The Grapple on Sport 101.5 2019-07-11

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The Grapple: 11 July Welcome to commentary addition to Mal Lucas to the team

Time Segment
6.02-6.12pm Segment 1: Introduction

Interview 1: Shaun Carre, Wheelchair Rugby League

6.12 -6.18pm Segment 2: Panel

·       Interview follow up

·       SOO Game 3 review

·       NRL round 16 results

·       Local games – results and preview next round:

o   ISC


o   Brisbane

6.22-6.30pm Segment 3: Interview 2: Shane Moon

·       Comments, SOO game 3 (with panel)

·       Cowboys news

·       Niff Nuff Award

6.30-6.38pm Segment 4: Panel: Rugby League news

o   Canberra have continued to plunder the English ranks by signing “the best halfback” in the Super League, George Williams, on a three-year deal beginning next NRL season. Williams becomes the fifth English player on the Raiders books next year, joining fellow internationals Josh Hodgson, John Bateman and Elliott Whitehead. The 24-year-old Williams has played 172 games and won two championships with Wigan in 2016 and 2018 alongside NRL breakout star Bateman. The incumbent English five-eighth has also played 10 Tests for England.

o   Plenty happening at the Eels as 2 fan favourites likely to move on with Manu Ma’u to take up an offer with English Super League club Hull FC and Bevan French off to Wigan.

Ma’u will join Hull from 2020 on a two-year deal, despite rival NRL clubs and the Eels putting in offers to try and keep him in Australia. French, a prolific tryscorer in his early days with the Eels in 2016-17 is out of favour with the Eels and languishing in the Canterbury Cup with the Wentworthville Magpies. The Wigan club has made French an offer for next season and the 23-year-old could make the move even before then.

Eels also set to undergo further changes to its squad, with Tepai Moeroa considering a code switch to Super Rugby although latest news is that CRONULLA are circling Parramatta’s him as a possible replacement for club legend Paul Gallen. Moeroa seems certain to leave the Eels at the end of the season, with the NSW Waratahs keen to lure him back to rugby union, where he played in the GPS competition for Newington College.

Brad Arthur is on the lookout for a prop with George Burgess linked to the club. The club is also said to be close to signing off on a one-year extension for young prop Daniel Alvaro. The front-rower was also linked with a move to the UK but has decided to stay put with the Eels

o   Wests Tigers are attempting to poach arguably the most improved player in the NRL this season: Manly centre Brad Parker.

o   Justin Holbrook is the most wanted man in coaching at the moment – with the Bulldogs and Titans both chasing the St Helens boss. Bulldogs boss Andrew Hill even flew to England this week to talk to the former NRL halfback. Holbrook is the next big thing in coaching and the two struggling NRL clubs have recognised that. But if the Bulldogs do sign Holbrook, may not necessarily mean the end for Dean Pay next season. Pay still has the support of Bulldogs powerbrokers Lynne and Chris Anderson with the plan being to make Holbrook Pay’s assistant in 2020 – and then possibly have him take over the reins in 2021.

o   Anthony Seibold has raided the Titans and pinched one of the Gold Coast’s most promising talents as his roster of rising young stars continues to grow with Jesse Arthars set to join the Broncos on a two-year deal for 2020. Arthars’ capture adds to a growing number of highly-acclaimed youngsters at the Broncos, which includes Kotoni Staggs, Thomas Dearden, David Fifita and Payne Haas. A Runaway Bay Seagull junior, Arthars first worked with Seibold during his time in the systems of Melbourne and Souths.

o   Titans signed England centre Kallum Watkins on a two-and-a-half-year contract. The 25-cap international arrived in the country last week but doesn’t appear on team sheet against Penrith tomorrow night.

·       Warriors prop Agnatius Paasi has signed a contract extension that will keep him with the club until the end of 2022.

6.42-6.58 Segment 4: Greg McCallum

Our resident NRL expert former 1st grade referee, English Super League boss and Chairman of the NRL March Review Committee for 10 years:

·        Comments SOO game 3

·        2 old men of rl will play their 400th and 300th NRL games respectively – 36 year old Cameron Smith and the youngster at 34 years Benji Marshall

o   Cameron Smith- 2,500 NRL points, 42 SOO, 56 Tests and 4 All Stars –Dally M player of the year, hooker, captain, rep player, Golden Boot x 2, premierships, World club challenge

o   Benji: 1,175 NRL points, 28 Tests for NZ, captain 2008-2012, World Cup, 4 All Stars, 2005 premiership and that flick pass to Pat Richards

·        NRL Round 17 previews

6.58 Sign off