Category Archives: NRL Club News

Individual NRL Team and Club News

Tigers junior opts to make the move to France

Jarred Farlow

He has been a staple of the Wests Tigers NSW Cup side for a few years now but the time is right for Jarred Farlow to make the move abroad.

Farlow will move to French rugby league side Lezignian Sangliers and the Leichhardt Wanderers junior is excited about the opportunity.

“A couple of the boys I know have gone over there [to France] and said the standard is pretty good,” said Farlow.

“Hopefully I can help the guys in the team now achieve their goals.”

The club is one that means a lot to Farlow and he is disappointed to leave.

“It’s hard to leave Wests Tigers,” said Farlow.

“I told the boys last week that I was going to go and it was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I made my debut here so the Club holds a special place in my heart and it’s definitely hard to go.”

With the French competition to end during the NSW Cup competition, Farlow says that if his body holds up, he will consider returning to the Tigers.

“The French competition does finish before June 30 next year, though, so if the body holds up, there’s always a chance I’ll be back next year,” he said.

“The future’s definitely bright for the Club here and hopefully the fans can stick by the Club and enjoy the good times that I’m sure aren’t too far away.”

In-form Raiders prop extends contract

Paul Vaughan

The big international accolades may not have come his way yet but that has not stopped Canberra Raiders prop Paul Vaughan from excelling in 2014.

Some terrific form has seen the in-from prop rewarded with an extended deal, even though he was contracted to the club for the 2015 season.

His form was so good, that he was rewarded with a Country Origin jersey and for the man himself, who is a local junior, there was no other club he would rather play for.

“I’ve never wanted to go anywhere or play for anyone else,” Vaughan said.

“Canberra is my hometown and the Raiders are my team and I’m grateful for the opportunity they’ve given me to start my career.

“I’m looking forward to the next few seasons, seeing the team improve and become a premiership contender.”

Having had him on board with the club since he joined on as coach this year, Ricky Stuart is pleased to see Vaughan re-sign and predicts big things from the promising props.

“I’m very excited about the confidence Paul has shown in the team and the direction we’re going in,” Stuart said.

“He’s another local junior and there’s nothing better than having players like Paul at our club as we build for the future.

“He’s been one of our most consistent performers all season and we look forward to him improving his football over the next three seasons and taking his game to the next level.”

Sharks and Jets rekindle past partnership

They had a partnership back in 2005 and 10 years later, the Cronulla Sharks and the Newtown Jets will join forces in the NSW Cup once more

The deal will run for the next three seasons, with the team playing under the banner of the Newtown Jets. As a result, all players contracted to Cronulla that are not playing first-grade will bolster the Jets NSW Cup squad.

The Sharks are pleased to have formed the new partnership, with CEO Steve Noyce excited about what is to come.

“The Jets are a well-run organisation with good people involved, a Foundation Club with plenty of history and tradition,” Sharks CEO Steve Noyce said.

“I’m thrilled we have been able to bring this partnership together and look forward to joining with Newtown in becoming a competitive force in the VB NSW Cup next year.”

The Newtown Jets are also excited with long-serving director Terry Rowney looking forward to the future between the clubs.

“The Newtown club looks forward to our new joint venture with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks,”Rowney said. “We are confident of ensuring that our new partnership with the Sharks will work to the benefit of both of our clubs.

“The Newtown Jets also look forward to playing a major role in the Sharks winning their first NRL premiership. There are many players in the NRL today who have worn Newtown’s royal blue jersey during their careers, and our objective in this new partnership is to fully support the Cronulla-Sutherland NRL team win their first premiership title,” Rowney added.

“Newtown believes the future is very exciting for both of our clubs and we cannot wait for this partnership to get underway.”

The new partnership will give both Sharks and Jets players the chance to play NRL and although the Sharks no longer have a partnership with the Melbourne Storm, they were thankful for what it gave the club.

“While pleased to announce our joint-venture with the Jets I would like to thank the Storm for the association which has been successful in a lot of ways over the past four seasons,” Noyce added.

“Our partnership with the Storm resulted in a NSW Cup premiership and their support, especially this season as we battled an unprecedented injury toll with our NRL squad that severely affected our NSW Cup team, was appreciated by all of us here at the Sharks,” Noyce said.

Young Dragons duo re-sign

Izaac Thompson

Retaining local talent is imperative for any team and the St George Illawarra Dragons have continued their strong junior retention drive, with two more players re-signing.

That duo is utility back Izaac Thompson – re-signed until until the end of 2017 – and Jack Kavanagh, who has re-signed until the end of 2016.

Both are graduates of the club’s high performance unit program and the club are pleased that Thompson has come along as a player.

“It is welcoming news to announce the re-signing of Izaac and Jack who are both graduates of the Club’s High Performance Unit programs,” said Dragons Recruitment Manager Ben Haran.

“Izaac has demonstrated physically some good attributes in the positions that he can play on the field.

“He has had some hard luck this season having suffered several injuries but is looking forward to next year’s pre-season and reaching the next level in his game.”

