Rogers wary of Gasnier rugby move - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rogers wary of Gasnier rugby move

By Paul Mulvey 09/05/2006 07:35:13 PM Comments (0)

Mat Rogers fears Kangaroos centre Mark Gasnier will do an Andrew Johns and slip through rugby's net when Wednesday's ARU deadline expires.

Rogers and Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie met with Gasnier on Monday in a final attempt to get the St George Illawarra star to switch codes.

But Rogers, who made the switch five years ago, was worried he had seen it all before with Johns and Braith Anasta who came close to signing with the Waratahs.

"We were stung a little bit, we thought Joey (Johns) was going to come, Braith Anasta was pretty close," Rogers said.

"If he comes, it'd be great, if he doesn't we'll move on.

"Be it league or union, no person's bigger than one game.

"We'll still be a very good team without him, but we'd be a far better side with him."

Gasnier and his manager George Mimis were due to meet with Dragons chief executive Peter Doust on Tuesday night to discuss what sort of deal the Dragons could offer.

Rogers said from his experience he believed a lot of rugby league fans, even Dragons supporters, would like to see Gasnier try his hand at the 15-man code.

"There'd be a lot out there I guarantee who'd love to see him play rugby to see what he can do," the NSW five-eighth said.

"A lot of rugby league fans said to me when Joey Johns didn't sign that they were disappointed because they would have loved to have seen him play rugby and seen how he'd gone."

Rogers offered to speak with Gasnier about his own experiences of swapping codes after an international career in league.

"I just told him I think he'd enjoy it if he came over," Rogers said.

"I told him what he could expect, it's a little different to league but it's enjoyable.

"Mark's concerned about the whole package, not just himself playing the game - the fans, players from both sides.

"He asked all the questions you'd expect from someone who is seriously considering a change.

"If he wasn't asking those questions, both parties are wasting their time."

The original offer the ARU gave Gasnier two weeks ago was increased last week to a base salary believed to be $450,000, which could jump to over $700,000 if he becomes a Test regular.

And Rogers believed Gasnier had the ability to force his way into the Test squad.

"I think he'd go great, he's got all parts of the game covered," Rogers said.

"He's got the speed, the size and the strength, plus he's got the finesse."

McKenzie was also cautious about predicting Gasnier's decision.

"It's not a one horse race, there are other parties involved," he said.

"I'm hoping it does happen, but it's up to him."

The ARU won't stop its raid on league at Gasnier.

Test coach John Connolly said once Gasnier had reached a decision, the ARU would step up its move for Bulldogs centre Willie Tonga and Roosters back Ryan Cross.

Tonga met with incoming Queensland Reds coach Eddie Jones about a possible move north of the border in Sydney.

"They're still on the radar," Connolly said.

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