NRL

Warriors to stay in Australia

The club's chief executive Cameron George announced this morning that captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and his team have reaffirmed their commitment to stay in Australia and continue in the 2020 competition in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Warriors players met last night and voted to remain.

The team has spent this week in camp in Kingscliff in northern New South Wales ahead of their second-round game against the Canberra Raiders on the Gold Coast tomorrow night.

Tigers and Storm claim NRL wins

The hosts made a flying start when Mikaele Ravalawa was awarded a penalty try in the second minute – Corey Thompson shoving the Fijian to the floor as he was about to ground an in-goal kick at the end of a 70-metre run.

David Nofoaluma grabbed a clever kick from the inspired Benji Marshall, who booted eight points, to level matters but Zac Lomax went over and added his own extras to ensure the Dragons led 12-8 at the break.

NRL to ban mass gatherings

In a statement, the NRL said it will follow the advice from Federal and State governments.

“This means from Round Two, all games will be played within closed stadiums and spectators will not be allowed to attend Telstra Premiership games until further notice,” NRL stated.

Off-contract Asiata feeling the heat

After moving to Townsville as a teenager to launch his NRL career, the utility finds himself without a club in 2021 and hopes a strong start to this year's Telstra Premiership season will help his cause.

"I would be lying if I said I was not fazed at all because it is a tough period," Asiata said.

"I have a wife and two kids and all you want to do is make sure there is security behind your career."

Before Christmas, Asiata met the Gold Coast and toured their facility after Titans coach Justin Holbrook expressed an interest in the 26-year-old.

Seibold dismisses Ponga talk

Knights chief executive Philip Gardner this week stated that the Broncos are a "bigger" threat than New Zealand Rugby as he strives to tie Ponga down to a new deal.

The 21-year-old Queensland State of Origin full-back, who has made no secret of his desire to play for the All Blacks, is contracted until the end of next year, so he will be a free agent to NRL clubs on November 1 if Newcastle cannot agree an extension.

Broncos coach Seibold rates Ponga highly, but says salary-cap restrictions would make a move for the livewire Knights man unlikely.

NRL star Kalyn Ponga reportedly offered chance to play for All Blacks at 2023 World Cup

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting the 21-year-old will sign a four-year deal with the Newcastle Knights, worth a staggering $4.5m.

However according to the report, the fullback’s new contract will include an option that would allow him to try his hand at rugby and attempt to crack the All Blacks’ side for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Born in Western Australia, Ponga spent five years in New Zealand from the age of eight years old until 13 and has Maori heritage through his Kiwi parents.

Sharks block Josh Morris' request

Josh Morris, 33, was reported to have requested a move to the Roosters to play alongside his brother Brett.

Sharks coach John Morris confirmed the veteran was considering his options, but ruled out a move for the New South Wales representative.

"There was an enquiry there around Josh's side and I think our fans and members deserve the full truth," he told the NRL website.

Sonny Bill Williams allowed to cover Betfred logo on jersey

Super League chief executive Robert Elstone says an agreement has been reached with Betfred - one of the UK's biggest betting companies. Gambling is considered 'haram' or forbidden in Islam, along with other practices like drinking alcohol. 

Williams converted from Christianity to Islam in 2009 and was the first Muslim to play for the All Blacks. 

"I think the matter has been resolved in satisfactory fashion," said Elstone. "I have say a big 'thank you' to Betfred for the way they've managed this.

Michael Cheika swaps Wallabies for NRL coaching role with Roosters

Sydney's Daily Telegraph reported that Cheika is assisting Roosters coach Trent Robinson - a longtime friend - by working with the Sydney club's coaches and the players' attacking skills.

"He is helping push myself and the assistant coaches to improve and challenging our ideas and helping push us again in 2020," Robinson said.

Cheika quit the Wallabies after five years in charge following their Rugby World Cup quarterfinal defeat in 2019.

Paramatta Eels star Sivo granted bail

The 26 year-old winger is alleged to have indecently assaulted a female staff of a resort on Denarau.

The incident is alleged to have taken place on Boxing Day.

Sivo’s lawyer Mosese Naivalu in court pleaded for his client to be released on bail and stated that the Paramatta Eels winger was scheduled to return to Sydney later this week for pre-season training.

Bail was granted by Magistrate Peni Dalituicama, however a stop departure order was placed on Sivo.

The case will be called again on the 7th of January 2020 for plea.