Category Archives: NRL Club News

Individual NRL Team and Club News

New long-term Raiders contract for Wighton

Canberra Raiders utility Jack Wighton

Reportedly turning down more money to stay, Jack Wighton has signed a new long-term deal with the Canberra Raiders. 

The new deal will see Wighton remain at the club he knows and loves until the end of the 2024 season.

Since making his Raiders debut in 2012, Wighton has played in 156 NRL games.

2019 was a year to remember for Wighton, as the Raiders utility played for both NSW and Australia.

After their grand final appearance in 2019, Wighton wants to help the Raiders go one better in 2020.

“I want to win a competition with the Raiders,” Wighton said.

“I know we have the squad to do it and if we can stay together and continue what we’ve built we’ll be able to achieve our goal.”

The Raiders club is what Wighton has known since he was a kid and he wants to repay the faith to them.

“I love the club,” Wighton said.

“They’ve always been there for me and I want to repay them by staying and playing the best footy I can to be successful.”

The Raiders club were not resting on their laurels, knowing how important the re-signing of Wighton was.

“Jack has been with the club since he was a junior and this deal will see him become a 10-year player at first grade level, which in this era is a significant achievement,” club CEO Don Furner said.

“It’s also worth noting that during the negotiations Jack’s decision to re-sign was based mainly on future success, which shows the belief he has in the club moving forward.”

Furner continued to praise Wighton on his decision.

“Jack could have earnt more money by signing with another club but sacrificed that against what we have here in Canberra,” Furner continued.

“He took much less money to stay and that says a lot about Jack and his stability here.”

Knight signs new Rabbitohs deal

South Sydney Rabbitohs prop Liam Knight

On the back of a good start to his South Sydney Rabbitohs career, Liam Knight has signed a new long-term deal at the club.

That deal runs until 2023 and gives Knight some much needed stability.

Since making his debut for rivals Manly in 2016, Knight has played in 33 NRL games.

For Knight himself, the Rabbitohs have become his home and he looks forward to the challenges ahead.

“I absolutely love this club, the playing group and the coaching staff. It was impossible for me to leave,” Knight said.

“We have unfinished business here after the way last season ended in the Preliminary Final.”
Knight is grateful for the support of the club and fans and cannot wait to rip in.

“I’m really grateful for the trust and support the Club and the Members have shown in me and I want to give that trust and support back,” Knight continued.

“I’m really excited about the future and it’s great to know my future is at Souths.”

Just as pleased are the Rabbitohs themselves as General Manager of Football Shane Richardson expressed.

“We’re very pleased to have Liam re-sign with us for three more years and we look forward to him being one of our forward leaders for years to come,” Mr Richardson said.

“Our coaching staff have done a great job to develop him and his game over the past year and we know he still has his best football in front of him.”

2020 NRL Perth Nines

Well, they are back! Correct, it’s the NRL Nines with a new format and a women’s competition. 

All 16 teams in the men’s competition and four teams in the women’s comp vying for supremacy and early silverware.

The Nines will take place in Perth this time around in what should be a cracking tournament.

We will have all teams and bases covered for you as teams are announced whether in full or player by player.

Let us hesitate no further, here are the players for the men’s and women’s tournaments:

Men’s Competition

Brisbane Broncos: 1. Jamayne Isaako 2. Tesi Niu 3. Herbie Farnworth 4. Izaia Perese 5. Xavier Coates 6. Anthony Milford 7. Brodie Croft 8. Tom Dearden 9. David Fifita 10. Alex Glenn 11. Payne Haas 12. Ethan Bullemor 13. Jake Turpin 14. Cory Paix 15. Thomas Flegler 16. Jesse Arthars 17. Ilikena Vudogo 18. Corey Parker. 

Canberra Raiders: 1. Harley Smith-Shields 2. Semi Valemei 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Michael Oldfield 5. Daine Spencer 6. Matthew Frawley 7. Sam Williams 8. Dunamis Lui 9. Siliva Havili 10. Sia Soliola 11. Jack Murchie 12. Elliott Whitehead (C) 13. Ryan Sutton 14. Tom Starling 15. Duwayne Mariner 16. Dan Keir 17. Kai O’Donnell 18. Darby Medlyn. 
Coach: Andrew McFadden.

