Panthers general manager Phil Gould speaks to the media following Anthony Griffin’s sacking. Picture: AAP Image
Panthers general manager Phil Gould speaks to the media following Anthony Griffin’s sacking. Picture: AAP Image

Monday Buzz: Rugby league rumour mill out of control

THE rumour mill in rugby league is out of control.

The fact that no one respects a contract these days has led to unprecedented speculation about coaching movement in the NRL.

It's all a result of the ­domino effect of Anthony Griffin's sacking and huge doubts about the futures of Wayne Bennett at the Broncos and Trent Barrett at Manly despite both being under contract.

This is what I've heard from sources and on social media in the past two weeks.

PHIL Gould to St George Illawarra as general manager when Peter Doust retires.

BENNETT to the Penrith Panthers, Parramatta Eels, St George Illawarra or Gold Coast Titans. Take your pick.

PAUL Green to the Brisbane Broncos. Anthony Seibold to the Broncos.

IVAN Cleary to the Panthers. Barrett to the Panthers. Michael Maguire to the Panthers. John Cartwright to the Panthers. Again, take your pick.

DES Hasler to the Wests Tigers. Hasler to the Sea Eagles. Neil Henry to the Sea Eagles.

GRIFFIN to Leeds in the UK Super League.

Never has there been so much speculation about coaching uncertainty.

 

 

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Panthers general manager Phil Gould speaks to the media following Anthony Griffin’s sacking. Picture: AAP Image
Panthers general manager Phil Gould speaks to the media following Anthony Griffin’s sacking. Picture: AAP Image

 

In the old days a lot of this gossip and guesswork wouldn't make it into the public arena. Social media has changed all that.

And Gould telling us after he had sacked Griffin that 12 coaches, five from NRL clubs, had applied for the Panthers job.

Every year coaches are punted mid-contract and clubs waste millions paying them out.

Last year Hasler signed a two-year extension then was sacked less than six months later. It was almost an identical situation with Griffin at Penrith.

Jason Taylor was punted by the Tigers while still under contract. Maguire got the bullet from the Rabbitohs six months after extending his deal until 2019. Same too with Henry at the Titans.

Seriously, who would want to be a first grade coach? What bank manager would give them a home loan?

 

Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has been linked to several NRL clubs. Picture: AAP
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has been linked to several NRL clubs. Picture: AAP

 

Even Trent Robinson at the Roosters was supposed to have been under pressure six weeks ago.

Remember the rumour that Nick Politis was poised to do a package deal with Nathan and Ivan Cleary. Robinson ended up extending his contract for four years at the Chooks.

Now he's a contender for Dally M coach of the year.

Then the Clearys were ­rumoured to be going to the Broncos for Bennett and Kodi Nikorima.

Willie Mason said Green had lost the dressing shed in Townsville and was on the outer.

And apparently Dean Pay couldn't coach.

Despite the salary cap debacle that cost him Moses Mbye and Aaron Woods, we kept hearing he was under pressure at Belmore.

 

Manly coach Trent Barrett’s future is up in the air. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Manly coach Trent Barrett’s future is up in the air. Picture: Phil Hillyard

 

Brad Arthur was another one. He would be shown up in an internal review and pay the price for Parramatta's poor season. Never mind the fact he almost held the Eels together single-handedly through a salary cap scandal.

All this only happens in the NRL. At least other sports generally wait until the end of the season or honour contracts until they have been completed.

It's damaging because the back pages last week were all devoted to the Panthers, Griffin and Cleary. We didn't start talking about the big Souths-Roosters clash until game day and it didn't get the media build-up it probably deserved.

So, in this coaching madness, what's fact and what's not? We know Griffin's gone. We know Barrett has had enough at Manly. Just stay tuned for more.



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