Titans sign Verrills, Warriors loom for Papali’i if he returns to Tigers, Gallen double fight


Gold Coast struck a blow by signing Roosters hooker Sam Verrills on a two-year deal to bolster their inexperienced backbone.

Verrills, who scored a try as part of the Roosters’ Grand Final-winning side in 2019, is leaving the club following the acquisition of Kiwi international Brandon Smith.

The Last Titans struggled with an inexperienced backbone of Erin Clark, Aaron Booth, Toby Sexton, AJ Brimson and Jayden Campbell. Verrills, along with the recent signing of veteran Manly Kieran Foran, will give them two more experienced options in 2023.

“Sam has great vision and is a real threat from this hooker position,” coach Justin Holbrook said.

“He learned his trade under Origin hooker Jake Friend and has been able to really shine in that number nine shirt for the Roosters for the past few seasons.

“We have great experience which will join our backbone next year with the arrival of Kieran Foran and our key positions will be further strengthened with the arrival of Sam.

“When you add these two players to our mix of exciting young players who have gone through our pathway programs here on the coast like AJ Brimson, Jayden Campbell and Toby Sexton, we are really confident with the squad we are building for the year. next and beyond.”

Verrills said he was grateful to the Roosters, in particular Trent Robinson, for giving him a start in the NRL and the coach described him as someone with a ‘team spirit first’.

“The Sydney Roosters have been such a big part of my life, and I will always be grateful to Robbo, the players and all the staff at the club for all they have done for me, and for the memories and friendships of a whole life that I have that I’ve done along the way,” Verrills said.

“While it’s good to have my future sorted out, my only focus right now is to keep working hard and playing my part for the Roosters for the rest of the season.”

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Warriors option for Papali’i as Tigers search for answers

The Warriors have emerged as an option for Parramatta star Isaiah Papali’i as doubts grow over whether he will honor his contract with the Wests Tigers next year.

Tigers chairman Lee Hagipantelis insists he is confident Papali’i will stick to the three-year deal he signed last November, joining Penrith hooker Apisai Koroisau as as great club recruits for next season.

However, reports emerged in July that Papali’i was considering a move after his New Zealand national team coach Michael Maguire was sacked by the Tigers.

And now the Warriors could be an option for the 23-year-old striker with the Sydney Morning Herald reporting that he may seek a personal release to be with his partner, New Zealand netballer Elle Temu, who plays for the Auckland-based Northern Stars in the ANZ Premiership.

The Warriors released fellow second rower Eliesa Katoa earlier this week to sign a two-year contract with Melbourne and are looking for reinforcements after Matt Lodge and Kodi Nikorima left mid-season and Reece Walsh, Euan Aitken and Chanel Harris. -Tavita will not be at the club next year.

Papali’i launched his NRL career at the Warriors in 2017 and played 63 games over four seasons before becoming one of the Eels premiership’s top strikers over the past two years in 45 appearances.

Given the chance to clarify his position on Monday, Papali’i instead said he would wait until the end of the season before discussing the matter with the Tigers.

Hagipantelis said on Tuesday he would meet with the player’s management to clarify the comments, but was adamant the back rower would still be at Concord in 2023.

“We have a contract. It is in black and white and has been signed by both parties and we are very comfortable with our position,” Hagipantelis told SEN.

“I don’t give a lot of weight (to what he was saying) about the anti-West Tigers or the anti-contractual obligation.

“I don’t want to read into his comments and create angst between the club and the player.

“It is well known that we have a contractual relationship with Isaiah and we are very much looking forward to welcoming him to the club in 2023.”

If Papali’i tried to walk away from the deal, it would be a blow to the Tigers and the coaching duo of Tim Sheens and Benji Marshall.

The club have dropped three top strikers – Luciano Leilua, Luke Garner and Kelma Tuilagi – in the last 12 months.

Paul Gallen sits in his corner after losing to Justis Huni in their Australian heavyweight title fight at ICC Sydney on June 16, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Gallen to fight two old Maroons

Paul Gallen has pledged to knock out two Queenslanders in one night after engaging in a boxing challenge not attempted in over 130 years.

The retired rugby league great and former NSW Series winning captain will face former State of Origin rivals Justin Hodges and Ben Hannant on the same card in Brisbane on September 13.

Gallen (12-2-1) will follow in the footsteps of Australia’s first ever world champion, Albert ‘Young Griffo’ Griffiths in 1890, fielding two opponents back to back.

The Maroons’ former teammates have become pugilist enemies. Hodges and Hannant teased ahead of their June showdown that the winner would have to face Gallen, before Hodges prevailed in a unanimous points decision.

But now Gallen wants both.

“I said before their last fight there would be nothing nicer than knocking out two Queenslanders in one night and here we are,” Queensland’s public enemy No.1 said on Tuesday.

“These two couldn’t get my name out of their mouths before their last fight. Be careful what you wish for guys because I come swinging and swinging hard and I won’t stop until you’re both on the floor regretting the decision.

“I’m really excited for the fight to be in Brisbane and I don’t care about the crowd. They can boo me all they want, but that’ll only give me more energy to go out and put on a show.

Promoter and former NRL premiership winner George Rose of No Limit Boxing advises Gallen to keep his promise.

“Paul Gallen is one of Australia’s toughest athletes,” Rose said.

“But there’s no doubt that it’s going to be a huge challenge for him. He’s trying to take down two opponents in one night, deep in enemy territory.

“Gal never shy away from a challenge, so when we told him there was an opportunity to take on not one, but two Queenslanders in one night, he said ‘where do I sign?

“We’re working on the details of how the fights will shape up, but I guarantee you won’t want to miss it.”

In the co-main event, Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Harry Garside – undefeated in three professional fights – will look to defend his Australian lightweight title against Miles Zalewski (11-2).




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