Rugby League


Morgan wins race for Kangaroos five-eighth spot

In the absence of Johnathan Thurston, Michael Morgan will start at five-eighth for Australia against England.

Michael Morgan will start at five-eighth in Australia's Rugby League World Cup opener against England on Friday.

With Johnathan Thurston absent from the tournament due to a shoulder injury, Mal Meninga has picked the North Queensland Cowboys star to join Cooper Cronk in the halves.

Morgan was handed the number six jersey ahead of James Maloney of Cronulla Sharks and Melbourne Storm's Cameron Munster.

"All of my games bar one for Australia have been off the bench in a different role," Morgan said prior to Tuesday's team announcement from the reigning champions.

"It's where I prefer to play, so look I'd feel comfortable if given the opportunity. I'm under no illusions there's plenty of competition. Just to be in the side, I'll be happy with.


Cronk won't ruin Melbourne legacy with Sydney switch - Slater

Melbourne Storm icon Billy Slater has backed former team-mate Cooper Cronk to carry on playing, even if he does leave for NRL rivals.

Billy Slater says fellow Melbourne Storm hero Cooper Cronk will not tarnish his legacy with the NRL premiers if he opts for a switch to Sydney rather than retiring.

Cronk brought 13 glittering years with the Storm to an end in fitting fashion, winning his fourth Grand Final as North Queensland Cowboys were thrashed 34-6.

Both Slater and Cronk are one-club men, but the latter's agent has suggested that the 33-year-old playmaker is determined to play on, having reportedly targeted deals with Sydney Roosters or South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Having backed his old colleague to continue playing, even if Cronk does cross the Victoria-New South Wales divide, Slater says he will have a lasting impact at AAMI Park.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he decides to retire or play on to be honest," Slater told


Walters to join Broncos as assistant after Maroons renewal

The Queensland Rugby League announced Kevin Walters' renewal on Monday after he guided the Maroons to State of Origin glory in 2017.

Queensland Maroons head coach Kevin Walters has extended his contract until 2020, with the added role as assistant at the Brisbane Broncos in the NRL.

The Queensland Rugby League announced Walters' renewal on Monday after the 50-year-old guided the Maroons to State of Origin glory over New South Wales in 2017.

While continuing as head coach, Walters – who was linked to the Gold Coast Titans – will also work as an assistant to Wayne Bennett at the Broncos during the 2018 NRL season.

"I love coaching Queensland and I'm grateful that I can continue on in this role as we have a lot more work to do," Walters said.

"I'm also excited about the opportunity to be involved in the NRL again. I can't thank both the QRL and the Broncos enough for the opportunity."


Boyd 'very close' to new Broncos deal

Skipper Darius Boyd is expecting to commit his future to Brisbane Broncos "in the next few weeks".

Brisbane Broncos chief executive Paul White has revealed that captain Darius Boyd is "very close" to signing a new contract.

The inspirational full-back's deal is about to come to an end, but negotiations between the Broncos and his representatives are ongoing.

Broncos CEO White expects terms to be agreed with the 30-year-old Queensland Maroons star in the near future.

"He's very close [to re-signing]. We're just finalising some of the finer details," White said.

"It's a big contract for Darius and our club so we want to get it right. We've been comfortable with the process right throughout. 

"I've worked with Darius's manager and with Darius himself. We're getting pretty close. We'll hopefully have an announcement during the next few weeks."

White added that the Broncos are happy to bide their time in the search for new recruits.


Cronk wants to play in 2018, says agent

Australia playmaker Cooper Cronk, 33, wants to play on in the NRL in 2018 after leaving Melbourne Storm.

Former Melbourne Storm star Cooper Cronk is keen to continue his NRL career in Sydney, his agent has confirmed.

The 33-year-old Australia playmaker has been widely expected to play on in 2018 after leaving Melbourne following their Grand Final success.

However, the possibility remained that Cronk would retire, but his agent – George Mimis – said on Friday the half-back wanted to extend his career.

"I caught up with Cooper today. Since the Grand Final he has been reflecting on his possibilities," Mimis told The Daily Telegraph.

