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No empathy for Country? - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Sun, 13 Apr 2008 11:25:00 GMT
NRL clubs have been accused of lacking empathy following the recruitment of two Gundagai Tigers’ players a week out before the Group 9 season kicks-off.
Gundagai president Jamie Turnbull publicly vented his frustration at the loss of Kiwi under-19’s hooker Manaia Osborne – who has joined Newcastle – and the impending departure of back-rower Troy Nicho who is expected to head to Cronulla this week.
Turnbull – while not wanting to impede the progressive ambitions of a rising star in the code – told a weekend newspaper this was another example of the NRL’s “Don’t care” attitude when it comes to the bush.
“They have got to pull their heads out of the sand, these clubs and realize what is happening here,” Turnbull told the Sunday Telegraph.
“We were wooden spooners here last year after a pretty ordinary season and because we struggle to attract Australian players, we went overseas looking for some talent.”
“These boys have been here training and playing since February and, a week out from the start of the comp, we have lost one and will probably lose the other.”
“Newcastle have reimbursed us for our costs in relation to Manaia but that’s it.
“They have given us no avenue to try to find another player… as a good will gesture.”
“We are back to square one and all the hard work that went into getting these young guys out here has been for nothing.”
“The NRL clubs just have no idea how tough it is for clubs to survive out here. The bottom line for them is to make a dollar and they aren’t worried about us.”
knights operations manager Warren Smiles is claiming that it was Manaia Osborne who called the Knights looking for an opportunity.
“I can understand Gundagai being disappointed but we knew he had played Junior Kiwis and he attended a camp we held in New Zealand in January, “ Smiles added.
“Because of some doubts over the salary cap, we couldn’t do anything with him then and he actually called us while he was in Gundagai to see if anything had changed.
“He wants an opportunity and we would like to give him that,” Smiles told the Sunday Telegraph.

Nicho’s departure comes nearly a week after he and another player made a non-appearance for a trial game against Group Eleven in Parkes, leaving the G9 team with barely enough players for the clash.

G9 however rolled their sleeves up and with a bit of grit ran away with an inspirational 32-24 win. - Read More, Here