UK move goes South for Crocker - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

UK move goes South for Crocker

By Laine Clark 07/05/2009 04:34:11 PM Comments (0)

A deal with South Sydney appears imminent for Michael Crocker after the ex-Test backrower's latest application for a UK work visa was rejected.

The ex-Melbourne enforcer looked set to snap up a well documented offer from the Rabbitohs after the road to the English Super League was effectively blocked on Thursday (AEST).

Crocker had been sweating on an appeal to the British High Commission after they stopped him from taking up a three-year deal reportedly worth almost $1 million with Hull in January.

It was due to a 2006 conviction for affray.

Devastated Hull FC chief executive James Rule said the club had now given up hope on Crocker playing for them.

He said the UK Home Office had not given an official reason for the latest rejection.

But he believed it was linked to the initial January snub due to Crocker's conviction three years ago while he was with the Sydney Roosters.

"This is a devastating decision for Michael and for Hull FC," he told UK reporters.

"The only slight positive in this sad news is that we at least finally know where we stand.

"I wish to thank Michael for his loyalty and patience throughout this period, which I know has been hugely stressful for him and his wife Sally.

"On behalf of the board, staff, coaches and fans I wish Michael the best of luck in his future career.

"I know he will be an outstanding player and ambassador for whichever NRL club he ends up with."

That club looks set to be Souths with the NRL club reportedly set to make an announcement as early as this week.

Rule revealed the great lengths the English club went to just to get Crocker into the UK.

"As a club we tried everything we could think of to bring Michael into the country, which included contacting West Hull MP and Secretary of State for Health Alan Johnson," he said.

"I wish to thank Alan for his efforts in assisting us to the best of his ability.

"As bitterly disappointed as we are we must move on with our recruitment for 2010.

"The biggest difficulty we have had throughout this process is the not knowing whether Michael would be joining us or not, and the knock-on effects that has in the terms of planning for 2010 and beyond."

Crocker remained in Melbourne throughout the appeal, training with ex-Storm teammates.

He is the fourth high profile player to have had their UK move blocked due to a clampdown on entry qualifications.

Canberra bad boy Todd Carney's Huddersfield deal fell through due to his alcohol-related charges.

Kiwi international Greg Eastwood's Leeds move was scuppered by speeding offences.

And Greg Bird's Bradford deal collapsed due to an assault charge, however, he was thrown a lifeline by the France-based Super League team Catalans Dragons.

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