The world of Rugby League.

rleague.com

Soward's season up in the air

Jamie Soward's ability to see out his final NRL season at St George Illawarra is in big doubt after the former NSW State of Origin five-eighth was dumped from first grade on Tuesday.
Soward's season up in the air
by AAP

BRISBANE, June 4 AAP - Jamie Soward's ability to see out his final NRL season at St George Illawarra is in big doubt after the former NSW State of Origin five-eighth was dumped from first grade on Tuesday.

Soward was given time off by coach Steve Price to clear his head on Monday, before Price excluded him from the 17 named for Saturday's NRL match against Newcastle.

Instead, Soward will play for NSW Cup team the Illawarra Cutters.

It is two years since Soward made his State of Origin debut for NSW, after he spearheaded the Dragons to a drought-breaking premiership in 2010.

In his No.6 jersey, the Dragons have named centre Chase Stanley.

Soward will join Penrith next season on a four-year deal, but the Panthers on Monday indicated they would not be interested in seeking an early release for the playmaker.

The Dragons also welcome back prop Dan Hunt, who missed last round's 16-14 loss to Canterbury with a knee injury.

"Nathan Green has been playing well for the Illawarra Cutters and gets his chance in the centres while Chase Stanley moves to five-eighth, replacing Jamie Soward who will play for the Cutters," Price said in a statement.

"Hopefully Brett Morris and Trent Merrin will come through the State of Origin game unscathed for NSW so they can take their places on Saturday night against a tough and talented Newcastle team."

There was one notable absentee but Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin largely kept the faith with his shattered side in the wake of their 56-18 record NRL loss to the Warriors.

Griffin has not named veteran centre Justin Hodges for Monday night's clash in Canberra but included the rest of his Queensland State of Origin contingent - captain Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker and Matt Gillett.

Instead of wielding the axe, Griffin added his Origin stars and Nick Slyney to the same 17 that lost 10 tries to three on Monday night.

Canberra cleared Jarrod Croker (hamstring), named Origin stars Blake Ferguson, David Shillington and Josh Papalii but will sweat on Glen Buttriss (calf) and Joel Edwards (hamstring).

At the Bulldogs, Krisnan Inu will return against North Queensland in Townsville on Saturday night after serving a two-game ban for his scorpion tackle on Newcastle's James McManus.

But coach Des Hasler opted not to name Josh Morris and Josh Reynolds, saying he will assess his NSW stars after Wednesday night's Origin opener.

Cowboys coach Neil Henry is keeping his fingers crossed that stars Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, James Tamou and Brent Tate back up from Origin I as they look to turn around their season.

Cronulla's NSW contingent of Paul Gallen, Luke Lewis and Andrew Fifita were named in an extended squad featuring recalled Michael Gordon (calf) at fullback for Sunday night's clash in Melbourne.

And Manly confirmed Brett Stewart (back) would not run out against the Warriors in Auckland on Sunday, further delaying his NSW Origin plans.

A Brookvale Oval clash with Canterbury in round 14 looms as his final chance to impress Blues selectors ahead of Origin II.


Your thoughts?


You need to login or register to contribute here



Follow rleague.com on Facebook

Popular News Stories