It’s not even 2024, but the upcoming Anzac clash between the Roosters and Dragons is set to be heated after Sydney boss Nick Politis criticized two St George Illawarra stars.
NRL teams found creative ways to release their draws and the Dragons decided to play charades.
Dragons veteran Jack Bird has been paired with newcomer Kyle Flanagan to cover their Round 18 clash with the Roosters.
After miming handing over a bag and then making it rain, Flanagan guessed “brown paper bags – Roosters” as the two men burst out laughing.
There could be some bitterness from Flanagan, who was the Roosters’ halfback in 2020, where he played 20 games, scoring four tries and kicking 198 goals.
After being eliminated in straight sets from the final, Flanagan was informed he was no longer needed.
He then signed with the Bulldogs, where he spent the last three years as a freshman.
But even though it was all very amusing, the Roosters weren’t laughing.
The Roosters have long been graced with a ‘salary sombrero’ relative to the rest of the NRL salary cap, as the club has arguably proven to be the best in the competition in signing big names and retaining top talent. Prime Minister.
Next season, the Roosters will call upon Knights and England star Dominic Young and Panther premiership Spencer Leniu.
However, the team will lose Fletcher Baker to the Broncos, Jaxson Paulo and Matt Lodge to Manly, Drew Hutchison and Jake Turpin to the Bulldogs, Paul Momirovski to Leeds in the British Super League and a host of other players who have not still not signed.
Billionaire Roosters chairman Politis was asked on Nine News whether jokes about the ‘brown paper bag’ or ‘salary sombrero’ annoyed the 80-year-old tycoon.
“Absolutely,” Politis said.
“It’s just jealousy and it’s stupid.
“What do you say about them (the Dragons)? They don’t know what they’re saying anyway.
Club CEO Joe Kelly said he was happy other teams were spending their time thinking about what the Roosters were doing.
“I’m happy other teams are looking at us and we’re going to just focus on ourselves,” Kelly said.
“At the end of the day, that’s all we can control. If others are looking over the fence, they are probably a little distracted. »
Earlier this year, the Daily Telegraph analyzed the lists and valued the Roosters roster at $13 millionover $1.5 million over the current salary cap and over $4 million over the Dolphins’ 2023 roster.
Roosters players defended the club, with striker representative Lindsay Collins saying: “The more professional you become, the less you worry about money and the more you care about winning.”
It comes as the Roosters have been linked with Wallabies young gun Mark Nawaqanitawase moving to the NRL in 2025, with Joseph Suaali’i heading to the Wallabies.
Andrew Abdo, NRL CEO confirmed the possibility of salary cap exemptions to bring in high quality talent from other sports.
However, Politis said Suaali’i could return to the Roosters after his contract with the Wallabies ends in 2027.
“Joseph is a good boy. It’s sad we lost him to the (rugby) union, but he’s telling us he’ll be back in 2028,” he said.
When asked if he would welcome Suaali’i again, Politis replied: “Of course. Always a rooster.