Storm and Rebels share Joey Johns - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm and Rebels share Joey Johns

Melissa Woods 22/11/2010 06:36:23 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne Storm have put out the welcome mat for their cross-code rivals Melbourne Rebels, agreeing to share rugby league great Andrew Johns.

The Rebels, who will join the expanded Super rugby union competition next year, will piggyback on the Storm's use of the former NSW and Australian skipper.

Rebels head coach Rod Macqueen approached Storm football manager Frank Ponissi and asked if they could use Johns as a coaching consultant on his visits to Melbourne to work with the NRL side.

"He's done one session so far," Johns' manager John Fordham said.

"If he's able to fit in a couple more in the pre-season mode he will.

"He's going to work with the Rebels' halves ... but his priority is the Melbourne Storm."

Johns, who also works with NRL side Canberra and Manly, last week quit his coaching role with the Knights with the two parties unable to reach an agreement.

That meant the halfback great would have no official role with the club for the first time since he joined as a 14-year-old in 1989, and went on to play 249 first grade games and won two premierships.

He was forced to retire in 2007 from the NRL due to a neck injury.

Fordham scoffed at a report that the Rebels had offered Johns a deal worth $150,000, which the Knights were unable to match.

"It's just minimal work with the Rebels on an availability basis," Fordham said.

"That amount ($150,000) is absolutely ludicrous.

"We just couldn't reach terms with the Knights."

Fordham said Johns' schedule working with the Storm throughout the NRL season was still to be finalised.

Johns worked periodically with the Wallabies under the reins of former national coaches John Connolly and Eddie Jones, tutoring the Test side's kickers.

Kicking has long been a weakness of Australian rugby, with the current Wallabies still unable to decide on a permanent goal-kicker.

Johns' skills will be used to polish the Rebels' playmakers including Nick Phipps, who is currently on tour with the Australian side, as well as as another 21-year-old halfback, former Queensland Red Richard Kingi.

This year Johns was fired from his role as NSW Origin assistant coach for making a racial slur against former Storm player Greg Inglis.

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