Sacked Bulldogs representative player Reni Maitua remains in high demand with several NRL clubs keen to bring the talentedÂ utility on to their books for 2009 and beyond.Â
While NRL chief executive David Gallop claims the National Rugby LeagueÂ ‘might not’ allow Maitua to register withÂ other clubsÂ in 2009, it may face a lengthy legal battle should they try and de-register Maitua.
In recent times the NRL has stood behind clubs, backing their hardline stance on trouble makers – however, Maitua hasn’t done anything wrong other than turn up late a few times and show a poor attitude.
Maitua’s agent Sam AyoubÂ has asked the question; “How can heÂ be deregistered when there has been no serious offence committed?”
“There’s a lot of talk going on at the moment and some of that is the supposed possibility of deregistration,” Ayoub said.
“But I doubt very much that would be the case.
“If you go out and have a drink, is yourÂ boss going to ban you and then prevent you from getting a job elsewhere?”
With this line of thinking by Ayoub, it seems if the NRLÂ deregister Maitua there could beÂ swift legal action.
Ayoub refused to name the 3 NRL clubs keen for the services of Maitua.
“We’re not in a hurry to jump into things right at the moment,” Ayoub said.
“We’ve got a few issues to resolve and then we’ll sit down and chat about the future.”
Ayoub and Maitua will be meeting with Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg and coach Kevin Moore on Thursday night prior to deciding whether any appeal will take place.
It’s common knowledge that Maitua wasn’t happy at Belmore, one of the last remaining members of the close knit 2004 squad – Maitua has seen close mates Braith Anasta, Sonny Bill Williams and Willie Mason all leave the club. Because of this, it’s unlikely he will appeal the decision – but expect the situation to turn legal should the NRL attempt to restrain his trade.
With several NRLÂ keen to latch on to Maitua for 2009, this story is not expected to go away any time soon.Â
Apparently when Maitua wanted out mid-season the Cowboys were quick to offer aÂ contract for 2009 earlier – but the Dogs didn’t grant the player a release.Â
While the UK Super League remains the last option, at this stage it seems Maitua and Ayoub aren’t giving it any priority.