked back in consultation with Addo-Carr, rendering a heads of agreement to join Wests Tigers on a four-year deal in 2021 null and void. Canterbury moved quickly once the Tigers offer was taken off the table, with Addo-Carr's early commitment avoiding another year of conjecture over his future. It is an undoubted endorsement of new coach Trent Barrett, who has also signed Nick Cotric and Kyle Flanagan for 2021 and Penrith's Matt Burton for the following season. The top 10 fastest players from the 2020 season "Having someone like Josh choose to join the Bulldogs after being the target of a number of clubs is another sign that we are gradually piecing together a squad that has the right mix of experience and quality," Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill said. "Josh has been a proven performer at whatever level he has played and he will bring those elements of speed and strike-power that all clubs are looking for in their backline. "Josh becomes another leader in our group and will bring the sort of winning attitude that the club is looking to create here at Belmore. "We look forward to him joining us for the 2022 season and wish him all the best for next season." Addo-Carr has previously indicated he wants to switch to fullback, to the point that the Tigers' four-year offer included incentives if he played a certain number of games in the No.1 jumper. A fullback role at Canterbury could well be possible given the likes of Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Will Hopoate and Nick Meaney have been rotated at the back, but is not considered a fait accompli given Addo-Carr's arrival is still 12 months away. The Bulldogs are expected to remain active in the player market in coming months. The club has indicated its interest in Addo-Carr's Storm teammate Brandon Smith, who Melbourne would release for 2022 if offered a suitable replacement. Canterbury is also understood to have pursued young Panthers prop Spencer Leniu with a multi-year offer and have also been linked to fellow Penrith junior Stephen Crichton. Addo-Carr thanked Melbourne for his time at the club, having grown into a genuine star of the game since arriving in 2017. He already has two premierships to his name along with NSW Origin, Australian Test honours and billing as the NRL's fastest man. Im relieved to have finally sorted out my playing future and can now focus on making my last year with Storm another one to remember, Addo-Carr said via a Storm statement. I owe so much to this club and have so many great friends and memories that have made me the person I am today."
NRL announces rule changes to make game more entertaining - NRL.COM
The NRL has announced several rule changes for the 2021 Telstra Premiership season.
The NRL has announced several rule changes for the 2021 Telstra Premiership season to make the game "faster, more free-flowing, entertaining and unpredictable". The changes are:
- the introduction of a two-point field goal for kicks taken from more than 40 metres out;
- six-again to be called for 10-metre infringements;
- penalties for teams if they leave a scrum before a referee calls "break";
- a play-the-ball restart if the ball or player with the ball goes over the sideline;
- The Bunker will now review replays after an on-field referee awards a try but a conversion attempt will not be allowed until it gets the green light;
- injured players will be interchanged if a trainer ask for play to be stopped;
- when a captain's challenge is inconclusive a team will not be docked for an unsuccessful attempt;
- and a handover will be ordered when a player does not make a genuine attempt to play the ball correctly with their foot.
Rivals rush in after Storm let Brandon Smith explore options for 2022 - NRL.COM
Several NRL rivals have already registered early interest in Melbourne fan favourite Brandon Smith as he hits the open market in search of a starting hooker spot from 2022.
