Wicks to join Grafton Ghosts

THE Grafton Ghosts have ignored the drug cloud hanging over Danny Wicks, signing the former Newcastle Knights star for the 2010 Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League (NRRRL) season.

Grafton Ghosts president Michael Rogan met with Wicks last night and confirmed the club had ‘agreed to terms’ with the former Ghosts junior.

“It’s all good,” Rogan said.

“He will be running out for the Ghosts in 2010.”

Wicks chose to break his silence in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph yesterday, speaking publicly for the first time since police arrested and charged him on eight drug-related matters in mid-December.

However, The Daily Examiner can reveal Wicks’ brother Brett, who also faces drug charges, has been granted a release from the Ghosts to sign with the club’s fierce rivals, the Grafton Rhinos.

Rhinos president Tony Stackhouse confirmed the signing yesterday morning.

Danny’s bail conditions stipulate he cannot come into contact with Brett, making it impossible for the pair to play together at the Ghosts.

The situation does raise questions about what would happen when the Ghosts play the Rhinos.

The Knights temporarily stood Wicks down the day of the police raid in December.

Days later the 24-year-old quit the club, stating he felt ‘obliged to disassociate myself from the club until the matter is resolved’.

The Daily Examiner made several attempts to contact Wicks yesterday, without success. His next court appearance has been put back from today till late March.

Wicks has indicated he intends to defend all charges.

Some of the revelations Wicks made to the Telegraph included:

He is broke and has placed his investment property at Iluka on the market to fund his legal defence;

He would like to return to the NRL as soon as possible;

He is living in a weatherboard beach house at Yamba built by his grandparents 70 years ago;

Has taken up smoking to calm his nerves;

He has received nothing but support since returning to the Clarence Valley;

Has trained with the Ghosts on several occasions.

NRRRL president Robin Harley said the Ghosts were yet to lodge registration papers for Wicks.

“At this stage ... Doug (Harrison, NRRRL secretary) hasn’t received any registration to that effect. I don’t know there’s too much I can say apart from I’d heard it (Wicks possibly playing for the Ghosts), and if it eventuates and he does register, we’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it,” Harley said.

“I suppose the notion of innocent until proven guilty still applies at this stage anyway.”

Harley said the NRRRL would act on the advice of the Country Rugby League (CRL) in determining any request made by the Ghosts to register Wicks for the 2010 season.

“It’s something we’ll (the NRRRL executive) certainly talk about and I guess by that stage we’ll have some guideline about whether it’s going to be possible or not (for Wicks to register),” he said.

CRL chief executive officer Terry Quinn echoed Harley’s sentiments.

“At this stage we’ve got to wait for the outcome of the court case,” Quinn said.

“At this stage we haven’t seen any application ... only what’s been in the press.

“So I guess we’ll wait and see the outcome of the court case and we’ll discuss it with the powers that be. He’s resigned from the Knights so he’s not under suspension. We’ll have a look at that first and once we have the application we’ll assess it then.

“We’d have to get a clearance from the Knights as well because that’s where his last registration was.”

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