I can get the best of Luke Brooks, says Andrew Johns
” I talked to [Newcastle’s general manager of football and another club great] Danny Buderus on the idea of coming back there for a few years, but because I’ve worked with Parramatta for the past two years, which I absolutely loved, was not a possibility.
Johns didn’t spend time dissecting his shift to eels, but there’s no doubt that half-back Mitchell Moses developed a calmer, more reflective game thanks to his guidance.
“Watching him make his NSW debut was special,” Johns said. So it was the case to see Jake Arthur making his debut being coached by his dad. When he hugged his dad after working full time and they’re both in tears, it’s hard to describe to how rewarding it is.
The elephant in the room is that by the time I spoke to Johns, the Knights hadn’t called current half-back Mitchell Pearce – who requested a release so he could finish his career in the Super. British League with the Catalans Dragons – and Brooks said he was staying with the Tigers.
“I saw Pearcey in Newcastle walking around in a beret, eating a croissant and walking a poodle,” Johns laughed. “Look, if I’m working with Mitchell, I think I know how to help out there. I worked with him at the Roosters and NSW. He knows how the game is played and I have been one of his strongest supporters.
“Now if he’s not here and Brooks is here, that would be really exciting. It’s a challenge that I love. Looks like he needs a change, and getting out of Sydney would do him good.
“I think he can really bring a lot to the club. He can play really well. He has to find that consistency. I could help him know when to pass, when to run, when to kick, but also, I think. that the players around him need to understand his strengths and how to get the most out of him, I think it would be exciting to work with Luke.
The NRL excludes Politis from the vaccine mandate
Roosters president Nick Politis was prepared to impose COVID-19 vaccinations on his players, but the NRL dissuaded the NRL from doing so.
This column revealed a few months ago that the Roosters would use their players and officials to promote the vaccination, and they produced an ad featuring James Tedesco, Angus Crichton, Boyd Cordner and club doctor Tom Longworth to do just that. . They were the pioneers of the NRL.
They also wanted to lead the way as the company opens up, with Politis pushing for the idea of a mandate. But that would have been at odds with the approach of ARL Commission Chairman Peter V’landys – who wants 95% of players to be doubly vaccinated – and Politis has listened to the boss of the game. The NRL now believes he will get more 95% vaccine compliance.
The other leading figure in the mandatory vaccination campaign has been the Bulldogs’ new general manager of football, Phil Gould. Canterbury has emailed all of their players to let them know they expect them to suffer a double vaxx. It didn’t go well with some.
Luke Thompson wants to postpone vaccination as long as possible. Meanwhile, rookie John Asiata is ready to leave the rugby league rather than receive the blow because members of his family have had a reaction to vaccinations in the past. He doesn’t want to be defiant or cause trouble for the club. On the contrary, he understands the need to be vaccinated in order to play, he understands the price he is going to pay, and he has no intention of causing problems.
Warrior Addin Fonua-Blake also struggled with the idea of getting vaccinated, and his reasoning has merit after one of his children had a bad reaction to being vaccinated in the past. The Warriors have spoken to him and, being their key forward, are eager to get the case resolved as quickly as possible.
Agree or disagree?
There have been headlines recently that the NRL free-to-air TV deal has been finalized. While it is hoped that this will be the case soon, there is a level of concern at the NRL.
There is a huge difference between what the NRL wants and what Nine Entertainment (the owners of this banner and Channel Nine) are willing to pay. The gap would be between $ 10 million and $ 15 million per year.
The NRL continues to push Channel Seven as an alternative broadcaster, but it seems highly unlikely that it could have the two big winter sports of the league and the AFL. Neither code would agree to be treated as the junior partner. Appearing on the secondary channel would mean exactly that.
Sonny and share
AFL star Dustin Martin trained in Sydney with big cross code Sonny Bill Williams.
Martin has kept a low profile in the eastern suburbs of Sydney and is improving his fitness by training with Williams.
The two have been friends for a few years and every time Williams is in Melbourne he catches up with champion Richmond.
Martin is recovering from a lacerated kidney, which he suffered in the 18th round and ended his AFL season. He will be in Sydney for several weeks.
On the boxing front, Williams is starting to step up his training and will fight in the New Year. Former Sydney Swans AFL star Barry Hall remains on his radar.
Charlie 2, Mason 0
Last week we told you about Channel Nine League host Danika Mason and how she was knocked out by her 32-pound dog Charlie when they clashed. Things got even more serious this week with another incident with Charlie. While having a chicken bone removed from his mouth, Charlie bit Mason’s finger, almost biting down to the bone. She ended up requiring surgery to repair her now nailless finger.
International doubles Mat Rogers enjoyed his first success in the NRL as an agent, delivering Wynnum hooker Jayden Berrell to one of his former clubs, Cronulla, via Rogers Sports Management, which launched last year.
“It is very fitting that we sign our first league contract with the former club,” said Rogers. “I feel like it was meant to be and now I have another reason to watch the Sharks. Jayden is a truly inspiring story. He was an Australian schoolboy who failed as a young player and at 26 he didn’t want to spend his life wondering if he could have been successful.
“He worked his butt, doing 15 hours a day in his job and training, and he deserved that start. I am so proud of what he did.
Bold like ice
Former Victoria’s Secret creative director and crazed South Sydney fan Kannon Rajah has teamed up with ex-NRL star Chris Walker to raise money for suicide prevention. Rajah was instrumental in creating the RLPA Players’ Champion Award and he is dedicated to a very important cause.
Rajah used his star-studded contact book to bring “The Iceman” Wim Hof on board as they invite celebrities and sports stars to take an ice bath and post it online. Russell Brand joined us, as did many Walker’s comrades and entire NRL teams, including the Cowboys.
Visit fundmychallenge.com or whitecloudfoundation.org for more information.
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