Category Archives: NRL Club News

Individual NRL Team and Club News

Representative Roosters back-rower signs new deal

Boyd Cordner

Despite rumoured overtures that he was headed to Manly, it is instead the Sydney Roosters who are celebrating with Boyd Cordner re-signing for a further two seasons.

Still only 23, Cordner is regarded as one of the best upcoming back-rowers in the game and for him, there was no other team but the Roosters.

“I love the Roosters. I’ve been with the Club since I was 16 years old and this is my home,” said Cordner.

“I’ve made a lot of my best mates here and from the coaches to the office staff, it feels like family and I couldn’t see myself playing anywhere else.

“I’m just really excited to know that I’ll continue to work on my game with the coaches we have here, and be a part of the team,” he added.

Equally pleased is Roosters Recruitment Manager Peter O’Sullivan.

“Boyd joined the Roosters as part of our pathway program, and since making his NRL debut, we have watched him develop into a representative player,” said O’Sullivan.

“From the outset, Boyd indicated that his heart was with the Roosters and that this was where he wanted to continue to develop his career, so we’re pleased to have retained his services despite interest from other clubs,” he added.

A Jack Gibson Medal winner in 2015 and with 5 games for NSW and 96 club games, Cordner is a key player for the Roosters side.

“A fierce competitor with a strong work ethic, Boyd is highly respected by the coaching staff and his teammates for what he does out on the football field and at training,” said Roosters coach, Trent Robinson.

“But, just as importantly, Boyd is also respected by us all for the man that he is away from the field, and its great news for the Roosters to know that Boyd will continue to play his role for a further two years,” he added.

New Head Coach of England is Wayne Bennett

Wayne Bennett

It was rumoured and it has eventuated, with one of the best coaches in the modern game today and the current Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett, named as the new head coach of the English rugby league side.

The two-year deal as English head coach will see him take the side through the 2016 Four Nations and the 2017 World Cup.

The challenge is one that excites Bennett and he believes England have what it takes to go the extra mile in international rugby league.

“I am very excited by the challenge of taking England on to the next level,” said Bennett.

“From what I have seen I have been impressed by the ambition and energy demonstrated by the team and I look forward to working with a group of players that I believe have what it takes to succeed on the international stage.”

RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood is pleased to have secured the services of Bennett as coach, well aware of his achievements and accolades as a coach over the years.

“Wayne is quite rightly regarded as the outstanding coach of this generation and I am delighted that we have been able to secure his services,” said Wood.

“This England team has made considerable progress over the last few years and we now possess truly world class players across all positions. These players deserve the very best support and coaching as we attempt to move from contenders into potential winners of international tournaments.

“I believe that Wayne Bennett is undoubtedly the right man to lead this group forward and enable them to do this”.

“We will be discussing with Wayne in due course the coaching support he will need which we expect will be UK based”.

Concussion issues force McManus to miss entire 2016 season

James McManus

A blow for the Newcastle Knights in terms of experience within their side, as veteran winger James McManus will sit out the entire 2016 season due to concussion issues.

Having not played in the NRL since Round 20 of 2015, he has been receiving constant medical advice and treatment for concussion.

McManus said he needs the time to re-assess his career and work out what options are available to him.

“I need rest and time to work through my options,” McManus said.

“This has been a difficult time and I certainly appreciate everyone’s support.”

Via the club, when there are further updates on his progress, McManus will provide those.

Eels forward makes the move North to Newcastle

Pauli Pauli

It was a move anticipated for quite some time in light of recent moves the Parramatta Eels have made, with the Newcastle Knights signing young gun Pauli Pauli.

The Eels, who gave Pauli his opportunity, released him from the final two years of his contract and released the following statement:

The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have today released Pauli Pauli from the final two years of his contract.

Pauli will take up an opportunity at another NRL club from the 2016 season onwards.

The club thanks Pauli for his 33 games in Blue and Gold and wishes him every success for his future.

With 33 NRL games to date, the signing is one that has Knights coach Nathan Brown pleased.

“This is great news for the Club because Pauli certainly improves our squad,” coach Nathan Brown said.

“Pauli is a young forward and will continue to develop and improve his game at the Knights.

“He immediately adds good size to our forward pack and we look forward to welcoming him to the Club.”

Former NRL player banned under league’s anti-doping policy

Martin Kennedy

In a further blow for the NRL on top of recent incidents, the powers that be have acted and have swiftly banned former player Martin Kennedy under the NRL’s anti-doping policy.

Kennedy, who faced the anti-doping tribunal, was found guilty of the following violations:

Attempted use of SARMS S22

• Attempted use of Growth Hormone

• Attempted Use of Chorionic Gonadotrophin

• Attempted Use of Insulin

The minimum sanction for Kennedy stands at 2 years and nine months but is backdated – dating back to March 15 2015 – with the suspension to end in December of 2017.

With the NRL committed to maintaining a drug-free sport, the NRL’s Head of Integrity Nick Weeks made it clear that they will not tolerate the usage of drugs.

“The NRL remains committed to eliminating performance enhancing drugs in our game,” Mr Weeks said.

“Drug free sport is essential in ensuring a fair competition and a safe working environment for our players, and we will continue to take the necessary steps to achieve this.

“Today’s decision of the Anti-Doping Tribunal demonstrates and furthers that effort.”

