Burgess brothers unite as the twins sign new deals with the Bunnies

George Burgess

It keeps the family tradition well and truly alive at the South Sydney Rabbitohs, with the club today announcing that the Burgess twins – George and Thomas – have re-signed with the club.

George is now signed on until 2016 and Thomas until 2015, with the duo excelling during their first-grade stints at the club.

George in particular has excelled in first-grade so far, with the 21-year old taking his game to another level since making his debut last year against the Bulldogs.

His current form suggests that he will be selected for the English side for the upcoming World Cup, with his form off the bench a key for the Bunnies dominance an asset for the club moving forward.

For the club, they are excited to keep the Burgess twins on board at the club.

“Both George and Tom have made an impact on the field for us since they have joined the first grade squad and they are both developing well as front rowers in the NRL,” Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire said.

“We have plenty of competition for spots in the front row at the Rabbitohs and they have both shown that they belong in the company of the online blackjack tricks other front rowers we have competing for positions in the forward pack.

“I’m looking forward to working with them and watching them build their games further alongside their older brothers.”

The players themselves are just as excited, with George keen to be a part of what appears to be a winning culture brooding at the club, as well as continuing to play alongside his brothers.

“It’s really exciting to be with a Club that is growing the way it is, and I’m looking forward to helping develop the winning culture that is building here,” George said.

“I’m really pumped to be part of it with my brothers and team mates as well, and to be part of what I’m sure will be a bright future.”

The feeling was mutual for Thomas, who looks forward to attaining more game-time and playing alongside his brothers and team-mates more often.

“It’s great to know I’ll be here for at least two more years, at such a wonderful Club,” Thomas said.

“I’m so happy to be playing alongside my team mates, including my three brothers, and I’m looking forward to playing my part in creating something special here over the coming seasons.”

Thomas Burgess

Dragons young gun re-signs for a further 2 years

Adam Quinlan

Enjoying a recent stint in first-grade after being promoted from the Illawarra Cutters NSW Cup side, the St George Illawarra Dragons have secured the services of talented utility back Adam Quinlan, with the young gun re-signing for a further 2 years.

The deal, which will run until the end of 2015, sees the South Coast junior extend his time with the club, after coming through the ranks in both NYC and the NSW Cup.

Quinlan, still just 20 years old, made his first-grade debut in Rd 9, has played in 4 NRL games to date and looks forward to the future for the Dragons, one he hopes to be a part of.

“I am really happy to be staying at the Dragons at least for the next two seasons,” said Quinlan.

“I really like the Club and the area and I am really appreciative of the opportunities given to me by the Online Blackjack Club.

“Playing first grade was a dream come true and I will just continue to work hard and make the most of every opportunity that is presented to me.”

Despite heavy interest from rival clubs, Dragons CEO Peter Doust is also pleased that the talented utility back knocked back other offers to remain at the Dragons.

“Adam is an exciting young player who has made a real impact at our Club since he made his Club debut with our NYC team mid-way through last season,” said Doust.

“He is a wonderful talent with a great attitude who despite his size and experience, has looked very comfortable in the NRL right from his first game.

“We are delighted that Adam has chosen to stay at the Dragons for at least the next two years and look forward to his on-going commitment and contributions to our Club both on and off the field.”

Rd 21 NRL Teams

Can you believe it? Rd 21 already. Feels like yesterday we were all pumped and excited about the season beginning. Another week of teams and you can catch them all right here.

Without further adieu, here are the NRL teams for Rd 21:

Newcastle Knights v Brisbane Broncos (#NRLnewbri)
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle; Friday August 2. Kick-off: 7:35pm.

Knights: 1. Darius Boyd 2. James McManus 3. Dane Gagai 4. Joey Leilua 5. Akuila Uate 6. Jarrod Mullen 7. Tyrone Roberts 8. David Fa’alogo 9. Danny Buderus 10. Zane Tetevano 11. Robbie Rochow 12. Beau Scott 13. Jeremy Smith.

Interchange: 14. Craig Gower 15. Chris Houston 16. Neville Costigan 17. Adam Cuthbertson 18. Korbin Sims (One to be omitted).

Coach: Wayne Bennett.

