Gillett backs Bird to have a big year

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 07: Jack Bird of the Broncos in action during the round five NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Brisbane Broncos at McDonald Jones Stadium on April 7, 2018 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Its only been one week into the NRL’s pre-season training, but that’s all the time Broncos second-rower Matt Gillett needs to be convinced Jack Bird is ready for a standout season for Brisbane.

Gillett admitted he felt sorry for Bird who had an injury-riddled 2018 debut campaign for the Broncos, only managing eight games for the club.

Bird, the former premiership winner with Cronulla, was plagued by shoulder and sternum issues throughout the 2018 season, but looks to be on the road to recovery starting the pre-season training with the squad.

The former Test back-rower believes Bird’s horrific year would be forgotten judging by what Gillett has seen from him on the training paddock.

Gillett told reporters Bird has the fire in his belly to succeed for the Broncos by getting healthy and putting in strong performances.


“I have had a couple of chats with him and he is very excited about ripping in this pre-season, being fully fit and getting out there starting the season with the Broncos in 2019,” Gillett said.

“He’s had one of those years that you don’t want to have.

“He would rather be out there with the boys riding the highs and lows. He is doing his best to get out there but it wasn’t his year.”

Bird signed a four-year deal reportedly worth $4 million dollars, but couldn’t catch a break in his first year at Brisbane.

There was speculation Bird might return home to Cronulla given his unhappy beginning at the Broncos, but Gillett has backed the near fully-fit utility to have a big impact in 2019.

“There was a lot of expectation with Birdy coming up here. He would have felt that pressure,” Gillett said.

“His shoulder was a late issue and we had to get that right. There was the sternum as well.

“You’ve got to feel for Birdy. He came up here and just wanted to put that Broncos jersey on and do it proud but he wasn’t able to do that much due to injuries this year.

“He is definitely looking forward to getting the body right and performing from round one next year.”

Source:: ZeroTackle


Clubs push for NRL transfer window

A powerful faction of NRL clubs will on Wednesday begin a push to introduce a player transfer window.

The coaching carousel and proposed anti-tampering rules will be top of the agenda when the game’s governing body meets with all 16 club chief executives at NRL HQ.

However, there’s a belief within a group of clubs that coaches signing with rivals years in advance is the symptom of a deeper problem.

One CEO told AAP the root cause of the coaching merry-go-round was the fact players could sign with clubs a year out from their contract ending.

According to the club boss, who asked not to be named, instituting anti-tampering rules around coaches would only be a band-aid solution.

The only way to address it, he added, was to have an AFL-style transfer window.

They argue when a player begins negotiations one of their first questions asked is who will be coaching the team, leading clubs to shuffle mentors years in advance.

“Regulating the movement of coaching will only partially solve one issue,” the CEO told AAP.

“But the root cause of this is a lack of system or structure around the November 1 deadline.

“Until we institute a trade or transfer window, we’re going to see more and more of this speculation around players and coaches.”

Under NRL rules, players cannot sign with a rival over a year out from the end of their deal and there is a push for coaches to be bound by the same rules.

The issue came to a head when Ivan Cleary signed with Penrith, Anthony Seibold with Brisbane and Wayne Bennett with South Sydney over a year out from the end of their contracts.

A transfer window was discussed during a phone hook up of club bosses last month.

And it’s understood that it has widespread support in clubland and they will on Wednesday ask the NRL to change the rules as early as next year.

While the proposal hasn’t been set in stone, it’s anticipated it will run for three to four weeks following the end-of-season Tests.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg earlier in the year said he did not oppose a transfer window, however, was wary clubs would wheel and deal “underground” regardless.

The Rugby League Players’ Association said they did not necessarily oppose a transfer window, however, there was a lot to be weighed up including players’ job security and rules already in place under the collective bargaining agreement.

“Any changes to the player movement system would need to be evidence-based and consider the intended and unintended consequences, while ensuring the rights of players, key stakeholders and the competition are protected,” RLPA CEO Ian Prendergast said.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.

Source:: SportsNews


New proposal to end ‘coaching-merry-go-round’

CAMPBELLTOWN, NEW SOUTH WALES – AUGUST 11: Wests Tigers NRL coach Ivan Cleary speaks to the media during a press conference at Wests Leagues Club on August 11, 2018 in Campbelltown, Australia. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

A new proposal which could potentially be launched by the NRL will see coaches facing suspensions for signing with rival clubs if there is more than a year left to run on their original contracts.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the new rules will be discussed in a meeting of NRL chief executives in Sydney on Tuesday morning in a bid to put a stop to the end-of-season coaching merry-go-round which occurred at the end of 2018.

Ivan Cleary signed on at Penrith despite still having two more years left on his contract with the Wests Tigers, reuniting with his son Nathan Cleary.

South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold put pen to paper at the Brisbane Broncos for the 2020 season, instigating a future swap with current Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett.

Currently in discussion, the new proposal sees that coaches will not be allowed to sign on at a other clubs with more than a year before coming off-contract.


If they do, coaches will then be facing suspensions for impeaching the rules, with the clubs too facing huge fines.

Under the current NRL rules, players seeking a club switch cannot be formally signed or registered until they come inside the final year of their existing contract which occurs from November 1 each year.

The proposed rule changes will see the same guidelines be applied to coaches signing under that same deadline.

The NRL CEO’s meeting is an attempt to put an end to the constant coaching merry-go-round which no doubt frustrated many fans and tarnished the game of rugby league.

Source:: ZeroTackle