NRL backs down on Maitua

Reni Maitua NRL legal challenge Bulldogs SharksDiscarded Bulldog player Reni Maitua is now free to officially link with the Sharks after the NRL backed down on their decision to stand in the way of his contract.

The paperwork surrounding the transfer hadn’t been ratified by the NRL, after their lawyers hesitated at potential legal proceedings levelled at the Bulldogs for alleged wrongful dismissal in the Industrial Relations Commission.

When booted by the Canterbury Bulldogs in December last year, Maitua immediately sought to link with the Sharks on a 1 year deal – however nothing has been finalised until now.

The National Rugby League body also thought Maitua was seeking to challenge them in court, however his legal team have now confirmed they are only chasing the Bulldogs.

“The Sharks and Reni had already agreed to terms but the ability to register a contract had been hampered by proceedings the international lock had brought against his former club in the Industrial Relations Commission,” said a statement from the NRL.

“While those proceedings remain in place, Maitua’s legal representatives have provided assurances which have paved the way for the NRL to register the contract.

“Maitua is already free to play in trial matches and is expected to be formally registered with the Sharks next week.”

Cronulla aren’t expected to play Maitua in this weekends trial, however he could be on deck for next weeks pre-season fixture against the Newcastle Knights.

With Maitua now free to get on with his Rugby League life at the Sharks, it’s obvious the next 12 months are critical. The short term deal, along with the firm guidance of Ricky Stuart are the ideal mix to keep the former Test representative on the straight and narrow.

With the Sharks building a formidable team for 2009, Maitua is surrounded by quality players and will have no excuses bar any injuries this season.

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