Broncos: 1. Josh Hoffman 2. Corey Oates 3. David Stagg 4. Justin Hodges 5. Lachlan Maranta 6. Scott Prince 7. Ben Hunt 8. Mitchell Dodds 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Josh McGuire 11. Sam Thaiday 12. Matt Gillett 13. Corey Parker

Interchange: 14. Peter Wallace 15. Dunamis Lui 16. Lama Tasi 17. Nick Slyney.

Coach: Anthony Griffin.


Penrith Panthers v Sydney Roosters (#NRLpensyd)
Centrebet Stadium, Penrith; Friday August 2. Kick-off: 7:35pm
.

Panthers: 1. Matt Moylan 2. James Roberts 3. Lewis Brown 4. Dean Whare 5. David Simmons 6. Isaac John 7. Luke Walsh 8. Jeremy Latimore 9. Kevin Kingston (C) 10. Tim Grant 11. Clint Newton 12. Sika Manu 13. Adam Docker.

Interchange: 14. James Segeyaro 15. Cam Ciraldo 16. Mose Masoe 17. Ryan Simpkins 18. Josh Mansour.

Coach: Ivan Cleary.

Roosters: 1. Anthony Minichiello 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Michael Jennings 4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 5. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 6. James Maloney 7. Mitch Pearce 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend 10. Luke O’Donnell 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Mitch Aubusson 13. Frank-Paul Nuuauasala.

Interchange: 14. Daniel Mortimer 15. Aidan Guerra 16. Sam Moa 17. Issac Liu.

Coach: Trent Robinson.


New Zealand Warriors v Cronulla Sharks (#NRLwarcro)
Mt Smart Stadium; Saturday August 3. Kick-off: 5pm local time (3pm AEST time).

Warriors: 1. Kevin Locke 2. Ngani Laumape 3. Dane Nielsen 4. Konrad Hurrell 5. Manu Vatuvei 6. Thomas Leuluai 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Sam Rapira 9. Nathan Friend 10. Ben Matulino 11. Feleti Mateo 12. Simon Mannering (C) 13. Elijah Taylor.

Interchange: 14. Suaia Matagi 15. Jacob Lillyman 16. Todd Lowrie 17. Dominique Peyroux.

Coach: Matt Elliott.

Sharks: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Ben Pomeroy 4. Jonathan Wright 5. Nathan Stapleton 6. Todd Carney 7. Jeff Robson 8. Andrew Fifita 9. John Morris 10. Bryce Gibbs 11. Jayson Bukuya 12. Wade Graham 13. Paul Gallen (C).

Interchange: 14. Issac De Gois 15. Chris Heighington 16. Sam Tagataese 17. Ben Ross 18. Tyrone Peachey (One to be omitted).

Coach: Shane Flanagan.


Parramatta Eels v Manly Sea Eagles (#NRLparman)
Parramatta Stadium; Saturday August 3. Kick-off: 5:30pm
.

Eels: 1. Jake Mullaney 2. Ken Sio 3. Ryan Morgan 4. Willie Tonga 5. Semi Radradra 6. Api Pewhairangi 7. Ben Roberts 8. Tim Mannah (C) 9. Matt Keating 10. Fuifui Moimoi 11. Reni Maitua 12. Daniel Harrison 13. Darcy Lussick.

Interchange: 14. Joseph Paulo 15. Peni Terepi 16. Mitch Allgood 17. Junior Paulo.

Coach: Ricky Stuart.

Manly: 1. Brett Stewart 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Jamie Lyon (C) 4. Steve Matai 5. David Williams 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Brenton Lawrence 9. Matt Ballin 10. Brent Kite 11. Anthony Watmough 12. Justin Horo 13. Glenn Stewart.

Interchange: 14. Richie Pokies Fa’aoso 15. Jamie Buhrer 16. David Gower 17. George Rose 18. James Hasson 19. Peta Hiku.

Coach: Geoff Toovey.


North Queensland Cowboys v South Sydney Rabbitohs (#NRLnqlsou)
1300 Smiles Stadium, Townsville; Saturday August 3. Kick-off: 7:30pm.

Cowboys: 1. Matt Bowen 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Brent Tate 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Johnathan Thurston 7. Micahel Morgan 8. Matt Scott (C) 9. Ray Thompson 10. James Tamou 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Glenn Hall 13. Joel Reithmuller.

