Raiders step up bid for Barrett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raiders step up bid for Barrett

By Todd Balym 10/05/2008 09:34:04 PM Comments (0)

Canberra are set to step up their chase for Wigan star Trent Barrett with the club reportedly considering offloading current five-eighth Terry Campese to make way for the former St George Illawarra captain.

Wigan have told Barrett he will be released from the final year of his deal with the English giants so he can return to Australia with his home-sick pregnant wife Kylie.

Cronulla, Canberra and the Dragons are believed to be the leading NRL clubs pursuing Barrett, the Raiders case made stronger by their recent offer for former Wigan boss Ian Millward to join the club as an assistant next season while some of Barrett's family also live close to the nation's capital.

But Barrett is commanding $400,000 per year to return to the NRL and to accommodate his large contract the Raiders are reportedly looking to offload Campese, who is believed to be on a $200,000 deal.

Raiders assistant David Furner, who will be head coach in 2008, however has flatly denied any moves are being made to release Campese to enhance their quest to sign Barrett.

"No, I think someone is telling lies there," he said.

Of more immediate concern to the Raiders is their worrying injury toll after suffering their third straight defeat with a 30-4 loss to the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Hooker Lincoln Withers was carried off in the 30th minute with a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament knee injury, becoming the third Raider behind William Zillman and Phil Graham to be ruled out for 2008 with an ACL.

And utility Marshall Chalk suffered a broken thumb, the same injury which has Ryan Hinchcliffe sidelined until round 11.

"We're not getting injuries that are one or two weeks. We are getting things that are six weeks to season-ending which every club gets, but we've probably had our fair share already and have got a couple more," said coach Neil Henry.

"That stretches our playing roster."

Henry's other concern is to solve his side's inept handling after they coughed up 19 errors against the Roosters and completed just 57 per cent of their sets.

"Our problem has been unforced errors and we made plenty of them again today," said Henry.

"It was probably fortunate that the Roosters turned the ball over a bit in the second half really. They might have put some more points on us.

"We are a fair way off the pace with that performance."

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