Several NRL rivals have already registered early interest in Melbourne fan favourite Brandon Smith as he hits the open market in search of a starting hooker spot from 2022. Smith is understood to have wanted a regular No.9 spot for the past few seasons but has been stuck behind Storm icon Cameron Smith and with the emergence of Dally M rookie of the year Harry Grant, he has been granted permission by the club to explore his options elsewhere. The grand final winner is contracted to Melbourne for the next two years, but his future has been in the crosshairs for some time given Grant's form while on loan to the Tigers and Cameron Smith's own uncertain plans. Much like the situation with star teammate Josh Addo-Carr this year, Smith has been given Melbourne's permission to explore other options, with his potential release contingent on the Storm getting a quality player in return. The Storm are not necessarily chasing a "like-for-like" hooker, but a player on the same relative level as the Kiwi international. Match Highlights: Panthers v Storm Smith's agent Stan Martin made contact with 14 NRL rivals on Monday via email sounding out his availability and he confirmed interest has already been lodged in the popular forward. Wests Tigers, despite having freed up funds with Josh Reynolds release to Hull FC and potential to make Smith a marquee hooker, are yet to express an interest. The Gold Coast have also been linked to the 24-year-old for some time as well as Canterbury, with both clubs boasting salary cap space and need for a top-line hooker as they continue their roster rebuilds. The Warriors could also offer an avenue to return to his native New Zealand for Smith and are yet to lock in a long-term hooker under new coach Nathan Brown. "It's a similar situation to Josh Addo-Carr, he'll be released for 2022 if another club will offer a player at the same level as Brandon," Martin told NRL.com. "There is no suggestion of 2021, Brandon will be there next season absolutely. "And Josh Addo-Carr is still there at the moment, so there's no definitive aspect to him leaving. "But Brandon has wanted to be a hooker for some time and hes been behind Cameron Smith for four years." Analysing the Storm's 2021 draw Asked if Smith has a preferred location to land on a new deal, Martin said: "His preference is to go to a club where hes the first-choice hooker." Smith is understood to earn a little more than $400,000 at the moment but is in line for a sizeable upgrade considering his form in recent seasons. Clarity on Smith's future may take several months to arrive given Addo-Carr's similar contract situation played out throughout all of 2020 only for the NSW Origin flyer to agree to an upgraded Melbourne deal. The Storm are also yet to fully explore where there roster could be improved in 2022, with Smith's potential swap replacement to be dictated by the player market. "Brandon is a wonderful player and great person to have around the club," Storm football manager Frank Ponissi said in a statement issued by the club on Monday. "Given he is now a premiership player, national representative and has been a valuable asset to our team over the last few years, any move will only be considered with appropriate arrangements put in place. "The club has shown we are comfortable with negotiating these requests while also maintaining our performance on the field, given we were in the same position with Josh Addo-Carr only 12 months ago." Smith, currently at home in New Zealand, is slated to return to pre-season training at the same time as the rest of their squad on January 4.
NRL family quick to rally after Titmuss tragedy - NRL.COM
The NRL family has been quick to rally around family, friends and teammates of Keith Titmuss, a young man who tragically died on Monday.
To team-mates and coaches he was "Keithy" a shy, unassuming young man who many believed was destined for a long and successful NRL career. As they struggle to comprehend the tragic unexpected death of Keith Titmuss on Monday, Sea Eagles players and others across the game are being comforted by a network of wellbeing staff from their clubs and the NRL. The 20-year-olds former NYC coach Wayne Lambkin was among those to pay tribute to Titmuss and he said it had been a "massive shock for everyone" to learn that the rookie had passed away after a training session at Narrabeen. Lambkin, who is now at Wests Tigers, had to inform some of Titmuss' former schoolmates in his squad of the news before their training session on Monday and he said: "I struggled to get the words out". GF: TRY Keith Titmuss (79th min) Manly coach Des Hasler had to do the same after calling his players together just hours after many of them had seen Titmuss taken to hospital in an ambulance. Sea Eagles welfare and education manager Matt Ballin, who played 217 NRL matches for the club, travelled with Titmuss in the ambulance, while Hasler and CEO Stephen Humphries visited his family at the hospital. The NRLs senior wellbeing and education manager Paul Heptonstall was also at Narrabeen on Monday and watched the training session so he was able to offer immediate assistance to Ballin and fellow Manly welfare manager Glenn Moore. Between them, they arranged for four counsellors to help the grieving Sea Eagles players and staff, as well