"Today he has advised me that his inclination will be to continue to play should the right opportunity present itself.

"So I will now embark on having some relevant conversations and see where they take us."


Wests Tigers centre Idris retires at 27

After his rugby league comeback was ended by a serious knee injury in May, 27-year-old Wests Tigers centre Jamal Idris has retired.

Wests Tigers centre Jamal Idris has announced his retirement from rugby league aged 27.

Idris took a break from the sport in 2016 but returned with Wests Tigers this year, though an anterior cruciate ligament injury ended his season in May.

He featured for New South Wales in the opening game of the 2010 State of Origin series and his sole appearance for the Kangaroos came in the 2011 Anzac Test against New Zealand.

In a statement on his Instagram page, Idris wrote: "Thank you all for sharing this game and journey with me unfortunately due to injury it's ended my time at 27 in this great game.

"The game has given me so much, more than anything it has given me character a way to express myself and the ability to change the lives of others.


Brennan named Titans coach

Garth Brennan has been appointed the new coach of the Gold Coast Titans on a three-year deal.

The Gold Coast Titans appointed Garth Brennan as their new head coach for the next three seasons.

Brennan, who has held numerous head coaching positions at lower levels and has previously been an assistant at the Newcastle Knights and Penrith Panthers in the NRL, takes charge until the end of 2020.

The 45-year-old becomes the third full-time coach in the Titans' history, following on from John Cartwright and Neil Henry.

"I'm really thrilled about the opportunity I have now at the Gold Coast Titans," Brennan said in a statement on Thursday.

"I'm excited by the current roster and quality of group that I am going to take control of.


Storm, Cowboys to meet in round three in 2018

Melbourne Storm will host the North Queensland Cowboys in round three next year in an NRL Grand Final rematch.

The North Queensland Cowboys only have to wait until round three next year to try to gain a measure of revenge against Melbourne Storm.

Melbourne were crowned 2017 premiers earlier this month after a 34-6 win over the Cowboys in the NRL Grand Final.

The teams will meet in round three in 2018, with Storm hosting the clash at AAMI Park on March 22.

The NRL released the full draw for next season on Thursday.

The St George Illawarra Dragons host the Brisbane Broncos in the season opener on March 8, while Melbourne take on the Canterbury Bulldogs two days later.

The Sydney Roosters, who may have former Storm star Cooper Cronk in their ranks, take on the Wests Tigers in their opener.


Warrington pull off Roberts coup

Tyrone Roberts is "excited to rip in and compete for some trophies" at Warrington after turning his back on Gold Coast Titans.

Warrington Wolves have pulled off a coup by signing Gold Coast Titans half-back Tyrone Roberts on a three-year deal.

The playmaker rejected a new deal with the Titans and was also linked with NRL rivals Wests Tigers, but has opted for a new challenge in Super League.

Roberts, 26, will be expected to play a key role in a new era at Warrington under fellow Australian Steve Price, who recently took over as head coach following the departure of the long-serving Tony Smith.

"I'm very excited to be joining the Warrington Wolves." Roberts said. "My family and I can't wait to get over there and start this new chapter in our lives.

"I'm excited to rip in and compete for some trophies and meet all the passionate fans.


Farah hints at 2018 retirement and rules out Super League move

Hull KR have been linked with Robbie Farah, but the 33-year-old said a switch to Super League is not in his plans.

South Sydney Rabbitohs hooker Robbie Farah says he harbours no ambitions of playing in Super League and revealed he could retire next year.

Farah recently completed his 15th season in the NRL and is preparing to captain Lebanon at the upcoming World Cup.

Newly promoted Hull KR have been linked with a move for the 33-year-old, but Farah says a move to England is not on his agenda.

"I don't think I have any ambitions to go over there," he said.

"If something comes up then you cross that path if and when it does come up, but if you're asking me right now then it's a no."

Farah is not ruling out playing on beyond the 2018 campaign, but said there is a chance next season will be his last.

"You're never going to say whether it is or isn't, but I'm off contract next year," he added.


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