THEY were once fierce rivals on the field, both little generals directing their huge forward packs around the ground in the glory years of the 70s.
They both played for one of the world's greatest rugby league clubs and against some of the games best, yet had never spoken a word to each other.
It was fitting that they should shake hands for the first time at the Redcliffe Leagues Club at the official Dolphins season launch.
It wasn't until Des Webb announced that Paynter Dixon was to be the new short sponsor of the Dolphins and introduced Mark Shulman as their business development manager that long-time Dolphins junior official Brian Winney finally realised he was in the presence of an old sparring partner.
Mark said he was surprised to see Brian at the launch after so many years.
"Halfbacks are often serious students of the game, so it is great to see Brian getting involved not only with the Redcliffe juniors but also as a representative on the QRL coaching panel," he said.
"Paynter Dixon is very excited to be a major sponsor of the Dolphins. We believe we can help the club grow with our experience and expertise in project management."
Brian was equally surprised about the Paynter Dixon connection.
"It was funny to see Mark again. We both played for St George, we nearly played against each other in 1971 when I moved to Wests and a few years later, Mark bought my house when I moved to Queensland," Brian said.
"Over the past 20 years I have seen the Dolphins grow and become one of the most successful and recognisable clubs in Queensland. Speaking to Mark at the launch made me realise there is bigger and better things to come and I can tell you there is no one better than Mark or Paynter Dixon to have on board."
With these two great characters of the game supporting the club, it is no wonder the Dolphins can expect great things in season 2006.
Paynter Dixon, the official short sponsor of the Dolphins, brings with them the experience of an award-winning long-term Australian identity which has expertise in building and redevelopment in the club, hotel, commercial and industrial industries.
QUITE often it only takes that lucky break for a footballer to make a career breakthrough.
Forget all the blood, sweat and tears over many seasons ... a twist of fate sometimes dictates his future.
Although only 20, New Zealand Chris Fox knows something about the vagaries of rugby league.
A promising junior in Wellington, he was snapped up by the Auckland-based New Zealand Warriors as a member of their development squad.
Although his parents live in Auckland, Fox still calls Wellington home and Wainuiomata in Lower Hutt his junior club.
Current international Paul Whatuira and rising Cowboys star David Faiumu also hail from the same club.
While Fox played for Wellington in the national Bartercard Cup competition, he also trained one night a week with the Warriors development squad in Auckland.
Disillusioned by the departure of Warriors coach Daniel Anderson, Fox asked his manager to find him a new club at the start of last season.
"I asked him to get me somewhere and I ended up at Redcliffe," Fox said. "I didn't know anything about the Queensland Cup yet alone the Redcliffe club. I was told it was near Brisbane and that was it."
Fox turned up at Redcliffe in January last year, played a trial and found himself in the club's A grade.
"I found it tough at the start as I'm pretty quiet and I was meeting new players all the time," he said.
"And the heat was something else. Coming from Wellington I was used to it being cold and raining. I love it here now and won't go back home. My confidence picked up at the end of last season and I gained a good insight of what was needed to make the top grade."
Fox loved the conditions and competition so much that he ended up Redcliffe's player of the year in A grade, a fair achievement for any newcomer to a club as strong as the Dolphins.
"I was helped by the fact that I didn't miss any games during the season," he said. "A lot of players went back and forth to Premier League and I stayed in A grade.
"I started at five-eighth, then went to centre and then fullback. The position I quite like is five-eighth."
With his versatility, about the only position he can't play is front-row.
The 2006 season brought more rewards for the nuggetty Fox, even though club captain Shane Perry maintains a hold on the No. 6 jersey in Premier League.
Included in the top team's train-on squad for last year's finals, Fox was elevated to the Dolphins' top squad from the first fixture of the season.
"I've been getting about half a game," he said. "My job is to come on and help out when some of the boys are getting tired.
"I have been playing mainly hooker and some five-eighth. I love the tackling over here. The code is tougher back home but it's faster here and the skills are better. It's more of a bash-up at home."
No relation to famous All Blacks kicking machine Grant Fox, the younger version weighs in at 85 kilograms.
He keeps fit working as a paver/concreter with fellow Dolphin Richie Russell for the Redcliffe-based Redpine Paving.
He also has had more good news this season with the arrival of his girlfriend from New Zealand.
"She keeps me on track and it's all going well," he said. "My next goal is to try to get a crack at the NRL.
"It doesn't matter what club it is, I'd just like to have a shot at it. The opportunity is here at Redcliffe to impress the right people."
He is going about it the right way with his first Queensland Cup try against Easts in round 4.
"I wanted to get a try," he said. "I was playing five-eighth and it was the last play of the game."
He followed up with a try in the televised round 6 match against the Norths Devils, a fixture when he came into his own as Perry was on duty with the Broncos again.
