Storm set for Kiwi owner
The Warriors may never have won an NRL title, but a Kiwi will own the game’s reigning premiers within the next few weeks.
A consortium backed by a mystery New Zealand multi millionaire is poised to buy out News Limited’s ownership of the Storm in coming days.
The Kiwi businessman met with Storm coach Craig Bellamy and senior players Cameron Smith and Billy Slater during the club’s successful World Club Challenge campaign recently and both parties walked away impressed.
Expect a formal announcement shortly. The buyout will end a long – and sometimes controversial partnership with media giant News Limited that saw the Storm win four titles since their inception in 1988, before being stripped of two of those premierships for salary cap rorting.
CEO set to roll
An NRL club chief executive will be leaving his post before the premiership is a month old. The CEO has not been getting on with his head coach and one had to go. The club’s board was well aware of the conflict – and decided the chief exec was expendable. Watch this space.
Barba set to sue over false claim
Ben Barba’s minders are looking into the possibility of taking legal action against one of the game’s biggest names of modern times. Only minutes after it was announced that the Bulldogs had stood Barba down, the former international went on commercial TV and breathlessly declared that Barba had been suspended for domestic violence – a claim his former partner Ainslie Currie has strongly denied. The lawyers are already rubbing their hands in anticipation of a big damages claim.
Souths line up to snaffle Farah
South Sydney are considering jumping into the queue to sign Robbie Farah for 2014. The Tigers skipper is coming off contract and is already attracting massive interest from the Eels and Ricky Stuart, his former State of Origin coach.
Souths coach Michael Maguire has had his differences with the Rabbitohs’ talented hooker Issac Luke and is considering making a bid for Farah to add to his strike power up front. Parra will start favourites to sign the Blues Origin star, but Souths have shown in recent seasons that when they chase a player, they usually come close to getting him.
Perry cops one back
Manly CEO David Perry found himself under fire at the NRL season launch. The Sea Eagles boss attempted small talk with a senior journalist, who had been continually snubbed by Perry each time he rang for a comment on a story. The scribe told him off in no uncertain terms, leaving a back-pedalling Perry flustered. Journos are hoping Manly's appointment of experienced PR man and former Fox Sports presenter Neil Evans will help the communication flow out of Brookvale.
Lote looking to Japan
Japanese rugby union would appear to be about the only door open to Lote Tuqiri should he wish to continue playing. Out for four months after more surgery on his broken arm, the dual international is unlikely to get a look in at the Tigers when he does return. LT will be 34 by the end of the season and won't be re-signed, leaving a return to union in Japan his only real option.