Matt King holds loyalty card close to his chest

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First Grader
By Steve Mascord
May 21, 2005

NSW winger Matt King yesterday said loyalty counted for little in rugby league and he would not be re-signing with Melbourne in the immediate future.

Debutant King and his fellow Blues were presented with their jerseys at Australia Square yesterday. Earlier in the week, Storm coach Craig Bellamy said King's form was being adversely affected by speculation about his future.

The 25-year-old winger conceded Bellamy might be right, but the fate of his brothers, Andrew and Chris, in rugby league had taught him to take care of himself first.

"There is a bit of loyalty [to Melbourne] there but I've got a couple of brothers who didn't get treated too well during their careers," he said.

Chris King was a forward with Parramatta for the best part of a decade, while fullback/winger Andrew played for Gold Coast, Manly and South Sydney.

"I think it just finished in a way that was a bit disrespectful," King said of their careers.

"Chris was at Parramatta for 10 years and everyone talks about the boys showing loyalty to clubs - Parra didn't show him much loyalty when he was at the end of his career. The same thing happened to Andrew in a few of the clubs he went to."

King and Blues prop Luke Bailey remain uncontracted for next season and look likely to go onto the open market on June 30.

"I haven't even spoken to my manager about it in a while," King said. "I just want to concentrate on this game.

After the jersey ceremony, the Blues held an opposed session with the Sydney Roosters' premier league side behind closed doors at Wentworth Park.

Injury doubts Anthony Minichiello (back) and Anthony Watmough (hip flexor) completed the full session but fullback Minichiello complained of a heavy chest afterwards and was sent for medical tests. He has been placed on a course of antibiotics but is not in doubt for the Suncorp Stadium clash with Queensland next Wednesday.

The Maroons had a boxing and cardiovascular session at Runaway Bay and broke camp until tomorrow, when they will train behind closed doors at Gold Coast Stadium.

While NSW coach Ricky Stuart has said he had no concerns about the way the game will be controlled by referee Paul Simpkins, Queensland's Michael Hagan has reserved the right to talk to referees coach Robert Finch.

NSW winger Luke Rooney said he would be marking Matt Sing, with King up against Origin rookie Ty Williams.

George Mimis, the manager of the Storm's Matt Orford and King, has lashed out at a rival agent for claiming they have both already come to terms with Manly for next year.

Jim Banaghan, acting for Sea Eagles captain Michael Monaghan, had told the Herald the club's treatment of his client proved it had signed fellow halfback Orford for next season.

But Mimis said: "Mr Banaghan has a lack of understanding of the NRL's rules if he honestly believes such discussions have taken place before June 30.

"The allegation is fanciful, unfounded rubbish."

Banaghan met Manly executive director Paul Cummings yesterday to head off a feud. He said he would be calling Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler at 8am on Monday regarding Monaghan "and we should have a deal around about 8.01".

NRL chief executive David Gallop said it would be difficult to pursue an anti-tampering investigation without a formal complaint.

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