Category Archives: NRL Club News

Individual NRL Team and Club News

Former NRL utility back makes the move to Widnes

Krisnan Inu

With the need for experience and quality in a rugby league team so high, the Widnes Vikings have sought exactly that, with former NRL utility back Krisnan Inu joining the club.

The talented Inu has signed a 2-year deal at Widnes, joining the club from Perpignan-based Super League side, the Catalans Dragons.

With more than 200 games to his name across the NRL and SL, Inu has previously played for the Parramatta Eels, the Canterbury Bulldogs, the New Zealand Warriors and Catalans.

The Inu signing pleases Widnes coach Denis Betts who praised the veteran back’s experience at the NRL, SL and international level (Inu has represented both New Zealand and Samoa previously).

“We are delighted to secure the services of Krisnan Inu,” Betts said.

“Krisnan has exceptional playing abilities and understands the English game well.

“He will bring real quality to our edges and I am excited about the impact that he can make on the field.

“Importantly, Krisnan offers real experience too, as someone who has consistently proved himself in the NRL, Super League and internationally.

“I am looking forward to seeing him in action in 2018.”

Having played against the Vikings before, Inu knows what to expect of them and how they pride themselves on achieving their best and he is excited to get involved with the club.

“I’m very excited to be playing for Widnes Vikings in the Super League next season,” Inu said.

“I know from experience that Widnes Vikings are a tough team to play against and have great supporters, so I am pleased to be joining the team.

I‘m looking forward to starting training with the boys and meeting all the supporters very soon.”

Leigh go from strength-to-strength with the signing of Tigers back-rower

Kyle Lovett

The Wests Tigers fans gave Kyle Lovett plenty of flak often over numerous seasons but a new challenge now beckons for the back-rower after signing a two-year deal with English Championship side, the Leigh Centurions.

Lovett, who played in 50 games for the Wests Tigers, does have some upside being only 24 and a player that can add some defensive starch to the team.

Leigh has always prided themselves on signing elite players to strengthen their squad and with an already impressive roster, the signing of Lovett further adds to it.

Lovett was praised by Leigh owner Derek Beaumont as a player with NRL experience that can make a difference for the Leigh side.

“Kyle is another great addition to our squad who is young and energetic with plenty first grade NRL experience for his age,” said Beaumont.

“It is a further statement of our intent to build a side capable of returning to Super League and one that we can grow and develop to improve to greater things.

I am really looking forward to seeing his strong carries in a Leigh shirt.”

Lovett tasted premiership success with the Wests Tigers Holden Cup side in in 2013, with the Leichhardt junior drawing praise from Leigh head coach Neil Jukes.

“Kyle is a fast, direct, strong running forward who consistently in defence notches up 40 plus tackles a game,” Jukes said.

“His durability will also add a real competitive edge to our team in a number of other positions too.

“We will continue to monitor his preparations in Australia for the next few weeks now so he is ready to hit the ground running when he arrives at the beginning of December.”

Former Maroons and Kangaroos prop hangs up the boots

Nate Myles

After 14 seasons and 233 NRL games across five clubs (the Sydney Roosters, the Gold Coast Titans, the Manly Sea Eagles, the Melbourne Storm and the Canterbury Bulldogs), Nate Myles has decided to retire from the NRL. 

Myles, a decorated representative performer with 32 games for Queensland and nine tests for Australia, drew mostly praise upon the announcement from fans and his former clubs.

Most recently, Myles was with the Storm and the veteran received a glowing endorsement upon his retirement from club coach Craig Bellamy.

“To have played the number of club games he has and 32 Origin matches, in a dominant Queensland era at a consistently high level and for so long, certainly made him one of the best forwards in the game,” Bellamy said.

“If you asked any of his teammates the best thing about playing alongside Nate, I’m confident they would mention his toughness and consistent effort each week.”

Bellamy went on to praise the work that Myles had done with the club’s younger players to aid their development.

“Whilst he has been at Storm his professionalism, attitude and experience, as part of our forward pack, and especially with our younger players, has been first class,” continued Bellamy.

Penrith retain Edwards after promising debut season

Dylan Edwards

After a tremendous debut season that saw him nominated for the Rookie of the Year Award, Dylan Edwards has been re-signed by the Penrith Panthers until the end of the 2020 season.

Good form is not something foreign to Edwards; he was also a key player in the Penrith Panthers 2015 Holden Cup premiership success.

The Dorrigo junior is pleased to have his future sorted and hopes the Panthers can achieve good things in the coming seasons.

“It feels great – I’m really excited about my future here,” Edwards said.

“The boys are coming closer and closer every year… you come into work with a bunch of your mates every day.

“We’ve got a lot of talent (at Panthers) and hopefully it comes to fruition throughout the next couple of years and we get some really good results.”

He drew praise from Penrith Panthers Executive General Manager Phil Gould for his efforts on and off the field with the club.

“Dylan is the perfect example of how success smiles on hard work and persistence,” Gould said.