Fox rode his luck in the week leading up to the Norths match as he had to appear before the judiciary on a kicking charge. Luckily for himself and the club he was cleared and took his place at the base of the scrum with Marty Turner.
THE 2008 World Cup will be played at the end of the 2008 season rather than at the start, as originally planned.
ST George Illawarra Dragons five-eighth Trent Barrett has announced he will leaving the Dragons at the conclusion of the current season.With his Club calling a media conference, the Dragons? captain confirmed he has exercised a clause in his contract which allows him to leave Australia to the end of 2006.Barrett, through his manager Wayne Beavis, has signed a three-year deal with English Super League club, Wigan.The 28-year-old signed a four-year contract with the Dragons in June 2004, but this contained an option to play in the English Super League after two years.In a statement isssued this afternoon, the Club indicated the process has been complex but Barrett and the Club are now free to apply all their energies to achieving the team goals for 2006.?To acknowledge Trent Barrett is leaving the Dragons and the game of rugby league in this country, is not easy to contemplate,? said Dragons Chief Executive Officer Peter Doust.?I can?t over-state the contributions he has made to our Clubs since the relationship began in 1993 when he was a 16 year old.?Trent is an outstanding athlete who has played the game of rugby league with commitment, style and skill at all levels, added Doust.?He is a quality person who has led our Club with distinction, both on and off the field and he certainly won?t be easy to replace?.Barrett explained it was the toughest decision of his life.?This was definitely the hardest decision I have ever made,? said Barrett.?I love the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Club has always been fantastic to me?.?My family and I have always had a desire to experience the ?other side of the world? and we felt it was now or never,? he said.?Wigan is a Club steeped in rugby league history and I am excited by the challenge that lies ahead.?This is a decision not based on money but one that simply provides a new adventure for me and my family.?I know I will leave behind some great mates, but we have this year to achieve what we all want,? he said.?I am really focused and my commitment to the Dragons will be such that I will be requesting to be excused from any representative football this year,? added Barrett.Dragons Coach Nathan Brown who has played alongside and coached Trent lamented a mate passing through.?Our Club is not only losing a fine player but a good guy and friend to all,? said Brown.?I understand his decision however I hope we will work together again.?He is a wonderful leader at our Club and will remain so for the rest of this year.?Barrett is St George Illawarra?s highest paid player and his departure, along with a possible rise in the NRL salary cap to $4 million, allows the Dragons firm up their offers to other high profile players in the Club. In particular, the Dragons are expected step up their efforts to re-sign centre Mark Gasnier who is currently considering offers from Rugby Union. Gasnier may accept a deal, reportedly worth about $500,000 per season, to stay in the NRL.Born in 1977 in Temora, NSW, Trent Barrett played his junior football with the Temora Dragons.In 1993, Barrett linked up with the Illawarra Steelers, debuting in first grade as a 19-year-old in 1996. The long serving player has represented Australia in 11 Tests, a World Cup and a Kangaroo tour. In 2000 he was named the Dally M and St George Illawarra ?Player of the Year?.Barrett suffered a season-ending ankle injury in May, 2003, but not before posting his 100th game with the Dragons' joint venture. He came back in 2004 and gained selection for NSW in State of Origin III. Barrett was selected in 2004 Tri-Nations Kangaroo squad but was forced to withdraw due to injury. He bounced back in 2005, representing NSW before playing four Tests in the 2005 Tri-Nations.Trent Barrett Fact File:Five eighth, Halfback.Illawarra Steelers:1996-98, 46 games. 30t, 2fg (122pts).St George Illawarra Dragons: 1999-2005, 134 games. 42t, 4fg (172pts).2006 stats for the Dragons (to date): 7 games. 1fg (1pt)TOTAL (to date): 1996-2006, 186 games. 72t, 7fg (295pts). Club captain of Dragons in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. NSW rep (1997-2002 & 2004). Australian rep (1999-2002).Stats compiled by www.jubileeavenue.com.au
FULLBACK Brett Hodgson has been cleared to play for the Wests Tigers in Sunday's NRL match against Manly at Leichhardt Oval.
ST George Illawarra captain Trent Barrett has ruled himself out of the State of Origin series after announcing he'll join English club Wigan after the NRL season.Barrett has played seven times for NSW but says he'll step down from all representative football immediately as part of his agreement to sever his contract with the Dragons. The 28-year-old five-eighth has exercised an option in his contract to leave the NRL for a Super League club despite having two years remaining on his current deal.The veteran of 142 games for the Dragons, Barrett will join Wigan on a three-year contract.