as the clubs chaplain. By Tuesday, the support network included the wellbeing managers at other NRL clubs many of whom are former players such as Joe Galuvao (Wests Tigers), Luke Kelly (South Sydney), Kevin Kingston (Penrith) and Luke Goodwin (Canterbury). "That is the rugby league community, especially in Sydney. Everyone knows someone or played with someone," Heptonstall said. "We have had all of our wellbeing managers connecting with each other today, just offering help, and the thing I am most proud of is that we have got this community of people who we have worked really hard to try and develop their skill sets to be able to manage situations like this. "We also bring our chaplains into that circle and the Manly chaplain was here yesterday too." A grief counsellor spoke to the younger Manly players - a number of whom played alongside Titmuss in the team which won the 2017 NYC grand final. Titmuss was only 17 but scored the winning try and after earning the SG Ball players player award last year he was signed on a development contract and had just been elevated to Manlys top 30 squad. "He would have debuted at some time," Lambkin said. "Manly had put a lot of faith in him over a long period and he played in my NYC team as a 17-year-old and there seemed to be no doubt that he was going to make his debut one day. "He was a very unassuming kid. I had him for six years at school at Westfield Sports High School and he didnt say a lot ... hed just give you a grin without too many words. "There was no lair in him, he was just a really nice kid very quiet and very polite. He came from a good family and was affectionately known as 'Keithy'. "He was very well-liked at school and with my Manly team. When he came in as a 17-year-old the older boys wrapped their arms around him and made him a part of it quite quickly, and God bless him, he won them a premiership by scoring that try. "I see a lot of kids come in as 13-year-olds with dreams and by 16 or 17 the dreams have passed them already because something else had gotten in the way but he was persistent with his training and his pursuit of making the NRL. He was just a really nice kid very quiet and very polite. He came from a good family Wayne Lambkin, a former coach of Keith Titmuss "He was a very nice young man and had great qualities. I just feel so sorry for his family." Titmuss' family and the Sea Eagles management didnt want his team-mates to learn the news through social media so the club called them together late Monday. Senior players who are still on leave, such as Daly Cherry-Evans and Jake Trbojevic, were in attendance. "The face of this is the head coach so Des is the one who had to get the playing group together and stand in front of them with Stephen Humphries, and that is a tough role because the players are looking for leadership," Heptonstall said. "Full credit to Des, he always invests himself in the players and he went to the hospital. "Matt Ballin is really connected to the playing group and he jumped in the ambulance straight away and was with him and his family from start to finish. "Having an ex-player who can understand the players going through and has the right qualifications is really helpful. "They are processing it now so it might take a couple of days to sink in around the loss but having that experienced counselling network through the NRL and RLPA gives us a fair bit of confidence in dealing with situations like this."
Pangai will fire again, Lodge and Ofahengaue staying: Walters - NRL.COM
Kevin Walters insists the best is yet to come from wayward star Tevita Pangai jnr.
New Brisbane coach Kevin Walters believes he can get the best out of Tevita Pangai jnr next season and is confident Joe Ofahengaue and Matt Lodge will remain with the club. Walters oversaw his first training session in charge of the Broncos on Monday and was glowing in his praise of Pangai after the controversial forward performed strongly in a time trial with other players, including former Sharks and Titans playmaker Albert Kelly. Former Papua New Guinea captain David Mead, who has been playing with Catalans in the Super League, is in negotiations with Brisbane and Walters believes he and Kelly on a train and trial contract after four years with Hull FC will provide experience in the backs. However, Walters is also looking to the future and he believes he can restore Brisbane's reputation as a club that doesnt lose players they want to keep a reference to the defection of star second-rower David Fifita to the Titans. Representative centre Kotoni Staggs and young gun halfback Tom Dearden are off contract at the end of next season and Walters made it clear with the pair standing behind at the launch of a five-year deal with Asics as the clubs apparel partner - that he was determined to ensure both re-sign. Walters wants unity at the Broncos Despite Ofahengaue and Lodge being linked with rival clubs, Walters also declared both props remain in his plans for next season - along with Pangai, who has been stood down without pay since August and had strict conditions placed on his employment after breaching the NRLs biosecurity protocols. "We are really happy with the condition he has come back in and we expect Tevita to be a huge player for us next year," Walters said. "He has got skills that