Canterbury Bulldogs: 1. Nick Meaney 2. Jayden Okunbor 3. Kerrod Holland 4. Morgan Harper 5. Jack Cogger 6. Jake Averillo 7. Brandon Wakeham 8. Dean Britt 9. Ben Marschke 10. Ofahiki Ogden 11. Corey Harawira-Naerea 12. Chris Smith 13. Joe Stimson 14. Andrew Ryan 15. Kayne Kalache 16. Toa Mata’afa 17. Isaiah Tass 19. Bailey Biondi-Odo. 
Coach: Dean Pay.

Cronulla Sharks: 1. Wade Graham (C) 2. Briton Nikora 3. Jack Williams 4. Aaron Woods 5. Blayke Brailey 6. Josh Morris 7. Jesse Ramien 8. Chad Townsend 9. Shaun Johnson 10. Ronaldo Mulitalo 11. William Kennedy 12. Sione Katoa 13. Connor Tracey 14. Billy Magoulias 15. Toby Rudolf 16. Scott Sorenson 17. Teig Wilton 18. Braydon Trindall.
Coach: John Morris.

Gold Coast Titans: 1. AJ Brimson 2. Anthony Don 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Jonus Pearson 4. Philip Sami 6. Tanah Boyd 7. Ash Taylor 8. Jai Whitbread 9. Mitch Rein 10. Sam Stone 11. Bryce Cartwight 12. Jaimin Joliffe 13. Jai Arrow 14. Greg Leleisiuao 15. Treymain Spry 16. Erin Clark 17. Darius Farmer 18. Michael Gordon. 
Coach: Justin Holbrook.

Parramatta Eels: Blake Ferguson,  Brad Takairangi, Clint Gutherson (C), David Gower, George Jennings, Haze Dunster, Jaeman Salmon, Junior Paulo, Maika Sivo, Marata Niukore, Mitch Moses, Oregon Kaufusi, Ray Stone, Rhys Davies, Ryan Matterson, Shaun Lane, Stefano Utoikamanu & Will Smith. 
Coach: Brad Arthur.

Manly Sea Eagles: 1. Luke Metcalf 2. Edwin Ipape 3. Zach Dockar-Clay 4. Brendan Elliot 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Lachlan Croker 7. Cade Cust 8. Tevita Funa 9. Toafofoa Sipley 10. Abbas Miski 11. Corey Waddell 12. Martin Taupau (C) 13. Haumole Olakau’atu 14. Sean Keppie 15. Taniela Paseka 16. Zac Saddler 17. Reed Izzard 18. Dane Aukafolau.
Coach: Des Hasler.

Melbourne Storm: 1. Nicho Hynes 2. Dean Ieremia 3. Brenko Lee 4. Marion Seve 5. Sandor Earl (C) 6. Cam Munster 7. Cooper Johns 8. Tui Kamikamica (C) 9. Harry Grant 10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 11. Max King 12. Chris Lewis 13. Tom Eisenhuth 14. Trent Loiero 15. Justin Olam 16. Darryn Schonig 17. Siti Mociedreke 18. Judda Turahui
Coach: Jason Ryles

Newcastle Knights: 1. Aidan Guerra (C) 2. Kurt Mann (C) 3. Nathaniel Sasagi 4. Bayden Searle 5. Hymel Hunt 6. Gehamat Shibsaki 7. Starford To’A 8. Tex Hoy 9. Sione Mata’utia 10. Tyronne Roberts-Davis 11. Matt Soper-Lawler 12. Pasami Saulo 13. Jiriah Momoisea 14. Jacob Saifiti 15. Brodie Jones 16. Kurt Gidley 17. Mason Lino 18. Mitch Barnett. 
Coach: Adam O’Brien

New Zealand Warriors: Leeson Ah Mau, Rocco Berry, Jackson Frei, Blake Green, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Temple Kalepo, Adam Keighran, Edward Lois, Sam Lisone, Ken Maumalo, Taane Milne, Agnatius Paasi, Isaiah Papali’i (C), Hayze Perham, Leivaha Pulu, Selesitino Ravutaumada, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown & Paul Turner.
Coach: Stephen Kearney.

North Queensland Cowboys: Michael Bell, Jake Clifford, Scott Drinkwater, Mitch Dunn, Kyle Feldt, Jake Granville, Coen Hess, Peter Hola, Connelly Lemuelu, Josh McGuire, Esan Marsters, Tom Opacic, Reece Robson, Dan Russell, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Murray Taulagi, Jason Taumalolo (C) & Shane Wright.
Coach: Paul Green.

