Gareth Ellis, the English backrower who walked away from Leeds last year to test himself in the NRL, received his unofficial inauguration in the last Round of NRL matches when he was sledged by star Sydney Roosters big man Willie Mason.
Channel 9 microphones at the Wests Tigers’ match against the Sydney Roosters allegedly caught Mason saying: “Let’s rattle that f**king Ellis. He’s a faggot.”
But the calm and collected Ellis eventually came off the winner, impressing all with a complete performance in the Tigers’ 40-24 win. The former Super League forward seemingly adapting to the faster paced NRL very easily and barring injury, will be a vital park of the Tigers mobile forward unit.
“I’m loving every minute of it,” beamed Ellis who is only 27, the goal for the man from Yorkshire is to emulate that of former Pommy import Adrian Morley, who also arrived from Leeds and was the last big Super League convert to make a massive name for himself in the NRL.
“Willie’s a big bloke and he wanted to run over the top of me â€“ I love playing against players like that.”
Ellis, who spoke with the waiting media at the Tigers’ Monday recovery session, said: “How good is this? It’s almost winter â€“ I got up and there was sunshine. And we’re swimming in an open air pool. This is the life.”
Mason, who is well known not only in the NRL but in the greater Rugby League world for his clashes with both David Kidwell (NZ) and Stuart Fielden (England) was today suspended for the upcoming Roosters clash against the Eels for breaking the club’s new booze rules.
Mason along with fellow forward Nate Myles, have both been cut from the lineup after they were drinking at home on Sunday, which is not allowed under new club rules.
“We try to put these rules in order to give players less grey area, so it’s black and white,” said Fittler. “We’re disappointed with the two players. Given today’s climate … what we try to do is make our discipline as tough as possible.”
The Roosters recently had to deal with other booze related incident when a rookie, Jake Friend, was caught by police with a high-range of booze while driving.
Mason’s manager is believed to be already scouting the UK and France for Super League options given that the Roosters have hinted they may cut his contract short.