Interchange: 14. Scott Moore 15. Tariq Sims 16. Jason Taumalolo 17. Ashton Sims 18. Scott Bolton 19. Rory Kostjaysn. (Two to be omitted).

Coach: Neil Henry.

Souths: 1. Nathan Merritt 2. Dylan Farrell 3. Bryson Goodwin 4. Dylan Walker 5. Matt King 6. John Sutton (C) 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Sam Burgess 9. Issac Luke 10. George Burgess 11. Chris McQueen 12. Ben Te’o 13. Ben Lowe.

Interchange: 14. Luke Keary 15. Roy Asotasi 16. Jeff Lima 17. Thomas Burgess 18. Dave Tyrrell 19. Justin Hunt.

Coach: Michael Maguire.


Canberra Raiders v Melbourne Storm (#NRLcanmel)
Canberra Stadium; Sunday August 4. Kick-off: 2pm.

Raiders: 1. Anthony Milford 2. Reece Robinson 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joel Thompson 5. Sandor Earl 6. Terry Campese (C) 7. Josh McCrone 8. David Shillington 9. Glen Buttriss 10. Dane Tilse 11. Josh Papalii 12. Joel Edwards 13. Shaun Fensom.

Interchange: 14. Shaun Berrigan 15. Jarrad Kennedy 16. Brett White 17. Paul Vaughan.

Coach: David Furner.

Storm: 1. Billy Slater 2. Sisa Waa 3. Will Chambers 4. Maurice Blair 5. Justin O’Neill 6. Brett Finch 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cam Smith (C) 10. Bryan Norrie 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Ryan Hinchcliffe.

Interchange: 14. Jason Ryles 15. Tohu Harris 16. Siosaia Vave 17. Slade Griffin.

Coach: Craig Bellamy.


Gold Coast Titans v Wests Tigers (#NRLgldwst)
Skilled Park, Gold Coast; Sunday August 4. Kick-off: 3pm
.

Titans: 1. David Mead 2. Kevin Gordon 3. Brad Takairangi 4. Jamie Dowling 5. Anthony Don 6. Ashley Harrison 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Luke Douglas 9. Beau Falloon 10. Nate Myles 11. Ben Ridge 12. Mark Minichiello 13. Greg Bird.

Interchange: 14. David Taylor 15. Ryan James 16. Luke O’Dwyer 17. Sam Irwin.

Coach: John Cartwright.

Tigers: 1. James Tedesco 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Chris Lawrence 5. Tim Simona 6. Benji Marshall 7. Curtis Sironen 8. Jack Buchanan 9. Robbie Farah 10. Adam Blair 11. Liam Fulton 12. Bodene Thompson 13. Suaso Sue.

Interchange: 14. Ava Seumanafagai 15. Keith Galloway 16. Ben Murdoch-Masila 17. Braith Anasta 19. Shaun Spence.

Coach: Mick Potter.


St George Illawarra Dragons v Canterbury Bulldogs (#NRLsgicby)
WIN Jubille Oval; Monday August 5. Kick-off: 7pm.

Dragons: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Brett Morris 3. Chase Stanley 4. Daniel Vidot 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Adam Quinlan 7. Nathan Fien 8. Jack de Belin 9. Mitch Rein 10. Michael Weyman 11. Bronson Harrison 12. Ben Creagh 13. Trent Merrin.

Interchange: 14. Matt Prior 15. Leeson Ah Mau 16. Tyson Frizell 17. Jack Stockwell.

Coach: Steve Price.

Bulldogs: 1. Sam Perrett 2. Mitch Brown 3. Josh Morris 4. Tim Lafai 5. Krisnan Inu 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Michael Ennis (C) 10. James Graham 11. Frank Pritchard 12. Tony Williams 13. Greg Eastwood.

Interchange: 14. Dene Halatau 15. Josh Jackson 16. Sam Kasiano 17. Dale Finucane 20. Tim Browne (One to be omitted).

Coach: Des Hasler.


Ricky’s Team of the Week: Rd 20

Sam Burgess

The end of another round and the start of another team of the week. Will you agree or disagree with the players chosen? Remember, it’s all based on a certain criteria.

So, without further adieu, here’s the side:

1. Anthony Milford – It’s hard to believe that at his age, you can play so well and at such a consistent level but for this young Raiders back, he takes all of it in his stride. Starting his career as the side’s utility man, his form has been so good, that David Furner has had no choice but to play him in the starting side in a favoured position of his. Fullback. What’s scary, is he’ll only get better.

