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Poaching a healthy sign says Farah
From: The Daily Telegraph August 01, 2009 12:00AM
WESTS Tigers skipper Robbie Farah says league has nothing to fear from the AFL and believes the fact NRL players are being targeted shows the code is in good health.
Karmichael Hunt’s decision to move from Brisbane to the new Gold Coast AFL franchise shocked both codes and Farah said he would be intrigued to see how the Broncos star coped, but believes it is wrong to think rugby league will suffer from its players being poached.
“I see it as being a credit to our game that these other codes are coming in and looking at our players to play their game,” Farah said. "It was a bit of a surprise and I thought I was hearing things when I heard about Hunt, but good luck to him.
“It’s going to be a great challenge for him and I am sure everybody is going to be looking to see if he goes well or is a flop.”
The NSW hooker said he had never had any real interest in the game and admitted he would be stunned if any AFL club would show an interest in him because he was “too short and not real quick”.
Farah felt that apart from the occasional foray into rugby union, rugby league did not have to really look elsewhere for new players and, as such, was in good shape.
“It is a credit to our players and how many great athletes there are that they can adapt to other sports,” he said.
Tigers and Australia Test coach Tim Sheens said he felt there might be some resentment towards Hunt from AFL players who are earning a lot less than the Queensland State of Origin fullback.
“I have to say that a lot of the AFL players who are receiving a lot less than a million dollars a year would be a bit upset at the news, I know I would be,” Sheens said.
“I am not begrudging him anything, good luck to him, but to be honest I can’t see players going from league to AFL as being something that happens too often.”