NRL

NRL stars warned for flashing gang signs during games and post-match interviews

A number of high-profile stars including Josh Addo-Carr, Jack Wighton and Brian To'o have made public gestures or have been photographed with rap groups with the images then often posted on social media without their knowledge.

When Addo-Carr made a symbol during a post-match interview last year, a social media account for "drill" rapper Hooligan Hefs re-posted it with the caption "LETS FKN TROT !! congrats brother".

Addo-Carr denied he was making gang signs, saying it held a deeper meaning to him.

Maroons fullback Allan joins Bulldogs on three-year deal

Allan trained with his new club on Monday after South Sydney granted him permission to explore his options elsewhere given Latrell Mitchell blocked his path to the Rabbitohs' No.1 jumper.

A breakout 2020 campaign that ended with a Maroons debut at fullback debut saw Allan's value and standing rise accordingly, with Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett chuffed at adding another quality recruit to his ongoing rebuild.

Palmerston North teen on the path to playing in the NRL

Maraki Aumua, 16, leaves on Monday for Townsville where he will join the North Queensland Cowboys and head straight into pre-season training with the NRL squad.

The talented goal-kicking five-eighth was spotted at a touch tournament and signed to a six-year deal last year.

He has just finished year 11 at Palmerston North Boys’ High School, where he was in the first XV rugby team, but he will go to Kirwin State High School, a top Australian school for league, to finish his schooling.

NRL: Level of scrutiny biggest challenge for officials says new refs boss

Announced in the role on Wednesday, Maxwell said there were "not many other sports worldwide" where officials are under the same scrutiny as the NRL.

The NRL has failed to come to an agreement with its referees after scrapping the two-referee system.

"It's a challenging sport," he said. "As previous people have been in these shoes they ... try and create an environment that is not about the officials and get the balance between the continuity of the sport and the compliance levels."

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Stacked roster means all Raiders spots up for grabs

After a challenging 2020 season in which Canberra fell a game short of a return to the grand final, the depth at the club has been boosted by the performances of several younger players in an impressive second half of the year.

Croker even includes his own spot as one that will have to be won back.

The likes of Matt Timoko and Harley Smith-Shields are doing the hard yards at training to stake their claim for Croker's centre position in the opening rounds of 2021 while the 30-year-old continues his recovery from off-season shoulder surgery.

Panthers boss adamant contracts won't disrupt 2021 campaign

The NRL runners-up will return to pre-season training on December 14 but much of the focus throughout the side's break has centred around their young off-contract stars, including Stephen Crichton and Jarome Luai.

Fletcher maintains the Panthers, aside from losing skipper James Tamou, should be in a position to challenge for the title again in 2021 after falling short in October.

Fetu Samoa name squad for Kiwi Ferns clash

Eight of the 20-strong squad were involved in last weekend's NZRL women's grand final, while six players have been selected from the Farah Palmer Cup rugby union competition, including Manusina international Nina Foaese.

Masuisui Pauaraisa will lead Fetu Samoa against New Zealand for the second year running while Aieshaleigh Smalley has swapped black for blue, having been a part of the New Zealand team that outclassed Samoa 46-8 last June.

Souths season continues

The Eels led 18-8 at half time much to the delight of the home crowd before Damien Cook fired up the Rabbitohs with a hand in three tries as they rattled up 30 points in 40 minutes after the break.

Parramatta's week started with first Maika Sivo being lost to injury, then Blake Ferguson being scratched as well, before Michael Jennings was suspended yesterday for failing a drugs test.

A showdown with minor premiers Penrith next Saturday night is their reward, Wayne Bennett once more delivering them to within 80 minutes of another grand final.

Star Penrith forward Viliame Kikau banned by NRL judiciary for dangerous tackle

Kikau was on Tuesday night found guilty at the NRL judiciary of endangering Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and banned for one match.

The suspension came after his legal team failed with their argument that the Sydney Roosters prop had contributed by dipping his body and making the situation look worse.

The verdict comes as a blow to Penrith's hopes of playing in their first grand final in 17 years, given Kikau is the most damaging second-rower in the competition.

Fears rugby league players from region missing out on NRL due to Covid-19

The global pandemic has wreaked havoc on the domestic game in Aotearoa, with the national secondary schools and youth tournaments among a host of events to be cancelled.

Experienced administrator and rugby league agent, Jordan Friend, said the coronavirus has been devastating for the development of young players in New Zealand.

"Cancellations of these tournaments will affect players in terms of less exposure, but also mentally for kids not getting that opportunity," he said.