Broncos and Easts part company - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos and Easts part company

By Wayne Heming 08/10/2010 05:16:05 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane Easts have ended their three-year affiliation as a feeder club to the Broncos to accept a new deal with NRL club Melbourne Storm until 2012.

Easts chairman Des Morris confirmed on Friday the club switch was "in the process".

Melbourne's previous relationship with a Queensland Cup side, Brisbane Norths, helped them craft a superstar team - allowing them to recruit Billy Slater, Greg Inglis and Cameron Smith.

Morris said there were no issues with Brisbane, even though the six-time premiers, who have affiliate relationships with four other Queensland Cup clubs, had recently cut funding to the Tigers.

Under the arrangement with affiliate clubs, Brisbane's players are allocated a Queensland Cup side for the season and the club can nominate one player to train with the Broncos pre-season.

The arrangement helped former Parramatta half Tim Smith resurrect his NRL career with Cronulla this year after he trained with the Broncos before the season kicked off.

"There's no ill-feeling with Broncos," said Morris.

"We've got same great (Broncos) players on our books, Darren Lockyer, Israel Folau, Corey Parker, Ben Hannant and Justin Hodges.

"They're on our books, but we'll never get them and we don't expect to get them.

"The bottom line is because of the set up with the Broncos we never got too many players back (to play for Easts).

"We're competing in a competition where everyone is getting a lot of players back."

Brisbane still have affiliate arrangements with Queensland clubs, Redcliffe, Norths, Wynnum Manly and the central Queensland Comets.

"Andrew Gee (Brisbane operations manager) did his best to keep us involved but the deal we've done with Melbourne is more financially beneficial to us and we should get a better spread of players back as well," said Morris.

Gee said he was disappointed with Easts decision.

"We would have liked it to continue because we see Easts as a powerhouse club in the making," he said.

"But they've made that decision and we wish them well."

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