Gasnier signing with NRL 'unrealistic' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gasnier signing with NRL 'unrealistic'

By Ben Horne & David Beniuk 04/03/2010 09:06:30 PM Comments (0)

Mark Gasnier's manager has confirmed he's fielded expressions of interest from several NRL clubs, but said it's unlikely the former St George Illawarra centre will play a short stint in the NRL before taking up another rugby union deal.

In an ideal world the Roosters say the rugby convert would be on their wish list, but recruitment manager Peter O'Sullivan said signing the former league star to a mid-year contract was unrealistic.

Gasnier is in talks with the Australian Rugby Union, with a potential deal not likely to begin until the start of 2011.

With his current contract at French rugby side Stade Francais to expire in May, the possibility has been raised that the 28 year-old could have a short stint in the NRL this season between rugby contracts.

NRL boss David Gallop has even given such a move his provisional approval.

But Gasnier's agent George Mimis agreed with O'Sullivan, saying any short-term deal with a league club was "highly unlikely".

Mimis said Gasnier has at no stage suggested to him he's interested in "flip flopping" between codes.

The Roosters are inexperienced in the centres and have some room to move in the salary cap following Willie Mason's departure, but O'Sullivan said the club has not spoken to Gasnier's management about a stint at Bondi Junction.

"Obviously Gaz is a great player, so you're always interested in great players, but right now that would seem a long way away, as much as we'd like to have him and as good as he is," O'Sullivan told AAP.

"He is likely to be playing for a sum that we couldn't afford ... as we stand right now, we've lost a few forwards in the off-season.

"Cherro (Anthony Cherrington) is out for the season and Jared's (Warea-Hargreaves) out for six weeks so if we were looking at anybody, we'd be looking at a middle player or a forward edge player.

"I certainly haven't (spoken to Gasnier's management).

"I think of all the positions you can cope with a bit of inexperience, centre's probably the most likely to cope well in your footy roster."

New Roosters recruit Jason Ryles is a former teammate of Gasnier's at St George Illawarra and was his French neighbour last year while playing league at Les Catalans.

Ryles enjoys a close friendship with the former NSW and Australian league star and said he'd love to see him at the Roosters.

"We went to each other's places a fair bit," said Ryles.

"I'd love him to but I think he's got every man and his dog chasing him so it will be interesting to see what he does.

"But having him at the Roosters would be unreal."

Mimis said footballers alternating between codes was an "interesting concept", but doubted it could ever happen because the NRL and ARU will always have their own interests at heart.

"Peter Doust (Dragons CEO) and I discussed the merits of this probably four or five years ago," Mimis said.

"With respect to Mark's situation, we've not had any dialogue of late, on the concept of flip flopping between codes.

"Contractually it just doesn't align. It would be highly unusual. In normal terms it's highly improbable structurally.

"There's been a range of expressions of interest but there's been no formal dialogue with NRL clubs."

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