2. Corey Oates – Another talented youngster that has been touted for future stardom at all levels of the game and he’s shown why. A versatile player and able to cover positions in the back-line and the back-row, this Broncos young gun has gone from strength to strength and has been rewarded with a starting opportunity – one that he is taken to the best of his ability – in light of injuries. Don’t be surprised if he now stays as a permanent fixture in the Broncos side.

3. Jamie Lyon – Widely regarded as the best centre currently playing the game, the experience of Lyon shows through in every facet of his game. From producing a top defensive tackle on his opposition number, the way he carries himself on the field and leads his team forward when they’re in trouble and to knowing the right option to take in both defence and attack, it’s why he’s regarded as an elite centre in the NRL – if not the best – despite some fans not being a fan of his.

4. Jarrod Croker – Only just starting to find his feet again after a bit of an injury disrupted year, Croker’s finding his mojo again. With the Raiders needing a centre to step up in the absence of Blake Ferguson, Croker has done just that, linking up well with his inside and outside men and boasting one hell of a goal-kicking accuracy rate. Although he has had his fair share of criticism in the past, Croker’s a player that will only continue to get better.

5. Michael Gordon – Going through some turbulent injury periods of his own already this season, there was a time when many were wondering just how long it was going to take Gordon to make his return. Well, it happened a couple of weeks ago and since then, the Sharks fullback has been like bat out of hell – on fire. Producing top-notch linking play with his side’s play-makers and sniffing around for opportunities from offloads – like his try scored off Wade Graham’s pass – Gordon is slowly getting back to his best.

6. Thomas Leuluai – Ask any Warriors fan and they’ll tell you that the start of Leuluai’s year was by no means great. In fact, they might have described it as bad, to the point where some wanted him dropped from the side altogether. Persistence is the key, however and it has paid off, with the Warriors half enjoying a stellar run of form over the last 6 weeks – coinciding with the Warriors recent resurgent ways.

7. James Maloney – Starting the year on fire, the Roosters half with a lot to prove burst out of the blocks but regressed a bit around the Origin period, for whatever reason. As he starts to find his feet again and get his game back to the blistering best we know he is capable of, his weapons in attack still pose a very dangerous threat for any side and with the Roosters team performing as a whole and as a unit, Maloney will be keen to spark the side in whatever way he can.

8. James Graham – He might be an Englishman but he’s a damn good one, as the Bulldogs prop continues to show why he is an elite prop not only in the NRL but in the entire rugby league world. Whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, the consistently solid numbers he puts up is astounding. When you factor in that he missed the first several rounds due to his biting charge in 2012, his statistics already this year having missed those kathie lee gifford pokies games is remarkable.

9. Todd Carney – Not selected for Origin this season, the snub by selectors may have actually done Carney more good than harm, as he has taken it upon himself to lead the Sharks forward in attack. Possessing a terrific all-round game and in the NRL’s elite halves when he’s in solid form like he currently is, he’s the lynchpin in the Sharks attack. Usually when he’s performing and on song, it means the Sharks are also on song. A key part of their charge towards the finals.

10. Matt Scott – Some would say that he perhaps hasn’t had his best year compared to that of others, but there’s no denying that Matt Scott, regardless of how he’s travelling, is an elite prop in today’s game. With representative honours galore to his name and more still to come throughout his career, his work-rate and commitment to his footy never go unnoticed by club fans, Origin fans or international fans.

11. Justin Horo – A change of teams and scenery can either be a detriment or a blessing in disguise for a player and for Horo, it has proved to be a successful change for him. Down in the dumps during his time at the Eels and looking for a way out to further his career, it was the Sea Eagles who came knocking. Since that move, Horo has proved invaluable to their side on the fringes and has given them additional fire power in the forwards.

12. Sonny Bill Williams – Many had doubts as to just how effective SBW would be upon his return to league but it’d be safe to say that those with doubts would now no longer have them. Producing some of the best footy you will see from a back-rower, SBW’s knack for being involved in tries – whether it’s scoring them or assisting them – puts him in the elite category of back-rowers.

