Sea Eagle set to fly
Veteran winger Akuila Uate is set to leave the NRL at season’s end. After 199 first grade games and 129 tries, the 30-year-old is set to take up a rich offer with the Huddersfield Giants. The former Kangaroos and New South Wales origin flyer had a preference to stay in the NRL, but the cash on offer was too good to refuse.
Another year, another internal investigation for the struggling Parramatta Eels. After qualifying for finals football for the first time in eight years last season, things were looking up for the club.
However; with the club languishing in 16th position on the ladder at the halfway point of the season, it looks as though the Eels of old have returned.
After going through internal investigations before and after ex-coach Ricky Stuart had been at the club, Eels chairman Max Donnelly has called upon former premiership winner Michael Maguire to head an internal review into the club next week.
A culture problem is evident at the club and there have been rumblings of head coach Brad Arthur losing the locker room; it’ll be up to Maguire to find a resolution to these issues.
The future is now
With the sudden retirement of star trio Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith from State of Origin football hitting the Maroons, another blow has been struck with Billy Slater being ruled out of Game I with a hamstring injury.
It’s believed Michael Morgan will now start the game at fullback with Anthony Milford joining the bench.
Had Ponga not played this past Saturday night against Parramatta however; he’d have been odds-on favourite to start the match in the number one jersey with Morgan remaining on the interchange.
After it was revealed last week that the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs are already looking at parting ways with Aaron Woods, just six months into a four-year-contract, two Sydney clubs have already joined the race to sign the embattled former Test prop.
The St. George Illawarra Dragons and Cronulla Sharks have sent out feelers to Woods’ management and there have even been murmurs of Woods departing his current club before the June 30 deadline.