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Chambers cut by Reds

By Jim Morton 12/08/2011 04:31:28 PM Comments (0)

Code-crosser Will Chambers is on the market, and could make a return to the Melbourne Storm, after being released by the Queensland Reds.

Chambers could make his a second code switch in two years after the Reds officials on Friday told AAP he had missed a place in the Super Rugby champions' roster for 2012.

The bullocking centre, only denied Wallabies selection last year due to shoulder surgery, is now being chased by NRL clubs Melbourne and Canterbury but may also explore rugby options overseas.

Negotiations between the Queensland Rugby Union and Chambers' management ended this week when the QRU decided they could not find room in their 30-man squad.

QRU chief executive Jim Carmichael admitted it was a hard call to make but was in the best interests of both parties after the 23-year-old struggled with being a bench-warmer this season.

While Wallabies mentor Robbie Deans was a big fan of his line-breaking abilities in his debut season, Chambers' confidence dipped after returning from his shoulder operation.

"He's a quality person and a gifted footballer but we couldn't satisfy ourselves that we could develop him next year where he was playing week-in, week-out," Carmichael told AAP.

"As a young man emotionally he needs to be playing football.

"Some guys are OK being (stuck) behind a player but he's one who gets his confidence from what he does and that's play football."

While there's been speculation for three months that Chambers would link with the Bulldogs as a replacement for star centre Jamal Idris, Melbourne are also seen as strong contenders for his signature.

Chambers played at centre when Melbourne won the 2009 NRL grand final, has remained in close contact with coach Craig Bellamy and also said he never wanted to oppose the Storm when he left.

But his manager, Peter Apolakiatis, on Friday stressed no decisions had been made.

"At this stage we've got no official offer from any club but we will put ourselves out there and see what comes," Apolakiatis said.

"The Storm are in with a chance as much as the Bulldogs are and a French club or a Japanese club is - we're in the market.

"He's still young and Will doesn't want to shut the door on union."

Storm football manager Frank Ponissi confirmed Melbourne was particularly keen to discuss a return with Chambers.

Chambers also received offers from rival Super Rugby provinces but told officials he did not want to play against Queensland.

The Northern Territory product started only six of the Reds' 18 matches as Ben Tapuai and Kiwi recruit Mike Harris were preferred as Anthony Faingaa's centre partner.

Chambers also spent the entire 80 minutes of last month's 18-13 final victory over the Crusaders on the bench and was disappointed to be out of contention for World Cup selection.

The decision does alleviate some salary cap pressure for the Reds and also helps them in their battle to keep in-form Test winger Digby Ioane, who has received a $1 million per season Japanese offer.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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