13. Sam Burgess – Englishman often have a big impact in the game one way or another and this Burgess brother is firing on all cylinders at the moment, with no signs of slowing down. After another bullocking performance in Souths recent win, it’s a given that Sam is one of the elite back-rowers in the world of rugby league, if not the best at this point in time. Factor in the work he does alongside his brothers, and you’ll see just how damaging he is.

14. Trent Merrin – Making a transition to lock in 2013 to accommodate a few other forwards, the move has worked wonders for the St George forward. With a lot of locks these days essentially playing as an extra front-rower in attack, Merrin’s game hasn’t been damaged, with the forward possessing a solid hitting-style, an effective running style and the ability to produce top quality offloads at will.

15. Simon Mannering – Whilst some would say that his form this year as been somewhat inconsistent, the last four to six weeks that certainly hasn’t been the case, as the Warriors captain continues to prove his worth for the club as they enjoy a bit of a successful streak. Leading from the front and getting more involved than we’re perhaps used to seeing, it’s the sort of form that has seen he – along with other Warriors players – take their games to a new level.

16. Sam Moa – With all the focus on the likes of SBW, Maloney and Jennings at the Roosters, some may have forgotten that the club acquired Sam Moa from Hull in the Super League, and what a buy he’s been. He started the year off tremendously, before an injury struck and he was forced to sit on the sidelines. Since his return, though, it’s almost as if he’s gotten even better than he was at the start of the year.

17. Luke Keary – Regarded as one of the best young talents coming through the ranks at the Rabbitohs, many believe it’s just a matter of time before he becomes a permanent fixture in the Bunnies starting side which would then see Sutton move to lock. A quick, deceptive and creative half, Keary showed his array of skills this week as he carved up the opposition defence with his nimble feet, great awareness and overall team play.

Player of the Week: Sam Burgess

Giants receive boost as captain Brough signs new long-term deal

Danny Brough

In a great show of confidence for the club moving forward, skipper Danny Brough has put his faith in the Huddersfield Giants and their potential future successes by re-signing a new long-term deal with the club.

The deal, one that was for five years, will see the skipper – who has been in tremendous form over the last couple of months – likely to see out his career with the Claret and Gold.

A veteran of the game at just 30 years of age, Giants coach Paul Anderson labelled the club captain as inspirational and a big part of the club’s future moving forward.

“Danny’s form is clear for everyone to see this year – I enjoy working with him as captain and it’s great news that he is here for the long haul,” said Anderson.

“I think we both share common goals regarding what we can achieve at this club and having a half back of Danny’s quality is a huge boost to us.”

“Not only is his form good but he makes others around him play well and everyone knows of his ability with the boot.

What many miss though is his running game which again, gives the team another string to its bow and this news will I am sure give the fans a real boost as we head towards the critical end of season period.”

With form crucial for any player, Brough said it was his own personal form that played a significant role in his decision to stay on with the Giants.

“I am immensely proud to captain this club and I am certain we have some great days ahead Pokies of us,” said Brough.

“My family is very settled here, it’s a good club off the field and the lads really are a close group with some great banter in and amongst the hard work that Baloo (Paul Anderson) gives us.

“I probably could have moved on but why would I want to?

“I never asked my manager to explore that route as I have the opportunity here to win trophies which is what we all want and am very confident with the squad, coaches and backroom staff so the decision to stay for a long time was easy.

With his condition potentially in question, Brough says he has no concerns of his own in that respect – he is just pleased to have his future sorted.

“I am happy with my form so far and feel that maturity is now bringing the best out of me for which I have to thank the family and some key people at the club who have always had faith in me,” said Brough.

“I really hope I can play a big part in the team going forward to repay this deal with silverware for the fans and chairman.

I have no worries regarding my physical condition as lots of players are now playing in the top flight for longer and our rehabilitation and medical support here is second to none and who knows, at the end of this deal, I might be able to squeeze some more games out but it is fair to say it’s obviously my last major contract and I am just delighted that it’s going to be as a Giant.”

In-form Sharks forward re-signs for 2 more years

Sam Tagataese

Not a world-class player or in the elite category by any means, Cronulla Sharks utility forward Sam Tagataese doesn’t have to be there, because he knows what he has to do – that is to perform each week for the Sharks.

Enjoying a solid patch of good form recently, perhaps the best of his career, the hard-hitting forward has re-signed with the Sharks for a further 2 years.

