Player Movement news from SMH

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Chip and Chase

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Sorry if this has been posted already, but some interesting rumours

Benji factor may entice Morris to Tigers
Email Print Normal font Large font Brad Walter
June 20, 2006

PARRAMATTA utility John Morris is expected to decide within days whether to follow South Sydney-bound forward Dean Widders out of the club and join Wests Tigers as a replacement for departing halfback Scott Prince.

Morris, who has played mostly five-eighth in his four seasons with the Eels, was identified by the Tigers as their first choice to partner Benji Marshall in the halves next season and is considering an offer.

With other players becoming available after the June 30 anti-tampering deadline expires, possibly including boom Dragons halfback Mathew Head, the Tigers have asked Morris for a reply this week and have several options should he reject them.

However, the 25-year-old former Newcastle hooker is almost certain to leave the Eels at the end of the season and the Tigers hope the lure of playing alongside Marshall will sway him.

"We should know one way or the other by the end of the week," Tigers football manager Warren McDonnell said. "He's got permission to negotiate so we'll see what happens with him first and go from there but June 30 is just around the corner. Mathew Head is off contract and there's a couple of others around that we're looking at if we don't get him."

Manly's Travis Burns may also be an option, with the 21-year-old former Cronulla halfback likely to go on the open market.

Despite an interest in signing former Eels international Jamie Lyon from St Helens, Sea Eagles chief executive Paul Cummings said the club wanted to keep Burns and had made him an offer.

With Manly captain Ben Kennedy retiring at the end of the season and the Tigers losing second-rower Anthony Laffranchi to the new Gold Coast franchise as well as prop John Skandalis to England, both clubs will be in the market for a strike forward but one player they have already missed out on is Widders, who is expected to be confirmed today as Souths' latest signing.

Widders was appointed yesterday to the National Indigenous Council, an advisory body to the Federal Government.

The Rabbitohs yesterday followed up their signing of Melbourne back-rower David Kidwell by securing his New Zealand teammate Nigel Vagana from Cronulla for the next two years and are also believed to have a strong chance of snaring Bulldogs prop Roy Asotasi.

Bulldogs officials conceded they were unable to compete with the huge money Souths could offer or the star quality of having Oscar winner and club co-owner Russell Crowe involved in the negotiations.

Former Test centre Willie Tonga has not ruled out remaining at the Bulldogs next season but the fact the Belmore-based club is negotiating with Dragons centre Daryl Millard suggests they don't expect him to stay.

Dragons CEO Peter Doust said Millard had asked for permission to talk to rival clubs, while prop Michael Henderson was free to speak only with the Titans.

The Dragons still hope to resign Head, Henderson, Ben Creagh, Justin Poore and Ashton Sims before June 30.

In other recruitment news, Gold Coast have signed Melbourne fullback Steve Turner and are strongly linked to his international teammate Jake Webster, but the Storm yesterday retained forward Antonio Kaufusi and have snared teenage five-eighth Michael Bond from Brisbane.

Eels fullback Wade McKinnon is tipped to join the Warriors, who have not yet made an offer to their custodian Brent Webb. "Brent's as popular as ice-cream in summer," Webb's manager Jim Banaghan said. "Everyone can hear the music except the Warriors."

Goalkicking Cowboys centre Josh Hannay is also expected to be on the player transfer market after June 30 but Cronulla yesterday re-signed lock Greg Bird.
"Brent's as popular as ice-cream in summer," Webb's manager Jim Banaghan said. "Everyone can hear the music except the Warriors."

What a class act this fool is. Not once in the last 3 years has this bloke made a sensible comment in the media. Its a contract negotiation, not a sale at the local markets.

I tell you this much.....if I was a current player, I would represent myself before appointing this crass mouthpiece.

His last name should be "bantheman"

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