Should clubs be allowed to pursue on-contract players? Manly captain Jamie Lyon was subjected to a big offer from the Gold Coast Titans to leave the Sea Eagles immediately. Photo: Brendan Esposito
NORMALLY in Discord, we throw up some strident opinion or another and offer you the opportunity to agree or disagree.
But this week, I'm going to give you a topic rather than an opinion and simply open the floor to you.
Michael Jennings swapping clubs two months before the start of the season. Jamie Lyon – the captain of Manly – being approached to quit the club immediately.
Do you care?
I remember, in the primeval past, writing stories about clubs accusing others of “inducing players to breach their contracts”. But those stories don't seem to be written anymore.
It seems to be the modus operandi of clubs that players will be unhappy at rival joints and even though they are under contract, we can actually have them now.
And their current club will pay them to play for us! I never quite got my head around that…..
Discord never cared if a star signed with a rival club for next season and was paraded at a mid-season media conference in that club's colours. But you did – and the practice was unofficially outlawed.
But you don't seem to care about a player starting pre-season training – or even a season – with one club and finishing it with another. You don't seem to mind the fact a contract is worth nada these days.
Or maybe you do. Tell me at the bottom of this column.
BY now you've read a number of tributes to Jon Mannah. I probably had less to do with him than many other reporters.
But when I heard of his passing, I had to ask myself the questions: does death teach us more about the nature and value of life, or is it just something we say to make ourselves feel better?
Certainly, Jon's friends and family are beyond such esoteric considerations right now – and understandably so.
But I think many people will look at Jon Mannah's bravery and make better choices in their lives as a result. The realisation that it can all end at any time is something that dawns on most of us later in life and hopefully encourages us to make better use of the time we have.
At 23, Jon Mannah shouldn't have had to worry about that.
IT'S interesting that Wigan coach Shaun Wane has admitted fullback Sam Tomkins will not be spending his entire career with the club.
Wane is already trialling other fullbacks in the pre-season, even though England's best player will be at DW Stadium at least until the end of next year.
It's hard to see Tomkins joining another Super League club. The leaves the NRL at rugby union.
Let's hope it's the NRL.
THANKS for all the comments last week. Long Xuyen wanted to bring replacements down to three with no-one who comes off being allowed back on the field. It sounds a bit radical but even the great Darren Lockyer believes we may one day have to have fewer than 13 players on the field.
Iambunney spoke about the Golden Boot and players sticking with a minor nation. Michael Jennings is a Tongan international, not Samoan. I think that now the RLIF has a player of the year award, the Golden Boot should be even more determined to underline its point of difference – that it goes to the best player in the world.
Stojo01 you seem to know a lot more about punting than me with your comments on various markets in recent years. The way you walked the line without accusing anyone of anything specific indicates you know a fair bit about defamation law too!
Bad Robot says the trial rule regarding the attacking team having an extra player at scrums is an indictment against the creativity of current players. I think it's more an indictment against the imagination used from scrums, not overall.
Quigeybow further explained his proposal to discourage players feigning injury. Check out last week's column. It seems a fair idea to me. What do you all think?
Supersquirrel sums up an ethical conflict. We abhor the nanny state but we also abhor gambling's increasing hold on rugby league. Which abhorrence trumps which?