With injuries hitting the Sharks quite hard in 2013, especially in the forward pack, Tagataese’s versatility has proved valuable and the 26-year old has taken the chance well to cement his spot in the side.

With his future now settled, the man they call ‘Taga’ is excited at the prospects for the club this year and is pleased to have some security regarding his future.

“I’m pleased to have finalised the new contract Pokies and happy to be at the Sharks for another two years,” Tagataese said.

“Having two more years gives me and my family some security knowing where my future will be which is also a good thing for me.”

Playing in 13 games this year – a total of 18 for the Sharks in total – Sharks coach Shane Flanagan is just as pleased to have the hard-hitting forward stay on at the club.

“Sam has played a role for us this year and he has done it very well. As shown by his tackle early in the second half yesterday he has great technique and good aggression in defense but he is doing a great job for us in attack as well,” Flanagan said.

“It’s a boost for our forward depth to have him around the club for a further two years.”

Henry and Cowboys part ways as search for a new coach in 2014 begins

Neil Henry

It was the news that some of us may have seen coming on the back of what has been a rollercoaster of a season for the Cowboys, but what looks set to be another year in which the club will not make the finals, a decision has been made to seek out a new coach for the 2014 season.

Current coach Neil Henry will see out the remainder of the 2013 season, having been associated with the club since 2003 when he was an assistant coach, before taking up the head coaching position for the last 5 seasons.

For the club, they decided it was just time to go in a new direction.

“The board has decided that at this time the club needs to head in a different direction,” Cowboys CEO Peter Jourdain said.

“Neil will continue as head coach for the remainder of this season as everyone in the club focusses on finishing as high as we can on the competition ladder in 2013.

“It is important to highlight that this decision has been reached on a professional and amicable basis pokies online for free.

With Henry an adequate coach and a popular coach with players, it is a matter of time before he too finds a new role – a big part of the Cowboys decision to announce this now, giving both parties plenty of time to take the next step.

“Despite media speculation to the contrary, out of respect for Neil we have not sought out anyone to be his replacement beyond this season,” said Jourdain.

“To be fair to both Neil and the club, we have decided to make this decision now to allow both of us to explore our options for next year.

With the search for next year’s head coach to begin next week, the club was quick to wish Henry the best for whatever the future holds for him for his work and dedication to their on-field and off-field endeavours.

“The search for a new head coach will begin this week,” said Jourdain.

“The Cowboys wish to thank Neil for all of his work and dedication as our head coach, including the huge amount of time he has dedicated to our community programs.”

Papua New Guinea rugby league and Fi-Ta sportswear announce new deal

Having already forged a strong partnership over the last few years, that is only set to get stronger, with the Papua New Guinean Rugby Football League and Fi-Ta Sportswear agreeing to renew their contract for a further 2 years.

With their fifth Rugby League World Cup appearance fast approaching and the 2013 PNG RLWC jersey appearing in stores soon, it take the partnership between the two to five years total.

Well aware of their love of rugby league, Dease Henwood, Fi-ta’s General Manager, says they are excited to be continuing the partnership with PNGRL.

“The Kumuls are a great team to work with, with a deep seeded love of rugby league,” said Henwood, Fi-Ta General Manager.

“We are delighted to extend our partnership with the PNGRFL and work closely with the organisation as they continue Viagra to grow the brand and the code not only in Papua New Guinea, but across the other Rugby League playing countries.”

Equally excited at the renewal is PNGRFL Interim CEO Brad Tassell, who was full of praise for Fi-Ta and their apparel.

“We have had a great working partnership with Fi-Ta for five years and the playing and training gear that they produce for us has been second to none,” said Tassell.

“To be competitive in the current rugby league market, we need to make sure we are being supplied with some of the best high performance sportswear and Fi-Ta provide us with this gear every time. Also included in the sponsorship is gear for our National junior and senior Championships, which ensures we are looking after our players at the grassroots level in PNG.”

Talented halves re-sign with the Tigers as a former player rejoins the club

Mitchell Moses

The Tigers have continued their strong emphasis on getting the right balance between youth and experience, as they re-sign Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses – both for four years – Joel Luani for a further two years and they welcome back a former player of theirs in Dene Halatau, who has signed on for two years.