Penrith Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3. Dean Whare 4. Brent Naden 5. Stephen Crichton 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Jack Hetherington 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Billy Burns 13. Liam Martin 14. Kaide Ellis 15. Daine Laurie 16. Matt Burton 17. Caleb Adkins 18. Tyson Smoothy.

Coach: Ivan Cleary

South Sydney Rabbitohs: 1. Damien Cook (C) 2. Dane Gagai 3. Cameron Murray 4. Jaydn Su’a 5. JuniorTatola 6. Ethan Lowe 7. Campbell Graham 8. Braidon Burns 9. Bryson Goodwin 10. Troy Dargan 11. Joshua Cook 12. Lachlan Ilias 13. Keaon Koloamatangi 14. Blake Taaffe 15. Jaxson Paulo 16. Edene Gebbie 17. Jack Johns 18. Patrick Mago.
Coach: Jason Demetriou

St George Illawarra Dragons: Euan Aitken, Adam Clune, Matt Dufty, Jackson Ford, Tyson Frizell, Tyrell Fuimaono, Ben Hunt, Josh Kerr, Tim Lafai, Blake Lawrie, Cameron McInnes (C), Jason Nightingale, Cody Ramsey, Mikaele Ravalawa, Jason Saab, Tristan Sailor, Jayden Sullivan & Brayden Wiliame. 
Coach: Paul McGregor.

Sydney Roosters: Max Bailey, McKenzie Baker, Egan Butcher, Lindsay Collins, Nick Davis, Poasa Faamausili, Tom Freebairn, Drew Hutchison (C), Matthew Ikuvalu, Asa Kepaoa, Lachlan Lam, Freddy Lussick, Luca Moretti, Daniel Suluka-Fifita, Lupe Tivalu, Christian Tuipolutu, James Tuitahi & Sam Verrills.

Coach: Matt King.


Wests Tigers: 1. Corey Thompson 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Robert Jennings 4. Moses Mbye (C) 5. Michael Chee-Kam 6. Billy Walters 7. Jock Madden 8. Thomas Mikaele 9. Tommy Talau 10. Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Luke Garner 13. Chris McQueen 14. Sam McInytre 15. Paul Momirovski 16. Alex Seyfarth 17. Pat Richards 18. Matheson Johns. 
Coach: Michael Maguire.

Women’s Competition

Brisbane Broncos: Tarryn Aiken, Chelsea Baker, Annette Brander, Ali Brigginshaw (C), Jessika Elliston, Jayme Fressard, Amber Hall, Chelsea Lenarduzzi, Raecene McGregor, Hayley Maddick, Tanika Marshall, Rona Peters, Julia Robinson, Tahlulah Tillett, Tamika Upton & Meg Ward.

Coach: Kelvin Wright.


St George Illawarra Dragons: Kezie Apps, Shaylee Bent, Brittany Breayley, Samantha Bremner, Kaarla Cowan, Keeley Davis, Aaliyah Fasavalu-Fa’amausili, Rikeya Horne, Isabelle Kelly, Tiana Penitani, Jess Sergis, Maddison Studdon, Shakiah Tungai, Botille Vette-Welsh, Maddison Weatherall & Holli Wheeler. 

Coach: Daniel Lacey


Sydney Roosters: Kirra Dibb, Quincy Dodd, Tallisha Harden, Courtney Hill, Talei Holmes, Caitlan Johnston, Bobbi Law, Nita Maynard, Corban McGregor (C), Brydie Parker, Shanice Parker, Ash Quinlan, Hannah Southwell, Kiana Takairangi, Simaima Taufa & Zehara Temara.

Coach: Kylie Hilder.


New Zealand Warriors: Apii Nicholls, Madison Bartlett, Laureane Biville, Pahu Kani, Shontelle Stowers, Kanyon Paul, Georgia Hale (C), Rhiarna Ferris, Huia Harding, Amber Kani, Te Whetumarama Nuku, Charlette Butler, Charntay Poko, Kathleen Wharton-Keremete, Crystal Tamarua & Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali.

Coach: Justin Morgan.


 

Thompson to join Bulldogs from 2021

Incoming Canterbury Bulldogs prop Luke Thompson

Regarded as one of the best props in Super League, Luke Thompson will depart St Helens to join the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2021.