“I’m confident he has a great career ahead of him and we are extremely lucky to have such a quality young man at our club.”

T-Rex returns to the Eels after a decade

Tony Williams

He started his career with the Parramatta Eels as a winger when he made his debut in 2008 and Tony Williams has now come full circle, rejoining the club on a one-year deal.

After a brief initial stay with the Eels, the man is aptly known as ‘T-Rex’ went on to play 165 games at the Eels, the Manly Sea Eagles, the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Cronulla Sharks.

Inconsistent in the eyes of many, Williams might have to prove some critics wrong despite having some good years in his time away from the Eels.

Most notably was his time at Manly, particularly 2011, when he represented Australia for the first time on the back of a stellar breakout season.

Although his form became somewhat inconsistent after that period, there were always glimpses of what he was capable of during his time at the Canterbury Bulldogs under then-coach Des Hasler.

With his return to the Eels now official, coach Brad Arthur knows just how crucial Williams’ experience will be.

“Tony will be a great addition to our squad in 2018 and will bring a wealth of experience and depth to our forward pack this season,“ Arthur said.

“Not only will Tony be a welcome addition on the field, but he will also be a wealth of knowledge to our established squad.”

“We look forward to welcoming Tony back into the Blue & Gold, the Club where he made his NRL debut a decade ago.”

Williams joins fellow Eels recruits Kane Evans and Jaeman Salmon for the 2018 season.

Former NRL winger signs with Warrington

Mitch Brown

A new chapter awaits former NRL winger Mitch Brown, who has signed with Super League side Warrington on a 1-year deal.

Brown, who most recently played for the Leigh Centurions, scored 8 tries in his 26 appearances with the club.

The former Wests Tigers, Canterbury Bulldogs and Cronulla Sharks winger played 132 NRL games and scored 39 tries in that time.

Brown praised his new side’s recruitment drive and looks forward to the chance of working with Steve Price.

“Warrington’s a power club in the Super League and they have a great team for next year,” said Brown.

“They had a good base to start with, have recruited strong and with Pricey (Steve Price) coming over it’s a good opportunity.

“I like the way Pricey coaches, the way he structures things, and he’s a good person off the field as well. Hopefully, he’ll bring a good culture to Warrington too.”

Brown will have no feelings of being alone, having worked alongside Price before at the Sharks and also being friends with new Wolves signing, Bryson Goodwin.

“It’s always hard going to a new team, meeting new faces, but there will be a lot of boys in the same boat even the coach here,” continued Brown.

“I know Bryson pretty well and have been coached by Pricey before so that will help. There are the same personalities just different faces on every team, and everyone is always very welcoming.”

Wolves coach Steve Price was after players that he believes have genuine first-grade experience and in his eyes, Brown is a player that can help develop the club culture.

“The culture I want to create is about players who are team first and willing to work extremely hard, having been involved with Mitch at Cronulla he certainly ticks those boxes,” said Price.

“He’s an outstanding quality person and will add a lot to the club culture which we are building.

“He understands the systems which I am implementing here at the Wolves and he knows that there are positions up for grabs in the wing spots and no places are guaranteed as it will all come down to how each performs in pre-season and the friendlies.”

Barrett’s the man as Sea Eagles extend his tenure as coach

Trent Barrett

Deemed as the right man for the job by those that matter most, the Manly Sea Eagles fans, the club has today confirmed that Trent Barrett will remain in the role until the end of 2020.

The news of Barrett’s retention follows the further good news for Manly, who today announced Lyall Gorman as their new CEO.

The Manly board were pleased with the way the club has been run from a playing perspective in the last two years and that influenced their decision to retain him.

“Trent has developed a very positive performance-focused culture amongst the team and football operations staff,” said chairman Scott Penn.

“His contract extension reflects the high regard we have for his coaching ability, and the stability the extension provides the club.

“The club and Trent can now look forward to a positive future with a focus on ensuring a great 2018 season.”

As Manly continue to build their side, Barrett himself is pleased with the side the club has at their disposal and looks forward to guiding his crop of players to potential success.

“We have a very talented and liked minded playing group who I really enjoy coaching,” said Barrett.

“They enjoy playing with, and for each other, and we have all the ingredients for continued success at the Sea Eagles.”

“I really appreciate the support I’ve received from the players, coaches and support staff and also the Board, management, and our Members, fans, partners and the community. I’m now focused on preparing the team for the 2018 season.”

Former Sharks boss makes the move to become Manly’s new CEO

Lyall Gorman

In a boost for the Manly Sea Eagles off-field endeavours, the club has confirmed that Lyall Gorman will be their new Chief Executive Officer.

Gorman’s most recent role was as CEO of the Cronulla Sharks, one that saw him gain huge popularity among the Sharks faithful for his swift, efficient way of dealing with things.

Prior to that, Gorman was the founding CEO of A-League side the Western Sydney Wanderers and was also CEO of fellow A-League side, the Central Coast Mariners.

