The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Betting has been suspended on the NRL in light of the Penrith Panthers fiasco involving Craig Gower allegedly seeking a release from his contract.
Bets have been placed on the Panthers to win the wooden spoon and Melbourne to win the premiership as Gower would be odds on to move to Melbourne in Penrith granted Gower a release from his contract.
Melbourne lost star halfback Matt Orford to Manly at the end of last season and are light on in the halves with Cooper Cronk the man most likely to replace Orford in the all important halfback role.
Gower has been unhappy since being stripped of the captaincy and fined $30,000 in the wake of his much-publicised antics at Noosa in December at a charity golf event that also coincided with his buck?s night.
Penrith stalwart Tony Puletua will be the Panthers captain in 2006 but has publicly stated he is happy to step aside and let Gower assume the role in the best interests of the club.
Gower would attract massive money in the U.K with two clubs apparently very keen to secure his services, believed to be Castleford and Salford.
Gower's manager Greg Willett has doused claims his client is seeking a release from his four-year contract, worth a staggering two million dollars.