Anasta to fast track decision on future club

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Reserve Grader
Anasta to fast track decision on future club

By Brad Walter and Greg Prichard
July 2, 2005

NSW Origin star Braith Anasta wants to resolve his future before Wednesday night's match in Brisbane and may choose between South Sydney and Sydney Roosters as early as today.

While St George Illawarra's Daniel Holdsworth yesterday became the first signing after the expiry of the June 30 anti-tampering deadline when he joined the Bulldogs as Anasta's replacement, the Blues five-eighth remains keen to decide his future.

Anasta's agent, Greg Willett, yesterday spoke to Roosters chief executive Brian Canavan and his Souths counterpart Shane Richardson, who tabled a formal offer at a later meeting.

Willett will meet Canavan today and is expected to receive an official offer from the Roosters, who have made Anasta their No.1 recruitment target.

Souths also made bids for Melbourne's Matt Orford and Steve Bell; the latter is also the subject of an offer from Manly.

Bell's manager, Wade Fenton, confirmed the 29-year-old centre was keen to continue playing alongside Orford and it is understood the City Origin halfback wants to know whether Souths have signed Anasta before committing to the club.

Rabbitohs lock Ashley Harrison's future may also be largely dependent on Anasta, with the Roosters expected to make the Queensland forward their priority signing if they miss out on the Bulldogs playmaker.

Harrison will meet Souths officials after next week's Origin decider and may accept a $250,000-a-year offer to stay if they secure the services of Orford, Bell and Anasta. Fenton doesn't expect Bell to make a decision until late next week but Orford's agent, George Mimis, is expected to tell the Storm this weekend his client is going to Souths.

Anasta said he was keen to put aside the uncertainty surrounding his future: "I'd like to do something in the next few days," he said. "I don't want it to end up being a distraction [for Origin]."

Meanwhile, Cronulla and Melbourne are pursuing Maroons prop Ben Ross following Penrith's decision to release him.

In other news, Gold Coast managing director Michael Searle will speak with Bulldogs centre Jamaal Lolesi and Wests Tigers forward Anthony Laffranchi about joining the new club in 2007.

The Tigers, who are yet to re-sign Ben Galea and Shane Elford, are vying with the Sea Eagles for the services of Parramatta winger Matt Petersen.

Newcastle yesterday signed former Canberra prop Luke Davico for the next two seasons and extended the contract of former NSW Waratahs back Milton Thaiday until the end of 2007.

NSW forward Steve Simpson said he had clarified his contract status following talk that he may become a free agent after playing in next week's Origin decider.

Simpson has a clause in his four-year deal with Newcastle, which began last season, that leaves him free to negotiate if he plays six Origins, but amid the speculation it wasn't clear what date that clause started from.

"George [Mimis] checked the details and told me the Origin clause kicked in from the start of the new deal," Simpson said. "And that's fine. I wasn't looking to go anywhere anyway."

So in other words, Bell and Orford are going to the same club. If Manly are interested in Bell, then they better hope Anasta goes to the Roosters.


UFO Hunter
Souths are leaving a lot riding on Anasta. If they don't get him, Ill put my hand up and say for the next 10 years... they're Farked!
Team P W L PD Pts
17 14 3 141 34
17 11 6 125 28
16 11 5 116 28
18 11 7 209 26
16 9 7 65 24
16 9 7 48 24
17 9 8 -56 24
17 9 7 67 23
17 9 8 1 22
17 8 9 -91 22
18 8 10 25 20
17 7 10 -90 20
18 8 10 -97 20
18 7 10 -34 19
16 6 10 -59 18
17 4 13 -153 14
18 4 14 -217 12
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