Halfback options slim for Souths - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Halfback options slim for Souths

By Russell Jackson 27/04/2011 06:28:37 PM Comments (0)

Pressure is mounting on South Sydney to step-up negotiations with halfback Chris Sandow as their No.7 options for next year continue to dwindle should he leave the NRL club.

Sandow has been linked with a big money move to Parramatta for 2012 and the rumour mill was in overdrive on Wednesday morning that Souths had snared a replacement for him in former Penrith half Craig Gower.

But Gower's manager Greg Willett slammed reports his client had done a deal with the Redfern-based club.

"I haven't had an offer from Souths ... I haven't had a contract from Souths and Craig hasn't signed anything from Souths," Willett said.

"I haven't even spoken to Souths about an offer. I just don't know where all of this has come from."

Another halfback option for Souths was believed to be former Canberra, Sydney Roosters and Melbourne playmaker Brett Finch, who is currently playing in the UK Super League for Wigan.

His Wigan boss Michael Maguire, who will coach Souths next year, was reportedly interested in bringing Finch back to Australia with him.

But Finch's manager Steve Gillis said his client was signed with Wigan until the end of next season and was enjoying his time in the UK.

"I spoke to him this morning (Wednesday), he's happy and it's going well. They had a good win on the weekend and I'm pretty sure he's full steam ahead," Gillis said.

"I think a lot of (the Souths rumours were) speculation, he's never told me he wasn't happy there."

Meanwhile, Willett said Gower had returned to Europe this week after visiting Australia to discuss his options, which include another stint at Penrith.

Gower, 32, who is currently playing rugby union in Europe, is off contract with his French side Bayonne.

"He's got to go back to France and play with Bayonne then he's got to check through the offer from (Italian rugby side) Treviso for the next two years," Willett said.

"I don't think he'll play for Bayonne but Treviso is near Venice and he might go there.

"He's got the World Cup for Italy at the end of the year, so we just don't know where it stands yet."

Penrith boss Mick Leary hasn't given up hope of a return from their 2003 premiership-winning skipper.

"We had a positive meeting with Craig and now we're just waiting to hear back from them," he said.

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