CARNEY MAKES SHIRE MOVE
Troubled former Rooster and Raider Todd Carney has made his much-rumoured move to the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks official today, signing a lucrative deal to have him playing in the Shire until the end of 2013.
Carney met with NRL CEO David Gallop this morning ahead of signing what is remarked as his "last chance in the NRL". Further off-field indiscretions and any release or sacking from the Sharks will almost certainly result in Todd being rubbed out of the NRL.
CAMERON SMITH WANTS AUSTRALIAN CAPTAINCY
Storm, Maroons and Kangaroos hooker Cameron Smith has candidly revealed he is keen to take over the captaincy reins of the Australian team in 2012 after the departure of Darren Lockyer. Already saddled with the captaincy of his club side Melbourne, the Kangaroos role would almost certainly mean Smith would take the Maroons captaincy as well in next year's State of Origin series, which opens on May 23 in Melbourne.
CUTHBERTSON AT CLUB #4 AFTER SIGNING WITH NEWCASTLE
Adam Cuthbertson's reputation as a traveller may seem to be growing in stature, but the newly-signed Knights forward is looking forward to calling Newcastle home for years to come.
"I have moved around the last few years, which wasn't in my plans so it is exciting to sign a three-year deal with the Knights and to put all my energy into this Club," the 26-year old said.
Cuthbertson becomes yet another player to join Darius Boyd and head coach Wayne Bennett in moving from the southern steel city of Wollongong to the port city of Newcastle. Other players to make recent moves from south to north include Neville Costigan (2011), Chris Houston (2009) and Alex McKinnon (2012).
Read the full media release from the Newcastle Knights here.
RAIDERS DELIVER HIGH PERFORMANCE REVIEW
During the NRL Finals Series, the Canberra Raiders (after finishing 15th in the 2011 season) and their board commissioned a review of all levels of performance. Today the board issued its recommendations, with many of those taking effect immediately. It is hoped the new coaching and training structures will help deliver the Raiders back into the top eight in 2012 with the aim of working toward breaking an 18-year premiership drought, with the Raiders having not claimed any silverware or even appearing on Grand Final Day since their 36-12 shellacking of Canterbury in 1994.
The full results and recommendations of the review can be found here.
PANTHERS LOSE SANYO FROM SPONSORSHIP STABLE
The acquisition of Sanyo Oceania by the Panasonic Corporation and subsequent phasing out of the Sanyo brand has forced the long-term major sponsor of the Penrith Panthers to draw it's association with the mountain men to a close for the 2012 season. With the Sanyo name ceasing to operate in April next year, the Panthers will now look for a new suitor to take pride of place on the famous black jersey.
Sanyo Oceania were the Panthers major sponsor for a total of 12 seasons, one of the longest deals in the NRL alongside the Warriors' association with Vodafone New Zealand.
JOSH DELIGHT IN QUEENSLAND'S CAPITAL
The Brisbane Broncos have given themselves every chance of building a solid platform and club loyalty today with the dual contract extensions of Josh Hoffman and Josh McGuire through to the end of the 2015 season. Already contracted til the end of 2012, the pair have extended their stay at the club for a further three seasons. Recruitment and retention will become vitally important for the six-time premiers following the retirement of club stalwart Darren Lockyer at the conclusion of the 2011 season.
Read the full details from the Brisbane Broncos' media release here.
FOUR NATIONS STARTS SUNDAY!
If your off-season has been lacking, never fear! The action returns at 5:45am (AEDST) on Sunday morning! Yes, it's an early time to rise but it will be an unmissable clash between Australia and New Zealand to open the third annual Four Nations tournament in the northern hemisphere. We'll be covering every game of this series live (yes, our score updaters are that committed!), so log onto LeagueUnlimited.com at the following times to get the lowdown on the opening weekend of the Gillette Four Nations Tournament:
Saturday 29 October - Kickoff 6:00am (NSW/VIC/ACT/TAS), 5:00am (QLD)
Australia v New Zealand @ Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington UK
CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW THIS GAME LIVE
Sunday 30 October - Kickoff 12:30am (NSW/VIC/ACT/TAS), 11:30pm Sat 29th (QLD)
England v Wales @ Leigh Sports Village Stadium, Manchester UK
CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW THIS GAME LIVE
We'll keep bringing you news, views and more, all off-season via our website, Twitter feed (@LeagueUnlimited), and you can always have out say in our forums. Stay tuned in coming weeks for our NRL season reviews of EVERY club!