Informed of Thompson’s decision last week, St Helens admit they are sad but would not stand in the prop’s way.

“We were informed last week that Luke has decided to join Canterbury Bulldogs next season,” said club Chairman Eamonn McManus.

“We accept and totally respect Luke’s decision and wish him nothing but success in his career and in his life.

“We are absolutely sure that he will be absolutely committed to the Club and to his teammates for the rest of this season.”

Should he wish to return to the Super League, St Helens say they will be waiting with open arms.

“There’s no hiding from the fact that this is a bitter disappointment to all of us,” continued McManus.

“Luke has been connected to the Club since the age of 11 and has developed into an absolute top player at 24 years old.

“If ever he decides to return to England and to Super League then there would be a red carpet waiting for him at St. Helens.”

Still a young player, Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill opened up about the leadership qualities that Thompson has.

“Even though Luke is at the start of his career, we have been really impressed by his on-field leadership qualities and his desire to be the best.

“He is an excellent player who has become a star of the Super League and has shown what he is capable of at International level.

“We are looking forward to him getting the chance to show everyone in the NRL what he is capable of.”

Thompson is excited about the history of the Bulldogs and looks forward to joining them from 2021.

“Getting the chance to join the Bulldogs and be a part of a club with so much history and with such passionate fans is very exciting,” said Thompson.

“Having spoken to many people at the club and listened to their plans for the future, I know that they are building for success and I’m looking forward to being part of that.”

With one eye on his Bulldogs adventure, Thompson says his focus will remain with St Helens for 2020.

“When you join a club like the Bulldogs you know about the players and the culture that has gone before you,” continued Thompson.

“The fact that second best isn’t good enough and that was something that was important to me.

I look forward to joining them for the 2021 season and getting to be a part of a talented squad that is hungry for success.

“This will now enable me to focus on having a great final season with St Helens.”

Butcher rewarded with Roosters contract extension

Sydney Roosters forward Nat Butcher

An emerging talent at the Sydney Roosters, Nat Butcher has signed a contract extension that will see him stay until 2022. 

An unheralded figure, Butcher will look to make 2020 his season.

Still only 22, Butcher made his NRL debut in 2016 and is pleased to stay on with the Tricolours.

“I’ve been with the Roosters since I was 17, and I love this Club. It’s home,” said Butcher.

“I have so much respect for Robbo. He is a great leader and a great teacher.

“He along with the coaching staff and senior players we have here help make me better every day.

“I’m stoked to know that I’ll continue to be part of this team.”

Butcher is no stranger to success, having won in recent years with the first-grade side and capturing an U20’s premiership in 2016.

The club are pleased to retain the growing talent.

“Nat has been in our system for quite a few years, and it’s been great to see his growth over this time as one of the emerging young leaders coming through at the Roosters,” said Robinson.

“With Nat, you know that he will apply himself to everything he does.

“He is always looking at ways to develop, both on the field and as a person, and we look forward to seeing him continue to grow over the next few years.”

Leilua joins brother Luciano at Tigers after Raiders release

Newly signed Wests Tigers centre Joey Leilua

They have missed out on a few targets for 2020 but the Wests Tigers got one man they wanted in Joey Leilua.

Leilua, who was granted a release by the Canberra Raiders, will link up with brother Luciano at the Tigers.

Leilua was twice named Dally M Centre of the Year and played in 91 NRL games for the Raiders.

The three year deal for Leilua at the Tigers starts effective immediately in 2020 and runs until 2022.

With 204 NRL games total to his name, the Tigers are pleased with the pedigree that he will bring to the club.

“As a club, we’re delighted to have secured a talented player such as Joseph,” Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe said.

“He is a player who is of the highest calibre and has already proven to be a remarkable contributor on and off the field to his club and country.”

Just as pleased is Tigers coach Michael Maguire, who knows of the quality that Leilua possesses.

“I’m extremely pleased to welcome Joseph to Wests Tigers and start working with him,” Maguire said.

“He is without doubt one of the most dangerous attacking players in the competition and will take this team’s potency to a new level going forward.

“To secure a player of his class and talent for the season ahead is a huge boost for the club and one that will lift this team right across the park.”

Maguire also believes Leilua’s best is yet to come.

“I’m extremely confident that the best is also still to come for Joseph,” Maguire continued.