not many players have got so we are very excited to have him as part of the Broncos group. "We have seen what he can do in glimpses but we need to see more of that next year and from the discussions we have had we expect that to happen with Tevita. "He is a good fellow and we will get him going in the right direction so he can be a real asset for us." Pangai is effectively on a 12-month probation after the Broncos suspended a decision to terminate his contract and ordered him to work in a job organised by a club mentor and avoid posting on social media. However, Walters described the 24-year-old forwards attitude as excellent and believes he can be an X-factor for the Broncos. "He has got a lot of ability and we havent seen the best of him yet," Walters said. David Mead on the run for Catalans during the 2020 Super League.©photosport.co.nz "It is wonderful to have these sort of players in our club and our organisation and it is up to all the coaching staff and the performance staff to get him in the right frame of mind so that when March comes around next year he is ready to go. "He could be a real linchpin for our club next season." Walters is also hoping Staggs, who is recovering from an ACL tear, and 19-year-old Dearden can have an impact on the Broncos in years to come and signalled an intention to extend their time at the club beyond next season. Albert Kelly has returned to Australia after a stint at Hull.©photosport.co.nz "The Broncos have a history of not losing players that they want and over the last few years that has changed a bit," Walters said. "Salary caps and all of those things come into it but we want the boys to stay here and we will be doing everything in our power to make sure they do. "Kotoni is only just scratching the surface with his career, and I am very excited to be working with Tom. He is a good young Queenslander who we want to see be a 10-year player here. "It is my job and the rest of the staff to make sure Tom is comfortable here, living in Brisbane and being part of what is going to be a very powerful club." Dearden just never gives up Most of the senior players arent required to return to training until next month but Ofahengaue, Anthony Milford, Alex Glenn and Corey Oates attended the first session under Walters. "A lot of those older players came in to day just to be part of it, so that was pleasing from my point of view as well," Walters said. "Its virtually a clean slate, we have got a new coaching staff and a new performance staff so we are starting again. We hit the re-start button today and the next four weeks into Christmas is about working really hard with each, supporting each other and getting through the next month." Walters said he had been in contact with Lodge and expected him to return from leave in mid-December.
Bad news, Blues: Returning stars will make Maroons stronger - NRL.COM
Kalyn Ponga, Michael Morgan, David Fifita and other big name players who missed Queensland’s State of Origin series triumph are going to have fight to regain their positions next season, according to former Maroons great Brent Tate.
Kalyn Ponga, Michael Morgan, David Fifita and other big-name players who missed Queenslands State of Origin series triumph will make the Maroons even stronger in 2021. But they are going to have fight to regain their positions next season, according to former Maroons great Brent Tate. With the likes of Ponga, Morgan, Fifita, Moses Mbye and Kyle Feldt unavailable, Queensland coach Wayne Bennett blooded a record 14 Origin debutants in the 2-1 series win and Tate believes the rookies deserve to retain their places in 2021. "The real positive for Queensland is that it has given us depth across the park and in positions where we probably havent had depth for a long time," said Tate, who played 23 Origins for Queensland between 2002 and 2014. "Blokes who wouldnt necessarily have gotten a game, like Harry Grant, Edrick Lee, Brenko Lee and Xavier Coates, played well and have proven themselves so if they start the season well next year they deserve to keep their spots. "The challenge for those other guys who didnt play is that they now have to force their way back in." Munster shares Alfie traits, says Bennett Grant was outstanding in a 56-minute stint on debut in Wednesday nights 20-14 win at Suncorp Stadium and the 22-year-old is expected to now be Queenslands long-term hooker, while others like prop Lindsay Collins and lock Tino Fa'asuamaleaui are set to be Maroons mainstays. However, the Queensland pack is set to be bolstered by the return of Fifita next season, while Canberra enforcer Corey Horsburgh was also sidelined by injury and Josh McGuire and Joe Ofahengaue were overlooked for selection. Ben Hunt, who was the Ron McAuliffe Medal winner last year as Queensland's player of the series, was also dropped for Origin III in favour of Grant. In the backs, Ponga, Morgan, Mbye and Feldt were unavailable, while Coates and AJ Brimson made impressive debuts but suffered injuries during the series that gave Edrick Lee and Corey Allan their chance in Origin III. Along with Dane Gagai and Valentine Holmes, they will all be vying for fullback, centre and wing spots next season. "I am really excited about the depth we have got in those positions now," Tate said. "I thought Edrick Lee was