Should Kennedy wish to appeal the decision, he has 21 days to do so to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Veteran centre earns life-line and signs with Souths

Dane Nielsen

Recently let go by the Bradford Bulls, things may have looked a bit bleak for Dane Nielsen but a life-line came knocking, as he signed a two-year deal with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Nielsen, who has also played for the Melbourne Storm, the Cronulla Sharks, the New Zealand Warriors and the St George Illawarra Dragons, was recently let go by the Dragons after an indiscretion.

With NRL titles to his name, appearances for QLD and for the Indigenous All-Stars side, Nielsen will bring much needed experience to the Bunnies back-line.

The signing is one that pleases coach Michael Maguire.

“Dane brings with him big game experience which will be invaluable for the young members of our backline,” Maguire said.

“He’s prepared to put in the work and fight for a spot in our backline, and competition for spots is what every Club looks for.

“We’re looking forward to having him join the squad this week.”

Canavan jumps ship & heads North to take up role at the Titans

Brian Canavan

In a surprise move, Brian Canavan will take his skills and expertise North, joining the Gold Coast Titans as their newly appointed Chief Operating Officer.

Canavan, noted mostly for his efforts and time with the Sydney Roosters, has been lauded as a significant off-field signing for the Titans.

“Brian is not only an experienced Rugby League administrator, he is also a quality individual who will further add to the public credibility of this club as we continue to rebuild and improve”, Titans CEO Mr Graham Annesley said.

“Over the course of his 18 years at the Roosters, Brian has been an integral part of the management of one of the most successful clubs in the game. His acquisition by the Titans is as important as any other made in the club’s short history.”

The exact time-frame in which Canavan will start is still unknown, but the Titans hope to have him on board once his relocation from Sydney is complete.

Former Souths CEO rejoins the club in a new role

Shane Richardson

Shane Richardson will soon head back to the South Sydney Rabbitohs, with the former club CEO to rejoin Souths as the club’s General Manager of Football.

After 12 months at the NRL as their Head of Game Strategy and Development, Richardson tendered his resignation. His new role at Souths will see him oversee player retention, recruitment, pathways and operations.

Current Souths CEO John Lee is looking forward to having Richardson back at the club.

“Shane is arguably the most experienced football brain in the country,” Mr Lee said.

“He has a wonderful understanding of the football side of the business and a deep appreciation of what our Club stands for, having been part of the organisation for over a decade.

“I’m looking forward to Shane’s contribution to the future success of the Rabbitohs.”

Richardson’s contribution was praised by ARLC Chairman John Grant.

“He has completed the strategy and has been offered a long term role at Souths so this is the logical time to make the change,” he said.

“His experience at the NRL has given him a unique insight into the game that he did not have before and he leaves on the best of terms.”

In his role with the NRL for just 12 months, it was a question of pursuing a role that he has always had an eye for and Richardson looks forward to getting started.

“I really enjoyed the experience of working at NRL headquarters but this new role – and its direct involvement with the players and the game – is what I want to do next in life,” he said.

“I am looking forward to moving from a strategic role back to the coal face.”

Nona takes up deal with the Dragons

Shaun Nona

Storm fans may remember him from the 2015 season, even if he was not in the first-grade side, with Shaun Nona signing with the St George Illawarra Dragons for the 2016 season.

Having initially signed with the Mackay Cutters in the Intrust Super Cup season for 2016, the two clubs came to an agreement that saw Nona make the shift to the Dragons.

The Cutters full statement on Nona is as follows:

“The Absolute Enterprises Mackay Cutters would this morning like to announce that Shaun Nona has been granted a release from the Club to join the St George Illawarra Dragons for Telstra Premiership Season 2016.

The Cutters announced Shaun’s signing in December of 2015 following his release from the Melbourne Storm and while excited at the prospect of a player of Shaun’s calibre joining the Club at Stadium Mackay the Club congratulates Shaun on his NRL deal with the St George Illawarra Dragons.

The Mackay Cutters wishes Shaun all the best for Season 2016 and looks forward to a successful year ahead in the Intrust Super Cup.”

Roosters replace Jennings with talented Brisbane centre

Dale Copley

Everything is happening today and following the Roosters releasing Michael Jennings to sign with the Eels, they acted swiftly and wrapped up a new centre of their own.

That centre is Dale Copley, who has departed the Brisbane Broncos after some years at the club, securing an early release.

“Dale has been with our club for a significant amount of time,” said CEO Paul White.

“The last month has not been easy for Dale, but the club and his management have remained in constant contact during this period to allow the best outcome for all and not put unnecessary pressure on the player or the process.

“I have told Dale he is held in the highest regard by all at this club as both a person and a player.”

There was nothing but praise for Copley from the Broncos, who thanked him for what he did at the club.

“He leaves with our blessing and support, and we hope there is an opportunity for him to one day be a part of the club again,” said White.

“We thank Dale and his family for their contributions to the Broncos, and wish him all the best.”

It is not often that you have a chance to sign a quality centre after losing another, but the Roosters pounced on the vacant Copley.

“We see Dale taking his game to the next level here at the Roosters, and with his signature being sought by a number of clubs, we are pleased to have secured his services,” said Roosters Recruitment Manager, Peter O’Sullivan.

“A member of Queensland’s emerging Origin squad, Dale is a tremendous finisher, blessed with wonderful footwork and a natural try-scoring ability. There’s no doubt that he will add some terrific depth to our outside backs, and we look forward to watching his game develop in the coming seasons,” he added.