THE Newtown Jets began official training for the 2006 season last Monday (November 14th) at their well-equipped gymnasium complex in Marrickville.Recently-appointed Newtown Jets VB Premier League coach Paul Young was on hand along with Jim Beam Cup coach Greg Matterson to oversee proceedings as the hand-picked training squad went through their paces.Four other Newtown players - Vince Mellars, Rimini Reweti, Eddie Leuluai and Lafi Manua - are in full-time training with the Sydney Roosters NRL squad at their Wentworth Park headquarters, and all four men have received good reports for their commitment to the Roosters rigorous summer training program.
THE Rabbitohs have today secured their long term financial future by signing a funding deal with South Sydney Juniors. The deal, which is reportedly a seven figure commitment, extends over the next two seasons, and will provide the club with new found financial security.
LEEDS Rhinos have made their fourth signing for 2006 with the capture of Australian forward Mark O'Neill, who was a member of the Wests Tigers Grand-Final winning team this year.The 30-year-old O'Neill, who has signed a 12-month contract, captained the Tigers before elbow surgery kept him out for 12 weeks in the middle of the season but he returned to the side and was an ever-present in their successful title run.O'Neill, who made 223 senior appearances in Australia, will join the Rhinos for the start of pre-season training next month and will play in the club's friendly against Wakefield at Headingley on Boxing Day."I am very excited at the opportunity to come to England and play for the Rhinos," he said. "The Rhinos have a great reputation over here and I am also looking forward to learning from Tony Smith."I've never been to England before and it will be strange to play on a cold Boxing Day morning but it can not come soon enough now."O'Neill made his debut for Balmain in 1994 and was an integral part of the Wests Tigers side since the merger of Balmain and Wests in 2000.He will join Bradford captain Jamie Peacock and fellow Australians Scott Donald and Shane Millard in a new-look Leeds outfit.Head coach Tony Smith said: "We are delighted to have signed a player of Mark's experience and quality. He is perhaps a player that some Super League fans may not know too much about but he has built up a tremendous reputation over the past decade in Australia."He is a no-nonsense player who can play in either the second row or at prop and will add a great deal to our forward options."- - - - -Thanks to www.superleague.co.uk for this story.
SIMON Woolford has quit as captain of the Canberra Raiders after five years in the role.
JUNIOR Kiwi star, Reihana Peters has signed on with the North Sydney Bears Premier League side for season 2006.Like his 2005 counterpart, Chris Tuatara, ?Razor? is hoping to cement a starting position in the Bears Premier League squad at just 19 years of age.Still eligible to play Jersey Flegg for 2006, North Sydney have secured his signature which 3 other clubs were vying for.Reihana played for the Junior Kiwis in 2003 in which they were successful over the Australian Schoolboys 12-8. Playing for Australia that day were no other than Benji Marshall and Karmichael Hunt.The young Kiwi started the 2005 season playing for the Narraweena Hawks A grade side under coach Chris Reilly. After just a few games Josh White saw something special in the kid and gave him a go in the Manly Sea Eagles Jersey Flegg side. Once in the side he started the rest of his games in the 2nd row and made the position his own.Chris Reilly explained, "Reihana is such a classy player. He takes the ball up all day and constantly puts on the big hits. He is a tremendous team player" Alongside Reihana in the Narraweena side were Cliffy Lyons and Jim Serdaris. "He has played with and against some world class players and has shown he can mix it with the best".PHOTO: Keen to be a Bear - Reihana 'Razor' Peters is ready to make his mark at Norths. Photo: Steve Little.The North Sydney Rugby League Football Club can be contacted on 9466 8860, by e-mail [email protected], or check out the website at http://www.northsydneybears.com.au
LANCE Thompson's immediate playing future remains in the balance with the Cronulla Sharks announcing they will not be signing the former Dragon.
FORMER Great Britain international Denis Betts has quit his role as assistant to Wigan head coach Ian Millward, bringing to an end a 19-year association with the famous club.The 36-year-old, who had two years left on his contract, resigned from his post just six months after being demoted from head coach and a fortnight after apparently refusing to coach the club's under-21 team.A brief statement issued by Wigan said: "Denis Betts, who has been the assistant coach to Ian Millward, has resigned from his position and left the club with immediate effect. The club feel unable to comment at this stage."Betts' future at the JJB Stadium was cast into doubt when the club issued a press release earlier this month claiming that he had refused to take charge of their academy team following the return to Australia of Adrian Lam.That job was instead undertaken by Millward's other assistant, fellow Australian Andrew Farrar, with Betts cast further into the wilderness.Betts, one of Wigan's modern greats, tonight confirmed that he had resigned but said: "I can't comment at this stage. It will all come out in the fullness of time."The second row forward joined Wigan from Leigh Rangers amateur club in 1986 and was a member of the all-conquering team that dominated rugby league in the late-Eighties and early Nineties.He joined the newly-formed Auckland Warriors in 1995 but returned to Wigan three years later and in 2000 had the honour of scoring the first try at the JJB Stadium.Betts, who won 30 caps with Great Britain, was awarded a testimonial in 2001 but was persuaded to hang up his boots at the age of 32 in order to help Wigan get under the salary cap.After cutting his coaching teeth with the club's academy team, he quickly found himself propelled into the hot seat when Mike Gregory was taken ill after the Challenge Cup final of 2004.An horrific run of injury, compounded by the loss of hugely-influential skipper Andy Farrell, exposed the inexperience of both Wigan's back-up players and their rookie head coach and he was pushed to one side in May when Millward was appointed.Betts was made Millward's assistant and given a new two-and-a-half-year contract but could now be lost to the game.He has recently been linked with a move into rugby union with Gloucester, who are thought to be looking for a defensive coach.- - - - -Thanks to www.superleague.co.uk for this report.
NEW Zealand stand-off Nigel Vagana has been handed a one-match ban for the tackle that left Great Britain scrum-half Paul Deacon with horrific facial injuries.
STACEY Jones comesback again, with the mercurial halfback planning to play off the bench for the Kiwis against France on Saturday.
PENRITH Panthers got their tour off to a winning start against a gallant Great Britain side on a cold night in Leeds. They led 20-0 at half time but two converted tries within the opening six minutes of the second half put Great Britain within 8pts of the visitors. The Panthers replied with a try a short time later and after a tremendous arm wrestle by the home side a Frank Pritchard try on the hour gave his side a winning cushion and two further tries in the last ten minutes gave them a flattering victory. A Michael Jennings hat trick was the highlight of the Panthers performance.
CLIVE Churchill winner Scott Prince has been dropped from the Australia side to face Great Britain for this weekend's Tri-Nations clash.
YOUNG Kiwis forward Bronson Harrison will make his test debut this Friday against France in Toulouse.
HULL winger Gareth Raynor will make his Great Britain debut in Saturday?s must-win Gillette Tri-Nations match against Australia.
PAUL Wellens is the second Great Britain player following scrum-half Paul Deacon to be ruled out for the rest of the Gillette Tri-Nations, leaving his side without a specialist full-back to face Australia at Hull on Saturday.
COACH Wayne Bennett says he's made changes to Australia's side for Saturday's big Tri Nations clash with Great Britain to strike a balance in the forwards and because of the likelihood of firmer playing conditions at Hull.