absolutely outstanding, I thought he was our best winger during the series and Lindsay Collins was my man of the match in the last game. Lee relishing dream come true Maroons debut "A lot of those guys made huge sacrifices to play so it is now up to Kalyn Ponga and those other guys to force their way back into the team. There are probably some guys who could have pushed themselves to play but didnt, and look what they have missed out on." After back-to-back series wins by NSW, the Maroons' era of dominance of winning 11 series in 12 years from 2006 to 2017 appeared over but Tate and fellow former Queensland Origin representative Scott Sattler believe the new breed of stars could inflict more pain on the Blues. "I was talking to Satts and I said to him that the last few years I have been really worried about our depth but I genuinely feel like we have got some real depth there now," Tate said. DCE lauds Grants rookie Maroons performance "We havent had that for a while and you have been sitting back thinking NSW could be dominant for the next few years like Queensland was but all of a sudden I think the pendulum has swung back again." Players like Jaydn Su'A, Brenko Lee, Kurt Capewell and Jake Friend also made the most of their first chance at Origin level, meaning Queensland will no longer have a problem when it comes to depth.
- AJ Brimson
- Valentine Holmes
- Dane Gagai
- Michael Morgan
- Edrick Lee
- Cameron Munster
- Daly Cherry-Evans
- Josh Papalii
- Harry Grant
- Christian Welch
- Felise Kaufusi
- David Fifita
- Tino Fa'asuamaleaui
- Kalyn Ponga
- Lindsay Collins
- Jai Arrow
- Kurt Capewell
‘I am not a grub’: Arrow charged over Tedesco incident - NRL.COM
Maroons forward Jai Arrow insists he is "not a grubby player" and has explained his actions after NSW skipper James Tedesco was concussed in the State of Origin decider.
Maroons forward Jai Arrow insists he is "not a grubby player" and has explained his actions after NSW skipper James Tedesco was concussed in the State of Origin decider. Just 13 seconds after Arrow came on on the field in Queensland's 20-14 win at Suncorp Stadium, the NSW fullback collected the knee of Josh Papalii and was reeling from the head knock. Tedesco dropped the ball and Arrow, who was in the tackle, lifted the Blues skipper and dropped him to the ground. The NRL match review committee on Thursday announced Arrow had been charged with grade-one contrary conduct but would only receive a fine of $550-$750 due to his clean record. Blues coach Brad Fittler said Arrow's actions displayed "a lot of lack of respect" but the Queensland forward, who called for a trainer after realising Tedesco was in trouble, said he was initially unaware of what had transpired. "I have been told some comments were made about Tedesco and I just want to come out and say that at first I was fired up, and honestly I am not a grub like that," Arrow said. DCE lauds Grants rookie Maroons performance "I didnt know he was knocked out and if you go back and watch the full footage, watch me go back and put my hand up because I was checking his welfare. "I actually realised he was knocked out when I slammed him back on the ground, which I am very apologetic about. "People are going to have their comments about it but when I was speaking to him after the game I said, 'I am sorry. I didnt realise you were knocked out until after a couple of seconds'. I am not out there to hurt someone intentionally." When told of Fittler's remarks, Arrow said "everyone is going to have their opinion". Match Highlights: Maroons v Blues "I had just come onto the field, went to tackle him and in the heat of the moment I saw out of the corner of my eye the ball drop out," he explained. "So I thought he had dropped the ball and went to be fiery." Arrow was later ruled out for the rest of the game after suffering a similar fate. "I had a little bit of a head knock and went in and failed [the HIA], so I wasnt able to return. I am obviously happy that we won," he said. "I reckon I missed about 15 minutes of it doing my HIA, and then I heard the crowd erupt and knew something good had happened to us. Someone went in and said that Harry [Grant] had scored and I was in the little docs room jumping around like an idiot. That is probably why I failed my HIA." Arrow said coach Wayne Bennett's pre-game "speech" was short on words but big on motivation. Alfie inspires Maggi Munsters performance "Right before the game, when we were about to run out, Wayne said I reckon 10 words. He said 'have a go tonight, dont leave anything in the tank' and then literally walked out. We paused for a second and I was like, is that it? "Then Chez [Daly Cherry-Evans] stood up and said 'lets go boys, this is Origin footy and what you dream about at Suncorp'. I am very glad we got the job done. "It is pretty special. I have never felt a feeling like that. I have obviously never won a grand final but I could say that goes close to it because I was pumped at the end." Arrow will join Bennett at the Rabbitohs next season and said he "massively" wanted the coach back on board with the Maroons in 2021. "The impact he has had here with such a young squad that we have is pretty special and I would love to see him go on again. He says all the right things and definitely got us up," Arrow said. Munster shares Alfie traits, says Bennett "I love playing under him and it was good to see he got the Gatorade all over him at the end there too. "He said to us before we got on the bus 'we are not losing this' and that was in the back of our minds. "He said hes been to three or four deciders and won them all so we didnt want to be the first, and thank God for that because I didnt want to hear the full-time speech if wed lost."