As for Kavanagh, he has enjoyed a stellar season for the Dragons Holden Cup side and as a result, the club felt his form warranted a contract extension.

“Jack came through our external High Performance Unit program that we hold in the Central West of New South Wales and was monitored for several years,” said Haran.

“He has stepped-up to the challenges of playing in the Under 20’s this season and warrants the opportunity to continue his development at the Club.”

Jack Kavanagh

Talented duo sign new deals with Penrith

Matt Moylan

Ask any Penrith Panthers fan and both Matt Moylan and Bryce Cartwright will be among their top players, with both making an impact in 2014 so far.

The new deals have seen Matt Moylan commit to the Panthers for three more years and Cartwright for a further two years.

Although Moylan was contracted for 2015, he opted to extend his deal, whereas Cartwright was off-contract at season’s end.

For Moylan, it is a club he loves across the board and he was quick to thank all those that gave him the opportunity to play.

“I’m really glad I’m staying at the Panthers,” said Moylan.

“We’ve got a good team here at the moment, all the boys are great and Ivan is an outstanding leader, and I’m excited to see where we can take this club in the future. As a team, we are playing some really good footy and it’s exciting to be a part of that”

“I’d like to thank Gus, Phil Moss and Ivan for giving me the opportunity to play first grade, and a big thank you to all of our members and fans for supporting me over the last couple of years. You made my decision to stay very easy.”

For Cartwright, who is currently injured, he is just eager to return to the field.

“I really appreciate what the Panthers have done for me and the faith they have shown in my ability,” said Cartwright.

“Penrith is where I started my footy career and it’s definitely where I want to stay and develop it over the next few years. Everyone at the club is so supportive, and our members and fans are great. I’m looking forward to playing some good footy for them again soon!”

The club are just as excited to retain the duo with General Manager of Rugby League Phil Moss highlighting their opportunity to develop further.

“These two boys are among the best young talent to come through the Panthers ranks over the last few years and everyone at the club is really looking forward to watching them grow and develop,” said Moss.

“They are both part of the club’s plans for the future, and I’m delighted that they have agreed to stay on.”

Bryce Cartwright

Talented Raiders centre signs new long-term deal

Jarrod Croker

With their final home game of the season coming up, the Canberra Raiders have received a boost, re-signing talented centre Jarrod Croker on a new 4-year deal.

The long-term deal is just rewards for Croker, who has enjoyed a stellar season in 2014 despite an overall poor season for the Raiders.

Sitting high up on the try-scorers list and leading the NRL in points scored, Croker has proven his quality as an NRL centre in 2014.

For Croker, there is no other team for him and despite their position on the ladder this year, he sees improvement in their squad moving forward.

“I’m very excited to be remaining at the club where I made my debut and we’re I’ve been able to start and build on my NRL career,” Croker said.

“Canberra is a place I love and where I want to play my football and I believe we have a bright future ahead of us with our playing roster and coaching staff led by Ricky Stuart.”

At just 23, Croker has a wealth of experience and he was honoured and privileged to have had the chance to captain the side this season.

“Being named Captain for the few games is a huge honour and I’ve enjoyed leading the team out over the past couple of weeks,” said Croker.

Additionally, support off the field is crucial and Croker was quick to thank the club, the fans and his family for their continued support throughout his career.

“I want to thank all of my family, friends, teammates and the Raiders members and family for their continued support and I look forward to seeing a big crowd at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night, particularly to farewell a legend of the game like Brett White,” said Croker.

The club are ecstatic to have retained Croker and have the belief in him that he can go on to become one of the club’s greats.

“Jarrod is a pleasure to have at the club both on and off the field and we see him as a leader who can help take us forward into the future,” Canberra Raiders CEO Don Furner said.

“He’s another local junior who has committed to the club long term and his form over the past few seasons makes him a valuable player for us here at the Raiders.

“His record at just 23 years of age of playing close to 150 matches and scoring almost 900 points is remarkable and he has the potential to break all of our clubs records.

“The club congratulates Jarrod on the new deal and we look forward to him continuing his great form for the Raiders over the next few seasons.”

Eels strengthen 2015 squad with 2 new signings

Cody Nelson

Strengthening a squad and procuring depth is crucial in the NRL and the Parramatta Eels have moved quickly to replace their squad in light of departing players for 2015.

Gold Coast Titans back-rower Cody Nelson and former South Sydney Rabbitohs and Salford Red Devils utility Shannon McPherson will both play for the blue and gold in 2015.

Nelson has signed a 2-year deal with the club until the end of 2016 season, whilst McPherson will join the Eels in 2015 on a train-and-trial basis.

Although he may not have seen a lot of them, Eels coach Brad Arthur is looking forward to working with the new duo.

“Cody’s a talented back-rower, and Shannan is both experienced and hard-working, so they will be great additions to the forwards in our squad,” Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur said.

“I’m looking forward to working with them both when the 2015 pre-season comes around.”

With retention and recruitment a crucial area in rugby league, Eels CEO Scott Seward is pleased with what the club have done so far.

