Why West’s Tigers are mad at Brad Fittler and NSW Blues...

Hagipantelis isn’t the only thing Hagipantelis needs to get upset about. This column assumes that the main sponsor of the Blues hasn’t heard from Dave Trodden, the managing director of NSWRL, since March before the COVID interruption. Trodden is under pressure and an email spreading the word of several clubs calls into question his leadership.

Trodden’s name was mentioned earlier this year as a potential replacement for Todd Greenberg as NRL executive director, but there are very few people at headquarters who have good things to say about the NSW boss.

The Tigers aren’t too impressed with some of Brad Fittler’s comments over the past few months.Recognition:NRL-Photos

NRL officials say Trodden recently sent an attorney’s letter to the governing body instead of picking up the phone to resolve an issue related to a sponsorship dispute between Powerade and Gatorade.

NRL officials are also puzzled as to why the NSWRL has thrown back funding to the governing body to make sure the recent round of layoffs wasn’t as brutal as they were, with Chief Operating Officer Stuart Clark, soccer boss Barrie-Jon Mather and the chief Alan Thompson’s performance all went on.

The NRL also had to go beyond Trodden and speak to NSWRL chairman George Peponis and board member Nick Politis to get support for Karl Stefanovic’s planned Origin documentary, which has since been discontinued by Queensland trainer Wayne Bennett.

Moses fall ends

A feeding frenzy was expected last week following the independent hearing on the alleged wrongdoing of the game’s most famous agent, Isaac Moses.

The NRL Appeal Committee is expected to share its findings over the next fortnight. A number of player agents are circling Moses’ clients when he fails to overturn the NRL’s decision to sign him off on false and deliberate evidence mislead an investigation.

The matter relates to a third party contract with Tim Mannah, who was asked to testify at the hearing, and which was not properly disclosed in the context of the salary cap scandal that rocked Parramatta in 2016.

Joey’s trouble with the bladder

There is one notable absentee from blues practice this year. NSW legend Andrew Johns has decided against bubble life and as a result is unable to help out in blues field sessions as he had previously done on the previous two series.

Mitchell Pearce with Andrew Johns at Blues Camp last year.Recognition:Wolter Peeters

Foxx has concerns

There was another twist in Josh Addo-Carr’s contract saga, with the Storm winger claiming he is happy to stay in Melbourne next year should the club not get a suitable replacement.

Addo-Carr had signed an agreement with the Wests Tigers that he would join the joint venture in 2021 if released by the storm. Melbourne’s Premier League triumph, however, could have sparked a possible change of heart.
Josh Addo-Carr celebrated Melbourne’s final hit last week.Recognition:NRL-Photos

Puma gets paws on Origin jersey deal

One of the world’s leading sportswear companies is venturing back into the rugby league next season. Puma is signed as a jersey maker by NSW and Queensland for the 2021 State of Origin series.

Puma currently makes the jerseys for AFL clubs Carlton and Richmond and also has an agreement with Melbourne City FC in the A-League but has not had a logo on a rugby jersey since the Warriors, Sharks and Raiders in the US 2000s.

Queensland’s contract with ISC expires at the end of this series, while Canterbury’s contract with the NSW Origin team ends three years into a four-year contract.

Duo due in court

St. George Illawarra will wait with bated breath as Jack de Belin goes to court on Monday for the first day of his sexual assault trial. The Dragons have offered De Belin a new deal and should know later this month if he will be free to join his teammates at the start of the preseason. It has been 613 days since De Belin stepped down under the NRL’s no-mistake policy.

Former Parramatta full-back Jarryd Hayne is also on trial later this month for sexual assault. Hayne is 32 and his best behind him, but he tells those close to him that he could go overseas to play rugby union if found not guilty. It will be interesting to see if NRL clubs give him another chance at a minimum wage contract.

Panthers jump over Crichton nervously

Penrith’s young gun, Stephen Crichton, reportedly shook hands four months ago and looked Coach Ivan Cleary in the eye. He promised to keep a three-year contract that he had agreed with Penrith at the time. The Panthers did Crichton a favor and agreed to stamp the deal so the center could part ways with its manager Mark Stewart in late October.

A new agent is about to enter the picture, and there are people at Penrith who are increasingly concerned that Crichton might take his word back. Since signing a $ 1.5 million contract with Penrith for three years, Crichton has earned a spot on Fittler’s Dally M Team of the Year and a spot on Fittler’s 27-man NSW squad. Canterbury is ready to pounce. There is no doubt that Crichton is worth more than it was four months ago, but Penrith hopes his word is worth more.

World Championship

The rugby league world cup in England next year threatens to be seriously postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The International Rugby League is currently considering alternative regulations. One idea is for Australia to host a six to eight nation tournament with Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea competing against each other at the end of next year if the World Cup is delayed until 2022.

Kevvie is signing for the first time

New Brisbane manager Kevin Walters wasted no time putting his stamp on the Broncos squad to make his first signing at the club. Walters is about to hire the versatile North Queensland striker John Asiata for a year.


After initially considering the release of Matt Lodge, Walters is now expected to stay at the club. Uncertainty remains about Jack Bird’s future as the Broncos were unable to reach a financial agreement that would have allowed him to return to the Dragons, where he played his junior rugby league.

Prop Joe Ofahengaue is also free to look around and has been discussed as a target for the dragons. Any move, however, would be conditional on the Broncos breaking off part of his $ 450,000 deal.

Michael Chammas is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald

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