|Time Minute of Match||20th|
|7yrs Incident Free for Discount?||No|
|Prior Similar Offences in last 2 years (50% loading)||0|
|Prior Non-Similar Offences in last 2 years (20% loading)||0|
|Carry-over Points to be Added||N/A|
|Misconduct on whom?||James Tedesco|
Why Smith has not fielded offers for 2021 - NRL.COM
At the launch of his book, Cameron Smith maintained a wait and see approach regarding his future.
Cameron Smith says he has remained deliberately oblivious to offers for 2021 until he makes a final decision on whether he will play on. Smith spoke at the launch of his autobiography The Storm Within at Suncorp Stadium on Monday where he gave detailed insight into his thinking about whether he extends his illustrious 430-game career. He was interviewed alongside Storm coach Craig Bellamy by former Maroons playmaker Ben Ikin in a panel discussion before taking questions from journalists from the floor. He told Ikin that "over the next couple of weeks I will be able to sit down and have some thorough thoughts and conversations with [wife] Barb and the kids about what lies ahead for my future and our future". He was also asked from the floor about whether there were any offers from other clubs on the table. Smith says connections run deep for champion Storm side "I have had no other approaches and I havent spoken to any other organisation. Everyone has left me alone," Smith said. "They may have spoken to my management but I have told my management to leave me alone too on that subject." Smith said he had spent the last few weeks reflecting on what a superb achievement by the Storm it was to win the 2020 premiership and also spending time with his family. The decision on whether he goes around again on the football field will be driven by one factor. "Over the back end of the year any time I sat down with the media they asked 'why dont you play on?' They thought I was playing well, still contributing a lot and getting good results," he said. Cameron Munster and Cameron Smith with the Provan-Summons trophy.©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos "Playing at this level is more than just feeling good and playing well. I think there is a lot more commitment than just that. It is really just weighing up whether I want to go on. "I certainly love the game. I am 37 and there have been players that have played around my age. "It is really about where I have the same level of commitment and am willing to sacrifice all the things you need to sacrifice to be an NRL player. "I have a level and standard that I want to achieve every time I train and play and if I dont feel I can be at that high standard then that will contribute to my decision." Smith has made it clear in his book that he told Bellamy he would not play on at the Storm if it meant jeopardising the careers of Harry Grant and Brandon Smith at the club. As for whether he would play for another club, he said it was something he had not yet considered. Cameron Smith pays tribute to Victoria then raises Provan-Summons trophy "It is not going to be about me picturing myself playing for a different jersey or a different club," he said. "It is about whether I want to make that commitment to play again. If it is, and if it is at another club, then I will have to adjust to that. "Throughout my career I have never really seen myself playing for another club, but I am in the situation I am now. "The Storm have been great. They have left me alone all year, contrary to reports that said people had been unhappy with me. "They spoke to me early on and just said 'mate, just worry about this year. Play well and whenever you want to make a decision, make a decision'." When Smith sat down at the start of the year with the author of his autobiography, Nine journalist Andrew Webster, he was unaware the fire in his belly for the game would still be as strong as it is now. "I spoke to Andrew about it and he was asking me throughout the process 'is this going to be your last year?' and I said 'I dont know. I still feel really good', and that is the strange thing that at 37 and after all the games I have played I dont think anyone would have thought I would want to play on or be able to play at the level I have played at for the last couple of years. "I know the autobiography has come around the time of retirement but we felt we had a really good book. Speaking to the guys at [publishers] Allen and Unwin and after seeing the work that Andrew Webster had done we felt we had a great book and it was a good time to bring it out. If I play on next year then we could just write another one." If Smith does hang up the boots, coaching does hold an appeal. "Id like to stay involved in the game," he said. "I love the game and it is all I have ever done. My wife gives it to me a fair bit about not being able to understand what a real job is, and I must say I back her up on that."
