As reported by NRL News earlier in the year, Channel 9 has successfully chased and secured Laurie Daley for a supporting commentary and possible Footy Show role with the station in 2007.
The talented Fox Rugby League man will join the likes of Sterling, Gould and Matt Johns for Channel 9’s weekend NRL coverage and is rumoured to be spearheading a revised Footy Show format with Matt Johns on Thursday nights.
The acquisition of Laurie Daley is a smart move by Channel 9; many feeling that the current lineup is a little tired and in need of new blood. The likes of Ray Warren have been an institution for many years and while ‘Rabs’ is considered the voice of Rugby League – some minor slip-up’s of late have seen colleague Sterling make corrections for the veteran when he gets things mixed up.
The opportunity for Laurie Daley to also take a leading role on the Channel 9 Footy Show is also a big draw card for Channel 9. The struggling show rates poorly these days and has done for the past few years; the original and unique humour of the early years by Paul Vautin and the team has been impossible for them to recapture. Channel 9 may elect to turn the Footy Show away from its current variety format and make it similar to the NRL on FOX program currently involving Daley and Warren Smith each Wednesday on Foxtel.
It has also been rumoured that Channel 9 have come to an agreement with radio man Ray Hadley to join their stables in 2008. If true, it would be a case of ‘Back to the Future’ with the current 2GB radio announcer previously involved with the Footy Show several years ago.
The moves are long overdue by Channel 9; the recent additions of Ben Ikin and Mark Geyer certainly weren’t enough to secure the future of Rugby League at the station. With the signing of the astute Daley – Channel 9 suddenly get a lot more credibility; their only problem now is the imminent retirement of Ray Warren and who to replace him with. While Andrew Voss is next in line, the reliable Voss doesn’t have the aura or profile Ray Warren does. Maybe this is where Ray Hadlee might be coming into play?