As Manly continue to grow and rebuild following some off-field turmoil, club Chairman Scott Penn is excited to have Gorman move into the role of CEO.

“Lyall has had a highly successful business management career and he brings strong leadership and a proven track record of success to the Club,” said Penn.

“In his most recent roles with the Sharks, Wanderers and Mariners, each Club all experienced on-field and off-field success,’’ Penn said.

“I’m sure Lyall will help the Sea Eagles grow to the next level commercially off the field, with his proven formula of connecting and engaging the Clubs he’s worked for with the community and improving Member and fan engagement and experience.”

Penn also thanked Neil Bare, the club’s Chief Operating Officer, for holding down the CEO fort in the interim as their search for a full-time CEO began.

“I also want to thank Neil Bare, Chief Operating Officer, for successfully leading the administration team over the past six months,” continued Penn.

With new horizons and opportunities ahead for Gorman in the new role, he looks forward to the challenges that will come with it.

“I’m delighted to be given the responsibility of leading the mighty Sea Eagles,” said Gorman.

“One of my initial priorities will be building stronger communication between our Club and its many stakeholders – including Members, fans, partners and the broader community, and of course Council and State and Federal Government.”

Another young gun re-signs with the Knights

Sam Stone

On the back of a solid rookie season, the Newcastle Knights have re-signed young forward Sam  Stone until the end of 2020.

Signed for the 2018 season, the new contract extension is for two years and the man himself could not be happier.

“I love the Knights and I am very happy to sign this extension,” Stone said.

“We are building for a big future and I am happy to be a part of it.”

The Knights are like a second home for Stone, who has been at the club since he was 10.

“I have been here since I was ten years old, my dad was part of it and I have followed the team since I was very young,” continued the young forward.

“I love the town and lifestyle, the fans are great, and I would love to stay here for as long as I can.”

Stone, a Valentine Devils and Lake United junior, played in 16 NRL games in 2017 and was pleased with how he went overall as were the club.

“It was a great season for Sam and we are pleased to be able to reward him with a contract extension,” General Manager Football Darren Mooney said.

“Sam is an impressive young footballer on and off the field and we look forward to his continued development here at the Knights.”

Not one to be satisfied with his game, Stone has set himself numerous goals for the 2018 season.

“First of all, putting on some weight; that is a big thing for me,” Stone said.

“I need to put on a couple of kilos and try and maintain my fitness while I do that; it will be a lot of hard work in the gym.

“Wrestle and tackle technique is another area for me, so that is my focus to improve on those areas.”

Melbourne to host the 2018 World Club Challenge

For just the third time in the tournament’s history, the World Club Challenge is set to be played in Australia after the NRL confirmed this morning that the fixture would take place at AAMI Park.

With the battle for supremacy set to begin, both the Melbourne Storm and the Leeds Rhinos will go head-to-head on February 16 to determine which club is rugby league’s best.

Previously, the game had been held in both Brisbane and Sydney but this is the first time that Melbourne is hosting the event.

The Storm and Rhinos have gone head-to-head in a World Club Challenge on three previous occasions, with the Storm winning two of those in 2010 and 2013.

With the game now locked in, fans can make some early plans to watch footy at AAMI Park and the NRL is pleased that such a game has been confirmed.

“It’s important for the growth of both the NRL and international game that major events like this go ahead each year, so we’re glad to have ensured this important match takes place in what is a shortened pre-season post the Rugby League World Cup,” said the NRL’s Head of Strategy, Mr David Silverton said.

“To have the match take place on home soil for the first time in four years is an added bonus for Australian rugby league fans too.

“A special thank you must go to all those involved from the Super League, Melbourne Storm, Leeds Rhinos and Channel Nine for joining forces and committing to make this showpiece event happen.”

Equally pleased is Victoria’s Minister for Sport, Tourism and Major Events, with John Eren stating that the tournament is right at home in Melbourne and that they are thrilled to host it.

“The World Club Challenge is right at home in the sporting capital. We can’t wait to get behind our Storm and help make them the world’s best rugby league team,” said Eren.

“It’s yet another coup for the sports capital that will bring more visitors to Victoria – boosting businesses and supporting local jobs.”

The Storm themselves are excited to have the opportunity to host the World Club Challenge as CEO Dave Donaghy praised the event.

“There’s no better venue or city to host a game that decides the world’s best rugby league team than AAMI Park and Melbourne – Australia’s sporting capital.

“It will be fantastic to see rugby league take centre stage again at AAMI Park, having hosted record Storm crowds and the Rugby League World Cup in 2017.”

For the fans that want to watch the game, it will be broadcast live on Channel Nine in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

“We’re really excited about this match – the two best rugby league teams in the world squaring up against each other for the title of champions,” said Nine’s Director of Sport, Tom Malone.

“Wide World of Sports will be the best place to catch all the action – live and free and in HD.

Club members of both the Storm and the Rhinos are able to purchase tickets on today before public tickets go on sale on Tuesday November 21.