Addo-Carr still Sydney-bound in 2022 as Tigers weigh up Mansour option - NRL.COM
Josh Addo-Carr still plans on returning to Sydney once he becomes a free agent next year as the Tigers weigh up extending a firm offer to Penrith veteran Josh Mansour.
Josh Addo-Carr still plans on returning to Sydney once he becomes a free agent next year as the Tigers weigh up extending a firm offer to Penrith veteran Josh Mansour. Melbourne confirmed on Thursday that Addo-Carr would remain at the club in 2021, opting not to release him from the final year of his deal after consultation with the NSW Origin speedster about the compassionate grounds on which he first sought an early exit. Addo-Carr had signed a heads of agreement for a four-year Tigers deal that was contingent on the Storm finding a replacement winger. After discussions with Addo-Carr, both the Storm and the NRL's fastest man resolved for him to stay in the Victorian capital next season. Fronting the media in NSW camp on Saturday for the first time since his short-term future had been confirmed, Addo-Carr refused to be drawn on the saga beyond still desiring a return to be near the Harbour City in 2022. Addo-Carr steps back inside to score from a scrum Asked if he still planned to leave the Storm for Sydney in 12 months time Addo-Carr said: "Yeah definitely," before deadbatting all other enquiries about his future. "I don't want to take the spotlight off my teammates here, I've got a job to do on Wednesday night and it is what it is. "I want to focus on what I've got to do here for the Blues and I'll talk to you afterwards about it." Addo-Carr secures his double from Walker kick Addo-Carr spent most of Saturday's NSW training run as an observer, but both he and Blues medical staff insist his bruised toe has him in no doubt for game three with a full training hit-out scheduled for Monday. It's understood the Tigers haven't ruled out pursuing Addo-Carr again for 2022, though the heads of agreement committing him to a Concord return only applied to next season. Melbourne would also have scope to extend Addo-Carr on an upgraded deal for 2022 and beyond, but are expecting him to return to Sydney as well at this stage. The Tigers meanwhile have been in discussions with Mansour after he was told by Penrith that he faced starting 2021 in reserve grade behind youngsters Brian To'o and Charlie Staines. Mansour is believed to want a three-year contract as he eyes an early departure from the Panthers. But NRL.com understands the Tigers are only willing to consider a two-year commitment given he turns 31 in June. Josh Mansour goes over for a disallowed try.©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos The development comes after paparazzi-snapped images of former NSW Origin speedster James Roberts meeting with Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe and football manager Adam Hartigan made a splash on Friday. Tigers coach Michael Maguire has maintained contact with Roberts since they were both at the Rabbitohs during his early NRL days, but NRL.com understands a reunion at the joint-venture is unlikely. Roberts' second coming at South Sydney ended with an early release two weeks ago on compassionate grounds, with injuries and off-field issues cruelling his form and game time. The Tigers have been hamstrung by a top-heavy salary cap for the first two seasons Maguire has been at the club, but have clearer air in 2022 when big earners like Josh Reynolds and Russell Packer come off-contract.