With Brooks and Moses highly rated by fans and those within the club, it is a move that will have Tigers fans cheering and patiently waiting to see just how long it is before they play first-grade.

Brooks and Moses are just two of the talented young players coming through the Tigers ranks, with coach Mick Potter well aware of their abilities and potential for the future.

“Both boys have plenty of potential and are talented kids in their own right,” Potter said.

“They have shown right throughout schoolboy footy and the NYC that they can cut it easily. I have no doubt that we will see the best of them in the next couple of years.”

With both coming through the junior ranks at Balmain, both have honours to their name already – with Moses named the SG Ball Player of the Year in 2012 and Brooks representing the NSW U20’s side earlier this year.

Both were also named in the Australian Schoolboys side last year, with Brooks excited to stay at the club, a decision that he says was easy to make.

“I have played all of my junior footy at the Tigers so it was a pretty easy decision to make,” Brooks said.

“Wests Tigers have looked after me well. The first grade players have helped me so much already on and off the field. I have so much still to learn. I’m excited about what lays ahead.”

The decision was just as easy for Moses, who is also looking forward to his Viagra Online time at the club now that his future is sorted.

“The Club has looked after me really well over the past three years so I didn’t want to go anywhere else” Moses said.

“Mick Potter and the first grade players have made me feel really welcome and have helped me out so much with my game. This is just the beginning for me.”

Not to be overshadowed by the re-signing of their junior halves, the Tigers have also re-signed a former player in Dene Halatau, who spent seven seasons with the club before moving to the Bulldogs.

Regarded as a great player and person on and off the field and a part of the NRL’s Apprentice Mentor Program, he is a player that Wests Tigers CEO Grant Mayer looks forward to seeing at the club once more.

“His experience and leadership as a senior player is going to be invaluable for some of our younger players,” Mayer said.

“We have been very clear that we are investing very heavily in our juniors and a player like Dene will provide leadership and mentoring for the group. This is a strong signing for the club as he adds depth to our club both on and off the field. Dene has a fantastic reputation in the game as a true leader.”

Another player re-signed and with plenty of potential is young gun Joel Luani, who has been playing hooker for the NSW Cup side recently – as he too received a glowing endorsement from Mick Potter.

“Joel has been playing a back-up role at hooker and in the back-row for the Wests Tigers NSW Cup team,” Potter said.

“He is still very young but he has got a good shape about him and has a very bright future. He will be a good back up for Robbie Farah when he is unavailable.”

Luke Brooks

Revered rugby league figure tragically passes away

Graham Murray

It is the sort of news that we as NRL fans never want to hear but unfortunately, it has been confirmed – with fan favourite and former NRL coach and player Graham Murray tragically passing away.

His death was confirmed at 9:44pm at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital, with wife Amanda and daughter Kara by his bedside when the news was confirmed.

Having been ill for sometime after suffering two heart attacks in relatively quick succession, the former New South Wales, NRL and English Super League coach never recovered.

At club level, Murray coach the Sydney Roosters and North Queensland Cowboys, he coached NSW at Origin level, Leeds Rhinos in the English Super League, now defunct Australian Super League side the Hunter Mariners and the Illawarra Steelers at NSW Cup level.

He also enjoyed playing stints with both Parramatta and South Sydney, as the tributes poured in for the fan favourite in rugby league circles, with everyone remembering Murray for his warmth, humility, down-to-Earth persona and his astute knowledge of the game.

Grant Bell, a former coach of the Cowboys, says that Murray will be remembered as a true gentleman.

“Graham was a terrific fellow Viagra as well as a very good football coach,” he said.

“He had some wonderful principles in his life that he carried through both on and off the field.

“For that reason I think he always managed to engage the players. He had a very strong belief in people and he was a terrific communicator.”

Leeds, who also got to know the Australian well, released their own statement regarding the shock passing of Murray.

“It is devastating news and so sad to have lost Graham, who will be fondly remembered by all our fans, players and staff who knew him from his time with us,” Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said in a club statement.

“He was very popular and so professional in everything he did.

“He was an outstanding coach and mentor and he cared about all aspects of rugby league.

“The game has lost a great servant and personality and our thoughts are with Amanda and Kara.”

It was earlier this year that Murray was supposed to coach the Wynnum-Manly Seagulls, before he fell ill and he also spent a week in a coma following an earlier heart attack in March.