Rugby League

Joseph Tapine launches legal action against Newcastle Knights in bid to join Canberra Raiders

Joseph Tapine has begun legal action against Newcastle, with the ugly stoush set to be resolved in the courtroom if he isn't granted an early release to join Canberra.

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The parties are at loggerheads after the forward signed a three-year Raiders deal that comes into effect next season.

Tapine's manager, Jim Banaghan, claims the 21 year old was banished from team training as punishment for knocking back a $1.1 million contract extension. He has since been overlooked by the Knights for Saturday's trial in Orange.

A legal matter: Joseph Tapine's manager has launched proceedings against the Knights.
A legal matter: Joseph Tapine's manager has launched proceedings against the Knights.  Photo: Jonathan Carroll

"Sadly and reluctantly, we have been forced to take legal action," Banaghan said. "It's very unfortunate because the kid loves the club but you can't be shown the door and forced to train alone in a team sport.

"Newcastle have dug a hole that big for themselves that Nathan Tinkler would have got himself a mining license for it."

If the issue isn't resolved over the weekend, the courts will likely decide which club Tapine plays his next game for.