Tallis takes a swipe at rugby union - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tallis takes a swipe at rugby union

By Wayne Heming 08/02/2010 06:30:33 PM Comments (0)

Outspoken former Kangaroos captain Gorden Tallis says Australian halfback Johnathan Thurston risks becoming rugby union's new marketing meal ticket if he switches codes next season.

"They don't need these players in their game, they just want them for marketing," said Tallis as speculation continued to mount about Thurston's future in rugby league with the Cowboys sweating on his signature.

Off contract at the end of the year, Thurston is the latest marquee league player to be linked to union although he hasn't had an official offer.

While union officials have indicated they'd be happy to talk to Thurston, they've also made it known the days of throwing cash at high profile league players such as Mat Rogers, Wendell Sailor, Lote Tuqiri and Timana Tahu are over.

While former NSW Origin player Mark Gasnier is still playing union in France, Rogers, Sailor, Tuqiri and Tahu have all since returned to league.

Sailor will be playing his last league match in Saturday night's All Star sell-out at Skilled Park, while Tuqiri and Tahu are both making returns to the game this year at Wests Tigers and Parramatta respectively.

While those four recruits all went on to play Test rugby, a variety of reasons all ensured they never quite settled in union.

Sailor shot himself in the foot, testing positive for cocaine and being banned for two years, while Rogers was given special dispensation to return to league early after a rocky five years with NSW and the Wallabies.

Tuqiri was axed by the ARU last year over a disciplinary breach which still remains confidential, while Tahu was disgruntled after failing to settle in one backline position.

Tallis said on Monday he would not advise Thurston on any career decision unless he sought his opinion.

But the former league enforcer took a swipe at union claiming it didn't care about the league players it poached, only if they could put bums on seats and make them big marketing bucks.

In camp as a forwards coach under Neil Henry with the Indigenous All Stars, the fiery forward and one-time captain of Brisbane, Queensland and Australia said Thurston should be wary of jumping codes.

"They use these players (league players) to get crowds to games and to get more publicity," fired Tallis.

"But when you stop getting them publicity and you mess up, they kick you out.

"Once you're no value to them, that's it, you're gone."

Sailor said he would be happy to talk to Thurston about switching allegiances.

"I've already told him if he stays in the game (league) he could become one of the greats," said Sailor, a dual international who played 37 games for the Wallabies after jumping ship in 2002 when rugby made him an offer too good to refuse.

"I can't tell him not to got to rugby union, because I went for the money, but he's a league boy and I think he'll stay."

The Indigenous All Stars are banking on emotion and their flair to overpower Darren Lockyer's NRL All Stars.

NRL All star fullback Billy Slater hobbled off the training field in Sydney on Monday after rolling his ankle.

"He (Slater) is a great athlete, but if he's out, you bring Jarryd Hayne in, he's five star too," said Sailor.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news