Ellis success whets appetite for Tigers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ellis success whets appetite for Tigers

By Ian McCullough 22/07/2009 07:44:51 PM Comments (0)

The success of Englishman Gareth Ellis in his first season in the NRL could spark a new wave of recruits to Australia from the Super League, according to Wests Tigers recruitment manager Warren McDonnell.

McDonnell said the England international's progress with the Tigers this season had not gone unnoticed in the UK, with several players now expressing an interest in following his footsteps.

Bradford prop Sam Burgess, who at 20 is rated as one of the most promising talents in the English game, has said he wants to move to the NRL when his contract expires next year, and is a player firmly on McDonnell's radar.

"Gareth has probably been one of the best signings we have ever made," McDonnell told AAP.

"His professionalism and his attitude are top class and he is also a great role model for our youngsters, we have been delighted with him.

"Sam is also a player we like very much. I had a good chat with him out here during the World Cup and unfortunately he was injured and never got the chance to play.

"He is very interested in playing out here but I know Manly are also trying to sign him and with Steve Menzies playing at Bradford, it may be that his links with Manly make a difference."

With so many Australian players having made the switch to England over the years, McDonnell said the tide could soon turn.

"It is becoming harder to sign players here and you also have youngsters being attracted to rugby union so we need to look outside of the square," he said.

"With the dollar being in a good state at the moment and the tax laws changing in the UK, Australia is becoming a more desirable place to play for players and it would be great to see more of their top players like Gareth Ellis playing in the NRL."

McDonnell also said reports claiming bad boy five-eighth Arana Taumata will head to Brisbane instead of honouring an agreement to join the Tigers were wide of the mark.

Taumata, who has been sacked by four NRL clubs for a variety of misdemeanours, including assault, has signed a two-year deal with the Tigers for the 2010 season.

However, reports have claimed Brisbane were in talks with the 20-year-old, who is playing in the Queensland Cup with Broncos feeder club Easts.

"There is no problems and Arana will be here next year," McDonnell said.

"We have not had to speak to Brisbane because there is nothing to discuss."

Taumaga's manager Sam Ayoub told AAP the story was "complete crap" and said the New Zealand-born playmaker would "without doubt" be plying his trade in Sydney next season.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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