United or divided?
DESPITE verbally agreeing to join the Cudgen Hornets in the Gold Coast competition next season, the immediate future of Northern United rugby league players Fred Waters and Chris Swan remains in doubt.
The Tweed Daily News reported this week that both men had signed to play for Cudgen in 2012.
However, Northern United secretary Grantley Creighton is adamant that neither player has put pen to paper with the Hornets and they are likely to remain at the Dirawongs next season.
"We haven't received any paper work from Cudgen, and Fred and Chris have made a verbal commitment to us," Creighton said.
"They haven't officially signed, but we're waiting for them to get back in contact with us."
Cudgen president Graham Lawrence is confident Waters and Swan will make the move north.
"It's a busy time of year and negotiations have been slow, but we're close to signing both of them," Lawrence said.
"We advertised for new players and Fred came to us.
"We've met with his family and we've helped him line up some employment on the Gold Coast.
"Chris has told me he plans to travel up for training and games, but will remain in Lismore for work."
The Dirawongs have already lost second-rowers Grant Brown and Jerry Byres (Lower Clarence) and centre Brenton Cochrane (Wee Waa) for next season.
But Creighton remains confident the Dirawongs will be successful in 2012.
"We lost a number of players at the end of 2009 and we've always been able to recover when blokes have left," he said.
"We're in talks with about five or six quality first-graders who are keen to come across to us from other clubs.
"You can replace anyone in this competition, but we'd love to keep Fred and Chris."
Kyogle Turkeys centre David Briggs signed to play with Cudgen last year, but was granted a release before the first game.