My money is on the Saints. They’ll get him at a good price, and he’s better than anything they’ve got. Peats won’t even have to leave Sydney.
I reckon Penrith will be all over him, good experience for a good young spine.
Their money will be better spent on Peats than Tamou.
Apparently Segeyaro is on the outer too…
Saints are talking to Segeyaro.
THE NRL’s salary cap auditor has launched an investigation into the Brisbane Broncos following revelations mining magnate Ken Talbot had handed out cash to several players, including former Test prop Shane Webcke.
The revelation came from the testimony of former Broncos chairman Don Nissen at the corruption trial of former Beattie government minister Gordon Nuttall in Brisbane’s District Court.
The Australian understands the NRL’s probe will focus on payments allegedly made to several players, including Webcke, by Talbot in return for guest appearances made at functions, mines and hotels under his business umbrella.
Talbot has never been officially associated with the Broncos through an NRL-approved club sponsorship, but the founder of Macarthur Coal was a long-time member of the Thoroughbreds - a group of wealthy businessmen supporting and advising Broncos players.
Any payments made to players would need to be presented to cap auditor Ian Schubert for approval to avoid a breach of the strict salary cap guidelines.
During his evidence Nissen said Talbot was a generous man who had given money to some Broncos players, which was not expected to be repaid.
Under further questioning by crown prosecutor Ross Martin, Nissen said Talbot was “a committed fan” of the Broncos.
“It may have changed with (former Broncos coach) Mr Bennett going to the Dragons,” Nissen added jokingly.
Pressed further about the money given to the players, Nissen told the court players had visited Talbot’s hotels socially and had also visited the hotels, including the Cleveland Sands Hotel, on a more formal basis on a number of occasions.
“(Did) the visits from the Broncos attract customers?” Martin asked Mr Nissen.
“Yes,” Nissen answered.
Webcke, who became a member of the advisory board of the Talbot Hotel Group following his retirement at the end of 2006, was present on a number of occasions, having also visited a number of mines.
The 2003 annual report for Talbot’s MDA Capital notes Webcke and Bennett visited the Copabella mine in December 2002 “to discuss the importance of health, fitness and motivation with the employees”.
When contacted by The Australian yesterday Webcke offered only “no comment”.
Broncos boss Bruno Cullen said he had immediately contacted Schubert following news of Nissen’s testimony and had been in correspondence with the NRL’s top bean-counter, with both men keen to get to the bottom of the matter.
Cullen said he had been unable to get in contact with Nissen to clarify the details of just when and to whom these payments were made, but wanted to do so by the end of the week.
“I think we are obligated to find out exactly what his testimony referred to. I am in the process of trying to find that out as part of what (Schubert) has asked us to present to him,” Cullen said.
"While some people may not believe me, I was very surprised when I heard about Don’s testimony.
“Obviously sometimes you hear rumours here and there. We like to keep on top of those things and we investigate whenever we think it even slightly necessary.”
Talbot’s close association with Bennett and the Broncos was brought into the public arena in late 2007, when it was revealed the mining tsar had arranged to pay Bennett $1million over a 10-year period as part of a fund set up to help Bennett’s two disabled children.
Cullen reportedly first became aware of the payments earlier that year and asked specifically whether Talbot had been making payments to players, which Bennett denied he had.
Given the allegation dates back beyond Cullen’s time at the helm of the club, the Broncos boss said there was still some investigating to do, but was adamant he was not overly concerned.
“I am comfortable that there isn’t a breach,” he said.
"I am not that concerned. I honestly don’t believe this is a major issue.
“Obviously I want to know what went on, but I am relaxed about our position.”
This is a well known fact the all the Broncos premierships were tainted with salary cap cheating,