DRAGONS Supporters, For those of us who only get to see the Dragons play live once a year, although we lost to Melbourne AGAIN, was certainly a great atmosphere at the ground and sounded a lot louder than the 8000 that attended. The Dragons started the match looking like they might rack up 50 points but an inability to put the ball over the line and 2 quick tries to the Storm at the end of the first half left the Dragons wondering what might have been. A lack of creativity in attack combined with handling errors, penalties and a determined Storm defence meant the Dragons were to leave the Southern capital empty handed once again. Thanks again to all the MBDS members who turned up at the Depot, was great to catch up and attend a live game with everyone. The memory of last weeks loss can be quickly erased with victory on Sunday over arch rivals The Sharks. The local derby is always a game played with great passion and will only be more eventful than usual with ex Dragon Lance Thompson lining up against the club he once stated he would bleed for. Should be a great match. The MBDS screening of this match will be at the Grosvenor Hotel at 7:30pm Sunday night. This is the earliest we can get the screening as Channel Nine are covering the other match at 3pm Sunday. Why not head into the Grosvenor a bit early to have dinner and enjoy the live entertainment they have on Sunday afternoons? WHAT: Dragons v SharksWHEN: Sunday 7th May, 7:30pmWHERE: Grosvenor Hotel, 10 Brighton Rd East St Kilda GO THE DRAGONS!!
NEWCASTLE Knights forward Steve Simpson says he feared his chances of playing for Australia were over after pulling out of last year's Tri Nations tour.
ST George Illawarra skipper Trent Barrett is expected to announce today that he will quit the NRL for the English Super League next season.
YES we all know the Newcastle Knights cannot win when it matters (and when it doesn?t apparently see Round 4 v Warriors) without Andrew Johns and every scientific formula known to man has come to that conclusion but does the same ring true with the St. George-Illawarra Dragons and their halfback Mathew Head?
THE Great Britain Training squad has been announced:1. Burrow, Rob ? Leeds Rhinos 2. Carney, Brian ? Newcastle Knights 3. Cunningham, Keiron ? St Helens 4. Deacon, Paul ? Bradford Bulls 5. Ellis, Gareth ? Leeds Rhinos 6. Fielden, Stuart ? Bradford Bulls 7. Gardner, Ade ? St Helens 8. Gilmour, Lee ? St Helens 9. Gleeson, Martin ? Warrington Wolves 10. Graham, James ? St Helens 11. Harris, Iestyn ? Bradford Bulls 12. Higham, Michael ? Wigan Warriors 13. Hock, Gareth ? Wigan Warriors 14. Horne, Richard ? Hull FC 15. Johnson, Paul ? Bradford Bulls 16. King, Paul ? Hull FC 17. Langley, Jamie ? Bradford Bulls 18. Long, Sean ? St Helens 19. Lynch, Andy ? Bradford Bulls 20. McGuire, Danny ? Leeds Rhinos 21. Morley, Adrian - Sydney Roosters 22. Newton, Terry ? Bradford Bulls 23. O?Loughlin, Sean ? Wigan Warriors 24. Peacock, Jamie ? Leeds Rhinos (Vice-Captain) 25. Pryce, Leon ? St Helens 26. Raynor, Gareth, Hull FC 27. Roby, James ? St Helens 28. Sculthorpe, Paul ? St Helens (Captain) 29. Senior, Keith ? Leeds Rhinos 30. Sinfield, Kevin - Leeds Rhinos 31. Walker, Chev ? Leeds Rhinos 32. Wellens, Paul ? St Helens 33. Wild, Stephen ? Huddersfield Giants 34. Wilkin, Jon ? St Helens 35. Wood, Paul ? Warrington Wolves 36. Yeaman, Kirk ? Hull FCThere are seven players within this 36-man squad who have not previously been capped at Great Britain level.They are: Ade Gardner, James Graham, Gareth Hock, Jamie Langley, Andy Lynch, James Roby and Kirk Yeaman.Ade Gardner and Jamie Langley were included in the 2005 mid-season Great Britain squad which took part in a training camp at the University of Bath.As part of preparations for the ?XXXX? Test against New Zealand (27.6.06), the Great Britain squad will take part in two training days in May and early June prior to going into camp on Sunday, 25th June 2006. Brian Carney and Adrian Morley will not be available for these training days in May and early June but will be considered for selection for the ?XXXX? Test against New Zealand.The Great Britain team is sponsored by Gillette.The ?XXXX? Test: Great Britain v New Zealand, Tuesday 27th June 2006 (KO 8pm) at Knowsley Road, St Helens RLFC.
A post from a fan who wears his heart on his sleave, loves the Warriors with a passion, as we all do.
THE Rugby League weekend kicked off with the ANZAC Test on Friday night. Most of SportOdds League punters kicked the long weekend off with a good win, after Australia were heavily supported to cover the 18.5 point line that they had to give up, which they duly covered. Some money came from across the Tasman for the Kiwis at $6.25 to win the game, and they got 40-45 minutes to think that they had a chance of collecting at the big odds. Australia blew them away in the final 1/2 hour and deserved their good win.
THE Bulldogs will not name any player charged with breaching the club?s code of conduct.
BRONCO'S forward Brad Meyers will miss up to four weeks of football after sustaining a neck injury during last weekend's match against reigning premiers Penrith.