“I’m proud of what Brad and his squad have achieved this year, and our new recruits are part of the next stage of continuing the improvement at Parramatta,” Eels CEO Scott Seward said.

Shannon McPherson

Cowboys half re-signs for 1 more year

Robert Lui

There was speculation that he was set to depart the club but that will not happen now, with Robert Lui staying on with the North Queensland Cowboys for at least one more season.

Re-signing for the 2015 season with the Townsville-based club, the decision ultimately came down to a love for the club and being close to family.

“There was a lot of thought going into it, but it was good to get the deal done,” said Lui.

“I love the club and my family’s here, so yeah, I’m happy.”

Tough times were a part of Lui’s life previously but after rehabilitation and a desire to improve with the help of the club, Lui is grateful for the opportunity.

“Yeah, they’ve been good to me, especially when I first came here,” said Lui.

“I’ve really learnt a lot from Greenie [Paul Green] and the coaching staff.”

With close friend Ray Thompson also staying at the club, that was just another reason behind Lui’s decision to stay.

“Yeah, Ray Ray. My son’s godfather,” said Lui.

“We’re all a good bunch of boys and I’m really looking forward to the next couple of games.”

Form for any player tends to come and go and after a lean start to the year, Lui has lifted his game and work ethic and bounced back to perform.

“I just wanted to stay focused for the team,” said Lui.

“I had a look at myself and ticked off a few boxes, making right decisions and now I’m looking forward.”

Ask Lui and recent confidence is the reason behind his form reversal.

“Just confidence on the field and with my defence as well,” said Lui.

“Off the field, I’ve been working hard on my diet and that’s made a difference.”

Dragons young gun signs new long-term contract

Drew Hutchison

Re-signing young, local players is something all clubs strive towards and the St George Illawarra Dragons have long been exponents of that.

Confirming the signing of talented utility Drew Hutchison, the Albion Park Oak Flats Eagle is a local junior and 2014 is his second season with the Dragons Holden Cup side.

Named in the NSW U20’s squad for a stellar season, Hutchison has also made the step up to the NSW Cup.

For the man himself, there is no club he feels more at home with and he relishes the chance to continue to play for them.

“I am really pleased to have re-signed with my childhood Club who I have represented since junior levels,” said Hutchison.

“My main focus now is to continue my development and I’m fortunate to be able to do that under the guidance of both Paul McGregor and the advice from the other senior players around me.

“I have learnt a lot since being invited to train alongside the first-grade squad and hope to someday follow suit by wearing the Red V jersey at NRL level.”

Hutchison is the sixth NYC player to re-sign with the club in recent times and they are pleased to have retained him for three more years.

“Drew is a local junior who has come through out system at an early age and he is presently developing well in the halves,” said Dragons Recruitment Manager Ben Haran.

“He has been invited to train alongside the first-grade squad and is learning a lot simply by being around the more senior and experienced players which I know he appreciates.

“He has a great opportunity at the moment playing with the Illawarra Cutters to test himself against more senior opposition in the NSW Cup and we see him having a bright future here at the Club.”

Raiders prop heads South to Melbourne

Tom Learoyd-Lahrs

It is often said that a coach like Craig Bellamy can turn a player around and Melbourne Storm fans will hope that it is the case, with the club signing Canberra Raiders prop, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs.

Lahrs, who was once a mainstay in the Raiders forward pack has recently been hit hard by injuries and as a result, lost his spot in the Raiders side due to the emergence of props Paul Vaughan and Shannon Boyd.

Over a 9-year career, Lahrs has played for the Raiders and the Brisbane Broncos, notching up 119 first-grade games in total, as well as representing both NSW and Australia.

For the Storm, the club are hopeful that despite his recent injuries, Learoyd-Lahrs can make a steady impact for their side next season.

“Tom is an experienced forward whose skill and size will be a valuable asset to our forwards,” said the Storm’s Director of Football, Frank Ponissi.

“While he has been restricted due to injury over the last 12 months, a chat with Craig on what he can bring to Melbourne Storm and after a successful medical screening, we had no hesitation to sign him.”

For Learoyd-Lahrs, he is just pleased to have another NRL opportunity.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity Melbourne Storm have provided in enabling me to hopefully re-establish my NRL career.

“It will be an honour to have the chance to play with such great players as Melbourne possesses, once I spoke to Craig, I knew that working under his guidance was the best opportunity for me to get back to playing regular week to week NRL.”

His current club, the Canberra Raiders, issued a statement surrounding his departure.

Tom Learoyd-Lahrs has confirmed he will depart the Raiders at the end of the 2014 season, to take up a one year contract with the Melbourne Storm.

Learoyd-Lahrs arrived in Canberra at the beginning of the 2006 season and played over 100 matches for the Raiders, representing NSW Country, NSW State of Origin and Australia in his time at the club.

The Raiders would like to take the opportunity to thank Learoyd-Lahrs for his contribution to the Raiders during his time at the club and wish him all the best in the future for him and his family.