“He brings a wealth of on-field experience to our team, and we’re extremely excited to watch him play in Wests Tigers colours for many years to come.”

Raiders recruit Scott reportedly spends night in Sydney jail after Moore Park incident

New Canberra Raiders recruit Curtis Scott

The off-season and calamity in NRL always continue; this time new Canberra Raiders recruit Curtis Scott being arrested in Sydney.

In a NSW Police statement in the early hours of Monday morning, police were notified of an incident in Moore Park.

Scott allegedly kicked and punched an officer in the face, before he was arrested after being tasered.

The rap sheet does not read well for Scott who faces numerous charges as a result of the incident.

He was charged with two counts of assaulting an officer, resisting an officer, behaving in an offensive or indecent manner and entering trust lands are being requested to leave.

It continues another off-season of off-field ruckus, as the NRL reels from yet another incident.

Scott has been granted conditional bail and will face court again on February 20.

The Raiders released a small statement on Scott regarding the incident:

“The Canberra Raiders have been made aware of an incident involving Curtis Scott.

The club has informed the NRL integrity unit and will work with them on the investigation.

The club will be making no further comment.”

Sea Eagles confirm signing of Levi

Newly signed Manly Sea Eagles hooker Danny Levi

In another world, he may have stayed on, but with opportunity likely to be lacking in 2020, Danny Levi was granted a release by the Newcastle Knights to sign with the Manly Sea Eagles.

Levi, who made his debut in the game back in 2015, has played in 83 games to date, all with the Knights.

The hooker has also represented the Kiwis at the international level, and officially joins the Sea Eagles for one season.

Levi has also represented Samoa and provides the Sea Eagles with a boost in the hooking department.

With uncertainty over the future of Manase Fainu, Levi’s addition will be a welcome sight for Manly fans.

Titans grant Latu release to join English side Warrington

Newly signed Warrington Wolves prop Leilani Latu

After more opportunity, Leilani Latu is expected to get that at the Warrington Wolves after being granted a release by the Gold Coast Titans.

Joining the club from the Penrith Panthers, Latu struggled for regular game time at the Titans, prompting the move to Wolves.

With Latu wanting a fresh start, the Titans were not about to stand in his way.

“Leilani and his family have been passionate members of the Gold Coast community, and as a Club, we are supportive of him taking this new opportunity for his career and family,” Titans Head of Performance and Culture Mal Meninga said.

“The Titans thank Leilani for his time at the Club, and wish his nothing but the best for the future.”

Latu’s arrival at Warrington will see him rejoin some familiar faces.

The prop played with both Ben Murdoch-Masila and Sitaleki Akauola at Penrith.

“I’m looking forward to getting into training with the boys and creating some combinations with them,” Latu said.

“It’s an exciting brand of footy here and I couldn’t turn down the opportunity.

I chose Warrington because of the quality of players and I have played with a couple of them back in the NRL too; Ben Murdoch-Masila and Sitaleki Akauola at Penrith and we had some success there.”

Warrington coach Steve Price says Latu fits the bill in terms of what the club was looking for in the forwards.

“We are always looking for quality rugby players to bring to our club and we feel Leilani fits that,” said Price.

“I’m looking forward to working with him and developing his game during his time at Warrington as we feel there is a lot more he can bring to the game.”

Worst kept secret confirmed as Mitchell joins the Rabbitohs

Newly signed South Sydney Rabbitohs centre Latrell Mitchell

After a lengthy process, Latrell Mitchell has finally made the move, joining the South Sydney Rabbitohs for 2020. 

Mitchell has signed a 1-year deal with an option for 2021 in the club’s favour.

For months now, speculation was rife as to where Mitchell would end up. Several clubs mentioned but no-one knew.

Mitchell’s former club, the Sydney Roosters, confirmed his release, that allowed him to join arch rivals, the Rabbitohs.

In his time at the Roosters, Mitchell played 96 games and won two premierships back-to-back (2018 and 2019).

Mired with inconsistency, as good as Mitchell has been, he can potentially be even better at the Rabbitohs.

“Latrell is a sublime talent and with the guidance of our coaching staff, senior players and mentors,” said Rabbitohs General Manager of Football, Shane Richardson.

“We think Latrell can go to another level in the red and green.

“He has the ability to be one of the best players in the world and from our discussions with him, he understands that it’s going to take a lot of hard work and effort for him to be at his best consistently and to reach his full potential.”