Sharks jumped the gun: Thompson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks jumped the gun: Thompson

By Steve Jancetic 25/02/2009 08:19:09 PM Comments (0)

Fraser Anderson's manager claims Cronulla `jumped the gun' in releasing his star client before he had signed off on a deal to play rugby union in Japan.

The drama surrounding Anderson's proposed code switch took a surprising twist on Wednesday with player-manager Lance Thompson saying the 24-year-old backrower still had a contract with the Sharks.

Cronulla on Tuesday announced they had let Anderson go immediately after he had asked the club for a release later this year to take up a deal in Japan starting in July.

But Thompson fired back saying the Sharks had no right to terminate Anderson's contract, which was due to expire at the end of the season.

"The Sharks have jumped the gun as no release from the Sharks will be effective unless and until Fraser signs official contracts with the Japanese company concerned," Thompson said in a statement.

"At the moment he is still contracted to the Sharks. The Sharks are aware that it is the case."

Cronulla chief executive Tony Zappia however is adamant the club had every right to let Anderson go.

Asked if he believed Anderson would not play with the Sharks in 2009, Zappia said: "That's completely our understanding."

NRL boss David Gallop, in New Zealand to help launch the Warriors season, backed Cronulla's decision to let Anderson go rather than utilise the 24-year-old's services until the end of June.

"What we're saying is players need to make a choice," Gallop told NZPA.

"They are either rugby league players - and that's a fulltime profession at the elite level - or they are rugby union players.

"You can't play rugby league and also play rugby union in your holidays."

Meanwhile, Zappia said the club had not discussed replacing Anderson with someone from outside the club.

The Sharks had been linked with a move for former Melbourne backrower Michael Crocker - whose football career remains in limbo as he awaits a visa clearance to join English club Hull.

"Up until now the subject hasn't been brought up, we'll just deal with one issue at a time - we haven't gone down that path of looking at a replacement," Zappia said.

"Whether we do or not, we've got some good young players, maybe it's an opportunity for some of them."

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