Despite two years left on his deal with the Melbourne Storm, winger Josh Addo-Carr is said to be tossing up a return to Sydney.
Addo-Carr has been a bona fide star since joining the Storm in 2017 from the Wests Tigers and has about $700,000 left on his current contract.
Yet according to Nine’s Danny Weidler, Addo-Carr and his manager, Chris Orr, will both meet with Storm officials in Sydney to try and nut out a deal which would see the flyer leave Melbourne.
"I’ve been hearing for a while that Addo-Carr wants to base himself in Sydney because of a changed family situation.
At this point I haven’t heard that Addo-carr has asked for a release nor has he fielded any firm offers," he said. “But that could change with today’s meeting.”
Addo-Carr was asked whether he viewed Melbourne as home just weeks after the the season ended, and he was quite clear on where his heart is.
When asked last week if Melbourne or Sydney was home, Addo-Carr made it clear the Harbour City is where his heart is.
“Sydney is always home for me,” Addo-Carr said.
"I’m grateful for what Melbourne have done for me. They’ve turned my career around. They’ve turned me into the player I’ve always dreamt to be.
“Sydney (though) is always going to be home. My whole family is there. If I want to start a little family, I want my kids to grow up with my family.”
Addo-Carr also credited Craig Bellamy with helping him transform himself on and off the field.
“It was the culture of Melbourne,” Addo-Carr said. “We have good leaders. You have to work hard to be in the side. You don’t get given the jersey. You earn it.”
The Tigers have snatched exciting strike player Luciano Leilua from the Dragons.
The Dragons were keen to keep the 23-year-old Samoan international, who played 22 games for the club this year.
But the Tigers with money to spare after losing Ryan Matterson to Parramatta have decided Leilua is the perfect replacement.
A giant centre or second-rower, Leilua has pace and ball skills and is capable of breaking the line.
He should revel playing outside the Tigers’ ball men, Luke Brooks and Benji Marshall, and could prove even at this early stage one of the best signings of 2020.
Dragons fans will be fuming at losing the young forward, a former Australian Schoolboy and local junior.
Wests Tigers fullback Corey Thompson says he’s up for the fight to retain his No. 1 jersey if the Tigers’ bid to lure Latrell Mitchell to Concord is successful.
The Tigers are reportedly preparing a $3 million, three-year deal to land Mitchell after the Sydney Roosters rescinded an $800,000 contract offer to the superstar centre. Mitchell is apparently keen on switching to fullback if he joins the Tigers. Thompson said the club would welcome Mitchell with “open arms” but he won’t be giving up his fullback position without a fight.
“If Latrell put his mind to it he could kill it at any position but I played there last year and I’m looking forward to playing there again next year,” the 29-year-old told AAP.
“I’m always ready for a good fight for a position.
“When Latrell comes he’ll be a great weapon for us.” The Tigers’ big-money bid for Mitchell comes following Ryan Matterson’s controversial transfer from the Tigers to Parramatta.
Just a year into a $1 million three-year deal with the Tigers, Matterson’s move to the Eels as well as Mitchell’s falling out with the Roosters has sparked a debate about the value of NRL players’ contracts.
NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said the league was in negotiations with the Rugby League Players Association over the issue.
“We’ve been very forthright to the players association and the players themselves about changing some of the player contracting model,” Greenberg said. “That’s been rejected by the players association.
“We’re in discussions with them again about how we bring some of those changes to the fore in 2020. It’s an open discussion, we’ve got some strong views on improving the system to change some of these things.”
Wests Tigers granted player exemption for Bulldogs clash
Wests Tigers have been granted a player exemption from the National Rugby League for Saturday’s Round 21 clash against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.
Having originally been named in the run-on side at prop, Josh Aloiai has been ruled out with injury and will be replaced in the 21-man squad by Chris McQueen.
Aloiai injured his hand at training on Wednesday and could be sidelined for more than a week or two.
McQueen will come in to the squad in jersey 24 with Thomas Mikaele to start.
McQueen has featured five times for Michael Maguire’s side this season, having last played in the first-grade side in Round 11 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Wests Tigers will provide an updated 19-man side to take on the Bulldogs at 7:35pm AEST tonight before finalising their side one hour before kickoff tomorrow.
Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah says he’ll take the time to celebrate his 300th NRL game, but only after the job is done as his side face the Newcastle Knights in a key contest on Friday.
Following a tough defeat to the Canberra Raiders last week, Farah said the team had some strong conversations together and were determined to get back in the winners circle this weekend as they look to end a run of three straight defeats.
“We had a really thorough review yesterday and there were some really honest conversations going around” "We know where we are at this point of the season and what we need to do.
“It’s a matter of going out and putting it into action now.
"It’s too late for talk and stuff, we need to find a way to win.
“We head to Newcastle this week and that’s always a tough place to go and play. They’ve got their back against the wall too and it’s a big week for them as well.
“But we’ve just got to find a way to win this week, that’s all it comes down to.”
Farah will become the 39th player in Telstra Premiership history to reach the 300-game milestone — two weeks after close friend and fellow Life Member Benji Marshall reached the mark — and noted that while the occasion would be special on Friday, it was a clear secondary focus compared to his side’s goal.
“We’re in a situation this week where I’m not too concerned about individual milestones, to be honest," Farah said. "It’s just about getting the win.
"It’s obviously a nice milestone — more so for the people around me than myself. It’s definitely still a proud moment for me, but it’s about getting the win.
“There’s still a lot of belief in this team and I think that’s where the frustration is coming from — because of results in the last few weeks,” he added.
"We’ve shown at stages throughout this year that we can compete with the top sides but we take out foot off the throat and we let ourselves down.
“So there’s definitely still a fair bit of belief, but at the same time, we know that what we’ve produced hasn’t been good enough. We’ve had a good hard look at ourselves and now it’s just about finding a way to do it.”