Jeff Wall

Articles Written: 693

Recent Articles by Jeff Wall

The

BARRY Gommersall, perhaps the most controversial, and colourful referee of our time, has died in North Queensland aged 61.

The NRL\'s major sponsor embarrassment

THE fact that the National Rugby League still has not signed up its major sponsor for the 2007 season is a major embarrassment for the NRL, and the game. It again raises serious questions about the influence Channel Nine exercises over a game to which it

NRL embarrassed over new drugs policy

THE National Rugby League has rightly been embarrassed today over its much vaunted new "tough policy" on drugs.

Another Aussie set to link with Old enemy

JUST days after it was revealed Shane Warne might be a contender for a coaching role with the English cricket team, the deposed coach of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Shaun McRae, is apparently the favourite to take over as head coach of

Turner saga finally finds its conclusion

THE saga over the playing future of the Melbourne Storm

2006: A year for Rugby League high

IN looking back on 2006 in rugby league what stands out is how many of the usual high achievers excelled once again. In assessing my "awards" for the season, the task was not really a hard one because the game

Rugby League\'s chance

RUGBY league has a unique opportunity to drive a giant stake right through the heart of rugby union's plans to recruit key rugby league players.

Is News Ltd putting pressure on the Titans?

THE St George Illawarra Dragons were today made aware that Wes Naiqama was involved in an alleged incident in the city overnight.

Players who want to be elsewhere

FOR a team that is still three months away from its first NRL appearance, the Gold Coast Titans are already a magnet for trouble when it comes to players wanting to play elsewhere.

Former League stars abandoning the ARU

IF a week is a long time in politics it can be an eternity in the struggle between rugby league and rugby union over key players.When the Wallabies returned from a rather ordinary European tour early this week, the focus was on recruiting rugby league players to boost union?s ranks.But today the boot is very much on the other foot with at least one Wallaby star wanting to switch to rugby league BEFORE next year?s Rugby World Cup, and another rumoured to be keen to do so as soon as possible.Mat Rogers, who switched codes to rugby union in 2001 after seven league Test appearances and a very successful playing career with the Cronulla Sharks, apparently wants to join NRL newcomers, the Gold Coast Titans, for the 2007 season. He has already signed a contract to join the club in 2008.Dissatisfaction with coach John Connolly?s team selections on the recent Wallabies tour has caused Rogers to rethink his plans for 2007.If he decides to seek an early release, the Titans and the NRL will fall over backwards to facilitate what would be a significant PR coup for rugby league in view of the posturing by the ARU about "raiding" rugby league?s player ranks.It will present the ARU with a real quandary. Releasing Rogers would set a precedent, but does union really want in its World Cup team next year a player who would rather be playing in another code?But an even more successful ex-league player is also thinking about a return to the 13-a-side game. Lote Tuqiri left the Broncos in 2001 and has been the best performing former league player in the Wallabies ever since.A host of NRL clubs is already lining up to talk to Lote if he decides to switch codes. That will force the ARU to offer him a contract after the World Cup worth a lot more than it had in mind a week ago.But if he wants to return to rugby league ? and senior league officials are very confident he does ? he will have to take a substantial pay cut, or the NRL will have to ease its salary cap restrictions. And it will be under enormous pressure to do so.The news this week has come as a relief to David Gallop and the NRL. Instead of worrying about how to prevent NRL players being poached by the ARU, rugby league officialdom can sit back and enjoy the position in which Rogers and possibly Tuqiri have put the ARU ? and John Connolly.

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